Doctor Who or: How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Watch the Mess

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"Doctor Who" or: How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Watch the Mess

By Seth Freilich | Think Pieces | May 3, 2013 | Comments ()

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You ever had a friend since grade school or high school who now, years later, you have nothing in common with? There is no discernible reason not to continue your friendship -- there's been no backstabbing, no hurt feelings, no falling out. You probably even still like each others' company well enough. You're each just in different places in life than you were years or decades ago, and your friendship is little more than a continued shared commonality of a time and place long gone. Coming to this realization and accepting it can be sad and, from there, you have a few options. You can cut the friend out entirely, you can maintain the thinnest of connection through Facebook likes and the occasional text, or you can continue to actively socialize with the new understanding that this is more of a passive relationship of comfort and nostalgia rather than an active friendship.

As you may have gathered, this past weekend I came to a realization that I think I've been struggling with now for some time -- "Doctor Who" has become one of those friends, and that it's Steven Moffat's fault breaks my heart. Putting aside the current wonderful things he's doing with "Sherlock," Moffat's also responsible for three very funny seasons of "Coupling" (there was no fourth season, I keep telling myself, there was no fourth season...), and the surprisingly almost-brilliant "Jekyll." And of course, before he took over as showrunner, he was behind some of the best "Who" episodes of Russell Davies' lordship. So I'll always have love for Moffat, just as I'll always have love for "Doctor Who" dating back to a childhood watching Four (Tom Baker) grin his way through mischief and mayhem.

But it started to settle in while watching last week's "Hide" that I don't have the current love for this show that I wish I did. Like a jumbled up time loop, Moffat seems stuck on repeat. Was it a clever take on ghosts, that the ghost is just someone experiencing time at a remarkably different scale than us? Sure. But this is a well Moffat has dipped his bucket in too many times of late, and none of those times have been as good as the first ("The Girl in the Fireplace").

But if that were the only problem with the show, I'd probably be fine, because it's easy to brush repetitive tropes aside by performances from the likes of Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman. But this past weekend's "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS" landed on a much bigger problem, a problem that Moffat has suffered from for some time now, a problem which is getting worse. io9's Charlie Jane Anders has a long spoilery-discussion of the episode and hits the nail on the head:

When the current run of Doctor Who stories treats time as this magical force -- with nonsensical rules that are made up on the fly -- it's not even good fantasy writing, because proper fantasy stories respect magic and treat it as something consistent that never gives you an easy "out." This sort of story degrades the integrity of the Doctor as a hero, and of the universe he lives in.

Moffat is still very clever, there's no question about that. His run of the show has given us numerous intriguing and perplexing plotlines. But too many times now, the way out relies upon an unexplained paradox, a universe implosion, a universe explosion, a pocket universe, or some form of purported timeline correction which, as Anders puts it, is more magic than science and an easy out. There no longer seems to be any rules, any form of internal logic.

This isn't a new thing for Moffat. Even in his first season, he basically threw out the rule that the Doctor isn't supposed to cross his own timeline, because it was a convenient (and yes, cleverly fun) solution for "The Big Bang." Rules be damned. And that was fine once. And then he took River Song and the fantastic angle of two time travelers living out of sync with each into more inconsistency and almost, at times, incoherency, culminating in a pile of things in least season's wrap-up which crumble upon closer inspection.

And then this past weekend we got yet another episode where the Doctor is crossing his own timeline and making up multi-universe mumbo jumbo in a way that lacks exterior logic or internal consistency. As the episode built up, I knew there was a cop-out coming. I didn't even hope that I was wrong, because I lost the ability to have such hope. And that's how I know our relationship has changed.

