Chris Chibnall reveals Steven Moffat’s warning when he was first offered the Doctor Who job

As opening gambits go, it’s a good one...

Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall and star Jodie Whittaker (Getty, BBC, HF)

It’s fair to say that this autumn’s series of Doctor Who is one of the most eagerly-anticipated in years, with fans desperate to learn everything they can about new Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker and her first adventures in the Tardis.

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However, it turns out that finding out things about the new series might be especially difficult in 2018 – because new showrunner Chris Chibnall has revealed he’s working hard to keep Doctor Who production even more under wraps now that he’s taken over.

“The Thirteenth Doctor is here, and we can tell you everything,” Chibnall wrote in Doctor Who Magazine’s regular Production Notes column, previously penned by showrunner predecessors Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies. “Although, of course, we’d rather not – for now.

“We’d rather keep things for when we can show you, rather than tell you. So if we don’t announce much, or give interviews for a while, it’s because we’re currently focusing all our attention on making the show, not talking about it.”

Still, Chibnall didn’t hold all his cards to his chest, revealing exactly what Steven Moffat said to get him to take over the top job as well as his own trepidation and excitement at working on the new series.

“Let me think of something I can tell you,” Chibnall said. “How about the words Steven Moffat used, when he broached the question of whether I’d want to take over the greatest show on television?

“He said: ‘I’m sorry, but I’m about to derail your life.’ As opening gambits go, it’s a good one. And. As it turns out, true.

“Now, you’re probably either excited or worried about the future – maybe both,” he went on.

“‘If it’s any consolation, that combination of excitement and concern is also the natural state of making the show: excited about what you’re planning, concerned how you’ll achieve it.”

Chibnall finished by paying tribute to Doctor Who’s legacy of change, casting Whittaker’s status as the first female incarnation of the Doctor just one more step in that grand legacy.

“What’s evident is Doctor Who’s extraordinary ability to embrace change while remaining exactly the same show that people love,” he said.

“Doctor Who wrote change into its format from the start, going from location to location and story to story. Then it wrote change into the DNA of its lead character!

“It’s always looking forward, asking ‘What’s next?’ That’s the job, for me, for the writers, for the production team, for Jodie and all our new cast.

“That’s our challenge, and we’re loving it. It is so much fun,” he concluded.

We can hardly wait to see that fun explode on screen – even if we have to hold off a little longer than usual before we find out what’s happening.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn, while the latest issue of Doctor Who magazine is on sale now