The news of January 30 confirming the April 15th start date for Series 10 came at a bit of cost, though hardly a surprising one. Peter Capaldi will be moving on after three full series, which has become the defacto norm going all the way back to the classic era. This means, we add with some regret, that another Christmas Special will be a regeneration story, including all of them in the nu-Who era. With Series 10 also being Steven Moffat’s last series as well it’ll be all change in 2018 for incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall.
It’s hardly surprising that Capaldi should be leaving alongside Moffat, but here at the Tour we do wonder about the road seldom, if ever, taken. Namely that the actor playing the Doctor should stay on for one more series under a new production team before leaving. Producers in the 60’s seemed to come and go with abandon. It didn’t really happen that away of course.
As the 70’s dawned stability was the watchword with Barry Letts staying on a full five years, even through Tom Baker’s first story Robot (although history has it that Pertwee was willing to stay for a sixth season, but at a price the Beeb chose not to swallow). Scarf Boy outlasted two administrations and left after JN-T’s first year only because his contract had one last year to run. In fact he is the only example of a Doctor who stayed for that first year under a new Producership. Davison, Colin Baker, and McCoy never got the chance because JN-T, despite, as we would later learn, his yearning to move on, never found a soft place to land elsewhere in the BBC. It can be persuasively argued that it would have been best for JN-T to have left after The Twin Dilemma, but that would truly be revisionist history.
Eccleston ankled before anyone had a chance to know what they had. Tennant wondered aloud about staying on for Moffat’s first year but ultimately didn’t. And Moffat, as a celebrity showrunner, was too important to the image of the BBC as a whole to leave right after the 50th.
So here we are. The blackboard of is being wiped clean once again. As is said in tennis, 15-love?