There are still enough things I enjoy about the show that I'm not quitting it. Nor am I even decrying it as a "bad" show. But it's been a while since I've felt it was a brilliant show, or even a great show. And that saddens me. And yes, I'm well aware that Russell Davies broke the rules too, and that he started to have his own ridiculous crutches that he went back to too often. Davies' setups weren't about being clever or complex as much as they were about making things bigger and apparently more dire, but he similarly frequently had to use a logic-busting escape hatch to reset things back to normal. And when this happened too often, he started getting called out more and more for it. The frustration mounted and, while many a tear was shed over Tenant's departure, I think very few were shed for Davies. "Thank you for reviving the Doctor, Russell, but please move over because we're excited for Steven to take over."

And so it's come to this. I never thought I'd complain about Steven Moffat's cleverness -- and the man is bloody clever -- but I would not mind a nice simple season, where the Doctor and his companion just get in some trouble, have some fun, and get out of some trouble. Without having to rely upon other universes or timey-wimey. "Thank you for everything you've done for the Doctor, Steven, but please move over because I'm excited to see some new blood take over."

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Snath

    Gatiss. All the Gatiss, all the time. Until he too starts to grow stale.

    But up to that point it will probably be awesome.

  • Libra113

    I have to say first and foremost that the blasted sonic screwdriver has been an issue from the first of the new series. There was a reason that the original series writers got rid of it in the first place and bringing it back was a huge mistake as it's become more and more a magic wand that can do anything where originally it was basically just a fancy lock pick. At least we don't have the psychic paper anymore (at least not in every episode) and that was blatantly just a way to get the Doctor and his current companion 'in the door' without the kind of time the original show had to deal with the issue.
    I should also add that the whole focusing the show on the companions rather than the Doctor has been something the new show has done from the start (in fact I seem to recall RTD saving that was what the show was going to do because the Doctor wasn't a mystery anymore so the mystery would be coming from the companions this time). We saw it in the way that the Doctor kept running into Donna or her grandfather. It's become more pronounced now but its always been there.
    None of this is to defend the current episodes just point that stuff out. I honestly don't know what to make of what's going on right now but I will keep trudging along until I see what's going on.
    Oh and as for the kid show thing. I'm not sure that's the case anymore given how much gay stuff there was in the first few seasons and we even had a naked Captain Jack in one episode (didn't see anything but still).

  • Steph

    I'm not really that invested in this show but I've seen every episode since the revival, and I'm confused by the generally negative opinions on this season. None of these episodes are even close to as bad as the worst of RTD's run, there were some apallingly bad episodes there.

  • ceebee_eebee

    Couldn't agree more. I had to stop watching by the end of the RTD run and I'm an old school fan, and a Big Finish audio fanatic. Between Tennant and the storylines, I just couldn't take anymore. I came back for 11 and have been extremely pleased.

  • FireLizardQueen

    I agree completely. RTD took the show in a very dark direction, and while I know Moffat is trying to go the opposite way by not killing anyone, sometimes people gotta die for an episode to have gravitas. "Journey to the Center of the Tardis" would've been a pretty good episode if they hadn't rebooted the whole thing. Just let people die... Not one person has been killed since Moffat took over.

  • Lee

    I never saw RTD's show as "dark". I mean he gave us farting aliens that zipped in and out of meatsuits.

  • BWeaves

    They are killed, they just don't stay dead.

  • FireLizardQueen

    Which is the same thing as not having killed them in the first place.

  • Guest

    Thanks Seth for re-confirming that the INTERNET is truly the place where people go to sh*t all over of great things.

    That is all.

  • Tinkerville

    There's a big difference between shitting all over something and providing thoughtful critique on the direction it's taking. It's possible to love something but be frustrated with what it's doing, and want to discuss that frustration with fellow fans. Oh, internet. You sonuvabitch.

  • therealbeesknees

    Yup. We wouldn't be so riled up if we didn't love it so.

  • toblerone

    Point Tickerville. The internet is a sonuvabitch.

    (*The original "Guest" post was mine, dumb Disqus.)

  • therealbeesknees

    Thanks for putting into words exactly what I've been feeling. I will always keep watching (probably, though it may be that I need to take a break until Moffat moves on) but man alive, it's getting difficult.

