It’s official! When Steven Moffat steps down as showrunner of “Doctor Who,” he’s not leaving the show alone. Peter Capaldi announced Monday (Jan. 30) that he’ll depart in the 2017 Christmas special.

“One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best,” Capaldi says in a statement. “From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic.”

The announcement comes as the 10th season of the BBC series is in production, with a premiere date yet to be announced. It was in January 2016 that Moffat announced he was leaving, with “Broadchurch” creator Chris Chibnall taking his place.

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“For years before I ever imagined being involved in Doctor Who, or had ever met the man, I wanted to work with Peter Capaldi. I could not have imagined that one day we’d be standing on the Tardis together,” Moffat says. “Like Peter, I’m facing up to leaving the best job I’ll ever have, but knowing I do so in the company of the best, and kindest and cleverest of men, makes the saddest of endings a little sweeter.”

The showrunner and star leaving puts the show in an interesting position. Pearl Mackie is joining in Season 10 as the Doctor’s new companion but will she stick around to bridge into the new series?

Of course, the bigger question is whether the BBC is going to finally inject some much-needed diversity into “Doctor Who.” Fans have been calling for the show to have someone that’s not a white male play the titular Time Lord for years now — and if it doesn’t happen in 2018, it’s hard to believe it ever will.

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There’s a wealth of actors and actresses of all ethnicities and origins that would be able to do wonders for the role, should they be given the chance. Now is the time for the British network to take the step and put one of them in the TARDIS.

“Doctor Who” returns for its 10th season in the spring.

Posted by:Chris E. Hayner

Chris E. Hayner is equal parts nerd, crazy person and coffee. He watches too much TV, knows more about pro wrestling than you do and remembers every single show from the TGIF lineup. You may have seen him as a pro-shark protester in "Sharknado 3." His eventual memoir will be called "You're Wrong, Here's Why..." TV words to live by: "I'm a firm believer that sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing."