A host of Doctor Who news was announced Friday, including Steven Moffat stepping down as showrunner of the series. His last season will be the yet-to-air season 10, which BBC has also decided to hold back until Spring 2017. The news was confirmed by the BBC's official twitter account for the show.
Traditionally, the series has debuted either late Spring or early Fall, depending on if it had a split season or a straight-through one. This one will mean that 2016 only sees one Who episode at all, the Christmas Special.
Starting with 2018's season 11, Chris Chibnall, creator of Broadchurch, will step into the showrunner role.
"Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I'm just starting work on the scripts for season 10," Moffat told the RadioTimes, "but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I'll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him." Moffat praised Chibnall and the decision to bring him on as his replacement. "It took a lot of gin and tonic to talk him into this, but I am beyond delighted that one of the true stars of British Television drama will be taking the Time Lord even further into the future. At the start of season 11, Chris Chibnall will become the new showrunner of Doctor Who. And I will be thrown in a skip."
BBC controller Charlotte Moore said they scheduled Moffat's finale series in Spring 2017 to "bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel" as "2016 is spoilt with national moment including the Euros and Olympics," so they're holding this one back a few months.
Doctor Who was relaunched by Russell T. Davies in 2005, refreshing the science fiction series for a new generation. It chronicles the adventures of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who hops through time and space with his (usually) human companions.
"I want to thank Steven Moffat for everything he has given Doctor Who – I've loved working with him, he is an absolute genius and has brought fans all over the world such joy," Moore said. "I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Chris Chibnall, a wonderfully talented writer who I know will bring something very special to the hit series."
Chibnall said, "it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama. I've loved Doctor Who since I was four years old, and I'm relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore."
Doctor Who season 10, with a new companion, debuts Spring 2017.