Doctor Who rumour mill suggests Loki director Kate Herron could be showrunner

There’s plenty of speculation about who will be the 14th Doctor, after it was announced that Jodie Whittaker will be leaving Doctor Who after three series in the Tardis.

But while people buzz over whether Olly Alexander or Michaela Coel could take over as Time Lord, the rumour mill is also in full swing about who will be replacing showrunner Chris Chibnall, who is also leaving the show.

While the BBC has yet to announce any names, Loki director Kate Herron has emerged as a frontrunner for the job among fans.

The writer and director was at the helm for the first season of Marvel’s Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston as the God of Mischief, which received positive reviews and was a hit with Marvel fans. 

However, she will not be returning to direct season two, telling Deadline: ‘I’m not returning. I always planned to be just on for this, and, to be honest, season two wasn’t in the — that’s something that just came out, and I’m so excited. I’m really happy to watch it as a fan next season, but I just think I’m proud of what we did here, and I’ve given it my all. 

‘I’m working on some other stuff yet to be announced.’

While Herron is likely in high demand, there has been speculation amongst Who fans that the ‘other stuff’ she is working on could be the new era of Doctor Who.

‘As a fan of the show for almost 6 decades, it is hard for me to imagine a US showrunner for it – I think the McGann TV-movie suffered from the Americanization – but I could see making an exception in your case. I think you’d need to hire a Britishness advisor though!’

Neil Gaiman, on the other hand, has quashed any speculation that he is the new showrunner, tweeting: ‘I’m spoken for, I’m afraid. And I’d much rather write and episode of Doctor Who than showrun several seasons.’

Chris Chibnall was announced as the new showrunner in 2016, and took over for Jodie’s era as the Doctor.

He said: ‘Jodie and I made a ‘three series and out’ pact with each other at the start of this once-in-a-lifetime blast. So now our shift is done, and we’re handing back the Tardis keys.

‘Jodie’s magnificent, iconic Doctor has exceeded all our high expectations. She’s been the gold standard leading actor, shouldering the responsibility of being the first female Doctor with style, strength, warmth, generosity and humour. She captured the public imagination and continues to inspire adoration around the world, as well as from everyone on the production. I can’t imagine working with a more inspiring Doctor – so I’m not going to!

‘For me, leading this exceptional team has been unrivalled creative fun, and one of the great joys of my career. I’m so proud of the people we’ve worked with and the stories we’ve told. To finish our time on the show with an additional Special, after the pandemic changed and challenged our production plans, is a lovely bonus. It’s great that the climax of the Thirteenth Doctor’s story will be at the heart(s) of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.

‘I wish our successors – whoever the BBC and BBC Studios choose – as much fun as we’ve had. They’re in for a treat!’

Russell T Davies was showrunner from Doctor Who’s return to the BBC in 2005 until 2009, when he handed over production to Steven Moffat.

Chris and Jodie will depart Doctor Who after a six-episode series which will air in 2021, and three specials in 2022, including a final feature-length episode to mark the broadcaster’s centenary. has contacted Herron’s rep for comment. The BBC declined to comment. 

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