UPDATED with details throughout: Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is stepping down as head writer and executive producer of the hit series after the upcoming Season 10, and Broadchurch EP Chris Chibnall will be taking over the reins. The news was revealed on the show’s Twitter feed and confirmed by BBC America.
Moffat has been at the helm of the series since Season 5 in 2010. During his tenure, he introduced the 11th and 12th doctors, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, along with two companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and iconic characters and monsters including River Song (Alex Kingston), Missy (Michelle Gomez), Rory Pond (Arthur Darvill) and the terrifying Weeping Angels. Moffat also was behind the 50th Anniversary special in 2013.
“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. “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’s final season will air on BBC America and BBC One in spring 2017.
In addition to the triple BAFTA-winning series Broadchurch, Chibnall’s credits include BAFTA-nominated The Great Train Robbery, United, Law & Order: UK, Life On Mars and Torchwood. Chibnall’s debut Doctor Who season will launch in 2018.
“Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC program: bold, unique, vastly entertaining and adored all around the world,” said Chibnall. “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.”
It was announced earlier this month during TCA that a Doctor Who spinoff series, Class, will premiere on BBC America this year. Moffat is executive producing that show, along with Doctor Who‘s Brian Minchin.