    I've been rolling my eyes more than not, especially the back half of this season. Which is unfortunate, as I'm loving Matt Smith and even JLC, but the the episodes are just SO. TERRIBLE. I'm fairly certain the only thing keeping them afloat is the acting talent. As much as I adore 10 I can't even imagine him trying to chew his way through some of the crap 11 has. Without Smith's gravitas it would be showing a lot more of its hack-tastic and threadbare story telling. What are the stakes anymore? Companions die left and right and *bam* timey-wimey hand wave and everything resets. I've lost count of how many times this is the case - between every other episode plus entire season long arcs!

    Also, is it just me, or does Moffat have some of the worst sense of pacing imaginable?

    Watching now feels like extreme boredom accompanied by all of the air being sucked out of the room: empty, yet suffocating.
    I've been re-watching a lot of numbers 4 and 5 and enjoying them way more than the current ones.

  • FrayedMachine

    10 was certainly more campy than 11 but oh boy... would I have loved to see 9 try to do more of the weighty stuff.

  • I think what gets me is that when we do have character development, we get the whole "boom, let's reset it" thing and it never happened. No one remembers the meaningful conversation or the thing that could change everything. So we see something, but if it never happened to the characters, then they're free to change as the writer sees fit, with no commitment to what they've written previously.

    I didn't hate the Amy/Rory story, and I think it had potential to be much, much more, but things kept getting muddled. It was more about Amy and Rory than the Doctor, and I think that's where it lost me. That's what I fear as far as the Clara story goes - while I appreciate a good companion, the "special snowflake" thing wears a bit thin after while and I can't suspend my logic enough to buy it.

  • BWeaves

    I agree!

    I really like Smith's portrayal of the Doctor and I like Clara, although they can quit this mystical stuff about her any time. I just haven't liked the stories. I don't like it when the stories all end with a deus ex machina like that stupid big button.

  • Uriah_Creep

    Yes, the stupid big button was stupid. And I'd love to throw that fucking sonic screwdriver into a black hole, never to be seen again.

  • ExUSA

    I think it's interesting the change in tide on Moffat's run between last season and this. Last season you weren't allowed to say anything against Moffat and his run, or else you got attacked and told it was a "kids show" and "what did you expect"?

    Ultimately I feel his run is style over substance. Being the cleverest in the room takes precedent over character development, and the show as a result has suffered. It makes me really sad, because I was going through a bout of depression when I first discovered the show back in 2009, and I honestly came to think of the Doctor as a real friend. I lost that connection with him when 11 took over. I never connected with Amy or Rory. What worked with Martha, Rose and Donna is that they were normal people experiencing traveling with the doctor, and as a result, grew tremendously from the experience. They used their travels as a catalyst to help the world. Amy and Rory, by the end, just seemed bored of it.

    Moffat's companrions, unlike Davies' are "special snowflakes" the doctor purposefully chose to travel with him to understand why they're special. Amy as the "girl who waited" is just bullshit. She is presented as a fiesty, sassy female (an old trope Moffat relies heavily on) and yet with all her sass and empowerment, when she's done traveling with the doctor, she becomes a MODEL? Could you ever picture Rose, Martha or Donna becoming models after traveling with the doctor and having their eyes opened to all the wonderful experiences?

    I'm going to get off my high horse, because this post is not about the problematic gender roles in Moffat's run, but it is about the cop outs. I'll just echo everyone's sentiments. I'm ready for a new show runner, one who will value character development and emotionally satisfying stories. (That said, the Vincent Van Gogh episode in season 5 is one of my all time favorite Nu-Whos, so I don't hate everything entirely. I'm just mourning for my lost friend.)

  • therealbeesknees

    This. Moffat's run has seemed to be much more invested in the companions' stories than those of The Doctor. The "Amy Pond Show" was not what I was interested in (nor the Cora/Oswin show for that matter). I still defend River, barely. Even her story ends up being about Amy as it unfolds.
    Special snowflakes indeed.

  • Milly

    The problem that many nuWho viewers have is their perception of the programme, or how it has been marketed elsewhere.

