Russell T Davies to step down as Doctor Who producer and writer
LONDON - Russell T Davies, the man who reinvented 'Doctor Who' for a new generation of fans, is to step down from his role as lead writer and executive producer to be replaced by Bafta-winning writer Steven Moffat.
Moffat, a current writer on the new 'Doctor Who', will take the reins of the BBC One show for its fifth full season, which will air in spring 2010. In 2009, 'Doctor Who' fans will have four specials to look forward to.
Moffat has written a number of key episodes since the show returned to the airwaves in 2005, including 'Blink', which with its weeping angels of stone has gone down as one of the most chilling episodes of the show.
Moffat won a Bafta Writer Award earlier this month for that episode and also scooped a Hugo Award for an episode in the second series 'The Girl in the Fireplace'. He was also behind a two-parter from the first series 'The Empty Child', which featured a faceless child and became well known for its creepy refrain "Are you my mummy?".
Moffat said: "My entire career has been a secret plan to get this job. I applied before but I got knocked back 'cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven. Anyway, I'm glad the BBC has finally seen the light, and it's a huge honour to be following Russell into the best -- and the toughest -- job in television. I say toughest 'cos Russell's at my window right now, pointing and laughing."
Davies said: "It's been a delight and an honour working with Steven, and I can't wait to see where his extraordinary imagination takes the doctor. Best of all, I get to be a viewer again, watching on a Saturday night."
The new lead writer and producer of 'Doctor Who' has a long career in television and was behind several well-regarded shows including the Jack Davenport-starring comedy 'Coupling', which ran for four years on BBC Two.
However, he is best known for writing the cult children's drama 'Press Gang' for ITV. The show, which starred Dexter Fletcher and Julia Sawalha, ran from 1989-1993 and won him his Bafta.
As well as his work for 'Doctor Who', Moffat is working on a new comedy 'Adam & Eve' with wife Sue Vertue and he has just finished the screenplay for 'Tintin', the first instalment of a planned film trilogy which will be directed by Steven Spielberg.
Jane Tranter, controller of BBC Fiction, said: "Scripts and writers are at the heart of what BBC Drama is all about, and especially at the heart of 'Doctor Who'. The past four series have been brilliantly helmed by the spectacularly talented Russell T Davies.
"As lead writer and executive producer, he has overseen the creative direction and detail of the 21st century relaunch of 'Doctor Who' and we are delighted to have his continued presence on the specials over the next 18 months."
The announcement follows the news that Piers Wenger will take over the role of executive producer from Julie Gardner on series five of 'Doctor Who'.
Series four has achieved some of the show's highest audience figures to date and forthcoming episodes feature guests stars including Lesley Sharp, Lindsey Coulson, Alex Kingston, Colin Salmon and Michael Brandon.
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