With the departure of Russel T. Davies, Steven Moffat was selected as the show’s new head. Moffat had contributed several of the most celebrated scripts during Davies’s tenure (e.g. “Blink” and “Silence in the Library”). Davies was already known for his clever, postmodern stories, and he continued this as showrunner, teasing mysteries over multiple seasons in a style reminiscent of TV shows like Lost. Building off of what Davies had accomplished, Moffat’s Who and his new Eleventh Doctor (played by Matt Smith) achieved previously unparalleled success abroad, especially in the United States.
While Doctor Who was taking off, however, the overall franchise set in his universe was collapsing. After filming only half of the fifth season of The Sarah Jane Adventures, that series’s star Elizabeth Sladen died in April 2011, and the series was cancelled. Davies had effectively concluded Torchwood with 2009′s Children of Earth, but he returned for a 10-episode mini-series, Torchwood: Miracle Day, a co-production between the BBC and the U.S. cable network Starz, on which its episodes aired first. This new Torchwood mini-series was not particularly well received and also left plots dangling (a situation made more frustrating by the fact that the far better-received Children of Earth had effectively concluded the series).
Moffat’s second season (the revived show’s sixth) was split into two parts, both aired in 2011. Moffat’s third season (the revived show’s seventh) was also split into two parts, but one part aired in 2012 and the other in 2013; effectively, this amounted to a single season in two years. After this came a 50th-anniversary special, teaming Moffat’s Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) with Davies’s Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and a new, previously unknown Doctor of Moffat’s invention, known as the War Doctor (played by John Hurt). A Christmas special followed, during which the Doctor regenerated. Smith’s tenure had been almost as long as Tennant’s (both had three 13-episode seasons, but Tennant had more specials). The new Doctor would be played by Peter Capaldi.
In the following table, all episodes are roughly 45 minutes in length, unless otherwise specified. Episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which broke stories over two roughly 25-minute episodes, have been combined to make a single listing for each story, making each comparable with an episode of Doctor Who or Torchwood.