Site Menu

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.”


  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    February 21st, 2016 - 3:52pm

    I love the idea of Steven Moffat’s era ending, either with the series 10 finale or the 2017 Christmas Special, whichever happens to be the last story written by Moffat, with the return of his very first ever bad guy at the start of the Moffat era . . . . the one who began it all at the beginning of the 11th Doctor . . . .


    Now yeah, you could say to me “dude that creature died !!”, but we never actually saw it get killed off. For all we know, the Atraxi sent it back to prison, even thou Zero did say “the Atraxi will kill me this time” . . . . but we don’t know if they really did, plus it’s not like the Doctor had made sure they did.

    I love the idea of the 12th Doctor facing Prisoner Zero, getting it’s revenge on the Doctor, even if he is no longer Matt Smith. Nice way to end the Moffat era with the creature that began it all !! 😀

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    February 20th, 2016 - 7:09am

    Capaldi is leaving with Moffat next year. He feels Chibnall should have his own Doctor when Chibnall starts his era of Doctor Who with series 11 in 2018.

  • D.ALEK

    February 20th, 2016 - 3:21am

    chibnall is a mediocre to poor DW writer;this does not bode well;hope Capaldi stays on & is not replaced with a tenant-style fop.

  • Dalek The Supreme

    February 14th, 2016 - 5:40pm

    Honestly, I thought a new start was exactly what we needed as Russel T Davies’ run of the show came to its end. It had just started to feel a bit tired, and The Eleventh Hour with the rest of Series 5 came and revamped the show, giving it a fresh new look with a show-runner, new Doctor, new companion, new TARDIS, new everything.

    Honestly, I think that’s what we need right now: a fresh new start. I’m not saying I want Peter Capaldi to go. Heck, he’s gotten so much better this past series. However, I’m not sure where they can go with his Doctor from here. He’s been taken in and out of character and beyond extremes already, and I’m worried the Twelfth Doctor’s character may be broken beyond repair as of Hell Bent. Besides, Steven Moffat’s era has felt tired these last two series (at least, for me) and a fresh new start is exactly what I think the series needs right now.

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 30th, 2016 - 6:21pm

    Oh please ignore that bit regarding 2017 about ‘being uploaded has yet to be announced’ as I wrote that in the description of a new upload I’ve just done today on Deviant Art called ‘Doctor Who during the 2010’s’.

    I forgot to delete that bit.

  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 30th, 2016 - 6:17pm

    With Steven Moffat leaving and Chris Chibnell taking over as showrunner, this is how I feel the rest of the 2010’s is likely to be until we reach a new decade by 2020.

    January 2016 sees the announcement of Steven Moffat stepping down as showrunner, and announces his successor as Chris Chibnell.

    It is also announced the same month that there will not be a 10th series of Doctor Who in 2016. Peter Capaldi is stated online as saying that he will leave Doctor Who in 2017 in order for Chris Chibnell to have a new Doctor of his own.

    Christmas Day 2016 will see the only new episode of Doctor Who broadcast since 2015 Christmas Special ‘The Husbands of River Song’.

    Series 10 – Said to be Peter Capaldi’s final series as the 12th Doctor. He will be joined by a new companion in his final series, thou no actor at the time of this being uploaded has yet been announced, or what their characters name will be. Steven Moffat will step down perhaps at the end of series 10 or after Christmas Day 2017’s Christmas Special, which may also see the debut of a new actor as the 13th Doctor.

    Series 11 – Chris Chibnell takes over from Steven Moffat as showrunner. Series 11 begins the adventures of a brand new 13th Doctor, accompanied by the 12th Doctor’s final companion. Series 11 may see many changes during the beginning of Chris Chibnell’s era, such as a new opening titles, theme and maybe a new Tardis console room design.

    Series 12 – Second series for Chris Chibnell as showrunner, as well as the second full series of the 13th Doctor and his own companion if his companion is the same introduced in series 10 in 2017.

