Steven Moffat will be stepping down as Doctor Who’s showrunner after six seasons, reports the Radio Times. The only episode of Doctor Who left for 2016 will be a Christmas Special, with Moffat’s final season airing in 2017.
Oddly, the old rumor about a dearth of Doctor Who in 2016 seems to have been on the right track. BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore explained the choice to shift the seasons around by saying:
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. 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!
Replacing Moffat will be Chris Chibnall, whose best work is probably not actually any of his Doctor Who episodes (“42,” “The Hungry Earth,” “Cold Blood, “Pond Life,” “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” “The Power of Three,” and “P.S.”) but in creating Broadchurch. We also don’t know if a new showrunner will mean a new Doctor—but brace yourselves for a wave of speculation along those lines.
Moffat’s own comments about leaving were:
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.
With all this time, the tenth season of the revived Doctor Who, combined with Moffat’s swan song as showrunner, will likely be a sight to see.