Doctor Who Gets a New Head

Today the BBC announced that Steven Moffat, writer of several brilliant episodes in the time-traveling adventure show Doctor Who, will take over as showrunner next year for the fifth season of the network's rebooted series. Like current showrunner Russell T. Davies, Moffat has been a fan of Doctor Who since he was young. He told reporters, "My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back because the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven." Many Doctor Who fans have been worried about the fate of the show as Davies steps down.


Davies, best known before Doctor Who for creating the show Queer as Folk, has become something of a legend among fans for rebooting a show it was thought might never return. Though the show had been on the air pretty much continuously since the early 1960s, it ground to a halt in the late 80s. After over a decade on hiatus, punctuated by one 1990s movie and a lot of great audio plays, Doctor Who finally returned to life when Davies reimagined the doctor as a more modern, dangerous, and sexy character. Taking his cues from the witty-scary style of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Davies truly managed to reinvent Who for a new generation, garnering top ratings for the show, which currently plays all over the world.

Steven Moffat's writing on the new Doctor Who has been part of what has made the show so compelling. He's worked on some of the most memorable stories like "The Empty Child" (which introduced the character of Captain Jack, who later got his own show, Torchwood), and the much-awarded "Blink," about some seriously creepy aliens who only move when you aren't looking at them. He also wrote the awesome BBC miniseries Jekyll last year. So you can count on Doctor Who's fifth season to have a lot of horror in it.

Davies will be working on four Doctor Who specials in 2009, but Moffat will be running the show proper. There have been rumors that the current Doctor, the fauxhawked, goofy-adorable David Tennant, may leave after this season but they have not been confirmed. If true, it could mean Doctor Who's fifth season will start with a clean slate: new showrunner, new actor in the role of Doctor.

Steven Moffat to replace Russell T. Davies [Guardian]