Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat has some advice for Chris Chibnall on picking the next Doctor

The current show runner, who is soon to appear at the BFI and Radio Times Festival this April, has some wise words for his successor

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat (BBC, BD)

Outgoing Doctor Who boss Steven Moffat is still in the thick of filming series 10’s final episodes, but he’s already looking to the future by offering some advice to his successor Chris Chibnall.

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Specifically, he has some wisdom to impart on the most important decision Chibnall will have to make when taking over the reins of the franchise at Christmas – who to cast as the next Doctor when Peter Capaldi leaves the series this year. 

“Just choose the best person for the job and any other agenda, however worthy, should be ignored,” he told the i, echoing sentiments made by Chibnall himself in recent weeks. “It has to be the best person for the Doctor Chris is writing for.”

The screenwriter, who is soon to give Doctor Who fans a sneak preview of the new series and new companion Pearl Mackie at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival next weekend (where he’ll also be inducted into the Radio Times Hall of Fame), explained that the choice of the actor was crucial for the show’s success, not least because of the relationship between writer and star.

“Chris is going to be working with the actor for quite a few years and it is a pressure cooker,” he said. “It can be tough, so you need to choose your friend wisely. So long as it works for the good of the show, that’s fine.”

But of course, in the end the decision is up to Chibnall himself, as Moffat was happy to relate.

“The new Doctor has to be written by Chris Chibnall, not me,” he said. “Whatever he does is just fine by me.

“In the short term, at least, I have to get out of the way and let Chris get on with it. You don’t want the previous boss hanging around when you start a new job. I’ll take him out for a drink when he’s feeling miserable.” 

Steven Moffat will be in conversation with Frank Skinner at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival at BFI Southbank, London on 9th April; Peter Capaldi and Pearl Mackie take part in a panel discussion and preview of the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ at the festival, also on 9th April (020 7928 3232); and Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss will be in conversation with Radio Times TV Editor Alison Graham, also on the 9th April.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April