Moffat Replaced by Chibnall as Showrunner in 2018

We’ve a huge load of seismic changes to share with you now, readers, so we’ll do this in as efficient a manner as possible. Please excuse the bullet points but action stations!

  • Steven Moffat is to stand down as showrunner following the broadcast of the next series.
  • Chris Chibnall (42; Dinosaurs on a Spaceship) will take over as new showrunner.
  • Only one episode of Doctor Who will air this year: the Christmas special.
  • Series 10, the final with Moffat as showrunner, will air in Spring 2017.
  • Chibnall will begins his tenure as head writer and executive producer in 2018.
  • It’s unknown whether a new companion will debut this Christmas, but he or she will be there for Series 10, according to BBC sources.
  • It’s unknown what this means for Peter Capaldi.

So let that settle in. Crikey.

Chibnall was rumoured to be taking over, but there were so many players, it was all just speculation. It does explain why Broadchurch Series 3 might be the last.

Explaining the decision to hold Moffat’s last series until next year, BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore said:

“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!”


She also says it’s undecided whether the show will continue to air in the Spring when Chibnall takes over. Moffat said:

“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.”

Moore added:

“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,” she added. “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 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.”

Chris Chibnall, officially our new showrunner, ladies and gents, enthused:

“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.”

And Polly Hill, BBC controller of drama commissioning, told the Radio Times:

“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.”

It’s likely that this news blast was rushed out after The Mirror revealed its front page tomorrow. Another leak at the BBC…?

We’ll leave the speculation about all this news for now. I think we all need a bit of time to ourselves.


When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates (Kasterborous' former Editor) pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. He is the co-founder of The Doctor Who Companion:

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