Doctor Who fans are unhappy to hear that there will be no new series in 2016. The next time a full season of the show will air will be in Spring of 2017, when it will be Steven Moffat’s final season.
Doctor Who has aired a new season every year since its revival in 2005, with Christmas Specials and a special 50th anniversary episode. This will be the first year that there will be no 12 to 13 episode series. Instead, there will just be the one Christmas special at the end of the year. Moffat will get his big send off with the 10th season of the Doctor Who revival in 2017, and will then share his final Christmas special that year.
— D (@blaadeeblaa) January 23, 2016
GamesRadar confirmed 2017 will be the next year for another Doctor Who series. According to BBC executives—the British network that airs the show—2016’s schedule is just too packed to add the classic Saturday night sci-fi program. Not only will the Euros air, but there are also the Rio Olympics to think about, and it means not enough broadcast time for a fan-favorite TV show. This has been met with criticism from many Doctor Who fans, who were looking forward to their next installment of The Doctor.
The good news for many is that 2017 will see a full, 12-episode series featuring Peter Capaldi still taking on the iconic role. There will also be a new assistant, whom Moffat will introduce at some point between the Christmas special of 2016 and the first episode of 2017. The showrunner has been in charge with introducing the last three companions—husband and wife duo Amy Pond and Rory Williams (often called Rory Pond by Matt Smith’s Doctor) and “The Impossible Girl” Clara Oswald.
After the 2017 Christmas special, Moffat will step down from the role as showrunner. There is no confirmation yet as to whether he will remain a writer for the show. He has taken on the writing of a number of episodes, including the most recent Doctor Who Christmas special The Husbands of River Song.
For those who worry about continuity, Chris Chibnall has been confirmed as the next executive producer. He has been a writer on the show for a number of years, and was responsible for the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, according to Crave Online. Chibnall has most recently been involved in the creation of Broadchurch, which starred the 10th Doctor, David Tennant.
— Daniel Billing (@danielbilling) January 22, 2016
There are mixed reviews on Moffat stepping down from the role. Being the executive producer since 2010 does mean that he has helped to introduce the last two Doctors, Matt Smith and Capaldi. While the two Doctors have their fans, Moffat has built up a number of haters. Many people have taken to Twitter to share how the “haters will be happy” now that Moffat is stepping down. However, others have pointed out that it just means there will be another person for people to moan about when the scripts or overall storylines do not go in the direction that they prefer.
— Judi A. Neuer (@Judi075) January 22, 2016
Some have taken to Twitter to question what it means for Broadchurch. Chibnall stepping down could mean the end of the show, which has been rumored to end with the third season. If that is true, the show will be over by the time Chibnall takes over Doctor Who. He will pick up the series in 2018 after the Christmas special.
For now, Doctor Who fans want to know who the next companion will be. Like with any new major character in the Doctor Who universe, this news has been kept quiet by all those involved in the show and the character will not be revealed until the end of the year at the earliest.
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