4:59 pm EST, January 22, 2016

Steven Moffat officially out: ‘Doctor Who’ names Chris Chibnall as showrunner

Doctor Who will be welcoming its third showrunner in the reboot era when Chris Chibnall takes the helm.

Steven Moffat announced back in early January that he was actively looking for his replacement as the Doctor Who showrunner. Moffat has served as the showrunner for both the eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith, and the twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. Prior to that time, Russell T Davies was the mastermind of the reboot of the show.

Last week we made our own call as to who we wanted to see at the top of the new showrunner shortlist, and thankfully one of our tops picks has gotten the gig. Chris Chibnall has experience with both the reboot franchise and Torchwood.

Chibnall has written five Doctor Who episodes starring a variety of Doctors: “The Power of Three,” “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” “Cold Blood,” “The Hungry Earth,” and “42.” On top of that, he wrote eight episodes of Torchwood where he served double duty as a producer. Just about all of these episodes could be called fan-favorites, including the tear jerker, “Exit Wounds.”

Chibnall is also the writer, producer, and creator of the ITV sensation known as Broadchurch, so he clearly knows what it takes to mount a successful TV series. Broadchurch is confirmed to wrap after its third series, so that would leave him wide open to take over as Doctor Who showrunner.

According to the Radio Times, “Moffat 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.”

The Radio Times goes on to further confirm that, “A Doctor Who Christmas Special WILL air this year overseen by Moffat, though it is unclear whether Peter Capaldi’s new companion will feature. The companion, who will replace Jenna Coleman’s Clara Oswald, will definitely be in place for the spring 2017 series.”

Steven Moffat’s time with Doctor Who has been marked with both praise and criticism. Whereas fans loved the casting of the Doctors in Moffat’s time as well as the companions Amy and Rory, they were less enamored with Clara, convoluted scripts, and the lack of female writers/directors.

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