    To me, and the vast majority of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish viewers it remains a programme aimed at children, daring to scare them enough so that they will hide behind the back of the sofa, but not so much that they won't be able to go to bed. Although aimed at children for family viewing it is still well written and does not talk down to the intended audience.

    When viewing it as an adult, there must be this realisation that it is not trying to be an adult orientated sci-fi drama but it is about the madcap adventures of an alien in a box. Yes, as an adult you may throw your hands up as to the portrayal of certain things, but many hundreds of thousands of children are engrossed.

    It's also interesting to ask children who watch it which their favourite episodes are as they do not correlate with the favourite episodes put forward by adults.

    I have no issue with the approach of the programme and that may be derived from being English and having Who in my childhood (though it was Sylvester McCoy) and being understandable enough to realise that I have grown up and am no longer the target audience.

  • wonkeythemonkey

    What defines a program(me) as "aimed at children," though? There is a persistent and aggravating classification in publishing that seems to apply to other media as well: if it doesn't have swearing, sex or strong violence, it's for children. If it has no sex, moderate violence, and limited swearing, it "young adult."

    American movies have partially averted this system by positioning the PG-13 rating as acceptable adult viewing while still appropriate for young teens, but there is still a sense that maturity in fiction is directly correlated to the amount of swearing, sex, and violence.

    I strongly disagree, and whatever Doctor Who's past may have been, and whatever the suits at the BBC may think, the creators of the program(me) have been creating a show for adults since 2005, albeit one that shouldn't offend parents with children in the room.

    To put it another way, here are some characteristics that should NOT automatically qualify a story as "for children:"
    - Silliness
    - Bright colors
    - Clean language
    - Suggested, rather than explicit, violence
    - Lack of nudity / sex scenes

    About the only characteristic I can think of that would make a story of interest exclusively to children is extreme simplicity of plot, and Doctor Who is certainly not aiming for that.

  • FrayedMachine

    Just speaking as someone who came into Who as an adult and loved it as an adult... I don't necessarily know how much of a valid argument that is. I think everyone I know over here came into Who as an adult, and as much as it was a kids show, it was still a show that anyone could enjoy.

    Admittedly, I can see why the show would appeal more to kids now since their budget has increased significantly, which means the quality is up which also means WHOA MORE SHINY STUFF, but I guess if Shiny and Pretty is what defines a children's show now, then whoa, this new generation is going to be interesting when they grow up, especially since the show seems to have taken the attitude that Time is Magic and Magic is Everywhere~~~

  • Milly

    That's the kind of perception I was trying, but apparently failing, to identify.

    To new audiences, the programme was served up as sci-fi for a broad, perhaps adult audience, but in the UK it has resolutely been a programme aimed at children. This was borne out by the inclusion, during Tennant's run, of a monster designed by the long running children's variety/education programme 'Blue Peter'.

    I do understand your points, but I think that plot holes and inconsistencies are less of a concern to the targeted viewers than whether there are monsters, or running about or explosions or times where the cushions get brought up to your eyes (just going by the actions of my nieces and nephew).

    I perceive Who as a programme aimed at children and so I waive off the slight inconsistencies and the failure to follow canon, but am pleased to see that the writing remains intelligent and that large themes are brought forward that allow the kids to ask questions of their parents.

  • vic

    The way I see it, Doctor Who is like Miyazaki. Even though it's aimed for kids (although, Princess Mononoke...), it has enough imagination and, above all *craft* to appeal to people of all ages. At least, it should. Ponyo was probably Miyazaki at his weakest, so maybe he's not the best example, but still...

  • FrayedMachine

    Miyazaki's a rather great example, actually. I was trying to think of a comparison at the time but couldn't come up with one. I was originally going to cite something like Adventure Time as I do know a lot of older people who like it but since it doesn't draw my attention much, I didn't feel confident in pulling that in. I haven't actually seen Ponyo since I only heard luke warm responses regarding it so I was never particularly in a hurry to see it but all of his other pieces are a fine example of how something can be a very good balance of appealing to both Kids and Adults. The idea that because something has children in mind, that it must, by default, exclude everyone else, is kind of silly. Another great example would be the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Definitely a show done with kids in mind but boy oh boy are there more than enough adult fans of that show.

