Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is stepping down from the sci-fi series after 2017’s Christmas special, but has already been putting plans in place for how to hand over the Tardis keys to his successor, Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall.
Moffat revealed some of the advice he passed on to Chibnall in a new interview with Worldscreen – as well as hinting at a few other nuggets of wisdom that he’d rather keep private.
“First of all, he’s a very, very experienced showrunner himself, so he doesn’t need advice,” Moffat said of Chibnall. “The advice I gave him, which I won’t share, was not about how to run Doctor Who but how to have a life while you’re running Doctor Who. The things you must make sure of.
“He’s a family man, like myself. You’ve got to make sure that you survive it! And the support you’re going to need and what it’s going to be like at 4 in the morning when you’re rewriting some other bastard’s script and not even putting your name on it. What that’s going to feel like. That is what I talked to him about.”
Not that there weren’t more practical considerations as well.
“He has his own ideas about how to do Doctor Who,” Moffat said. “The advice I’ve given him is all prosaic and all quite, ‘Make sure this happens, make sure you get that and don’t let them do this’. I won’t tell you what those things were!
“But it’s really about, you’ve got to see your kids now and then. You’ve got to go home now and then. You’ve got to keep living. It is a monstrous workload, Doctor Who, monstrous.”
Moffat also spoke about his decision to leave the series, which he says comes from a desire to make new stories – as well as have a slightly less stressful writing experience.
“I’m astonished at how long I’ve been doing it!” he said. “I sort of miss my own job of making up television shows and doing the new things, which is the real job of a writer.
“I’ve been curating and looking after and worrying about Doctor Who and Sherlock for several years – these two huge franchises that threw up brand-new problems every single day – in addition to writing. You’re never more a writer than when you write something new, you try something different. I miss all that.
“I miss being, as it were, a proper writer. I’d like to go and find a new thing to fail at!”
“We haven’t even begun to sit down and work out how we’re going to promote it and what things we’re going to give away and what things we’re going to keep secret. I haven’t even thought about it!
“I’m slightly nervous of saying anything at the moment. Missy will be back, and Pearl Mackie will be in playing Bill [the Doctor’s new companion]. Aside from that, you’re going to have to wait and see. It’s on its way. It will be good. Lots of monsters!”