Deep Breath: Steven Moffat Quits Doctor Who

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Radio Times has revealed Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has quit.

They write:

Steven Moffat has decided that his “timey wimey” as showrunner of Doctor Who has come to an end and he will step down as the show’s lead writer and executive producer after six series at the helm, RadioTimes.com can reveal.

Moffatt will hand over the keys to the TARDIS at the end of the next series in 2017 to Broadchurch writer and Doctor Who fan Chris Chibnall.

BBC1 has decided to air Moffat’s final 12-part series – the 10th of the modern era – in spring 2017. Chibnall’s debut series as head writer and executive producer will launch in 2018.

Radio Times says Moffat will start the end of his tenure with the 2016 Christmas Special.

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore told them, “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.” And if you’re thinking it’s a big mistake to leave almost a whole year without Who, she added, “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!”

You may recall, talk of Moffat exiting the series has been happening a while. As recently as December he spoke to the Radio Times about it. “I take it a year at a time and that’s the only answer I’ll ever give on that one,” he said. “I won’t be leaving because I’m suddenly miserable. It’ll be because I want to do something else.”

The Radio Times also had this statement from the creator:

Moffat said of his decision to quit: “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.”

Besides the excellent Broadchurch, Chibnall worked on episodes of Doctor Who and was head writer and co-producer of the spinoff, Torchwood.

Questions? Comments? Loud exclamations?

[UPDATE] BBC America has posted their official announcement now. “After six incredible series at the helm, the multi-award winning Steven Moffat has decided to step down as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who after next season,” they wrote. “Welcome to Doctor Who, Chris!”

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  • Avi Polczynski

    I may be in the minority, but I loved Moffat’s run. He was great, with a passion for the show and how to honor its original creator. It was Davies I wasn’t a fan of, and the new person is gonna be hit or miss. I’ve loved every season Moffat was in, because he was absolutely wonderful, despite others’ complaints. I like to see the best in everything, and Moffat wasn’t perfect, but no one is.

  • John Barrie

    I don’t have as many problems with Moffat as everyone else seems to, but it was definitely time for the series to have some new energy. Looking forward to what comes next.

  • R Davis

    The ‘farewell’ is long past due. Season 8 was mediocre at best and Season 9 — I dubbed “the season of doubles” was just plain lazy for content and story. Yes, everyone was all ‘omg’ about Maisie being the ‘special guest’ but… that whole arc could have been done over half the season (no doubles) and then moved on from there — even with the lame Diner/Tardis 2. While I do not expect the bar to be set at the heyday of Tennet or Smith, I just hope it can be coherent.

    • Avi Polczynski

      Maisie was… Well, she was okay. Me wasn’t the best character, she could have been better.

  • Cyn

    All of you sitting here talking about how awful Moffat is, need to sit down and shut up. If it weren’t for Moffat you wouldn’t have a show to watch. He figured out how to keep it going past Matt’s regeneration, and that is why we still have a show. So instead of saying how glad you are he is gone, maybe you should say thank you. You ungrateful so called fans make me sick. If you were a true fan, you would watch no matter how you feel about the person at the helm.

  • Vashra Araeshkigal

    Promise me you won’t let Chibnall turn Doctor Who into something I cannot watch with my children. Torchwood went from PG-13 to NC-17 in short order…..(It was always billed as an adult show, not a family show, so I’m not *griping* per se…just keep Doctor Who at the level it’s meant to be).

  • Fangirling-time-lady

    Noo, that’s tragic news.. Moffat is genius so much thought put into series and ideas spread through series not just in one episode, i’m gonna cry. Hope he will make other amazing job, can’t wait for his new work but it’s so sad, i loved doctor who just for him..

  • Harry Savva

    I have such a good feeling about Chris Chibnall….I know it’s just a feeling but, who knows? :D :D :D
    Altho I would have preferred if Series 9 was Moffat’s last…that way the year-long wait would have been at least more exciting…and that would have guaranteed Peter Capaldi working under a different Head-Writer.

  • Dominik

    Oh thank God. While I wouldn’t say Moffat or his tenure are terrible, after the first season and a half the spark started going out and the only thing keeping the show going were the performances of actors (particularly Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Michelle Gomez, Alex Kingston and Jenna Coleman, all of whom deserved goddamn better). That’s not to say there weren’t good episodes in his run even after the middle of series 6, but overall the quality rarely got higher than the show’s average and the season arcs became collection of Moffat’s personal tropes with seemingly exciting set ups and disappointing pay offs. While his run never reached the lows of RTD’s run, it also rarely reached its heights.

    Chris Chibnall isn’t the best Who writer, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a good showrunner (as his biggest succcess is Broadchurch, a show he himself created). After all, Moffat was arguably the best writer on RTD’s run, and look where that got us.

