This has been coming for a while and given the frustrating lack of information being handed over, the BBC have finally admitted as to what the future has in store for Doctor Who.
Bad news out of the way first - all we're getting in 2016 is a Christmas special with Series 10 due to air in Spring 2017. Filming for the series will begin later in the year and while suspected for a while, it's been confirmed that Series 10 will be Steven Moffat's last one as he'll step down from the role of executive producer and showrunner in 2017, handing the reins over to someone else, who I'll mention in a minute. Moffat's statement on his upcoming exit from the show ....
“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.”
And the new showrunner is Chris Chibnall. Yup, the man whose credits include Broadchurch, Camelot, Life On Mars and Law & Order: UK and the same man who penned eight episodes for the first two series of Torchwood will take over the show from Series 11 onwards, due to air in 2018. Chibnall's contributions for Doctor Who have previously included 42, The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship and The Power Of Three. On his new role, Chibnall had this to say ....
"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."
Thoughts? I'm cool with this. Going by his CV alone, Chris Chibnall makes a lot of sense and for those hoping for a similar run to the Russell T. Davies era, you may get your wish with Chibnall at the helm. In terms of Steven Moffat departing, I'm neither happy nor sad. Moffat had a good run on the show and I don't doubt he'll make Series 10 an epic send off/conclusion to his era but we've been needing some new blood for a while and while we'll have to wait a year until his final run of episodes, we still have enough to keep us ticking over until then, such as upcoming spin-off series Class and the announcement of the companion for Moffat's final run.
Now the more interesting question is where does this leave Peter Capaldi? He did recently mention the possibility that Series 10 could be his final series and if he is due to leave the show in 2017 with Steven Moffat, he will have clocked in only slightly less episodes that both David Tennant and Matt Smith (still more than Christopher Eccleston) did during their times on the show. It's likely that Chibnall's era will be a whole reboot, especially with the show now returning to the Spring time but for the time being, it's also possible that Capaldi could stay on to help with the transition from Moffat to Chibnall. I guess we'll know soon enough though. Either way, I do think the show is going to be in a safe pair of hands with Chris Chibnall at the helm and as for Steven Moffat, I'd like to thank him for his contributions to the show and wish him luck on future projects.
Press Release: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/entries/55e94ef2-0282-494f-a62c-82bd514f02fe
Filming for Doctor Who's Christmas special and Series 10 will begin later in 2016.