Chris Chibnall to replace Steven Moffat as Doctor Who showrunner

Yesterday WordPress sent me a notification to let me know that it’s been 2 years since I’d signed up, and what better way to celebrate than write a bit about Doctor Who? It helps that this news just broke, but anyway. Doctor Who was almost my favourite show between 2006 and 2009 – it was in pretty heavy competition with the original Spicks and Specks. When Russel T. Davies was head writer, the show was wildly inconsistent, but there were occasionnal gems from Steven Moffat, who became one of my faovurite writers when he wrote my favourite episode of the show, “Blink.” When it was announed that Moffat would take over as showrunner, I was happy. He’s a great writer! During Moffat’s tenure however, I slowly dropped Doctor Who from my viewing schedule, as did many of my friends who loved the show under Davies’ guidance.

Steven Moffat has considered leaving the show for a while, and until he decided to stay on for a bit longer, he considered leaving after the 2015 Christmas Special, which ended the saga of River Song, who we first met in the Moffat-penned “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” two-parter. River was Moffat’s creation, and while she was always more of a puzzle than an actual character, it made sense for Moffat to end her story at a point of his own choosing. Thus it’s not really a surprise that Moffat has chosen to move on from Doctor Who. Like Russel T. Davies before him, he’s having a farewell tour, as he writes the 2016 Christmas Special (the only episode that will air this year), and a final season next year.

I’m quite optimistic about the choice of Chris Chibnall to replace Moffat as showrunner. Chibnall has written for both Doctor Who and Torchwood as well as the wonderful Life on Mars, and is the creator of Broadchurch. He’s not perfect – he wrote the filler episode “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, and Broadchurch should have stayed a miniseries – but I hope that this is a signal that Doctor Who will return to great character work. Broadchurch works best as a character and mood piece, and he also penned “The Power of Three,” a lovely story about Amy, Rory, The Doctor and Rory’s father Brian. It’s a good sign for the show, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it looks like in two years’ time.


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