It's been more than six years since Moffat took his place as head writer/show runner for the critically acclaimed and globally beloved television program Doctor Who. Whether you love his work or hate it one thing is certain. He has left a mark. Now it's been announced that Mr. Moffat will be stepping down after series 10. Broadchurch creator and longtime contributor to the Whoniverse will be taking his place. If Chibnall doesn't ring a bell perhaps some of the episodes he has under his belt. Chibnall has written the following Doctor Who stories.
This is a fairly basic episode. The Doctor and Martha are trapped on a ship that is hurtling towards a star. The star possesses those on board and uses them as deadly meat puppets. The strong points of this episode are some emotional scenes which highlight Martha Jones, when the Doctor is possessed and the feeling of anxiety that comes from the episode being set in real time with what feels like very real risk facing the majority of the characters. It's by no means a weak episode but I feel that this particular story wasn't what got Chibnall the job as head writer.
The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood -
In my opinion The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood is far superior to 42. It's set in the year 2020 and features the returns of the silurians. Like 42 it focuses strongly on human nature and how we interact with the world around us. This is story is only slightly lighter in tone and does have its dark moments. Chibnall accomplishes a lot with this two parter. He re-introduces the audience to the silurian people, constructs a strong argument for their claim to the Earth, shows the dark side of humanity and ends everything on a positive note. It's a fun adventure which gives the viewer something to chew on.
Pond Life -
I love Pond Life! These short webisodes are in my opinion some of Chibnall's greatest contributions to the series so far. We get a look at Matt Smith's Doctor off on adventures without Amy and Rory and see glimpses of Amy and Rory's everyday life as their marriage begins to collapse in on itself. There are some really funny moments featuring an ood and touching scenes which seem to ground the show more in reality. Pond Life is great Doctor Who.
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship -
This episode from series 7 receives a lot of criticism from critics. Well the critics can go eat eat a granola dick. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is fantastic. I'll give you three chances to guess what it's about. Freaking DINOSAURS ON A FREAKING SPACESHIP!!!! I love this episode so much. It's got everything. There's an ancient Egyptian queen, an old timey adventurer, two Harry Potter cast members, robots, flirting, explosions and dinosaurs on a spaceship!!! It's just so damn great. Some people will say it's not serious but that's kind of the point and it actually does have a really dark scene with the Doctor and the main baddie, Solomon ( played by David Bradley). Mark Williams is fantastic as Rory's dad. This is Chibnall's best Doctor Who episode and is truly fantastic television.
The Power of Three -
Much like the Lodger episode from series 5 this story sees the eleventh Doctor spending a prolonged period of time on Earth, living with humans. Unlike the Lodger the surface level normalcy of the setting is hugely altered by the sudden appearance of billions of strange black cubes which seems to be indicative of a coming invasion. This story feels more like a continuation of Pond Life than Dinosaurs on a Spaceship does. Here we see Amy and Rory trying to decide the kind of life they want to live and the Doctor opening up about the pain which comes from losing things as well as his motivation for going on adventures. In my opinion the pacing feels a bit off at times and it's not quite as enjoyable as DAS but it's still shows the Chibnall is a strong writer with a good understanding of what Doctor Who is and should be.
Aside from these episodes Chibnall as stated above created the hugely popular program Broadchurch. He's also written for the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood. While Moffat is one of my favorite Doctor Who writers ever I'm highly optimistic as to the future of the TARDIS and I look forward to watching series 10 and beyond. I hope you'll be watching as well.