The Tour, having just barely opined about our qualms regarding a succession plan, were greeted by the news drop on the 22nd that Chris Chibnall would be taking the reins of Doctor Who beginning with Series 11 … in 2018.
It now transpires 2016 will be an even drier year than 2009, with only a Christmas Special until Series 10 arrives in Spring 2017. That was more or less, if regrettably, expected. But knowing now that Chibnall will be taking over with at least two (admittedly a guess) additional series that will take Doctor Who into 2019 is very welcome news indeed.
At the risk of pushing Mount Moffat into a corner too quickly, it’s only natural to pursue a deeper inspection of one Mr Chibnall. At first blush, his writing credits for nu-Who aren’t all that impressive, but perhaps for a good reason. 42, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and The Power of Three all feel as though they were written to a fairly tight brief, and as such Chibnall did the best he could under the circumstances.
Rather it’s with his Producer credits that fans should feel very reassured. More people will be familiar with his tenures on ‘Torchwood’ and ‘Broadchurch’ but here at THT HQ we focused on his contributions to ‘Law & Order: UK’ where it’s most important to set the right tone. We were impressed, and with a year to get his thoughts in order about how Doctor Who will look under his charge, much as Moffat got to do in 2008, we think the tone will also be right.
Fans might also be wondering whether he is just an extraordinarily competent TV professional who can read and make Doctor Who or, like Moffat and RTD before him, has a long and deep association with the program. Then we found a video with his responses to the ‘Trial of a Time Lord’ Season back in 1986. His instincts were spot on then. We suspect they’ll be so now.
Doctor Who in 2019. Sounds pretty darn good to us.