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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.”


  • Alex Who?

    January 24th, 2016 - 9:26pm

    Moffat brought a lot to the show but I think he was running out of gas. I hope Capaldi returns with Chibnall.

  • Jam

    January 24th, 2016 - 8:49pm

    Why not give Class a go, its all we’re getting this year and might be brilliant.

    I’m sad there will be no series this year but saw it coming, the BBC are essentially skipping this year which is skipping a whole years budget for Who, This is the 3rd time.

    But the point is its still on after 10 years and (obviously my opinion) better than ever. Series 8 & 9 have been the best i think (joint with 4).

    I went back and started from Rose with the view look at it with fresh eyes and don’t look at what i wanted and look at what we got and the only episodes i still now can’t get through are Night Terrors & Widow zzzzzzzz. It changed my mind on a tonne of episodes and story choices.

    Lost track of my point (i never do comments).

    I think after all these years we’ve still got a series which i think is as good or better than we’ve ever had which after 10 years no other show has achieved.

    Im gonna miss Moffat as but I’m confident that series 10 is gonna be a whopper.

    Chibnall i saw coming and personally i thought the next runner shouldn’t be a “lifelong fan” but someone who has become a fan because of new who which would take it in a whole new direction.

  • The Moffat Paradox

    January 24th, 2016 - 8:01pm

    The upside is that it gives Peter Capaldi the opportunity to do other things so as to come back to it refreshed and reenthused and maybe then hand over the Tardis keys after hopefully no sooner than series 11.

    We should hold Polly Hill to her promise though.

  • 12th Doctor Fan

    January 24th, 2016 - 7:57pm

    Oh meant to say want bother with Olympics last time was bad enough, thank god we’ve a time difference. I can avoid all of it hopefully.

  • Kklak!

    January 24th, 2016 - 7:18pm

    Well said.
    Am currently having flashbacks to the 80’s over some of the comments….. seems that some fans would to prefer no Who at all if that allows them to life unchallenged in their own particular Golden Age.

  • Voord Supreme

    January 24th, 2016 - 7:03pm

    A little gratitude please, fandom! Even his critics acknowledge Stephen Moffat has written the lion’s share of the best stories since the series return.
    And there should be no whiff of satisfaction as Doctor Who is janked off air for a year….

  • Anonymous

    January 24th, 2016 - 4:36pm

    Don’t forget ‘Class’…

  • Sid Rat

    January 24th, 2016 - 12:11pm

    I’m glad he’s finally going. He’s done some really bad stuff with DW over the years, but he’s also written some brilliant stuff for DW. I think DW is better for having had him involved, but perhaps not for so long. The BBC should’ve planned for more than one special though in 2016 – to keep public interest, maybe 3 of them, which needn’t be shown during the Olympics or Euros (if that genuinely was their concern). I know we all have different views; personally I would like to see 1 more season of 12th doctor, then a regeneration to tie in with Moffat leaving, and a bit of a return to the series 1-4 format.

  • Ash

    January 24th, 2016 - 10:57am

    As a watcher of Dr Who since the first incarnation, William Hartnell, back in the mists of time (if there are any mists of time left in the world of the time lord), the rebirth of the series was a terrific moment (like Leeds United arriving back in the premiership, although that hasn’t actually happened yet). But in recent years it has felt like a tv series marched boldly up a hill, only to be marched, at a slightly quicker pace, back down the other side. The production is fabulous; the acting top notch; but the plots have become almost entirely incomprehensible. What a shame. The quicker Chris Chibnall’s era can begin the better. I don’t know much about the guy, but good luck to him.

  • Ian

    January 24th, 2016 - 8:21am

    Why do we have to have a series ark? Can’t we just have a series with the Doctor & companion traveling around time and space. Also whoever the new companion is, no baggage please!

  • Ian

    January 24th, 2016 - 8:18am

    I doubt the budget will be increased for next years series. Its just an excuse by the BBC to save money but not having a series this year.

  • Dalek The Supreme

    January 24th, 2016 - 3:29am

    Russel T Davies coming back would be as bad as, say, Moffat coming back and executive producing the series again after Chibnall leaves. Not because he’s a bad writer (he did write Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways), but because Doctor Who is about change and moving on.

    And Chris Chibnall’s given us some great stories. The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, anyone? How about Dinosaurs on a Spaceship? The Power of Three… had it’s flaws… but it was still a good episode character-wise and a nice return for U.N.I.T.

    Besides, it could have been worse. Matthew Graham could have taken over.

