Peter Capaldi isn't leaving 'Doctor Who' - just yet.
The 58-year-old actor - who has played the Time Lord since 2013 - was rumoured to be turning his back on the sci-fi series after it was announced Steven Moffat was handing over the production reins to Chris Chibnall, but the writer is adamant his departure won't automatically result in a regeneration next year.
Speaking to IGN Entertainment, he said: "Me leaving has got no impact on the regeneration. There's no reason that should be the case. There's no need for those two things be in sync."
However, Moffat can understand why people assume Chibnall will pull in a new actor to play the time-travelling scientist because David Tennant, who portrayed the lead for five years, left when Russell T Davies quit as show runner in 2010.
He explained: "I suppose it happened the last time and that's why people are thinking that way, but if you look back at the history of the show, producers and Doctors... they leave at different times. It's terrifying [doing a regeneration]. You're essentially recasting the lead in a television show. We have a magic reason why it works but it is terrifyingly hard, and people talk about it like, 'Oh, you've just got to find a new Doctor'. "
Meanwhile, Moffat has been the executive producer on the show for the past six years and also wrote six episodes of the revived series in 2005 as well as penned the parody 'The Curse of Fatal Death' in 1999.
But, despite how much he's been involved in the success of the show, he has no plans to make a "grand goodbye" during his series finale early next year.
He said: "I don't have any interest in making some sort of grand goodbye. As I keep pointing out, the vast majority of our huge audience don't know I exist so if I wave from the balcony they will just stare at me blankly."