Never accuse the THT Brain Wizards of being on top of current events. There have been a few news dribbles of late that Steven Moffat, while committed to Series 10, has actively been planning his exit as Doctor Who ‘Showrunner.’
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 take it a year at a time and that’s the only answer I’ll ever give on that one. How hard [will it be to give up], I don’t know … I won’t be leaving because I’m suddenly miserable. It’ll be because I want to do something else.
Of course, we’ve been here before. Specifically, in 2008 when the shape, and the exit strategies, of both David Tennant and RTD became known. The BBC at least informally discussed ending the series rather than moving on, but move on they did in the form of Steven Moffat. And the important thing to remember is that, like RTD before him, Moffat is every bit the celebrity showrunner, albeit in his own way, that RTD ever was, at least in the eyes of the BBC. That’s not unimportant.
Now we here at the Tour have no reason to suspect that, amongst the list of probable successors that have been bandied about, that the choice hasn’t already been made, as it was back in 2008.
So the question then becomes should Doctor Who require a celebrity showrunner as it has since 2005? From the ‘classic’ series vein only two producers had anything akin to this kind of status: Verity Lambert was notable for her unique position as the BBC’s first female producer, and JN-T only for his longevity.
And now of the ‘usual suspects,’ the most noteworthy is Mark Gatiss, and for all the obvious reasons. Toby Whithouse and Chris Chibnall have their own pedigrees both inside and outside of Doctor Who but we fear lack the sizzle that we perceive might be desirable by those ultimately making the decision.
Series 10 figures to be the last for both Moffat and young Mr Capaldi. If The Husbands of River Song is any indication, the decks, and story strings that have been woven going all the way back to 2008 are being tidied up. Time ticks. It would be nice to know that the future is in safe hands.