Doctor Who is one of the longest-lasting series in television history, and there is currently more than half a century of history behind each and every journey through time and space. The show has reinvented itself time and time again since it first debuted back in 1963, going through twelve - well, twelve-ish - actors playing versions of the Doctor. Doctor Who has also gone through a number of different showrunners, and current head honcho Steven Moffat will soon step down and hand the series over to Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall. Apparently, Moffat had some words of advice for his successor:
The advice I gave him, which I won't share, was not about how to run Doctor Who but how to have a life while you're running Doctor Who. The things you must make sure of. He's a family man, like myself. You've got to make sure that you survive it! And the support you're going to need and what it's going to be like at 4 in the morning when you're rewriting some other bastard's script and not even putting your name on it. What that's going to feel like. That is what I talked to him about. He has his own ideas about how to do Doctor Who. The advice I've given him is all prosaic and all quite, make sure this happens, make sure you get that and don't let them do this. I won't tell you what those things were! But it's really about, you've got to see your kids now and then. You've got to go home now and then. You've got to keep living. It is a monstrous workload, Doctor Who, monstrous.
Steven Moffat has been on board with Doctor Who as a writer ever since the revival hit the airwaves back in 2005. He took on the role of showrunner starting in Season 5 after the departure of Russel T. Davies, and he's been hard at work on the series ever since. While he didn't want to share his exact conversation with Chris Chibnall in his chat with TV Drama, we can bet that Moffat had some very useful tips for him.
This isn't the first time that somebody has spoken out about the immense pressures of the top job at Doctor Who. Star Peter Capaldi has said that "the cost of doing Doctor Who to an individual is immense," and even opined that if Moffat hadn't chosen to leave, he might have had a heart attack. Moffat himself is on the record as having a very hard time as early as Season 7, when the 50th anniversary of the show rolled around and he had to balance production on the special, filming for the season, the impending departure of Matt Smith, and Season 3 of Sherlock. He's also referred to his time on Doctor Who as "the best job in the universe," so he clearly has fond memories of his time with the show, but it sounds like the time was probably right for him to move on and hand over the reins to somebody else.
Of course, it'll still be a while before we see what Doctor Who looks like with another showrunner at the helm. Steven Moffat is still on board for Season 10 and the 2017 Christmas special, so his work isn't quite done yet. Given that Season 10 will actually be Peter Capaldi's last as the Doctor, Chris Chibnall will get a very blank slate when Season 11 kicks off. You can catch the first episode of Season 10 on Saturday, April 15. Take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule and summer TV premiere guide to see all your other viewing choices.