A shocking rumor has been doing the rounds of late: according to some sources, Chris Chibnall – who only just joined the series – could be stepping down from his post as Doctor Who‘s showrunner due to a fallout with the BBC. The story goes that he’s set to helm season 12 and then be on his way, with his Doctor Jodie Whittaker likely following him out the door.
Obviously, this is far from confirmed, and if anything, the evidence suggests the exact opposite, as the corporation would surely want to keep Chibnall happy now that the show’s shooting up the ratings board. However, let’s assume that there’s some truth in it. Who would be the best choice to take over from Chibnall and become the fourth showrunner of the modern series of Doctor Who?
Express asked a range of fans this question and they supplied a few top contenders. One suggested Toby Whithouse, who’s among the modern series’ most prolific writers and penned such memorable episodes as 2006’s “School Reunion,” which saw the return of Sarah Jane Smith and K-9. “If I were to pick a new showrunner I’d definitely pick Toby Whithouse…” wrote the fan. “He had a much better track record [than Chris Chibnall] and he has great concepts which are executed well.”
Another popular option would be Mark Gatiss. He’s obviously worked closely with former showrunner Steven Moffat on Sherlock and has written numerous episodes since the series came back in 2005. Most recently, 2017’s “Empress of Mars,” which brought back the Ice Warriors. “In a perfect universe, I’d pick Mark Gatiss without a doubt,” said another fan.
A slightly more left-field choice is Nicholas Briggs. He’s been involved in the show since 2005 as well, but as Doctor Who‘s go-to monster voice actor, playing the Daleks, the Cybermen, Zygons, etc. He’s a leading writer for Big Finish Productions, too, and is the scribe of some of their most popular audio dramas. As one fan put it: “I know he’s not a massively known name to non-Whovians but looking at some of the work he’s done for Big Finish such as To the Death and Dark Eyes he’s a fantastic writer, with a great love and understanding of the show.”
Alternatively, how about shaking up the formula and sharing the responsibilities of the showrunner across more than one writer? After all, it’d certainly ease the enormous workload that one person has to carry. Like a fan said:“I feel that they should reconsider the role of the showrunner outside of just one person. By introducing the showrunner role, Russell T Davies forced too many responsibilities on himself. RTD and Moffat made it look easy but I don’t think it is very sustainable for others.”
What do you think? Do you have a personal pick for the next showrunner of Doctor Who? Have your say in the comments section down below.