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January 22nd, 2016 128 comments

Steven Moffat to Step Down as Head Writer After S10

BBC announces Steven Moffat’s next series of Doctor Who will be his last and confirms Chris Chibnall as new Head Writer and Executive Producer.

After six incredible series at the helm, the multi-award winning Steven Moffat has decided to step down as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who.

Steven took over the reins on Series 5 in 2010 and during his tenure the show has become a truly global success. He has been responsible for introducing the Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctors in Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi; as well as two companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and iconic characters and monsters including River Song (Alex Kingston), Missy (Michelle Gomez), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and the terrifying Weeping Angels. Plus, the smash hit 50th Anniversary special in 2013 which saw fans around the world celebrate the world’s longest running sci-fi series with the Doctors, Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt battling the deadly Daleks in a feature length episode. Steven’s final series will air on BBC One in Spring 2017 and there will be a Christmas Special in 2016.

Steven Moffat says : “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him. It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip.”

Like Steven, Chris Chibnall is also a lifelong Doctor Who fan and a multi-award winning writer and executive producer. He has most recently achieved huge success with the triple BAFTA winning hit ITV series Broadchurch. His other credits include BAFTA nominated The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK, Life on Mars and Torchwood. Chris Chibnall’s debut series will launch in 2018.

Chris Chibnall, new Head Writer and Executive Producer : “Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it’s a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore. Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who’s creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult.”

Charlotte Moore, Controller, BBC One says : “I want to thank Steven Moffat for everything he has given Doctor Who – I’ve loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy. I will be very sad to see him leave the show but I can’t wait to see what he will deliver in his last ever series next year with a brand new companion. I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 – I promise it will be worth the wait! I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series.”

Polly Hill, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning says : “Like Charlotte I would like to thank Steven for his brilliance, which has made Doctor Who a global hit under his tenure. Chris Chibnall is the perfect successor to take over the reins of this incredible show, so I am delighted that his love for Doctor Who has made it impossible for him to resist! Chris is an incredible writer and his vision and passion for Doctor Who gives it an exciting future and promises to be a real treat for Doctor Who fans across the world.”


  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 6:38pm

    Actually it’s the other way round bizarrely, Doctor Who was cancelled in 1985, a decision that was overturned a couple of weeks later, instead taking the 18 month gap leading to Trial.

    In 1989 however the show was not cancelled, it was placed into what the BBC at the time called an “indefinite hiatus”. The real reason for that was they did want to cancel it but after the backlash that happened when they axed it in 1985 they didn’t want a repeat response so just didn’t bother cancelling it or renewing it. In the end the show did get formally cancelled, but in December 1996, when they could blame their American partners for not picking up Paul McGann for a series.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 6:34pm

    Steven Moffat has repeatedly said over the years, and again pointed out of late that he just makes the show, he has no power over when it goes out, so all these claims it is down to Sherlock or him being a bad father (as a certain former BBC One controller attempted to claim) are simply not true.

  • Doctor Stu

    January 23rd, 2016 - 6:17pm

    He’s given us some good stories but it’s time for him to go, I’m glad he’s gone now when he’s still loved rather than in a couple of years time when people would be begging for him to leave. The new writer sort of needs to look back at series 1-4 and use that as his template going forward in my opinion

  • The original Time Lord

    January 23rd, 2016 - 5:49pm

    The schedulers had nothing to with it. It was Moffat who wanted the series to be shown in the Autumn. If he hadn’t insisted, it would have stayed bring broadcast in the spring.

  • Doctrue

    January 23rd, 2016 - 5:23pm

    After Revelation of the Daleks doctor who was off the air for 18 months and then came back with the terribly recieved Trial of a Timelord. Inbetween this time doctor who was nearly cancelled. Then in 1989 it was.

  • Trenzalore

    January 23rd, 2016 - 5:12pm

    I believe a break will do the show some good and is exactly what is needed, I bet it’ll get some of the best viewing figures in a long while when it comes back.

    The reason given was ‘to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel’. So its probably better we don’t have a series this year if they can’t get fully behind it due to things like the Olympics.

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 23rd, 2016 - 4:56pm

    Funny thing is, no explanation to why there is no series of Doctor Who this year has actually been given as far as I can tell.

    Would be nice to know why we have no tenth series this year, except for a Christmas Special which we will be getting.

