“Broadchurch” Chief On His “Doctor Who” Plan

Catching people’s attention with a few episodes of “Doctor Who” before going on to create and serve as showrunner on “Broadchurch,” Chris Chibnall is coming home again soon.

As we know, he’ll be taking over showrunner duties on “Doctor Who” from Steven Moffat (“Sherlock”) with the show’s eleventh season which will serve as a mini-reboot – a new Doctor, new companion, and a new tone.

With his appointment, many are expecting the series to try a serialized, season-long arc for example with no standalones. Sharing some early thoughts with RTS this past week about the direction he intends to go, Chibnall said he wanted to try a “daring conceit” and The BBC were happy with him exploring it:

“I had ideas about what I wanted to do with it. When I went to them and said, ‘This is what I would do’, I actually expected them to say, ‘Ooh, let’s talk about that’, but they said: ‘Great!'”

He adds The BBC was after “risk and boldness” to the new season approach. He also had to be pushed into the job: “I resisted it for a very long time, and [the BBC] really had to woo me.”

Another collaborator, director James Strong, suggests there’s a plan in place that goes well beyond the next season:

“Any reticence would be about the scale and length of the commitment. It’s a five-year project. That was a huge decision. He’s in his absolute prime and could have done whatever he wanted, writing-wise. It’s an absolutely wonderful result for Doctor Who. I think Chris, essentially, writes emotional thrillers, and that’s perfect for that show.”

Indeed, BBC Worldwide seemed to confirm last month that they’re thinking ahead as a deal with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) Pictures will give Chinese audiences access to all previous ten seasons, the upcoming eleventh, and with a first-look option all the way through a fifteenth season.

“Doctor Who” wraps up its current tenth season with a two-part finale which sees the return of both the Mondasian Cybermen and John Simm’s version of The Master who will share scenes with the current incarnation played by Michelle Gomez. Check out the promo for it below: