Just as if the news of Steven Moffat’s departure from “Doctor Who” was not a hard-enough pill to swallow, we now have this: The tenth season of the modern show, and the final one for him as showrunner, will not air until 2017.
Why is this decision being made? We feel like much of it probably due to the show starting up production in the spring, several months later than they typically do in January. If the BBC was to keep the same distance between the start of filming and the premiere date, you’d more or less have to wait until December to see the show premiere, and there’s no sense starting it then when you have a Christmas Special later in the month.
Our understanding for the new season is this: The special will air on Christmas, and following that the tenth season will premiere early in the year. It will once again be for another 13 episodes, and we presume that either the finale or the 2017 Christmas Special will be the last for Moffat. From here, Chris Chibnall of “Broadchurch” will take over. It’s hard to have too much clarity about matters when we are almost two years away from them really mattering, so we feel like as we get a little closer to the date more will be clear.
One other thing that must be remembered here is also that the status of Peter Capaldi as Doctor is up in the air following season 10. It is certainly possible that he could depart, and Chibnall would have the opportunity to start anew not only on a new season, but with a new lead.
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