Doctor Who fans are used to waiting. That’s good, because they won’t be getting any new episodes until the 2016 Christmas special, which will be followed by Steven Moffat’s final season as showrunner.
Radio Times reports that this year’s holiday episode will be followed by a 12-episode series in 2017 that will be Moffat’s last as lead writer and executive producer.
Moffat, who’s also the showrunner for Sherlock, took over Doctor Who from Russell T. Davies in 2010. He is only the second person to hold the job since the series was resurrected in 2005 after being off the air for more than 15 years.
BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore explains the reasoning behind the dearth of Who content this year and saying goodbye to Moffat after that in 2017:
“I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in Spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 – I promise it will be worth the wait!”
Following that, 2018 will see the series handed over to Chris Chibnall, widely known for his crime drama Broadchurch as well as penning Doctor Who episodes such as “42,” “The Hungry Earth” and “Cold Blood,” “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” and “The Power of Three,” as well as writing for the Who spinoff Torchwood, sci-fi police procedural Life on Mars and legal export Law & Order: UK.
New to Chibnall? RT helps out here with “Everything you need to know about new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall.”
Change is the only constant on Doctor Who, and there’s been a lot of it lately: Jenna Coleman recently departed as the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald, and even series star and lifelong superfan Peter Capaldi has hinted that he may not be around for too much longer himself.