Writer Steven Moffat
Writer Steven Moffat poses with his Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special award for the PBS/BBC miniseries "Sherlock" at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California August 25, 2014. Reuters/Mike Blake

“Doctor Who” is losing its showrunner after the 10th season. Steven Moffat will exit from the long-running sci-fi favourite and will be replaced by “Broadchurch” creator Chris Chibnall. Only one “Doctor Who” episode is also airing in 2016.

BBC revealed on Friday that Moffat is writing his last season in the show. After the airing of the 12-part 10th season, which has been moved to 2017, he will be passing the baton to Chibnall. The occasional DW and erstwhile “Torchwood” writer will start his era in 2018.

“Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting to work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out,” Moffat said. “While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchuch, 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.”

Moffat is also the co-creator of the UK series “Sherlock” (starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman). He won and was nominated for several awards for both “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock,” including the Hugo Award and the Primetime Emmy.

Chibnall, who wrote for the DW spin-off “Torchwood” and had done some DW episodes, has been a massive fan of the show since he was young. He even appeared on TV in 1986 to represent the Doctor Who Appreciation Society and talked about his favourite Doctor (Peter Davison, Fifth) among other things.

Watch his interview in 1986 (about two minutes in):


In 2010, Moffat took over the show from Russel T Davies, who relaunched the British cult classic in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor). When Moffat inherited the job, he appeared to start on a clean slate. Before regenerating, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) said goodbye to his companions and took them to their respective time and, in Rose’s (Billie Piper) case, parallel universe. So when Moffat started his season, there was a new Doctor (Matt Smith) and new companions (Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill) introduced.

It remains to be seen if Chibnall’s era will start clean as well. Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi recently hinted his exit from the show.

“This could be my final year – it’s terrifying,” the Scottish actor told the Telegraph in December. “I love Doctor Who but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things.”

The show’s 10th season has been postponed to air in 2017 because, according to BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore, 2016 is already “spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017.”