Show runner Steven Moffat is leaving 'Doctor Who'

Steven Moffat’s tenure as show runner of “Doctor Who” is coming to an end.

Moffat will have helmed six seasons of the British sci-fi classic's modern era before stepping down as lead writer and executive producer at the conclusion of Season 10. He will be replaced in both roles by Chris Chibnall, best known for writing the U.K. series “Broadchurch,” as well as the U.S. remake, Fox’s “Gracepoint.”

“Feels odd to be talking about leaving when I’m just starting work on the scripts for season 10, but the fact is my timey-wimey is running out. While Chris is doing his last run of Broadchurch, I’ll be finishing up on the best job in the universe and keeping the TARDIS warm for him,” Moffat said in a statement released Friday by the BBC.

Chibnall seems enthused at the prospect of his new role, saying "'Doctor Who' is the ultimate BBC program: bold, unique, vastly entertaining, and adored all around the world. So it's a privilege and a joy to be the next curator of this funny, scary and emotional family drama.” Chibnall added, “I’ve loved 'Doctor Who' since I was 4 years old, and I’m relishing the thought of working with the exceptional team at BBC Wales to create new characters, creatures and worlds for the Doctor to explore.”

In addition to the change in show runners, the BBC also announced Friday that Moffat’s final season with the show would air in spring 2017, with Chibnall’s debut season launching in 2018.

Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC One, explained the scheduling decision, saying, “ I have decided to schedule Steven’s big finale series in spring 2017 to bring the nation together for what will be a huge event on the channel. 2016 is spoilt with national moments including the Euros and Olympics and I want to hold something big back for 2017 -- I promise it will be worth the wait!”

But “Doctor Who” fans won’t have to wait until 2017 for their next glimpse of the good Doctor. The series will still engage in its holiday tradition and air an episode, overseen by Moffat, later this year.

Follow me on Twitter at @midwestspitfire.

libby.hill@latimes.com

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