ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Chris Chibnall: The New "Doctor Who" Showrunner

Updated on January 23, 2016

Steven Moffat, Doctor Who's head writer and producer since 2010, has announced that 2017's Season 10 will be his last. His replacement? Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall. It's a move that seems a bit odd, given the infrequency of Chibnall's Doctor Who writing until now (he's written 4 stories for the show in its 10 years of existence), but a look back on these scripts, as well as some of his other noteable accomplishments, might give us some insight as to Doctor Who's future with Chibnall at the helm.

Doctor Who

Like I said before, Chris Chibnall has written four stories for Doctor Who: "42" in Season 3, "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" in Season 5, "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" in Season 7, and "The Power of Three" in Season 7. While I enjoyed all of these stories, they were met with mostly lukewarm reception from fans and critics. I'll give you a brief review of each story, as well as my personal rating.

  • 42: Trapped on a dead spaceship that's drifting towards a sun, The Doctor and Martha must help the crew escape in 42 minutes. For me, this episode is the beginning of Doctor Who's Golden Age - I liked every single episode after it until Season 7. It's a high-action thriller that also delivers one of the 10th Doctor's more vulnerable moments (which is saying a lot, honestly). A bit of wonky science, but it's not enough to undo a very fun episode. 7/10
  • The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood: "The graves eat people." So cautions Elliot, a young boy whose family lives near the deepest drilling expedition in human history. This story displays one of Chibnall's most common writing techniques - it's an action-packed, high intensity thriller in the first part, and a very personal character study in the second. Chibnall's Doctor Who is about ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances, and what they do with their opportunity. 8/10

The Doctor and his gang from "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"
The Doctor and his gang from "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"
  • Dinosaurs on a Spaceship: Yes, it is as zany as the name suggests. This is Doctor Who's Sharknado, taking two things that should be separate and throwing them together. And, surprisingly, it works. Like Chibnall's previous stories, this one is full of action, which it uses as a backdrop to develop its characters. While the idea is undeniably weird, the execution of it is perfect, making it one of my favorite episodes of Season 7. 8/10
  • The Power of Three: This is so unlike a Chibnall script that at first I didn't realize it was by him. There is a lot of buildup in the first 40 minutes of the story, with almost no payoff whatsoever in a rushed climax. This, like many stories in Season 7, should definitely have been part one of a two-part story. There are a lot of great moments, but the ridiculously rushed ending spoils it. 6/10.


Brought on to Torchwood by Russel T. Davies in 2005, Chibnall effectively became the head writer of the first two seasons. He wrote eight scripts for the show before leaving to work on Law and Order: UK. Season 1 and 2 of Torchwood are generally credited as the best ones, with most fans claiming that the show took a severe downward turn after Chibnall left it.


This might be the most appealing aspect of Chibnall's career thus far. The award-winning masterpiece Broadchurch is his own creation. Winner of four BAFTA awards (Best Actress, Olivia Colman; Best Supporting Actor, David Bradley; Best Drama Series; Best Original Television Music), it was also nominated for three more: Best Director, Best Editing-Fiction, and Chibnall himself was nominated for Best Writer-Drama. Broadchurch has been a massive success under Chibnall's lead, which can only bring confidence to Doctor Who fans.

How will Doctor Who fare under Chris Chibnall? Only time will tell - but his past successes make this fan more excited than cautious. The Chibnall Era will begin with Season 11 in 2018.

What do you think of Steven Moffat's replacement? Post your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)