Stephen Moffat to Leave 'Dr. Who' after Season 10

Steven Moffat speaking at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. (Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons)

Many will weep and many will rejoice as Steven Moffat retires his pen for “Doctor Who” after season 10. Since taking the helm as head writer following Russel T. Davies, Moffat has played a major role in bringing one of the most iconic science fiction television shows to the mainstream American audience.

Moffat took over as head writer in 2010, after working with Davies since the show’s revival in 2005.  Debuting alongside Moffat was the beloved eleventh doctor, Matt Smith, who shared his thoughts on Moffat’s departure, a reaction that trended on Facebook.

Smith said to the Timey Wimey Show: “I’m sad he’s leaving Doctor Who, I think he’s done so much for it and so much for me. I just feel very privileged that I got to work with what I think is the greatest writer, one of the greatest writers to have been involved in that show. I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

With all of these seemingly rapid changes happening, what does the future look like for the show? Coinciding with Moffat’s departure was the exit of actress Jenna Coleman, which already had fans wondering who would be the next companion; a prospect fans are undoubtedly looking forward to in season 10.

Even Peter Capaldi is speculating that it might be his last season. After all, his predecessors in the BBC America show have only each had three seasons as The Doctor, the exception being Chris Eccleston. Will Capaldi be the exception now, or is it better practice to change Doctors along with the head writer?

Adrienne Jones wrote on Cinema Blend that Capaldi “dropped a hint” in an interview. Jones wrote that Capaldi said, “This could be my final year – it’s terrifying. I love Doctor Who but it can be quite an insular world and I do want to do other things. There will come a time when this is over.”

Either way, Moffat will be handing off the show to Chris Chibnall, who is no stranger to the Doctor Who Universe.  The “Broadchurch” writer and creator, Chibnall has written six episodes, including “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” “The Magician’s Apprentice” and “The Hungry Earth.”  Additionally, Chibnall wrote seven and produced 26 episodes of “Torchwood.”

However, the worst news might be the delay Moffat’s departure creates. Now Season 10 will not premier in 2016, and will instead be pushed to 2017.  Only the Christmas special will air in 2016.


Matthew Gilbert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.gilbert@uconn.edu.