There have been murmurings around the Internet for a month or so that Steven Moffat is nearing the end of his time on “Doctor Who,” and now it looks to be official: Radio Times reported Friday that Moffat is departing the long-running British series.
Moffat has been a part of “Doctor Who” since its revival in 2005 and has been its showrunner since 2010.
Taking over the adventures of the much-beloved Time Lord is Chris Chibnall, known for creating “Broadchurch” and for his work as a lead writer on “Doctor Who” spin-off “Torchwood.” He”s also written a handful of “Doctor Who” episodes.
The Radio Times report also had some scheduling news: The final Moffat-led season (or series, to any Brits out there) will air its 12 episodes starting in spring 2017. That means no “Doctor Who” in 2016 – except for the Christmas episode, which will be overseen by Moffat. The first season with Chibnall at the helm will come to TV screens in 2018.
Here”s what Moffat told Radio Times of his decision to quit the show:
“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.”
Moffat, who grew up watching “Doctor Who” in Scotland, has found himself getting mixed reactions from passionate “Who” fans over the years. He will forever be the man who brought us timey-wimey puzzles of multi-episode plots, who wrote celebrated stand-alone episodes like “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “Blink,” and who created the character River Song.
“Sherlock” still has Moffat running the show there. That series” schedule is largely dependent on its very busy star, Benedict Cumberbatch – the latest word on “Sherlock” season 4 came during the TCA press tour earlier this month, when PBS president Paula Kerger said she expects season 4 to debut “about a year from now.”