'Doctor Who' gets a new showrunner as Steven Moffat steps down

By Karen Butler  |  Jan. 23, 2016 at 9:36 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Steven Moffat says he will step down as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who after next season, which will begin in the spring of 2017.

Moffat has been the sci-fi program's showrunner since 2010. He has been responsible for introducing the Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctors in Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall will take over the series after Moffat departs.

"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," Moffat said in a statement Friday. "While Chris [Chibnall] 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."

Chibnall's other credits include The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: U.K., Life on Mars and Torchwood. His debut season on Doctor Who will begin in 2018.

"Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC program: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world," Chibnall remarked. "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."

The mystery-drama Broadchurch stars David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who.

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