  • FrayedMachine

    The thing is - everyone who's gotten into Who as an adult is aware that it, at it's core, is a children's show. Wait. No. That's actually inappropriate to say. It's a -family- show. Meaning that it is intended for people of all ages to enjoy - including Children. It does not mean that people of all ages are not in mind when writing the show, as there are clearly parts to the show that would go over a child's head, and humor and references that are placed to help sustain an adult's attention, but it's still written in a way to help appeal to younger audiences.

    The reality is that there's a lot of TV out there that is made to help include Children Viewers and to help draw their attention without completely neglecting adult and older audiences. After all, that helps bring in a lot of their revenue.

    But my point at the end of the day is that if they're writing this way to only appeal to kids then they're doing them a great disservice. Writing with the intention of appealing to children that does not take into consideration that children can and do think, that they can and do follow stories and that they can and do pick up on flaws and inconsistencies are not writing for children - they're writing for idiots which... is kind of in and of itself offensive.

    Also, yes, kids can ask their parents questions but when the -parents- are even having a hard time following along, what then? I think there's a line that needs to be drawn at points when it comes to appealing to children. Just because they're kids doesn't mean that you shouldn't focus on quality of product for them.

  • Milly

    I may not agree, but I like the reasoning behind your opinion.

  • C. Robert Dimitri

    Good words.

    I haven't been overly thrilled with this half season so far, but it still feels like Doctor Who to me, and it would have get extremely bad for me to give up watching at this point. The program has always been uneven; it's just too vast of a non-serialized thing not to be. I'm very excited about seeing Tennant and Smith in action together, and although this Clara mystery has been oddly handled at times, I'm hoping there's a good payoff there.

    I agree Moffat and company should try some new things and give us more straightforward adventures that are less reliant on the time travel, the paradoxes, and the reboots. A new showrunner could give the show some fresh life, but I hope such a change wouldn't send us backward instead of forward. You can have your quibbles with Moffat, but he seems to me to be a responsible steward that cares about the quality of Doctor Who.

  • Tinkerville

    I could not even begin to agree more, and you summarized my thoughts on the direction the show has taken more perfectly than I could ever begin to.

    I stick with it out of genuine adoration for the show, but it keeps drifting further and further away from everything that made it so special for me, and that makes me very sad indeed. I was excited for Moffat to take the lead, but now I can't wait for him to depart. He's incapable of simplifying things and never trusts that sometimes all it takes is a beautiful, single idea to build an episode around. Instead he makes things as convoluted as possible as though the idea of leaving anything out pains him to the core. Take the last episode as an example with the three brothers, or the headless monks at Demon's Run, or River Song's entire life story; having him have a relationship with someone in reverse order is a fascinating enough of an idea, there's no need to give her a crazy storyline on top of that.

    The Doctor's continued use of time as a magical force really hits the nail on the head. The need for him to make incredible sacrifices and find unbelievably clever ways for him to save the day made the show so fun in the past and we've definitely lost that in a big way. I also desperately miss the regular companions-- people that thought they were simple shopgirls or temps who came to realize they could achieve greatness instead of having a big 'ole mystery around them of "what the fuck" proportions.

    I'll stay with it as I always do and hopefully come back around to loving it but I'm certainly struggling right now.

  • I watched the first season with Eleven--I stuck all the way through the whole ham-fisted story--and I haven't been able to go back since. I think of myself as someone who loves Doctor Who, and I even once unknowingly met the Doctor (well, an actor who played the Doctor, but still), but that increasingly feels like a lie, or at least something that was true, but isn't anymore. I keep looking at the seasons I've missed, waiting for me on instant watch, and I just can't do it. And I have friends pushing and getting obnoxious about how behind I am, which somehow takes even more appeal out of trying to catch up--I was so deeply disappointed with both the new incarnation of the Doctor and his companions and the story they were telling, and if I have friends hanging over me eagerly waiting for it to grow on me, what happens if I watch and still don't like it?

