Not since Tom Baker has an actor who’s played the Doctor in Doctor Who been the star of the show under different showrunners (or “producers” as they were more simply called back then – the person in artistic charge anyway). John Nathan-Turner took over for the last Tom Baker season then stayed for the entire fifth, sixth and seventh Doctor eras. Paul McGann was only around for one TV movie; Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s Doctors were Russell T Davies’s era while Matt Smith’s eleventh Doctor was purely a Moffat creation.
But could this all change come 2018, when Chris Chibnall becomes the news showrunner? Possibly, yes. And the decision is all Peter Capaldi’s, apparently. He reveals in The Radio Times that he has been asked to stay on but has yet to make a decision.
“I’ve been asked to stay on,” he says, “but it’s such a long time before I have to make that decision. Steven’s been absolutely wonderful, so I love working with him. Chris is fantastic, and I think he’s a hugely talented guy. I don’t know where the show’s gonna go then. I don’t know. I have to make up my mind, and I haven’t yet.”
As announced in January, Moffat’s 12-episode final season will be broadcast in 2017, with only a Christmas special airing this year. Chibnall will then take the reins in 2018.
It would certainly be interesting to see where a new showrunner would take an existing version of the Doctor. And if Capaldi did stay for another season (or even a decent part of one) he would become the longest-running Doctor since Tom Baker.