Why Steven Moffat Had To Give Up Doctor Who, According To Peter Capaldi

Doctor Who can be an exhausting show for fans, with all the timey-wimey stuff to keep track of, so there’s no doubt that folks behind the scenes can only go for so long. Some have lasted longer than others, but even the most experienced in the TV biz, unfortunately, don’t have regenerations to fall back on whenever they push themselves to the limit. Sadly for viewers who have grown to love Doctor Who under the tutelage of Steven Moffat, the showrunner will be soon leaving the series. According to star Peter Capaldi, Moffat had a solid reason for his decision to depart.

He’s an astonishing talent, but he’s a human being, and I don’t think he can continue working at this rate. The cost of doing Doctor Who to an individual is immense. He takes the greatest weight on his shoulders, he loves the show and he’s absolutely responsible for it and feels that responsibility gravely – and with delight as well. He loves this job so I think it’s very, very difficult for him to leave. But I think he has to, otherwise he might have a heart attack.

Considering that Steven Moffat is certainly not looking to retire after Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi’s remarks to Newsweek about Moffat not wanting to totally burn himself out on the series makes a lot of sense. After all, Moffat has been around on Who in a major capacity for longer than anybody else in the revival. The stars have only signed on for a handful of seasons each, and original showrunner Russell T. Davies left the show after the post-Season 4 specials. Moffat contributed to Doctor Who since the first season as a writer, and has been showrunner since the fifth season. No wonder the guy is tired.

Moffat does still have Sherlock duties to take care of. He co-created the original series while running the show at Doctor Who, and its smash success has certainly added to the pressure on him. Each installment of Sherlock feels more like a movie than an episode, and fans are always itching for more and more. Moffat was writing for the fourth season in the fall of 2015 and shooting was reportedly set to begin in spring of 2016, so he’ll have plenty going on in the foreseeable future. After all, he’s not leaving Doctor Who until some point in 2017 due to a delayed Season 10. Hopefully for his sake, he’ll take time for a vacation at some point.

There’s no saying what Doctor Who will look like after Steven Moffat leaves, and Peter Capaldi himself might not stick around any longer. One small consolation about Moffat giving up his Who showrunning duties is that we have plenty of time ahead of us to get used to the fact that it will be a different series following Season 10.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).