Doctor Who

Doctor Who Boss Steven Moffat Quits

And you thought Jenna Coleman‘s exit was big.

Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat has announced that he will step down as showrunner after the show’s upcoming 10th season. He will be replaced by Broadchurch scribe Chris Chibnall.

“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. “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.”

Moffat joined Doctor Who in Season 5. During his tenure, he was responsible for introducing the Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctors (Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, respectively), as well as two companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman). His farewell season is slated to kick off on BBC America in Spring 2017, although he is expected to oversee this year’s Christmas special.

Chibnall, who will take the reins in Season 11, is a lifelong Doctor Who fan. “It’s a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama,” he said. “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 the behind-the-scenes switch? Do you suspect Capaldi will make Season 10 his swan song as well? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mare says:

    Damn :-( He’s not perfect by any means but I liked him the best and I’ll miss him.

  2. opus says:

    IMO this is wonderful news. Moffat needs to step down, although I did think season nine better than either seven or eight.

  3. Geez, what a manipulative clickbait headline. Moffat was on the way out for like 5 years, but it made it sound like he was quitting before the next season.

    • znachki says:

      It certainly is. Anyone paying attention knows that he almost left directly after the series just concluded. This is really advance planning.

  4. Michelle says:

    HALLELUJAH!!! There is a Santa Claus!

  5. Sara says:

    I am excited Chris Chibnall is taking over. He is an exceptional writer and has worked in the Doctor Who universe before, both on Doctor Who and on Torchwood. Some of my favorite episodes of Torchwood were written by him.
    Thank you to Moffat for his work on Doctor Who and for bring us an outstanding 50th anniversary special. While I didn’t like everything he did, he had a hard job and he kept the machine going. I look forward to the next series of Sherlock (and obviously Doctor Who) and to see what he does in the future.

    • Sheila says:

      Oh, no. Torchwood was awful!

      • S. says:

        I beg to differ, Torchwood is great. Loved the Children of Earth season. Miracle Day stretched some stuff by doing 10 episodes. I think consolidating it a bit would’ve improved things.

        • Dee says:

          I think she meant Miracle Day. ;) I agree that Torchwood is great, especially Children of Earth (Series 3). Unfortunately, for most, they’ve only seen Miracle Day where only choice episodes are great (like Episode 7: Immortal Sins, writer: Jane Espenson). The whole plot, the whole story was kind of absurd. I cannot say anything about the acting because they’re all great. Just the story. I think that killed the series which is sad.

          • Anna says:

            I liked Series 1 and 2 of Torchwood, but I thought Children of Earth was awful. Never watched Miracle Day because of how much I hated CoE.

    • I am very fond of Broadchurch

  6. Gail says:

    No new episodes until December 25, 2016? That is worse news than the showrunner leaving.

    Hope he continues on Sherlock.

  7. Nellie says:


    *takes a breath*


  8. laffers18 says:

    Right, after logging in I’m attempting this again. Take 2.

    Moffat has been talking about leaving for a while now, so i’m glad they’ve finally found and announced a replacement. There’s an end date, and we can see what he does with his final arc on the show. And, based on Broadchurch, it’s going to be left in very safe hands. It might even get a return to it’s glory days…a girl can hope! (Don’t get me wrong, I have been enjoying it…but it’s not what it was.)

    I wonder if they’ll coincide it with Capalders exit? He’s already talked about his end run, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they pulled a Tenant/RTD…give the new showrunner a fresh start.

    It’d sadden me, as I love Capalders….but would bring us that one step closer to a female Doctor ;)

  9. Annie says:

    OMG OMG THE DAY HAS COME!!!! This is so exciting. I’m so glad. Some fresh blood helming the series. Less endless monologues, more complex characters. The endless self agrandizing is over!!!!
    I’m so excited.

  10. Ian says:

    Now Im looking forward to hearing what Chris’ plans are for the show.
    This great news though. Its time there was some kind of freshness going on behind the scenes.

  11. Grace says:

    Very happy to hear this news. The show hasn’t been the same since RTD left. Hopefully Chibnall can make it excellent again!

  12. DavidJ says:

    I’ve always been a massive fan of Moffat’s writing on the show (even when the seasons as a whole weren’t always the best), and thought his episodes were some of the most clever and creative of any show on TV. And I love how he actually had fun with and took full advantage of the Doctor being a time traveler, which we didn’t see much with previous showrunners.

    That said though, after 5 years it DOES kinda feel like it’s time for a fresh new style and direction, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what Chibnall comes up with in his run.

    • Agreed. I think series 5 was my favorite, which just took the show from sci-fi camp distraction to a balls out cinematic work. It was a bit uneven outside of that year and The Doctor too often saved the day with a big speech, but there were a lot of standout episodes. Last season’s Heaven Sent was particularly amazing. I really don’t want to go back to the silly, campy episodes with farting aliens and evil all-powerful paradox pteradactyls that can’t inside of a church, but I have a feeling this will be one of the better showrunner transitions.

  13. Ellie says:


  14. Lysh says:

    I remember being SO EXCITED for Moffat taking over as showrunner, but I’m just as thrilled he’s leaving. He’s a great writer but I haven’t enjoyed the direction the show’s gone. I don’t know anything about the new guy but I’m excited for his fresh take on it.
    Also that title makes it seem so dramatic.

  15. kath says:

    It’s so weird to see you talk about season 5 and season 10.

    There are another 26 seasons back there.