    And it really just makes me so, so sad. I think I need to just sit down and marathon New Who, starting with Nine, so I remember just how deeply I love it, and keep going when I reach Eleven.

    Or at the very least figure out which Doctor I met and go back and watch his era.

  • hippyherb

    i have just finished re-watching Season 1,2 and some of 4 of New Who, and there is absolutely no comparison. The stories were engrossing, the companions were likeable, and Eccleston and Tennant felt like they were over 900 years old.
    It is so disappointing what has happened to Doctor Who. I have watched this series since I was a kid. I introduced my son to New Who, and now it has deteriorated into this schmamortion.
    After watching the latest episode, I have given up. No more for me.

  • ExUSA

    You know you're not allowed to say you met the doctor, then NOT give specifics, right?

  • It's not actually a terribly exciting story. I was 13 or 14 and at a science fiction convention. I was standing outside one of the film rooms, reading the schedule, when an older gentleman with an English accent walked up and asked if I knew where to find a particular room. I apologized and told him I didn't, but did give him directions to the nearby con suite, where a map was posted. He asked where I was from, and I told him I was a local. He complimented me on my accent and told me that he hated speaking to Americans because they were so hard to understand and always answered the phone with, "Yeah?" He said I was very easy to understand and walked away.

    At the time, I was aware of Doctor Who, but I had never seen the show. I had no idea who I'd spoken to until that night when the same gentleman was introduced to MC the masquerade. Even then I only knew that he had been on Doctor Who. It wasn't until years later that I learned he had actually *been* the Doctor.

    Odds are decent that our encounter was all the better because I had no idea who he was, but when I think about it now, I kind of get a little fluttery.

  • FrayedMachine

    I've tried the Marathon to new who technique and it never works. It only seems to make me -more- angry and irritable over how things are right now because I remember all the things I loved about Who. oof.

  • That's part of why I haven't gotten around to my marathon, either. I ought to do it in order to reconnect with something I love, but I doubt it will make me less angry about the obnoxious new Doctor, his awful companions, or being bludgeoned repeatedly about the head by the crack in the universe--which I still think would have tied into the mythology better if it had been caused by Ten's reluctant death that itself wrecked the TARDIS. But no.

    There's actually an active Doctor Who fan club in my town. Lovely, sweet lady in charge of it. They were the ones who paid to bring over the Doctor I met by accident. She doesn't watch any of Eleven's episodes unless they're shown at club meetings. Moffet's run of Doctor Who is so bad it's turned off a die hard fan from the original run who has seriously been heading a fan club for I don't even know how long. That's damning enough by itself.

  • I could not possibly agree more with you. I was hoping the crack would have something to do with that, and it would have gone a long way to making me like Eleven more. I mean, he's not bad, mind you, but when this one regenerates, I will not have ALL THE SADS like I did with Ten.

  • FrayedMachine

    Oh gosh! That would have been brilliant if they had made The Crack related to the Doctor's reluctant death. Would have salvaged Ten's farewell a great deal for me had they gone down that route.

    Also, I've always been curious as to how long long long time Doctor Who fans felt about Moffat's run. I heard very little groaning under Davis' run though I did run across a few complaints but over all, never heard anything particularly damning for it. So I've always wondered how they feel over this run and whether it actually is as bad as I (and many others) think it is or if they see it as another natural flux in the Whoverse.

  • As soon as they realized that the TARDIS was at the heart of what was going on that season, I thought it was going to tie back around to Ten's death, and give a chance at a more satisfying ending for Ten, and I could totally forgive them for being so blunt and heavy-handed and annoying with the whole 'there's a crack in the universe, remember? The crack? That one there? That crack in the universe we're going to zoom in on and remind you of all the time because we don't think you're getting it because our viewers are stupid?' bullshit.

