Extremites, I apologize for my lackadaisical posts of recent. Whereas Ben’s posts have taken on a life of their own, and begun to flood the many annals of Image Comics’ social elites, my three series have not figured as heavily on the main walls of the Review. There’s a very good excuse for this, if you care to know, which hopefully you do: my computer, my dear portal to the world, suddenly stopped functioning and after a couple hundred dollars, which is a limb’s worth of cash to an out of work actor and writer like myself, is finally operating at maximum efficiency.
During my forced time off from fan punditry I experienced a shower epiphany, where all great ideas are coined, that Extremis needs another series.
You probably know, having followed many of my posts, that I have an affection for Doctor Who. I know that some of you also share in this affection, judging by the overwhelming feedback to any article that even briefly alludes to Who. Thus, thinking in my shower, I decided to open up a Doctor Who section for this site. To start the Doctor Who section off on a testy point, I thought I’d begin the series with a comprehensive examination of the current state of the show, which I have concluded, is misguided beyond belief.
The reason for this comes directly from the ineptitude of the head writer: Mr. Steven “I-am-God’s-gift- to-Doctor-Who-and-television-as-a-whole” Moffat.
Following the ilk of some my colleagues, who have been going after his distortion of Doyle in Sherlock, which is a topic I do not profess to be an expert at, I thought I’d focus my sardonic eye on his tenure at Who.
Trust me, he is doing a number on it.
This new series of articles will come out in parts.
First, a preamble to the series. What is behind my motives for this sudden veer into Doctor Who.
This past Christmas I was settling into my comfortable recliner, in front of a large HD oriented television, with baited breath for what I surely thought was going to be an important moment in Whodom. Every time a version of the Doctor regenerates it is a moment of great fanfare and one that surely will ricochet culturally for some time. However, after watching Matt Smith jolt into Peter Capaldi, in an episode that not even the most avid Fanboy or Fangirl could say was good, I walked away from the show annoyed and angry.
The Christmas special was more destructive to the most enduring UK institutions since, I don’t know, Anglicanism met Oliver Cromwell. (History hyperbole. Look it up!)
The episode was so terribly written and frustrating that I started to accumulate, just in this one episode alone, exactly what it is about Moffat’s style that seems to fail the show.
I have arrived at seven problems, which I call Moffatisms, that are eating away at the integrity of the show, and in the Christmas episode all of which are present. I’ll be sharing them with you in instalments as part of this long serialized one sided discussion named “The Seven Shitty Moffatisms Destroying Doctor Who.”
For those of you out there annoyed or offended by the use of the word “shitty” I say to you: “go back to drinking your tea with cozies and worrying about the price stamps.”
This narrative voice will not be for you. Steven Moffat has made me so mad that I have to swear for the first time in my short tenure as a fan pundit. I am that frustrated.
These Seven Moffatisms may also apply to Sherlock and his other work, i.e. his adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but in the course of this series I will only mention those shows in passing — for other, more intelligent, people can better make the argument for the errors in those adaptations. Follow this link for one.
I mentioned Fangirls and Fanboys earlier. Let me speak directly to them. People with lives beyond their Fandoms skip until you see bolded words.
All right, now that we are alone Whovians, let’s talk turkey.
Part of my job as a well rounded Fan Pundit is to hover around the forums and boards where you delightful people share your opinions and anecdotes about Doctor Who. I have seen an alarming trend. There is an extraordinary amount of Moffat love out there.
How is this?
Seriously, Whovians, what show are you watching?
It is not the same one I have sat through.
I see a show that is convoluted, rife with mysogyny, and most egregiously, one that is boring.
However, on these fan walls, many of you seem to think Moffat is the best thing to happen to Doctor Who since CGI. How can I be so off base?
I have concluded I am not. Your blind ‘fanning’ is the reason for the lack of quality in the show. As long as Steven gives you folks sentimental characters, and soppy moments, your lust is satiated. And Moffat knows this. That is why the sentimentality of the show has gone through the roofE to the point where it has begun to govern every frame and alienate serious television views.
These articles are primarily for you. They will show you why many are so critical of your beloved “Doctor Who feels.” And, furthermore, why these ‘feels’ come from a place of placation.
I do not write this series to degrade you as fans, fans are great, I write it to explain why a certain group of Whovians think Moffat is a plague.
ALL RIGHT, HERE BE THE BOLDED WORDS.
Thank you for giving me that moment with the fans. It was kind of you.
The final thing you should know about this project is: this is not a Moffat hate manifesto. I will not aimlessly be saying things like ‘I hate Steven Moffat’ or ‘Moffat is a jerk.’ These are empty, inflammatory statements that leave us nowhere. I do not write this series of articles to espouse a personal feeling about Moffat’s tenure but to digest his ‘art’ and its worthiness. I thank you in the comments to remain respectful.
Surely, Steve has done some great things for the show. Somehow as show runner he was able to secure a larger budget. This has helped the show, astoundingly, in production values. Many, in the past, had difficulty rectifying the juvenile British Publicly funded lens of the Davies period. Moffat has fixed this. He has also expanded the market to make the show truly international by securing agreements with movie theatres and multinational cable channels. And yes, he did coin many of these projects as reported by the BBC themselves. This has included viewers who had to wait weeks to see episodes, or some cases, till DVD releases. Steve’s efforts have made Doctor Who a good and valuable business investment and he has further expanded the power of the BBC, which consistently both tests and, in turn, creates very good television. However, a good business man, and Doctor Who enthusiast, does not a good writer make.