Ponderings on Moffat and Chibnall

The humanoid shaped writer and occasional producer Steven Moffat is resigning from Doctor Who. After seeing the show through a year’s hiatus and Series 10. Love him or loathe him or be indifferent because you’ve given up all hope, he certainly made an impact on Doctor Who.

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You were expecting an opinion piece? Oh, all right then. Moffat did some wonderful stuff, inventing the Weeping Angels/Silence/Chula Gas Mask Zombies and writing episodes in the RTD era commonly voted as THE best in NewWho. Casting Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi was an outstanding thing to do, and even though there’s a billion and one things they could have done better – I love Series 5 and Day of The Doctor. He also did some poop stuff: River Song, most of Series 6, River Song, Danny Pink, Series 7, River Song, Series 8, Clara Oswald being seemingly responsible for EVERY GOOD THING THE DOCTOR HAS EVER DONE, Cyber-Brig, and River Song.

You know me, I’m never one to take sides (stop giggling) so let’s talk about Chris Chibnall. It’s my honest opinion that Doctor Who is in good hands, but they could have done better.



Shall we come up with a nickname? Chibby? Chibbers? The ‘Nall’anator? C-Chib? We may need to consult the big man himself to see what he thinks. Anyone got an in at the BBC? Or maybe we’ll just leave it up to BlogtorWho.


Where was I? Oh yeh. Chibnall’s previous Who credentials are vast, and decidedly average. 42 is a wonderful example of when NewWho does base-under-siege right (though the sentient star I’m doubting), the Silurian two-parter in Series 5 is the worst part of that series, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is laughable and cringe-worthy in all the wrong ways, Power of Three is very nearly a good story if it got a second part and didn’t end with The Doctor pointing his sonic at a computer and saving the day. The first season of Torchwood is generally considered pretty naff, with one constant exception: Countrycide. I utterly adore Countrycide.


It was the episode that showed the Whoniverse can function well with virtually no science-fiction, it inadvertently gave Ianto a better character than CyberWoman ever tried to do and earned it’s R-18 certificate without pushing it.

Torchwood Series 2 improved greatly, with Adrift being possibly one of the most powerful and shocking stories in the whole Whoniverse, and the final moments of Owen and Tosh are absolutely beautiful.



Here is a picture of soon-to-be Grand Master Chibnall on the BBC show Open Air in 1986 representing the Doctor Who Appreciation Society and talking about the recently aired 22nd season of Doctor Who ‘The Trial of a Timelord’. In it he called Bonnie Langford ‘theatrical’ and says it was full of cliches and silly monsters.


This man knows Doctor Who. He’s the only person to have written/produced NewWho to have discussed ClassicWho with the BBC while it was still on air. Yes he may not have written the stellar stuff of Moffat before his showrunning career, but he’s dedicated. I believe he’s maybe not the best choice (Whithouse/Cross/Mathieson) but Chibnall may just surprise you all.

Being showrunner of Doctor Who isn’t just about turning up and writing a few scripts, they basically manage everything. They organise which directors to hire, which script writers make the cut, who to cast, what the big overarching storylines are going to be. They run the show and outrank everybody. It’s a hell of a lot of work. If I were to guess why the BBC wanted Chibnall, it’s Broadchurch.


Broadchurch was instantly a massive success for ITV, so many people thinking it up to the quality of a BBC show. Chibnall created and wrote Broadchurch, the BBC noticed him because of this show. Well, they weren’t choosing the next showrunner simply because of Cyberwoman were they?



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