- Anthony Vanelli
Everyone's favorite Time Lord will be returning to your televisions in his T.A.R.D.I.S. a little later than normal this year. This season also marks the end of the era of Stephen Moffat.
The worst part of any show is when the last episode of a season ends and the credits begin to roll. It is akin to watching your best friend drive away, knowing you will not see them for another six months. Even worse than that is when a show you love is pushed back farther than usual. You know that your friend will come back, but you are suddenly hit with the butt of a Sontaran blaster with the news that they won't be back for another four or five months.
Fans of British television shows feel this sting even more than that. Shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock frequently leave us salivating for more, but not knowing when the next meal will be. This can be frustrating but it makes the show's return all the sweeter. I am a 28 year old man, and my wife will attest that I giggle like a little girl when the first episode of each new season of my favorite shows airs.
Doctor Who has changed schedules an unprecedented number of times since its revamp in 2005. The show went from being a fall show to a spring show, then back to a fall show, then a split show with half the episodes airing before Christmas and the other half after. The past two seasons have maintained a seemingly similar schedule with air dates only varying by a few weeks. I won't even go into the desolate year where all we got were a few specials. Now Whovians face the dreaded reschedule again.
Stephen Moffat announced in an interview recently that he will be stepping down as the showrunner after season 10, and Peter Capaldi will be leaving with him. For Moffat fans such as myself, the news is devastating. Since he took over in season five, the show has been better than ever with more complex story arcs, character development, and he was much less corny than his predecessor, Rulssell T. Davies. Don't get me wrong, I love the Davies seasons, and before Capaldi took over there was no doubt in my mind David Tennant was the best actor to play The Doctor. But Moffat's style has really appealed to my sensibilities.
Imagine my despair when I realized that not only would my favorite showrunner and actor be leaving, but I would have to wait until Christmas 2016 to see any new Doctor Who. My heart sank.
Peter Capaldi expressed in an interview that Doctor Who was, in a sense, put on the back burner for a little while. Extra time is being taken to cast the series' new companion character, and getting everything in order for the switch-over next year. The fans will be the ones feeling punished for this, because we will get no Doctor Who until Christmas 2016. This is not the first time we have had to ride it out, my friends. We are a very strong fandom, and we will survive again. We will have a full season in 2017, and pass the torch to the new showrunner Chris Chibnall.
A new showrunner can be scary. A lot of the fan base is worried their show will not be the same. I have some bad news for you: it will never be the same. When Moffat and Capaldi leave, the show's essence as we currently know it will be nothing but a fond memory. Albeit, a memory that can be revisited on Amazon Prime as often as we want. This is not necessarily bad, my friends.
I remember when I heard that David Tennant and Russell T. Davies would be passing the torch. I was taken aback. But look what came out of it! Moffat took the show to a completely different level and I, for one, have been nothing but pleased with the results. (Except towards the end of Amy and Rory. That got a little old, but that is another article.) Do not lose hope my friends, for we are hurtling head first into this uncharted territory together.
Chris Chibnall has written many episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood, including one of my favorite two-parters: Hungry Earth and Cold Blood. He was also the creator and showrunner of a great show (also starring David Tennant) called Broadchurch, a gritty drama with a heart-crushing premise and a bunch of great twists. I am very excited to see what he will bring to the show, and who he will choose for the next Doctor. My vote is for Idris Elba or Rupert Grint. This new adventure is going to be scary at first, the unknown always is, but I have faith that Chibnall will do the job justice.
My friends, we will be getting Doctor Who in 2016 but not until Christmas. Stephen Moffat and my personal favorite Doctor, Peter Capaldi, will do one more full season, set to run from February through May. We have to stay strong. The Doctor will return. Just like Amelia Pond, we will have to wait a little longer than expected for the Raggedy Doctor to return in his magical blue box. It will be worth it. Who’s to say the wait won't make it all the sweeter? The year of the specials felt sooo long, and I was ten times more excited when it ended and we returned to regular season.
Be patient, Whovians, we can do it together. We shall watch Game of Thrones and all the brilliant Netflix Marvel shows set to be released before Christmas. But we will always have our Doctor in the back of our minds. We will endure. Then we will celebrate! We will join together for view parties, and experience the return together. Together we can all get through this better and stronger fans. Don't fret, Whovians, The Doctor always returns, often, he is just a bit late.