Are Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie leaving Doctor Who with a 'clean slate' next year?

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Nov 17, 2016, 9:52 AM EST (Updated)

While we know Steven Moffat will be handing the keys to the TARDIS to Chris Chibnall (Torchwood, Broadchurch) following the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special, we still don’t know what a change in showrunner will mean for Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi and his new companion Bill (Pearl Mackie).

There’s a rumor going around today that Moffat won’t be the only one leaving Doctor Who behind. But before I dig into that, this one comes from The Mirror (a tabloid), so I want you to take what’s below with a hefty dose of salt.

Right. On with it. According to a Mirror insider/source, Chibnall will receive a “clean slate” when he takes over showrunning duties so that he can start anew when Season 11 (and Chibnall's first series) rolls around in 2018. They claim Mackie only signed a one-year contract and that it’s expected both she and Capaldi will leave the show when Moffat departs.

Apparently, the BBC wants Doctor Who to feel like a "brand new show" and for the Thirteenth Doctor to be a dashing younger man (with great hair?) to help boost the sale of toys and merchandising, which is said to have been dwindling.

“BBC management wants a return to the format from the David Tennant era, when you had a dashing male lead and young female companion. Merchandising has dropped off sharply in recent years and there is a strong desire to boost the show’s popularity among kids.”

So, new showrunner, new Doctor, new companion? If true, this wouldn’t be the first time there’s a complete overhaul of the series with the departure of a showrunner. When Russell T Davies left, Steven Moffat came on board with a new Doctor in Matt Smith’s Eleventh, and a new companion in Amy Pond (Karen Gillan).

The Mirror also reports that the BBC wants a full season every year (there's been no new Doctor Who this year, besides the upcoming Christmas special. Season 9 aired in 2015, and Season 10 will air in the spring of 2017) and more accessible story arcs. Which, Yay! I don't know about you (and I might be in the minority here), but I'm getting a bit tired of all those long story arcs that have been a staple of Moffat’s run as showrunner. 

Again, these tidbits come from The Mirror and could either be right or totally off the mark, so please consider this as a RUMOR for now. What do you guys think? 

(via The Mirror)