    But no. They took the scary out of the weeping angels and they brought back River Song when they really shouldn't have, and the whole thing was so full of dumb, and I haven't been able to go back.

    A lot of the Eleven fans that I know came into the show and met Eleven first. Not all, but a pretty decent number. And a lot of the long time fans, who started with Nine, and even more of the long, long time fans who started with Tom Baker or sooner, are unhappy with Eleven.

    Again, not all. I know a guy who is one of the long, long time fans who likes Eleven better than Ten because he says Eleven is a better scientist.

    And I know another guy who announced on facebook that he was demoting Eleven from The Doctor to The Med Student until he proved he deserved to be The Doctor.

  • FrayedMachine

    Ugh, the whole reveal with The Crack made me borderline livid when I watched it. It was just so... contrived and convoluted. I just... couldn't with all of that.

    Also yeah, I know a few people who came in just now with 11 and are enjoying it. Sometimes I envy them because they can keep trudging through this without issue but I just can't.

  • I think if a story like that is done well, when you get to the big reveal at the end, maybe it shocks you at first, but you go back and you can see the groundwork someone laid all along and you realize all the work that went into crafting the story.
    Or you get that reveal, which felt like a tremendous ass pull. Maybe I'll feel differently if I rewatch the season. I don't know.

  • FrayedMachine

    The biggest issue I have with Moffat's handling of this is that it's not even clever. It comes off as incredibly lazy writing and it's bored me to a saddening degree. I'm in the same boat - I've liked his worked previously and am still an avid Sherlock fan but god damn, I want him to not touch Doctor Who ever again. What makes me more angry is his righteousness over it and how, when seeing his commentary/interviews regarding it, he seems rather possessive like he's the God of the Whoverse and all he states is canon and should never be questioned. ever.

    I've already stopped watching it. The AmyxRory saga pretty much killed it for me, and though I watched this new season's premiere, I was, again, bored because it was a lot of the same stuff as before. People rag on Davies because he wasn't a spectacular show runner in comparison and I'll agree. But he had a talent for making me give an outright shit about the characters involved and the universe it all took place in. With Moffat, I'm bored of everyone. I have no attachment to the Doctor because he's had no development what so ever other than, by some weird chance, a lens for us to experience the -companions- through. I don't hate Doctor Who and I never well but I am definitely making no attempt at jumping in until I hear way more positive reviews of it under his hand or he leaves it entirely and they get someone new to replace.

    P.S. How long is he running this for? Davis had 4 seasons. Is it the same for Moffat? Please tell me it's the same for Moffat.

    ETA: I also really miss Creature Feature Episodes. They were always such good ways to get to know the doctors, the other aliens in the world, and how the companions deal with that. I feel like all I can remember are episodes to do with Time and how oOOOoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooo TIME IS CRaaaAAAaaazzyyy. Let's get some more episodes like The Empty Child up in here and I'll probably be more interested over all because damn, that was a good episode.

  • Lee

    I preferred seasons 5-6 over RTD's run but this season has been so disappointing. I agree about Moffat going. He seems more invested in Sherlock anyway

  • FrayedMachine

    The only thing part that I think surpassed RTD's run was the first half of Season 6 up until the reveal of River Song's real identity. Everything else could just not exist for all I care.

  • wonkeythemonkey

    I'm still a Who-lover, but I'm with you on the creatures. The Moffat seasons have been really heavy on nemeses drawn from the past and progressively lighter on new threats. My favorite moments during his tenure have all been with new or almost-new beasties, like the memory-erasing baddies from The Impossible Astronaut. They were new, clever, and really freaking scary. Likewise the Angels, although they originated in a pre-Moffat season, were great until they became the go-to monster for scary episodes.

  • Three_nineteen

    Even though their premiere was in the Davies era, Moffat wrote "Blink" and created the Angels.

  • wonkeythemonkey

    Good point. More evidence that Moffat is more talented at creating new monsters than rehashing old ones!

