Doctor Who Showrunner, Steven Moffat, Relinquishes His Throne

Doctor Who Showrunner, Steven Moffat, Relinquishes His Throne

Maddison Brandley, Staff Writer

The current Doctor Who showrunner, Steven Moffat, finally announced only recently that he will be leaving the show after the upcoming season 10.   “Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out,” Moffat stated. And, boy, could his statement not be any truer. Fans raved about Moffat in the beginning of his era, but after 8 long years of the Moffat reign, many felt he had long since overstayed his welcome, and where ready for a change.

Filling Moffat’s Shoes will be none other than Broadchurch writer, Chris Chibnall (and, if you haven’t seen the show and are looking for a good crime and drama series, I highly recommend checking it out on Netflix). In the Past, Chibnall has written several Doctor Who episodes – both of the dramatic (42, The Hungry Earth Parts I & II,) and comedic (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, and The Power of Three) variety. Not only that, he also wrote the beloved episode The Magician’s Apprentice in this past Season 9. Chibnall was also one of the first writers to get the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood, on its feet. With all that said, I think we can expect great things from Chibnall. But, before we welcome our new showrunner, I feel it’s appropriate to give ol’ Moffat the proper send off the best way we know how – by scrutinizing everything he’s done wrong… and maybe throwing a few praises in as well. In honor of Moffat’s 8 years with Doctor Who, here are 5 cons and 5 pros of the Moffat era.

The Cons:

  1. Complicated Story Arcs

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Moffat is known for his over-the-top story arcs that make it almost impossible to understand what’s actually happening. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Moffat was just making it up as he went along. While I enjoyed trying to put the pieces to the puzzle together at first, after a while it just became exhausting – definitely not a good thing when I’m supposed to be enjoying a show. Moffat’s plethora of complex story arcs include River Song, The Crack, Clara Oswald… need I go on?


  1. Plot Holes

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With Moffat’s complicated story arcs, plot holes are inevitable. Why won’t anyone explain the exploding of the TARDIS? If Danny Pink is dead, then how does Orson Pink exist? What ever happened to Jenny, The Doctor’s Daughter? Sooo… the Statue of Liberty is a weeping angel now? And how do the Daleks keep surviving? Bleh, Doctor Who’s plot has more holes than Swiss cheese.


  1. Underdeveloped Companions

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Moffat Era companions Amy, Rory, and Clara all lacked the depth that I wanted in a character. The companions never seemed to get the attention they deserved, and never reached their full potential. I love the concepts of the characters, but felt like I never really got to know them on a deeper level. Most of the time, it felt like the show’s female companions where just there to flirt with the Doctor and ask him questions, only to let him go off in a timey-wimey rant. Moffat might have given us snippets of the companions’ past, but it just wasn’t enough, especially when compared to previous writer RTD, who gave us in-depth, relatable companions, like Rose.


  1. They’re dead… NOT

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To Moffat, death has as much consequence as the common cold on Doctor Who. Someone died? No problem, he’ll just make up a simple “solution” to bring them back to life. It was fine (and, to some fans, a relief) the first few times, but Moffat seems to be using it as a crutch. Death no longer has the impact it use to on Doctor Who – it’s never final. When Clara died, I was shocked. Finally Moffat had killed off one of his own characters for good… buuut then in the season 9 finally she was “miraculously” saved, and went off into time and space in her own TARDIS with her immortal companion. I should have seen it coming. Moffat can’t seem to leave a character dead, no matter how frustrated the fans get.


  1. The Sonic Sunglasses

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No… Just no. When Moffat replaced the 12th Doctors sonic screwdriver with a cheap pair of sonic sunglasses, the fans weren’t too pleased. Who would purchase an overpriced pair of normal looking sunglasses instead of a SONIC SCREWDRIVER from the BBC store to add to their Doctor Who merch? Thank goodness that was just a phase.

Now, The Pros:

  1. New Monsters


No one can deny that Moffat came up with some pretty brilliant new monsters during his run, the Weeping Angels being one of the most popular monsters of New Who. Moffat’s creativity brought many fresh villains, such as The Vashta Nerada, The Silence, and The Empty Child.

  1. Terrifying episodes


Along with his new monsters, Moffat was able to bring true fear to many Doctor Who fans, young and old. Not every episode was perfect, but when Moffat wanted to make an episode scary, you better believe that fans where hiding behind their couches. Episodes like The God Complex, Blink, Night Terrors, The Empty Child, not to forget the recent Listen, had fans quivering. I’ll admit, there were many times Moffat gave me nightmares, and not just the ones where I feared for the future of Doctor Who.


  1. Brilliant Casting


Doctor Who alum Matt Smith who can be goofy and silly one moment, but bring you to tears the next, Peter Capaldi’s intensity and over all brilliant performance as the new Doctor, Jenna Coleman’s raw emotion and brilliant delivery of dialogue, and, of course, Michelle Gomez’s crazy, risk taking, and captivating portrayal of Missy. Even when Moffat’s writing fell short, the actors’ performances held the show together. Though, as a showrunner, he didn’t have much control over casting, his era brought amazing new stars to Doctor Who.


  1. Diversity


In the past, fans complained that Doctor Who did not have enough diversity in the casting, but since Moffat has taken over, people from all walks of life have been represented. Again, he doesn’t control much of casting, but his stories still brought to life the real-world experiences of many groups of people, even if the characters generally disappeared after only a couple episodes. One of my personal favorite two-parters from season 9 was Under the Lake — not only did the crew vary in ethnicity, but the episode also had the first deaf character to appear Doctor Who. Also, in season 9, finally Moffat proved that a Time Lord didn’t always regenerate with the same gender and ethnicity (Missy is portrayed by Michelle Gomez, who is a Scottish-Mexican woman). The show has definitely taken some big steps forward since Moffat took the reins.


  1. The 50th Anniversary Special


I’ll admit I had my doubts when I heard Moffat was going to be writing the 50th, but he hit this one right out of the park. He had surprises for classic fans as well, as fans who stuck to New Who. With appearances from David Tenant, Billie Piper, and not to mention the 4th Doctor, TOM BAKER! The show got record-breaking television ratings around the world, with 10.6 million people watching in the UK alone. In the words of the 9th doctor, this episode was absolutely “Fantastic.”


So, with that, we say farewell to Moffat and welcome Chibnall into the Doctor Who family. I can’t wait to see what Chibnall brings to the table, and how he can improve our beloved Doctor Who. Will he make the same mistakes that Moffat did, or will he bring Doctor to the next level?