Steven Moffat has been a fan of ‘Doctor Who’ since he was a child, so it was a dream come true when he signed on in 2005 to write for the newly relaunched series. He has acted as the showrunner since 2010, taking over when Russell T. Davies left. Since then, the show has had its highs and lows. The ratings for the present ninth season are down and rumors have abounded that the BBC is unhappy and among the chatter is that Moffat’s tenure as ‘Who’ showrunner may be drawing to a close. And that was almost true! As he penned the script for this year’s Christmas Special, “The Husbands of River Song,” Moffat believed it may have been his final script for the series.
“I hadn’t signed for next year at that point… I thought it might be the last one, so to get River (Alex Kingston) in – that was bringing me full-circle.”
Moffat clarified that he HAS now signed on for Season 10, which at this point isn’t expected to arrive until 2017. Beyond that? The future is uncertain, even to Moffat himself and he does admit that finding a successor is something he thinks about.
“That is an issue and one I’m actively engaged in but I can’t say much about that. Everything is difficult in Doctor Who, including leaving, and I would never do anything to harm it. I would never leave it in the lurch because it means too much to me. Yes, it’s a problem. Let’s not pretend it’s not a big problem. But there will be a solution. In terms of the emotional difficulty of leaving, it’s hard… I won’t be leaving because I’m suddenly miserable. It’ll be because I want to do something else.”
Leaving is a constant theme on ‘Doctor Who’ as even the role of the title character regularly shifts to new actors. This past season saw the departure of the longest running companion in the show’s history, Clara Oswald played by Jenna Coleman. And recently, the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi has hinted that he wants to exit in order to focus on directing. But like Moffat, he is signed on for at least one more season.
What do you think? Moffat has put in five years as the showrunner for ‘Doctor Who’. How do you feel his tenure has gone? Would you like to see someone with a fresh viewpoint take over? Or do you think Moffat is doing a great job and should keep at it?