‘Doctor Who’ Showrunner Steven Moffat ‘Actively’ Looking For His Replacement

Steven Moffat knows every good thing must come to an end eventually, but the Doctor Who showrunner isn’t ready to leave his position just yet — even though he’s preparing for his inevitable departure. Speaking to the Radio Times, Moffat revealed that he’s actively involved in finding his replacement.

“That is an issue and one I’m actively engaged in but I can’t say much about that,” he says. “Everything is difficult in Doctor Who, including leaving, and I would never do anything to harm it.”

Moffat’s love of the BBC series is why he wants a hand in choosing his replacement. “I would never leave it in the lurch because it means too much to me,” he says, adding that he’s uncertain what his role would be on the series after he steps down. “I’ve no idea until I’m here,” he says.

Doctor Who

The head writer and executive producer since 2010, Moffat says he isn’t sure when he’ll be ready to leave the show. “I won’t be leaving because I’m suddenly miserable,” he admits. “It’ll be because I want to do something else.”

Moffat also discussed some of the recurring themes he often explores in Doctor Who, revealing that his “limited imagination” as a parent is the reason why he likes to focus on children in danger.

“Nothing so haunts me as a child in danger. At an utterly primal level, that’s who Doctor Who connects with most. Children. It may be loved by everybody, but it belongs to them. To put a child in danger – it’s not ruthless. It’s automatic. An element of Doctor Who going right back to An Unearthly Child,” he says.

In all likelihood, Whovians will have at least one more Moffat season to look forward to, and those hoping to see the return of former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies can forget about it. In a previous Radio Times interview, Davies said he’ll never return to the series, even though Moffat invites him back to write an episode every year.

“The lovely Steven [Moffat] invites me every year to come and write one,” Russell said, “And I love him and I love them and I love watching it, but here I am, moving on.”

Steven says he understands why Russell declines all his offers to return. “I can understand Russell. I’m gobsmacked by how much Doctor Who I’ve written – an insane amount,” he says.

In addition to the time and space adventures he crafts for The Doctor, Steven is the co-creator and showrunner for Sherlock, and the recently released Holiday Special episode entitled The Abominable Bride has no connection to the storyline of Season 4, which is expected to return in 2017 with stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

“They don’t need Sherlock anymore,” Moffat told BBC News about Cumberbatch and Freeman, who have both gone on to find huge success in Hollywood. “So we have to persuade them to do it – which is fair enough.”

While there’s no official Doctor Who Season 10 premiere date as of yet, an educated guess will see the series return in the Fall, sometime in late August or September 2016, as has been the tradition for the last few seasons. Peter Capaldi, who plays the fiery Twelfth Doctor, says he hasn’t signed on past season 10, which could deb his last — let’s hope it’s not! His companion, Clara Oswald — played by Jenna Coleman — departed the series at the end of last season, and Moffat says he’s “beginning to have an idea” of who will replace her.

“I’m beginning to have an idea of the kind of person, specific ideas but not a specific actress. A new companion gives us the chance to launch the show again. It began in 1963 with the story of Ian and Barbara and then in 2005 with Rose Tyler. Arguably it begins again with the story of Amy Pond. You can recruit new viewers when somebody else meets the Doctor. And I think we’ve got a really cool new idea about how to do that,” he explained.

Capaldi has confessed that he doesn’t want The Doctor’s new companion to be a guy.

“With the best will in the world, I don’t want a bloke,” he told Radio Times, “because I’m frightened that they’ll give him all the action and I’ll be standing around spouting scientific gobbledygook.”

Whether Doctor Who series 10 will be Moffat and Capaldi’s last remains to be seen. In the meantime, tell us what type of companion you hope to see accompany The Doctor next season.

[Images courtesy Frederick M. Brown/Vivien Killilea/Getty Images/Twitter]