    I only hope this doesn’t mean Capaldi’s leaving in 2017 as well, unless this means the beginning of a female/POC Doctor as well.

  • rubi-kun

    People love to complain about Moffat (complaints that made sense in the Smith era, but somehow seemed to get louder in the Capaldi era even as the writing during Capaldi’s run has gotten WAY better, including when it comes to writing female characters and long-term story arcs and all the things people complain about Moffat doing poorly), but the people celebrating need to be careful what they wish for. Not that fresh blood for the writer’s room isn’t a good thing, but Chris Chibnall as Moffat’s replacement? The guy who wrote the show’s most boring two-parter that was also its weakest attempt at allegory (Hungry Earth/Cold Blood) and three other unremarkable episodes (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship being the most entertaining of the bunch but far from Doctor Who’s best)? Yeah, reason to be nervous.

    • Well to be fair, all you’re saying there is subjective. Some folks agree with things being better, some don’t, some liked those Chibnall eps, some didn’t. I’m just happy to see we’re finally getting a change and hopeful the BBC has made the right choice.

    • Lore

      He might have been having to deal with outside pressure for story lines- he’s definitely amazing when he’s in control- Broadchurch is amazing…

      Here’s hoping when in control, he’ll put that kind of quality into she show- tweaked for Doctor Who…

      I admit- those are also my least favorite episodes, but overall I have faith in his ability-

      I’m also done with Moffat- ironically- some of my favorite episodes from before he ran the show- are Moffat eps! So I was rather excited when he took over- but he’s so inconsistent with quality- and it’s been rather clear I think that he’s been putting more attention towards Sherlock- than Who…

      • Yeah, the pre-showrunning Moffat episodes were always on point in my opinion. He tries to do too much when he’s showrunning.

    • Avi Polczynski

      I agree. There’s much to be worried about, he’s gonna be hit or miss.

  • Lore

    The only reason I was able to get through 8th season, was because Capaldi was amazing with pure crap, and I was dying to know what he would do with great writing…

    Season 9 was bettter, Heaven Sent? AMAZING! And he really was the only person carrying the ep!

    I read the BBC was blaming Capaldi for the dip in ratings, and it’s like “NO, time slot change and freakin’ Moffat people!”

    I just hope they don’t push PC out too… I am dying to see him work with Chibnall… Chibnall would give him such amazing content!!!!

    • I also thought Season 9 was better then 8, it was still weak overall in my mind but had a lot of good stuff. I believe Capaldi said he was close to done so I wouldn’t be surprised if his exit coincided with Moffat.

      • Lore

        Yeah- I’ve seen those interviews too- I’ve also seen the ones where he’s also outright saying the BBC is eyeballing him as the cause- and how it’s the timeslot that’s damaging ratings.

        He totally doesn’t say anything about Moffat writing… that’s 100% me…

        That said- it’s hard to say if him saying 1 more season is him, or pressure from them. I know it’s long days, for like 8 months on this show- and it would run ME into the ground, let alone an older actor- who actually wants to spend quality time with his family…

        But man- I seriously want to see what he would do with an amazing writer- so until there’s an official “PC announces his last day” thing- I’m going to keep my fingers crossed he doesn’t do the David Tennant thing- and stick around for a season after Moffat-

        At least… lol.

  • This delights me to no end. Moffat had his moments, but it’s long past time for someone else to have a turn.

  • Zefram Mann

    Oh good, perhaps now I can start watching again.

  • wyattmonk

    If you missed season 9 you misssed one of the best Who episodes Heaven Sent.

    • Lore

      That whole Montage at the end? And I’m not one for montages!!!! I can’t even think “bird” without tearing up… and SO rewatchable! ONLY because of Capaldi… seriously in awe…

    • Frank Fick

      It was

  • I can watch Doctor Who again!

  • Harvey T

    I might have a reason to watch again, I’ve actually kind of missed it!

  • Hakaider

    Great, two years of people shitting on Moffat even harder than usual out of some sort of hollow victory. So excited.

    • Avi Polczynski

      I don’t see a reason to complain about Moffat. He wan’t that bad.

  • I’m nearly vibrating with excitement. Maybe I’ll start to like Who again!

    • GinnyDi

      My exact thoughts!! I’M SO AMPED

    • Wendy Heather Wood

      Same here. I stopped watching at the end of Capaldi’s first season because I just couldn’t take the writing anymore. There were episodes I enjoyed, but I mostly just found it annoying and I’ve been waiting for Moffat to go so I can start watching again.

      • I couldn’t even make it through that whole season. I was so sad cause I love Capaldi, but apparently not more than I hate Moffat.

        • Wendy Heather Wood

          I don’t blame you. I mostly kept watching out of stubbornness.