Isn’t It Time to Move On? Moffat Claims Another Year as Showrunner
Just when we were starting to wonder what the future held, news comes through that Steven Moffat is set for another year as Doctor Who showrunner. Speaking at a New York Q&A event, Moffat revealed that he has ‘just signed up for another year’, meaning he’s set to oversee Series 10 in (presumably) 2016.
The topic of Moffat’s continued tenure on Doctor Who has become a rather divisive one for the programme’s followers. For every fan who’ll welcome his continued involvement there’ll be another who feels that he really should be moving on and that by now we’d all be talking about a newly confirmed supremo to take the reins next year.
Moffat has often talked about the exhausting schedule and heavy workload his role involves, but never in terms that led one to suspect he was becoming so weary as to be ready to give up one of the most prestigious jobs in television, and it’s perhaps unsurprising that he should feel in no hurry to move on given that he clearly loves his work. It’s also understandable that the BBC should be keen for him to stay given that, whatever you think of his time in charge, it’s been a time of continued success for the programme.
Indeed the list of achievements Moffat can point to since he took over from Russell T Davies is considerable. Two successful transitions of lead actor, along with some of the most popular and enduring companions in the show’s history. Continued ratings success in an ever more competitive broadcasting environment (even more impressive when you consider that he took over at a point when the programme could reasonably have been expected to shed viewers, coming as it did a few years into its revival and following the departure of a hugely popular Doctor). And Doctor Who has also achieved a level of success and attention overseas that it never had in the previous decades, evidenced by the rock star-level of attention the show’s stars attracted on last year’s world tour.
Against that, there is surely something to be said for the argument that showrunner of Doctor Who is a job which no one should hold for more than a few years, that however brilliant and imaginative the person concerned is there is bound to come a point when their best ideas have been used up and that anything else they produce after three series or so will not top the best of their earlier work.
Discussing possible replacements for Moffat has become a modern-day parlour game for Doctor Who fans and it’s one that we at Kasterborous have been happy to take part in with our Man Who Would Be King series (which will be continuing shortly). British television isn’t short of talented writer-producers and each likely candidate has their supporters, whether it be Moffat’s pal and Sherlock colleague Mark Gatiss (would he want to tie himself down?), regular script writer Gareth Roberts (not as strong as some other names in terms of experience overseeing a series, perhaps), Toby Whithouse (for whom Being Human must have served as excellent preparation should he get the nod) or Howard Overman (who may be feeling at a loose end given that Atlantis won’t be returning?).
So what do you think? Does the prospect of a continued stay for Moffat in the showrunner’s hot seat excite you? Or do you feel we’ve seen the best of what he has to offer the programme and it’s time for a change? Let us know!