Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It was announced today that Russell T Davies is stepping down as Doctor Who showrunner in 2009. He'll be replaced by Steven Moffat, one of the best Who writers during Davies' tenure. I've enjoyed Davies' time as showrunner, so I'm pleased to hear that his successor is such a worthy one.

Moffat wrote "The Empty Child" (which introduced Captain Jack Harkness to the Whoniverse), "The Doctor Dances", "The Girl in the Fireplace", "Blink" (one of the best Who episodes ever), "Time Crash" (full of fanservice goodness), and the upcoming "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead". He's also writing the Tintin films that will be directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Suffice it to say, Moffat has great credentials.

Davies will stick around for the four specials next year (they're not doing a full season in 2009 to allow David Tennant time to star in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet), then Moffat will take over for the fifth season, set to air in 2010. It adds credence to rumors about how the current season will end to leave a clean slate for Moffat. Tennant is only confirmed to be in the four specials next year and nothing beyond that, so it's entirely possible that Davies' final special will end with a regeneration scene to really give Moffat a blank slate.

Davies will be forever remembered as the man who successfully revived Doctor Who after sixteen years off the air. He shepherded it through four seasons (2005-2008), four Christmas specials, two Children in Need mini-episodes, and the four specials airing in 2009. He also created successful spinoffs in Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Although some fans love to complain about him, I think his tenure as showrunner ranks him among the best in Who history.



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