Timey Wimey

Doctor Who is Finally Going Back to What Works

The most beloved showrunner/writer combo are returning.

Doctor Who
BBC Studios

Doctor Who isn’t afraid to switch things up. The Doctor’s ability to regenerate and change his face is exactly what has kept the series going for over 60 years — the face of the entire series could change every few years without any interruption to the story. This flexibility carries over behind the scenes as well, with three different showrunners taking on the past 13 seasons.

But with all this willingness to try new things, Doctor Who knows what works. Showrunner Russell T. Davies, who rebooted the series back in 2005, has returned as showrunner after 15 years, and in the hotly anticipated next season, he will reunite with the writer who ushered in the series’ New Golden Age.

Steven Moffat is returning to Doctor Who, but just as a writer.

Shane Anthony Sinclair/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Doctor Who’s official website announced that Doctor Who Season 14 will bring back Season 5-10 showrunner Steven Moffat to write an episode. It’s a dynamic the two are very familiar with: Moffat started out as a mainstay writer for the series, often penning scripts for some of the most memorable adventures like “The Girl in the Fireplace,” “Blink,” and the two-parter episode “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.”

The two balance out each other’s impulses well: Moffat knows how to write a great episode of Doctor Who, but many fans felt he lost the plot a little when he was showrunner. Russell T. Davies knows how to craft a season of Doctor Who, but doesn’t have the same clever sci-fi ideas Moffat has. Together, they’ve created stories that have scared fans for years after watching, and now that can continue in a new era.

Moffat wrote “Blink,” one of the most iconic (and scariest) episodes of Doctor Who ever.

BBC Studios

We don’t know much about Moffat’s episode, but a quote in the announcement from the episode’s director, Julie-Anne Robinson, gives a big clue. “Steven Moffat gave me an intense challenge as a director,” she said. “I asked him for a keyword to describe the overall tone of the episode he said: ‘Hitchcock’.” It looks like Moffat will return to deliver the suspenseful sci-fi thrillers he’s known for.

Much about this new era of Doctor Who is brand new: there’s a new Doctor, a new streaming home on Disney+, and even a confusing rebranding of “Season 1” in the U.S. But with Russell T. Davies on board, there was always a hope of returning to the heyday of the 2005 reboot. Moffat’s involvement only provides more evidence that this new chapter will capture the magic of what came before, and sets up what could be another iconic episode.

Doctor Who Season 14 premieres May 10 on Disney+.

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