We knew that Peter Capaldi was exiting his role as the latest incarnation of “Doctor Who” in the annual Christmas special after three seasons of time travel. But showrunner Steven Moffat is also signing off after six years at the helm. The final season for each kicks off April 15 on BBC America.
Moffat is handing over the reins of “Doctor Who” to “Broadchurch” creator Chris Chibnall who will decide the performer to take over the iconic part. For Moffat, the key to casting is to “just choose the best person for the job and any other agenda, however worthy, should be ignored. As he explained in an interview with the i, “it has to be the best person for the Doctor Chris is writing for.”
At the behest of Russell T. Davies (“Queer as Folk”), the BBC rebooted “Doctor Who” in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston, who would only sign on for one season. His replacement was David Tennant(“Broadchurch,” “Jessica Jones”) who played the Time Lord for three years before handing off to Matt Smith (“The Crown”) in 2010. That was when Davies exited and Moffat came on board.
That was also the same year that Moffat launched “Sherlock,” the modern-day take on Arthur Conan Doyle‘s fabled detective Sherlock Holmes. He has won two Emmys for writing “His Last Vow” in 2014 and producing the 2016 episode “The Abominable Bride,” which won Best TV Movie. It is rumored that this franchise is finished, with the last three telefilms airing on both sides of the pond in January.
But “Doctor Who” will go on as Moffat hands over the reins of “Doctor Who” to “Broadchurch” creator Chris Chibnall. As he revealed in a recent interview with Empire, he will let his successor write the first words uttered by the regenerated Doctor. “I haven’t completely planned it, but I quite like the insanity of the fact this is a job you quit two pages before you type ‘End Titles’.”
As he explains, this was the same courtesy extended to him by Davies back in 2010. Those first few lines uttered by Smith defined the character for his three-season run and Chibnall’s efforts are likely to have the same effect.
Indeed, in an interview with WorldScreen, Moffat revealed that Chibnall “has his own ideas about how to do ‘Doctor Who.’” However, he did impart some words, albeit perhaps not of wisdom, to his successor. “The advice I’ve given him is all prosaic and all quite, ‘Make sure this happens, make sure you get that and don’t let them do this.'”
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