  • CG

    January 30th, 2016 - 2:53pm

    I actually like the idea of no Doctor Who in 2016, apart from Christmas.
    It may make us appreciate the show a little more and make the build up to Series 10 even more exciting.
    All I hope for in the next few years is to Capaldi to stay on as the Doctor at least for series 11 as well because there should be some continuity between the changing of producers etc and we don’t want what happened in the Eleventh Hour and Series 5 to happen all over again, where there were hardly any links back to my previous stories and a complete new start.
    I think Capaldi should be given the chance to play the Doctor under the control of another producer to really show us what an amazing actor he can be as some of the stories written over the last 2 series haven’t shown us this.

  • CharlieMars

    January 29th, 2016 - 3:17pm

    I hope we at least get a big special in 2016, like the 50th anniversary but on a much smaller scale of course.
    Maybe even a multi-doctor story with Paul McGann like people have been wanting for years?
    Finally give him his time to shine!
    While we’re at it, make it a multi-master story too with Gomez+Capaldi + Macqueen+McGann!

    Maybe i’m hoping for a little too much, I just hope since we’re not getting a series we’re not just left with one of Moffat’s usual Christmas specials, because we all know how they usually go.

  • booboo

    January 29th, 2016 - 7:26am

    not until Christmas the full series in 2017

  • Anonymous

    January 29th, 2016 - 7:25am

    When is a new episode of Doctor who coming

  • Sid Rat

    January 28th, 2016 - 12:42pm


  • Jason [Doctor Who One] from Deviant Art

    January 27th, 2016 - 5:31pm

    I don’t care about that upcoming spin-off.

  • doctor no more

    January 27th, 2016 - 5:29pm

    glad to see moffet going,although to be fair he has given some great episodes that for me finished with the name of the doctor,the day of the the doctor was very poor considering it was a mammoth 50 years,it should of been epic.not enjoyed it since matt left sadly, as I do still tune in every episode hoping for it to get better.I think its wrong of the bbc not to have a series this year,still want their licence fee though!!!.please spend some money on Russell t.writing a couple of episodes and please lets get a new doctor soon.geronimo!!!

  • Anonymous

    January 27th, 2016 - 12:42pm

    The companion can have development without having to have a convoluted backstory or family screwing things around.

  • Anonymous

    January 27th, 2016 - 12:41pm

    Both Capaldi and Moffat had contracts that leave one Christmas Special and a series of 12 episodes.

    Just because Steven Moffat has decided not to get it renewed does not mean Peter Capaldi is going, no matter how much certain publications would like it to be true.

  • Anonymous

    January 27th, 2016 - 12:39pm

    If the information is going to leak, it’s going to leak no matter how much time you give it.

  • Auton1970

    January 27th, 2016 - 9:22am

    I have mixed emotions about Moffat leaving it will be nice to see how chris chinball does he has previously written 4 Doctor who stories that have not been very good such as dinosaurs on a spaceship and power of three disappointed there will be no season 10 this year but at least it’s in March 2017 not September also we still have a xmas special so sad peter capaldi is leaving in series 10 or in the 2017 xmas special

  • Whovian

    January 25th, 2016 - 8:15pm

    I really like Steven moffet as the director and I will miss him.On a side note is everyone going to ignore the fact that we have to wait SO long for another episode and a year for a series.

  • The Original Time Lord

    January 25th, 2016 - 6:26pm

    To Jam – the BBC is not “skipping a budget”. They are using the budget to complete series 10 as they would have done normally! It’s only the transmission time thats been changed. The BBC Controller decided against a spilit series of 4 episodes in 2016 and the remaining 9 from March 2017 in favour of broadcasting in its entirety. This shows she actually understood that spilt seasons were unpopular!
    Fans really have to get over this… they have to film the series, give them time to be creative. TV shows today are no longer guaranteed a yearly timeslot. Many appear every so often. I’ve said this before .. it’s only a year! It is no big deal. Some of us had to wait 16 years once… imagine that!

