Doctor Who’s New Showrunner: Who is Chris Chibnall?

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Doctor Who, Season 7 – “P.S.”

This is arguably Chibnall’s most heartfelt work, in my opinion.

“PS” is an epilogue minisode that takes place after “Angels Take Manhattan” (season 7).

It was a scene written separately. Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall never incorporated it into an episode and never filmed it, as Chibnall explains to Den of Geek below.

Chibnall wrote this scene while he was writing the “Pond Life” season 7 prequel mini-episodes (or “minisodes”; how fun is that word?). He talked about it to Den of Geek in 2013:

"“Steven [Moffat] knew how the Weeping Angels episode was going to end and we knew that Brian would come back in The Power of Three, and Steven was saying look, ‘I feel terrible, because I really want to finish off what happens to Brian but it just will not fit in Angels and it would feel really odd to put him in that’, and I just said, ‘Look, I’ll write a scene for the DVD’.”"

It was, however, animated storyboard-style and narrated by Arthur Darvill. Grab a kleenex before watching.

I discovered this episode one day while browsing Doctor Who YouTube fan videos, and I was not prepared. “PS” starts with the last scene in “Power of Three,” then the storyboard animation starts with a scene after “Angels Take Manhattan,” where we said goodbye to Amy and Rory.

The scene opens with Brian Williams, Rory’s father played by Mark Williams, watering the plants at his son’s house. This immediately gave me the ultimate feels because I realized no one had told Brian he’ll never see his children again.

In the episode that this epilogues, “Angels Take Manhattan,” Amy and Rory are targeted by the weeping angels, a species that feeds on potential time energy. With the touch of a stone finger, it zaps them back in time, forcing them to live out their days in the wrong era.

When that last scavenger angel zaps Rory and Amy back to the 1940s, we all cried with River Song, and we cried with the Doctor, but we never thought to cry with Brian. That thought just broke both my hearts.

A man shows up at Brian’s door with a letter and some effects, and Brian and we quickly realize it’s a letter from his son in the past, and what are these effects this strange man would have? Well, family albums, of course!

The fact Chibnall used the same convention Moffat did in season 4, “Blink,” having a descendent bring letters and family albums to their ancestor in the future (wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey) didn’t bother me at all. It didn’t feel cheap or played out; it felt familiar and just-right.

I do wish they had been able to book Mark Williams to shoot this scene. It’s so moving and would only be made better if we had the depth with which Mark Williams presents in a scene.

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So, can Chris Chibnall pull off Doctor Who next season?

All in all, after examining these episodes more closely, I feel confident in Chris Chibnall’s ability as a poetic writer, a storyteller, and a fanboy of the series. All three of which are of the utmost importance to somebody like me, a relatively new fan, not completely accustomed to the grieving process during the change of the guard, as it were.

Steven Moffat moved mountains for me, and Chris Chibnall has big shoes to fill. I do, however, have faith and a little more trust that he will do so successfully.