When Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat announced that he planned on leaving the series after the next season, rumors started running rampant that his leaving would also signal the departure of the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi.
Some of those rumors went so far as to suggest that the BBC planned on forcing Capaldi out of the role, but according to the actor, the opposite is true: the network has actually asked him to stay on with new showrunner Chris Chibnall.
"I've been asked to stay on, but it's such a long time before I have to make that decision," Capaldi said to the Radio Times. "Steven's been absolutely wonderful, so I love working with him. Chris is fantastic, and I think he's a hugely talented guy. I don't know where the show's gonna go then. I don't know. I have to make up my mind, and I haven't yet."
If the BBC wanted to oust the 12th Doctor to make way for the 13th, it's likely they wouldn't ask the 12th to stay on, right? Capaldi staying on with the new showrunner, though, is a decision that is now in the actor's hands. And as he said, he has at least a year or two left to make that decision.
After Moffat's initial announcement, fans learned that this year won't see any new episodes of Doctor Who, except for a Christmas special. The next full season of the show won't air until 2017. If Capaldi does make an exit then, that gives him several years to decide. But that also means that Capaldi is still the Doctor until then.
Recently, the show lost a companion when Jenna-Louise Coleman decided to leave the series. That means that there's still one role on the series yet to cast for the new season, a decision Moffat will likely get to make.
Chibnall will take the reins as showrunner after the 2017 season. In the U.S., Chibnall is known mostly as the writer for crime drama Broadchurch, which stars the 10th Doctor, David Tennant. That series recently got picked up for a third season. Chibnall also served as head writer for the first two seasons of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood and wrote the Doctor Who episode "42."