  • Ruthie O

    Yes yes yes and yes. I finally forced myself to get through Rory and Amy's last season a few weeks ago, and I was surprised at how bored I was. There was one episode with an amazing buildup-- those little boxes appeared all over the Earth. We eventually (not surprisingly) find out that they are bad, and after 40 something minutes of build up, the Doctor waves around his sonic screwdriver, and everything is fixed. Oh, and he talked really fast. That was seriously the entire solution. I mean, what?

    I have liked the few episodes I have seen with Clara, but I am definitely no longer eager to devour each week's episode. I think I have at least two or three episodes on the DVR that just sit there, waiting.

  • You pretty much took all the words right out of my mouth.

  • vic

    Actually, Moffat didn't write "Hide," that was Neil Cross. I think Moffat may have stipulated to Cross some things he wanted to see in the story, but not enough to make it more of a Moffat story than Neil Cross's.

    All the same, I couldn't agree more. I still watch the show because I'm too in love with the mythos, but I fear that Moffat and co. have taken too much of the science out of it and made the Doctor and the universe too mystical, and less and less in a good or rewarding way. Granted, the show has always had that fantastical quality to it, but the Doctor, his [maybe not theoretically?] impossible ship and the occasional thing aside, the writers and showrunners always wanted to keep the show grounded enough in science to make it believable. Moffat seems a little too invested in his "dark fairy tale" to stay true to this, and I'm worried this will set the tone for the show after his departure.

    But I mean, if so, I guess I'll stop watching it. Still, it's not the show I fell in love with, you know? Even with the dry (and frequently, needlessly violent) scientific quality of John Nathan-Turner's era throughout the 80s, there was enough to stay grounded in, even if the acting and characters were less endearing.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'm not a grammar/spelling nazi but for fuck's sake... Seven Moffat? I quit reading after that.

  • bbmcrae

    Ooh, an angry internet fanboy! Quick! Get the camera!

  • JJ

    And to think, by not reading the rest you missed out on the fascinating examination of how this Moffat significantly differs from the previous six.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I tend to think that people that are careless with their spelling are also careless with the rest of their essay. Silly me.

    Seriously, SEVEN Moffat?

  • Green_Eggs_and_Hamster

    That is not a spelling mistake. It is called a typo. I think it is safe to assume that Seth knows how to spell Steven, and he instead mis-typed it as Seven. Also, you are a fucking moron.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    That's a lot of needless hostility. What a joy you must be to live with.

  • Green_Eggs_and_Hamster

    Nope, it was the exact right level of hostility carefully calibrated to an absolutely ridiculously stupid statement. If anything, it was a bit less hostile than it should have been. Stupid people deserve to be called stupid when they say stupid things. I believe that is somewhere in Pajiba's founding statement of principles. Or if it isn't, it probably should be.

  • He doesn't actually. Every email amongst the staff, it's always "Seven Lloyd Wilson" this and "Seven Lloyd Wilson" that. He cuts me with every word.

  • JJ

    Seth's favorite Shia LaBoof joint is "Even Sevens".

  • wonkeythemonkey

    And don't get him started on "Lucky Number Steven"

  • bleujayone

    Not to mention that all-time Western classic, "The Magnificent Steven".

  • wonkeythemonkey

    Damn! I knew I should have thought for ten seconds to see if I could come up with a funnier movie title!

  • JJ

    And I tend to think that people who see a single missing letter and get bent out of shape to the point of summary dismissal weren't really paying much attention to the meaning of the content in the first place.

  • vic

    Jeez, will you relax? Hell, skimming over your first comment, I didn't even notice what the problem was at first, and I had already noticed it in Seth's post. It's not a big deal. It's a pop culture blog, not an academic study. I'm surprised you didn't throw down over Seth missing "like" in the third sentence.

  • jennp421

    Yes, because that is not at all an understandable typo - missing one letter in a word ... Or are you attempting to make fun of people that point out typos?

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