5 reasons we can’t wait for Chris Chibnall to take over Doctor Who
The news that long-time Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat would be stepping down over the weekend caught fans by surprise, but then filled us with excitement as we learnt his replacement would be none other than Broadchurch alum Chris Chibnall. While Chibnall won’t be taking over until around 2017/2018 (Moffat is taking a break this year before his final series in 2017), we are really hyped about the change. Here are five reasons why we’re excited that Chibnall is the man taking over Doctor Who.
1. He’s a lifelong Doctor Who fan.
This is a much needed pre-requisite for taking over one of the biggest jobs in television, and like Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat before him, Chibnall fits the bill. Here he is in 1986 discussing the flaws of Doctor Who season 23 on behalf of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. Are you that dedicated?
2. He was the executive producer behind hit series Broadchurch.
Yes, Broadchurch, the murder-mystery sensation which in its first season was nominated for seven BAFTAs, winning Best Drama Series as well as Best Actress for Olivia Colman and Best Supporting Actor for David Bradley. An average of 9.1 million viewers tuned in to watch the mystery of a young boy murdered at the seaside, which made it ITV’s highest rated weekday drama since 2004 at the time. The series even inspired an American re-make also starring Doctor Who‘s David Tennant, but the less said about that the better.
3. He was the head writer for Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.
It was a little American for our tastes, but the tales of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and the Torchwood team were a fine addition to the Doctor Who franchise and definitely helped build its success over the pond. The opening episodes of Torchwood became BBC Three’s biggest ever non-sports broadcast, causing BBC Three controller Julian Bellamy to state that the audience figures were an “incredible achievement”.
4. The episodes he’s written for Doctor Who have been varied, but handle emotional moments well.
Chibnall has written five episodes of Doctor Who, including season three’s “42”, season five’s two-parter “The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood”, and season seven episodes “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” and “The Power of Three”. While the subjects of these episodes have varied wildly – from the frenzied real time escape mission that was “42” to the episode literally about “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” – emotional moments have typically been handled well. “Cold Blood” was widely-praised for an emotional ending in which Rory sacrificed himself for Amy, before the Doctor tried desperately to prevent memories of Rory being destroyed. “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” introduced Rory’s father Brian, and in later episode “The Power of Three” a heart-to-heart took place between the Doctor and Brian before Brian gave his blessing for Rory and Amy to continue travelling with the Doctor, despite the many risks.
5. No more River Song?
Sorry, we had to say it.
Doctor Who will return for a new series helmed by Steven Moffat in 2017, before Chris Chibnall takes over in late 2017/2018.