Oh, wow! There's big news for fans of Doctor Who. Good or bad? That's down to personal opinion, but I think we can safely say the lack of new episodes this year is on the downside.
It’s been announced that 2016 will only feature a Christmas Special, so Series 10 of Doctor Who won't arrive until spring next year. Why? It's to allow Steven Moffat time to create a perfect farewell run of 12 episodes; because he's also confirmed it'll be his final year running the show!
But who will replace Moffat? That'll be Chris Chibnall, a semi-regular writer for Doctor Who since it returned in 2005, who was also showrunner of Torchwood Series 2. More recently, he created the short-lived Starz drama Camelot in the U.S, adapted Law & Order for the UK, and is now best known for being the mastermind behind ITV's Broadchurch.
"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."Chris Chibnall:
"Doctor Who is the ultimate BBC programme: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I’ve loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for The Doctor to explore. Steven’s achieved the impossible by continually expanding Doctor Who's creative ambition, while growing its global popularity. He’s been a dazzling and daring showrunner, and hearing his plans and stories for 2017, it’s clear he’ll be going out with a bang. Just to make my life difficult."Chibnall will be in creative control of Doctor Who Series 11, launching in 2018.
There's been no news on whether or not the Christmas Special this year will introduce The Doctor's new companion, but I think it's likely to if we're only going to be waiting a few months until Series 10 at that point. And could the lack of episodes being produced this year indicate the perfect opportunity for Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) to direct the festive episode he sort-of-almost confirmed awhile back? It feels like the stars are aligning...
What do you make of this news? Is Chibnall the best man for the job?
I liked the first series of his murder-mystery drama Broadchurch, but the second was very weak and I'm now dreading the third. His existing contributions to the Whoniverse are of questionable quality, too. He wrote the terrible "42" and "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", after all! But he's clearly a very capable executive-producer, with big shows like Law & Order UK and Broadchurch under his belt, plus well-received single dramas like United and The Great Train Robbery.
I don't doubt he's a great choice in terms of someone who can run a show of Doctor Who's scale, plus promote the series as a lifelong fan doing his dream job (just like Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat were), but what will the creative direction be like with him in charge? I know Moffat gets stick for writing convoluted plots and repetitive 'gimmicks', but I'd still easily rank his worst episode over Chibnall's best...
[source: Radio Times.]