  • Anonymous

    January 25th, 2016 - 4:24pm

    Agreed. We’ve been robbed of 3 Season’s worth of Doctor Who.

  • Anonymous

    January 25th, 2016 - 4:21pm

    I think this also ‘explains’ why both Christmas Specials are on the Series 9 Box Set. They knew all this months back & lied continuously. All that twaddle about there being a full series in 2016 from Moffat was correct. They just failed to omit that vital fact there would be a full series MADE in 2016 but not shown until 2017. That old flannel spewing forth from Charlotte Moore is the most pitiful excuse for having a year off ever!

  • Dalek The Supreme

    January 25th, 2016 - 3:05pm

    I’ll admit I’ve never seen Broadchurch, but I feel that The Power of Three was a truly good episode with the only major fault being the incredibly rushed ending.

  • The Moffat Paradox

    January 25th, 2016 - 2:59pm

    If so how does the BBC expect to keep an effective lid on leaks for so long so we cant know whats in every episode (where the title isn’t a giveaway)short of seeing them?

  • booboo

    January 25th, 2016 - 1:47pm

    I wouldn’t rule out any new figures just yet, Underground Toys never discuss future plans and Character would not show anything that are bound to end up as Exclusives in the UK.

    With over 50 years of History one year of absence should not really effect the “Collector” and “Geek” markets

  • Anonymous

    January 25th, 2016 - 1:40pm

    I have watched the show since the late 70’s so not quite as experienced as your good self. Being a fan of the show for so long, you will know that DW fans always complain and ironically, often fail to embrace the future and change – I remember my uncle complaining Tom Baker was a fool and not as good as Jon Pertwee….its the nature of British culture and DW fans to believe its “cool” to dislike. I for one have loved SM’s work – I think he has brought more to the mythology of the show than anyone before him. His writing is bold and adventurous…if not a little self indulgent but in my mind, the man is a genius…like all great artists, he is not without his faults and weakness but I’d rather have timey wimey complex plots than the dross we sat through in the 80s. I was never a big fan of RTD or David Tennant’s Doctor but I respect RTD for the man who got our show back on TV as I will respect SM for the man who give the show an extra dimension and moved it anyway from the soap opera it was turning into under RTD.

    As for Chris Chibnall – I’ve not liked any episodes he has wrote for DW so far and witnessed him creating a wonderful crime drama in Broadchurch only to unravel it in the mess that was series 2….however, like you I wish him the best because I will be behind the show and therefore him.

  • Anonymous

    January 25th, 2016 - 1:30pm

    Series arcs were often part of the classic series too. Most US shows use this method as it locks the viewer for the entire series rather than dipping in and out. Not sure if I agree with going back to having two dimensional companions….girls who scream and boys who act the hero…no thanks.

  • Anonymous

    January 25th, 2016 - 1:27pm

    Are you series…the Power of 3? Also, did you see Broadchurch series 2. What an utter mess.

  • Anonymous

    January 25th, 2016 - 12:43pm

    Well after a wonderful 2015 where Capaldi really put his stamp on the role and we saw loads of great merchandise (highlight being the 8th Doctor in new costume), this year sounds a tad depressing…

    * One of the most bold and imaginative writers the show has ever seen quits

    * No new Who epsiodes for over a year excluding the Xmas special

    * Character have no plans to release any new figures and UT have gone quiet too

    The year is over before it has even began (major huff).

  • mark Belsom

    January 25th, 2016 - 11:19am

    Last season I really liked was series four.

  • The original Time Lord

    January 24th, 2016 - 10:54pm

    No, Capaldi doesnt get a years break. He has to film the Series! He starts in March, it’s only the transmission that’s been delayed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions (below), we reserve the right to edit or delete inappropriate messages.

Comment rules

The Doctor Who site welcomes constuctive comments related to the news article in question. Links posted in comments may not be displayed. We reserve the right to delete or edit any post entirely at our discretion. If you leave unacceptable comments your IP address will be banned and reported

Click here to read full comments terms and conditions