  • Dalek The Supreme

    January 24th, 2016 - 3:24am

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Moffat was that lucky, so I’m expecting poor Chibnall won’t be either.

  • Dalek The Supreme

    January 24th, 2016 - 3:23am

    A true fan recognizes when their show is letting them down. That being said, they also look for the good in even the cringeworthiest of episodes.

  • Dalek The Supreme

    January 24th, 2016 - 3:18am

    Oh, and Chris Chibnall as his replacement? The guy who brought us The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, and The Power of Three? Hell yes!

  • Dalek The Supreme

    January 24th, 2016 - 3:15am

    On one hand, he’s written some of my favorite episodes (The Eleventh Hour, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, Blink, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Heaven Sent, and The Day of the Doctor leap to mind), the Eleventh Doctor is my Doctor, 2010 – 2013 is what I’d call my personal “golden age” of Doctor Who, I’ve loved his redesigns of the TARDIS, the Sonic Screwdriver, and the Daleks. and Peter Capaldi has been a mostly enjoyable Doctor.

    On the other hand, he’s given us some real letdowns like Let’s Kill Hitler and Dark Water/Death in Heaven, and two episodes ago he ruined much of what one of his greatest episodes gave us.

    All in all, I’m glad he’s going, and while Series 10 better be amazing to make up for the letdowns of Death in Heaven and Hell Bent, I will remember him for his best. And I’d be lying if I said his best wasn’t Doctor Who at some of its finest.


    January 24th, 2016 - 1:38am

    And also Argos has stopped selling Who stuff lol.

  • Exterminator

    January 24th, 2016 - 1:36am

    Message to the Moff, thank you for giving us Missy and bringing back Davros. More of the two of them please for your grand finale!

  • princebenjibella

    January 24th, 2016 - 12:08am

    Moffat does not need to go with a bang. He just needs to go.

  • mark Belsom

    January 23rd, 2016 - 11:58pm

    Last time there was a break in the series,it didn’t return for nearly 20 years.

  • mark Belsom

    January 23rd, 2016 - 11:55pm

    Don’t think I’ll bother with Class. I can’t see why the BBC wants to show series ten in 2017. I’m gradually losing interest in doctor who, I hope I’m wrong.

  • Prof Horner

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:44pm

    Sadly I have become indifferent to new who. But lets give the new guy a chance.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:44pm

    Moffat’s own, something along the lines of him working all the time on Doctor Who and Sherlock meaning he only had one day off a year, so that’s what he did.

    Needless to say the public relations people were all over it in a panic trying to reassure people this was due to his “dry sense of humour”.

  • JasonisnotaRobot

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:27pm

    Maybe they knew about this all along and Class was this years replacement for Doctor Who! Sneaky Moffat.

  • The super whovian

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:03pm

    I know no doctor who for a year (expect for a Christmas special) is a terrifying thought.

    There’s still Class and many big finish audios to look forward to this year

  • The super whovian

    January 23rd, 2016 - 9:00pm

    I don’t think Moffat is a bad writer. Sure he has written some episodes that people don’t like but he has done many great things for the show. Two amazing doctors, an outstating 50th anniversary special, two of the most terrifying monsters and many great characters. So I think Moffat is one of the best writers the show has ever had.

    Also Chris Chibnall I haven’t seen much of his work so I cant really decide if he is a good choice or not but he hasn’t written any bad episodes of doctor who so I have hope he will give the show a new style

  • Dalekdino27

    January 23rd, 2016 - 7:57pm

    The fact that it has been postponed as the BBC were worried moffat’s final series would be overshadowed by the Olympics, is Ironic seeing how they didn’t mind putting series 9 on so late (in the UK) it looses loads of viewing figures. Personally I think it’s just an excuse from the BBC, but the break may be good for the show. Also out of interest what do you (Anonymous) mean about the BBC One controller claiming moffat is a bad father? like to the show or his kids? seems rather a horrid thing to say from a head of a major tax funded company.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 7:44pm

    I wish people wouldn’t keep lying to us

  • The Twelfth Doctor

    January 23rd, 2016 - 6:53pm

    The coming series of Broadchurch is going to be the last ever, meaning Doctor Who will be Chris’ only priority.

  • Anonymous

    January 23rd, 2016 - 6:40pm

    Steven Moffat complained about the scheduling and he wasn’t the only one, but it’s not his decision to make. He has stated this repeatedly over the years, and the fact is even reiterated in the press release yet fans still cling to their desperate Moffat bashing.

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