A change of showrunner is a huge thing for our dear little show; while the handovers between producers and script editors for Classic Who were monumental, the term “showrunner” only entered into our average lexicon with Russell T. Davies, for Doctor Who Series 1 in 2005. Since then, there have been only two: RTD and Steven Moffat, who took over from Davies for Series 5. Now, Chris Chibnall has entered the fray, helming the series from Series 11.
A change of showrunner is a huge thing, too, for the showrunners themselves. And it’s been revealed that Steven Moffat was the one who approached Chibnall to take on the lead behind-the-scenes role.
Writing for Doctor Who Magazine, Chibnall says:
“The Thirteenth Doctor is here, and we can tell you everything. Although, of course, we’d rather not – for now. We’d rather keep things for when we can show you, rather than tell you. So if we don’t announce much, or give interviews for a while, it’s because we’re currently focusing all our attention on making the show, not talking about it. Let me think of something I can tell you. How about the words Steven Moffat used, when he broached the question of whether I’d want to take over the greatest show on television? He said: ‘I’m sorry, but I’m about to derail your life.’ As opening gambits go, it’s a good one. And. As it turns out, true.”
That’s a pretty solid opening gambit from Moffat. We can only imagine what a huge upheaval it is, to take over the programme you’ve loved since you were a child, is part of the national consciousness, and subsequently force you to move location for several months of a year.
He hasn’t revealed what advice, if any, Moffat’s given him – although it’s sure not to be something as mundane and unhelpful as “don’t wreck it, eh?”
So what advice would you give Chibnall? Or should he simply get on with it, however he sees fit? Over to you, dear reader…