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New Doctor Who chief says he was hired to be 'risky and bold'

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Simon Ridgway/BBC AMERICA

The new executive producer of Doctor Who, Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, has hinted he may significantly rework the format of long-running time travel show. “[The BBC] really had to woo me,” Chibnall said in an interview with the magazine Television. “But, in the end, I had ideas about what I wanted to do with it. When I went to them and said, ‘This is what I would do’, I actually expected them to say, ‘Ooh, let’s talk about that,’ but they said: ‘Great!’” Asked if he would be allowed to devote an entire season to telling a single storyline, Chibnall replied, “Yes. What the BBC was after was risk and boldness.”

Chibnall is currently at work prepping his first season in charge of Doctor Who, which is likely to premiere in the fall of 2018. The current showrunner is Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat, who will step aside after this year’s special Christmas episode. Chibnall’s other credits include writing episodes of both Doctor Who and its spin-off show Torchwood.

Chibnall also admitted in the interview that he has not been paying attention to the advice offered by pundits or fans on social media about who should replace the show’s current star, Peter Capaldi, when he leaves Doctor Who later this year. “I don’t read any of that,” he said. “One of your jobs as a writer is to cut out the noise. All you have is your instincts and your process. The BBC came to me because they wanted those, and so reading coverage about the show is fundamentally useless and bordering on counterproductive. A TV show isn’t a focus group. It is great that people are speculating about who the Doctor will be… but it won’t affect in any way what we do with the show.”

The third and final season of Broadchurch, which stars Olivia Colman and former Doctor Who actor David Tennant, premieres on BBC America, June 28. Doctor Who screens on the same network on Saturday nights.