Moffat out – Chibnall in

Chris_ChibnallYes much interest all over the usual channels as Steven Moffat finally indicates when he will pass on the mantle of show-runner. Chris Chibnall was not widely fancied before the news broke, but his credentials as a fan and abilities as a TV creator (Broadchurch) stand him in good stead. This isn’t the place to start a dissection / post-mortem on Moffat, nor to run through the Chibnall episodes of Doctor Who (a mixed bag). Let’s not overlook the other news — there will be no new Doctor Who until Christmas 2016!

The Moffat years

We have one more arc laden series of the Twelfth Doctor to enjoy in 2017, and the promise of a new companion. Will Peter Capaldi stay for the Chibnall era? There have been grumblings, and mid-series regeneration is to be avoided. There is a symmetry with the RTD years in show-runner and Doctor changing together. My guess is Capaldi will stay one more series, but this is pure speculation. I will reserve the right to give my overall views on the Moffat tenure in the future.

I am astonished at how surprised some fans are by the news, as they are when Clara left. This show is over fifty years old and people change at all levels all the time. Nobody stays forever, Capaldi, Coleman, Moffat, Chibnall… it isn’t will they leave one day but when will they leave.

My thoughts

I think the governance of the show needs to change. With the show-runner being a writer and dipping into other scripts it means the show can take risks and follow a vision; it also means nobody is there to say no. I like the tension where a producer isn’t a writer (though Douglas Adams defied this) and while it might lead to safer programming, it might avoid major mistakes. Then again I’d appoint a scientific advisor as well (hint — I’ve got a Physics degree).

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