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  • On Moffat's 'Who'

    Note: The following post may contain SPOILERS for Doctor Who, up to the middle of series six. If you choose to read this post, you are absolving me of any SPOILER liability, because you have been thoroughly warned that there may be SPOILERS.

    Matt and I have spent the last few months chugging through Doctor Who, and for the most part, we've had a lot of fun with it. But longer than we've been aware of who River Song is and why we shouldn't blink, we've been hearing about how Moffat is teh ruinous, terrible, let's-lynch-him-why-don't-we? writer to be wary of.

    Alas, as much as I wanted to blast through the Moffat series' and say that everyone was grossly exaggerating, I've found my enthusiasm for the show waning as we get further from Davies' vision of the Doctor, and further into Moffat's.

    In the Davies' series, the Doctor went around the universe with his companions, stumbling into problems, sometimes causing them, but always thinking that everyone he ran into was simply brilliant. Everyone had something to offer...the show was less about THE DOCTOR as it was about the Doctor and his companions and the brilliant tapestry of the universe.

    This 'new' Doctor seems to believe a lot less in the brilliance of his companions and those he stumbles across. From a character development standpoint, I can handwave it that after the pain of losing Rose and Donna, he may want to hold his companions a bit at arm's length. He doesn't seem to fully embrace them, less trusting, more quick to snap. A component of Eleven's personality? Perhaps.

    But the vibe of the show is also different. More of the stories are Doctor-centric - rather than dipping our toes into the vivid pool of the universe, we're pulling skeletons from the Doctor's closets. Whereas I thought the character development for Nine and Ten's companions was brilliant, I can't really say that I've seen much growth from Amy and Rory. They're decent characters, and certainly not as one-dimensional as I've seen them accused of being ... but if they were to walk off the Tardis in the next episode, I don't think their lives would be much different for having spent time with the Doctor.

    The themes in series five and six are blatant. We never saw Bad Wolf coming, though it was there all along - and who knew we were voting for Saxon? But Moffat takes every possible opportunity to remind us that there's a crack in Amy's room...and in case we've forgotten this fact, let's have another flashback. It feels like Moffat can't resist pointing out to the viewers when he feels he's done something clever, and he thinks everything is clever, to the point where the universe feels a lot smaller and less interesting than before.

    That's not to say that there haven't been enjoyable moments. I adore River Song, and the Van Gogh episode was a great one for me. But Moffat's direction has caused the show to lose some lustre for me - I certainly don't hate him with the passion that some do, but I'm not bouncing off the walls excited about watching it, either.

    I'm interested to see how they write the next doctor, and see whether at least a few of my hangups can be attributed to Eleven's personality. But honestly? If it's not, I might not bother keeping up with the series, since my time investment in the show at this point is still pretty minimal.