CONFIRMED: Showrunner Steven Moffat is leaving Doctor Who

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Jan 24, 2016, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

Whoa! This is big news, guys. It was just announced earlier today (via Radio Times) that current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat will be stepping down after helming the series for six seasons. He'll be handing over the keys to the TARDIS to Broadchurch showrunner Chris Chibnall.

But that’s not the only massive Doctor Who news today.

The BBC has also revealed it will delay airing the upcoming 10th season to the spring of 2017 (instead of in the fall of this year), when Auntie Beeb will air Moffat’s final 12 episodes before Chibnall’s debut as head writer and executive producer begins with Season 11 in 2018. The only Doctor Who action fans will get this year is another Christmas special, which Moffat will oversee. However, it's unclear whether Peter Capaldi’s new companion will finally be introduced in that special. The only thing we know for sure is that the new companion WILL be part of the 2017 series.

So, why did the BBC put Season 10 on hold until the following 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!”

Here’s what Steven Moffat said about his decision to leave Doctor Who:

“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.”

Just like Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall has been a lifelong Doctor Who fan and is a BAFTA-award-winning writer and showrunner. He worked on the critically series Broadchurch (working alongside former Time Lord David Tennant), but his geek cred includes writing for Doctor Who as well as Life on Mars and Torchwood.

“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.”

What do you think about Steven Moffat quitting Doctor Who after Season 10? Do you think the series will be in good hands with Chris Chibnall?

(via Radio Times)

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