Time for Steven Moffat to Bow Out

As a die hard Doctor Who fan I find the upcoming changes in the show to be both thrilling and absolutely terrifying. Between the new companion Clara joining the cast, the 50th anniversary special slated for the fall, and parting with the 11th doctor, Matt Smith, I’ve admittedly had several panic attacks comforted only by the fact that I have such faith in the creators of the show and how they handle change. After all, one of the most magnificent things about this particular show is that every couple seasons it reinvents itself. Without this very fact, the show arguably would have never reached the level of success it has.

So, with that said, I find myself saying I am ready for the new doctor. I am ready for the next brilliant artist (as they all have been brilliant haven’t they?) to take over and put their spin on this whacky character who I love so dearly. I’m even going to go as far to say that I’m downright excited! But this excitement and anticipation for changes leaves me wanting something else to change.

Steven Moffat needs to move on and Doctor Who needs a new show runner.

Now don’t get me wrong I am a HUGE fan of Steven Moffat. The fifth season of Doctor Who, his first season as show runner, remains my favorite season to date. However, the past season and a half has been largely disappointing, if not completely predictable, leaving a stale taste in my mouth and a yearning for something different. The problem is I have come to fear that our dear executive producer is in fact a one trick pony.

Moffat over the past few seasons has taken things that were once thrilling and recycled over and over.

Companions

  • I am not the first to point this out, and I will not be the last, but Moffat handles his companions largely the same. Amy was a white, sassy, hot chick who the Doctor met several times throughout her life. She was special because she had these cracks in her walls that lead the doctor to wonder who she was in relation to the universe. Why Amy Pond? Sassy and sexy most of us quickly fell in love with her and Amy fell in love with the doctor. She arguably had been in love with the doctor since her first meeting with him when she was seven. River Song is equally sexy, white, and intriguing. She is someone who took us years to understand as her storyline and relationship with the doctor was not linear (neither was Amy’s though). She too ends up falling in love with the doctor. So this happens twice, two of them at the same time. Amy leaves and we get a new companion, Oswin (later Clara). Like Amy and River her personality is sassy and smart. Physically, she is white and hot, which is also mentioned more than once by other characters. Like the other two, Clara is met out of sync, we get to see her as a little girl, and she ends up being obsessed with the doctor in her own right. The fact that she continuously dies in front of the doctor makes her an enigma that the doctor then somewhat becomes obsessed.

 The Doctor

  • Moffat has a truly unique way of writing for the Doctor. His Doctor is inconsistent. I understand that for a while he was driving us to see a darker version of the Doctor. I loved this. I loved that we were really seeing the effects of a life full of adventure, love, and most importantly loss start to wear on the doctor after eleven life cycles. This became a huge theme at the end of the Pond’s storyline. However, this was dropped when we met Clara and, like nothing happened, we were forced to moved on. This isn’t the only time that the Doctor was driven to one emotional state for it to only be forgotten and never touched on again. Disappointing.
  • I also don’t believe that Moffat’s version of the doctor is as much his as it is actually Matt Smith’s. Matt Smith has a very unique style of acting that basically writes itself. It makes me wonder if he can actually handle giving a new doctor a unique spin or if he will be driving the next actor to do an impression of Matt.

The Villains

  • Moffat likes to beat us over the head with the successful villains he creates. Weeping Angels were one of the most successful villains created after 2005. Due to their success, we’ve now seen them way too many times and even have blaring contradictions their lore. (I’m looking at you Statue of Liberty! Are you really trying to tell me no one was looking at that giant thing?). I’m also no longer freaked out by them which is a problem because that was half the fun. The Silence suffered a similar fate. This past season we got the Great Intelligence, which I believe suffered in impact due to how we have now been trained to react to Moffat’s bad guys. I knew that they were coming back after the first episode and sure enough there it was in the last episode of the season. Yawn.

Inconsistency in Writing

  • This one is the one that is the most annoying to me. If I miss the opening titles of the show and then watch the first five minutes, I can usually tell if Moffat wrote it or not. It seems as if he blocks out the whole season and writes his episodes separate from the other writers entirely. This makes the random episodes written by others throughout the season stick out like a sore thumb and distract from Moffat’s insistent story arc.

Doctor Who is a show of change, reinvention, and progression. It is not a show that is meant to stand still. It is not a show that fits the five season goal most other shows have. It is not a show that is meant to be predictable.

There are a lot of changes that are about to happen. The 11th doctor is leaving and Matt Smith and Steven Moffat go together like fish fingers and custard. In their own way, they are perfect for each other. It seems like this is a natural time for him to leave as well and leave the show in another person’s capable hands. Maybe even step down to the role as writer, letting someone else oversee the season arc. Either way, if Moffat continues to be in charge and doesn’t mix it up, Doctor Who is ultimately going to suffer.

Posted on July 28, 2013, in BBC, BBC America, British Television, Classic Television, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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