‘Doctor Who’ showrunner Steven Moffat is keeping busy with his farewell season of ‘Doctor Who’, and part of that means thinking about the future. Not just in terms of what he’ll do next, but also in terms of the question that fans will inevitably ask: “Are you still going to write for the show?” It’s an understandable question, after all. Moffat served as a staff writer on series during Russell T. Davies’ time as showrunner before taking the helm.
Well, fans can rest easy, as that question has finally been answered. Moffat has confirmed to the Radio Times that he has no plans to continue writing for ‘Doctor Who’ once incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall takes over next year, at least for the foreseeable future.
This isn’t exactly surprising. While it wasn’t unheard of for past showrunners to continue to contribute stories throughout the run of the classic series (Terrence Dicks and Robert Holmes in particular come to mind), this has become less common over time, and even they were often exceptions rather than the rule. Indeed, despite his then-ongoing involvement with the ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Sarah Jane Adventures’ spinoffs, Davies himself has had no involvement with ‘Doctor Who’ proper since his 2010 departure. Indeed, RTD made the following comment on the subject to Radio Times in 2015:
“The lovely Steven invites me every year to come and write one. And I love him and I love them and I love watching it, but here I am, moving on. I love ‘Doctor Who’ with all my heart, but nothing is more important to me than my own stuff.”
Moffat, it seems, feels similarly, as he not only noted that he is eager to develop new ideas of his own, but also that he fully intends to team up yet again with his ‘Sherlock’ partner and frequent ‘Doctor Who’ collaborator Mark Gatiss.
So is this good news? Well, that depends on who you ask. While many fans have considered Moffat’s time as showrunner to be something of a mixed bag overall, the stories he contributed during Russell T. Davies’ tenure, included ‘Blink’ and ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’, are nearly universally beloved. But regardless of the quality of his work, the simple fact is that Moffat has been involved with ‘Doctor Who’ in one capacity or another since the show’s modern revival in 2005. That’s a long time for any show, but it’s especially so for a series that has historically thrived on change.
The tenth season of ‘Doctor Who’ is expected to premiere on April 15, 2017. In addition to returning star Peter Capaldi, the season will feature Matt Lucas, Pearl Mackie, and Michelle Gomez. The season will culminate in this year’s Christmas special, as both Capaldi and Moffat bid their farewells.