  • Dalekdino27

    January 23rd, 2016 - 4:49pm

    No Doctor who this year? Appalling, utterly appalling. And Why? probably as moffat wants to spend more time on Sherlock (we may get a similar situation with Chris Chibnall and his broadchurch), at least the when Russell t Davies left we had the 2009 specials. Not only is this upsetting to us fans it will probably leave the show damaged as the public will loose interest in the show and if moffat intends to “go out with a bang” as Chris Chibnall claims, we may be in for more stories that alienate the average viewers. This is probably just my anger talking but Doctor who is something we all look forward to and this procrastination is infuriating.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 4:46pm

    Finally, thank u god!

  • 12th Doctor Fan

    January 23rd, 2016 - 4:30pm

    I’m prepared to se what he does, hopefully No River, no Danny Pink like characters, must be better than 42 that just bored me. Would love Capaldi to stay for series 11. Ok we’ve no Who this year but surely we’ve got others things to watch I have, classic and new Who, loads of Monkey dvds. Other Peter Capaldi roles. Oh yes plenty for me to Watch.

  • starshipalaska

    January 23rd, 2016 - 4:08pm

    What do you mean?

  • rft

    January 23rd, 2016 - 3:04pm

    The dude did Torchwood! That’s good enough for me!

  • doctor no more

    January 23rd, 2016 - 2:45pm

    Time has run out for Mr Moffet not before time. The last couple of series have been rubbish compared to the the few that went before. Just hope we get a new doctor aswell as kids aren’t connecting with this doctor, don’t see much merchandise with his face on.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 2:36pm

    Yay! No Doctor Who this year (apart form getting a Christmas special) 😀 Pretty sad Moffat is going as he is a brilliant writer 🙁 but is time had to come… I’m sure Chris Chibnall will be as good as Moffat though 🙂

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 2:20pm

    How many DWs does it take to change a light bulb…?

    1000. 1 to change it and 999 to complain it wasn’t as good as the last bulb.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 2:04pm

    It’s not got anything to do with Elvis, it’s a reference to a tradition associated with actual monarchs.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 2:03pm

    Steven Moffat doesn’t control the schedule, they even pointed this out in the press release if you’d read it instead of just the headline. Point your blame where it deserves to go.

  • WFK DVD Collector 16

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:35pm

    There is hope…

    ‘Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it’

    The Doctor, The Reign of Terror episode 6

    Bye Moffat!

  • WFK DVD Collector 15

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:35pm

    It takes a true fan to identify a problem with his/her favorite show.

  • WFK DVD Collector 15

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:33pm

    There is hope…

    ‘Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it’

    The Doctor, The Reign of Terror episode 6

    Bye Moffat!

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:26pm

    Well we know exactly who to blame, same people responsible for the 2012/13 mess… the BBC schedulers. We can only hope that the delay means we will get an extended run in 2017.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:20pm

    2005 series 1
    2006 series 2
    2007 series 3
    2008 series 4
    2009 specials (robbed of 1 series)
    2010 series 5
    2011 series 6
    2012 series 7
    2013 series 7 (robbed of another series)
    2014 series 8
    2015 series 9
    2016 nothing (robbed of a series)
    2017 series 10

    I’m annoyed tbh

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:15pm

    *Christmas 2016

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 1:14pm

    Are you guys even fans of doctor who? It seems like all you ever do is complain, yet almost everyone was saying how great series 9 was. Contradictory comments from most of you.

  • whorules

    January 23rd, 2016 - 12:45pm

    i hope people refrain from complaining about chibnall until he actually makes a series!

  • whorules

    January 23rd, 2016 - 12:43pm

    2016 steven moffat 2017 ?????????? probably chibnall, good luck to the man

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 12:23pm


  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 12:20pm

    No more doctor who until spring 2017!

  • 2doctors2000

    January 23rd, 2016 - 11:40am

    Not sure what to think… Chibnall, well, has been ok when writing stories for Who, but his two Series 7 stories could have been a lot better. I can’t imagine what this time next year will feel like now though, we’ll have been waiting a year an a half by Spring 2017, and that will make for such a good build up, hopefully the series does not let us down, as a year and a half is a long break and I expect something quality from Series 10.

  • Dem squiggles

    January 23rd, 2016 - 10:42am

    Also maybe chibnall is writing for s10 because he hasn’t written a story for 4 years 5 next year and maybe it was a bit wierd that he was with steven

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