  16. Gaby says:

    God bless! Steven should’ve stuck with writing single episodes, cause he’s terrible as a showrunner! Can’t wait to see him go.

    • Mark S says:

      Could not disagree more.

    • maggie says:

      Gaby, I totally agree with you. Moffat wrote some great scripts, especially when he wasn’t the showrunner. But Moffat’s tenure as showrunner has been to pile on twists and turns and things he thought clever, over-writing everything. While that over-done strategy has worked wonderfully on Sherlock, it hasn’t worked for Doctor Who. What’s often been lost in Moffat’s tenure is character development and emotion.

      I’m a Doctor Who fan and watches no matter what, because I know that a change in the showrunner, Doctor, or companions, can change the entire show. Doctor Who is always being changed and re-invented by bringing in new writers and actors. I’m excited to see what Chris Chibnall brings to the show. I’m also looking forward to see who the new companion will be for season 10.

  17. Not til 2017? What about this year?

  18. Quits is a bit harsh of a statement, lol.

  19. Don’t forget the War Doctor, which he also conceived. One might even include the Curator in that.

  20. Tom says:

    To be fair, Moffatt’s been around since the first season, one of my favorite episodes was The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, written by him.

  21. Linda says:

    Oh there is a God, in my opinion Moffat would have been the death of this show, it stopped being Doctor Who, when he brought in the dreadful Clara, I was over the moon when Jenna Coleman decided to go, as Moffat was so obsessed with her that he was writing the Clara Show, the Doctor was doing less & less, perhaps that’s the reason he is going maybe he can’t write Doctor Who, perhaps the new guy will bring back the Doctor, I loved TORCHWOOD.

  22. peterwdawson says:

    What’s the over-under that Capaldi’s leaving with Moffat? It’ll have been three seasons for him after all.

  23. Kat says:

    Maybe I’ll start watching the show again. Have hated Clara since day one…Like Capaldi – just not as the doctor. If Moffat leaving is what it takes…best of luck to you sir. Miss Torchwood like CRAZY!!!!!

  24. Should I pretend I am sad to see him go because I don’t think that I can

  25. Debbie says:

    My biggest disappointment is in learn that there will be no new episodes outside of the Christmas special in 2016.

  26. B says:

    There have been some marvelous arcs throughout Moffat’s tenure, and last season was fantastic. Still, the move is understandable after five years. Meanwhile, no new season for more than a year? Terrible! I do hope that Peter Capaldi chooses to stay on for at least one season with Chris Chibnall. There will be a new companion with season 10, a new showrunner with 11… it’d be nice for him to be a constant through both transitions. That, and I adore him as the Doctor. –After Broadchurch, which is excellent but often wrenching, I’ll be curious to see what Chibnall does with the Doctor.

  27. Dee says:

    TWO companions? What about Rory? And the Paternoster Gang (that whilst they weren’t full-time companions, they joined the Doctor in several adventures)?

  28. been reading rumors for a while now that he is stepping down. not to sad about it DW can use some fresh blood

  29. Bark Star says:

    Yes ! YES !! FINALLY ! It was about time !!! The new showrunner has his work cut out for him, trying to restore the glory of the show after Moffat ran it into the ground. Here is to hoping that Capaldi will stay. It will make the redemption phase much easier.

  30. retsim says:

    That Christ he has gone .The last series was the worst ever .Between his writing and Capaldi,s acting it was destroying the show .I hope the next series will inject a bit more of the fun element back into it .But such a long time to wait ..

    • Mark S says:

      You do realise the next season is still Moffat and Capaldi, right? Chibnall doesn’t take over until 2018. And series 9 was NOT the worst ever. On the contrary, the majority of Whovians rate it one of the best.

  31. Eva says:

    Great news!!! Just two more years and I can start watching Doctor Who again!!!

  32. P.S.L says:

    Moffatt has actually been with the show for much longer, since near its beginning in 2005. He even wrote several episodes for David Tennant’s Doctor starting in the 2006 series.

  33. ? says:

    This is fantastic news. Moffat did some great work, including a lot of the best Doctor Who ever, but he’s been creatively spent for a while now. I’m super excited to see a fresh approach and feel to the series

  34. Dave says:

    New showrunner and new doctor. Should be interesting.
    In other news its still my bday for a few more hours :)

  35. Ben says:

    I hope that Capaldi hangs around longer than three seasons. Three seasons is becoming cliche, and I don’t want to get into a pattern where you end up with everyone being three seasons and out.

  36. BillyBobJohnson says:

    Good move, Mr. Moffat. You showed all the signs of being tired of trying to do both Who and Sherlock at the same time. The show needs fresh blood. Unfortunately, it would appear Peter Capaldi will be leaving with you. The other unfortunate thing is Series 10 won’t be on until April 2017.

  37. Deb says:

    I broke the news to John Barrowman yesterday at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, before I had a chance to tell him who was taking over, he said he hoped it was Chris Chibnall.

  38. BBC finally takes out the trash. Best of luck to Chibnall, and I hope Capaldi stays long enough to work with a good show runner.
    Moffat started off great, then got full of himself. I mean, using HIS last season to do something big and shattering… Kinda arrogant. Shows about the dr. not moffat. As long as it isnt as bad as season 9 I’ll be able to stand it. Knowing him hes going to replace the tardis with a old shoe and regen the dr into a child just to generate buzz for his big exit. But honestly hes probably gonna regenerate the dr. into a woman since thats like the last thing on the drastic changes list