Doctor Who ~ A Lunatic is Running the Asylum (A.K.A. My problems with what Steven Moffat is doing with DW) – TV Thoughts

the doctor who logo from the later part of the 11th doctor's run

by Omega Orion Maverick on 2014/01/14

I love Doctor Who and the 11th doctor’s run. Having been a Whovian since I was a child in the 80s Tom Baker is “my” doctor; I’m open to changes in the show and the character. However, I obviously wouldn’t be writing this if I was happy with how things are going with New Who. Matt Smith has acted masterfully even if most of the episodes have only been enjoyable cheese fluff. My now all time favorite episode from all 50 years worth of Doctor Who is one of the serious episodes from Matt Smith’s tenure. Vincent and the Doctor.

The thing is Matt Smith has become my favorite New Who doctor… for all the WRONG reasons.

His Doctor the most like any of the classic doctors as are his stories. The thing is that Old Who was a different era when it came to television. Though, I love Old Who I do see that there are inherent things that just do not transition well into the 21st century. A prime example is the Doctor’s attitude toward women. Something it would seem that Steven Moffat does not see.

I am a fanboy and proud. But, a fanboy should not helm a series: because there will be too much fan service. Also, since Moffat is a fanboy of the original series he is slowly molding New Who into what Old Who was. Though canonically it is the same Time Lord and therefore in some ways the same show. There are huge differences between the two. Having some fan service is great. I bounced up and down in my seat the first time I saw Matt Smith’s face in the credits. That is good fan service. Little references that only fans of the original series is also good fan service. Bad fan service is trying to mold the new series into what the old one was.

In both the 9th and 10th doctor eras there were some really serious themes that made you give a damn. In the 11th doctor’s era we’ve learned not to care. What started out with promise became one convoluted plot twist after another. I found myself caring less and less as our intrepid hero and his hapless companions are put through one trail after another… unscathed.

If Steven Moffat really wants to go back to some of the old ways; how about this one: Kill someone and have them STAY dead.

No easy outs. No magic McGuffins that somehow someway explain why the doctor was able to save everybody. Now, I will admit this is not just Moffat. Yet, he has shined a spotlight on a glaring issue with New Who in general. No one dies. In Old Who with every adventure you had to worry that a companion would die. This went up as the number of companions did. New Who needs to ask for some cajones from Robert Kirkman when it comes killing off their darlings. It is time for them to keep things secret and stab every one of us fans in the heart. Make us CARE, really care about a companion and then yank the carpet right out from under us. Make us scream at the TV.

Make us know that this time, maybe just this once… everyone doesn’t survive.

However, one thing I will say positive about Moffat is that he stays to cannon. The problem is it is only Old Who cannon. It isn’t good that he makes it blatantly obvious that he couldn’t care less about New Who cannon. There needs to be a balance between the cannon of both. I feel I maybe in the minority here. However, I agree with bringing Gallifrey back. It was the only way the doctor could be given another set of regenerations. So, Gallifrey had to come back. But, we did not needed the huge middle finger that the War Doctor was to New Who cannon. Don’t get me wrong. I loved Day of the Doctor, I saw it both the day it aired as well as in 3D in the theater. However, there was no need to rape cannon in order to bring back Gallifrey. I’m not going to get into my theories about The Moment at the moment.

Now… we move onto series eight with Peter Capaldi as the 12th doctor. I’m tentatively hopeful that we are going to get an intense, serious, (hopefully) curmudgeonly doctor. I think we need some serious stories without the cheese that was what made Matt Smith’s era fun.

Not serious like walking away from exploding space stations (Don’t even get me started on The Waters of Mars… just don’t). But, the kind of seriousness that makes us really care again. The kind that makes us seriously wonder who other than the Doctor is going to survive. The kind that gives the show a meaning again beyond silly silly fun.

Oh and bring the Rani back nothing says she was on Gallifrey during the Time War.

Till Next Time my Fiends and Fans,
Maverick:

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