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Monday, 19 September 2011

Doctor Who - In Moff We Trust?


So, here we are, the end of who series 6 is rapidly approaching and there have been a number of wildly differing opinions on Moffat’s time on the show as the man in charge...

Until now I’ve not really ever publically voiced my opinion and, believe it or not, this is actually the third time I’ve written this piece, the previous two times, I’ve gotten to the end and pressed delete rather than save...


My main reason for not airing my opinion is twofold, the first reason is that I didn’t want to jump to an opinion, I wanted to give it time to settle and formulate a well thought out and considered opinion. My second reason is that I wanted to get used to the very talented Matt Smith, with a new Doctor it’s all too easy to moan and say it’s not the same, I wanted enough time for the ghost on Tennant’s Doctor to go and Matt to make the role his own (if not you’d all just shout ‘fanboy’ in my direction!)

"I like the idea of a professional troll, makes me think of a
hideous creature under a bridge handing out business cards... "
What I’m not trying to do is troll it up and start a great debate over RTD and Moff, Smith and Tennant, I’m simply sharing my opinion. This is an opinion, to be precise my opinion, what I like (or don’t like) may be completely different from everybody else, and however tempting it is the idea of being a ‘professional troll’ isn’t really me....... well, I say that........

Oh, if you’re wondering, the term ‘Professional Troll’ comes from, it’s from a Video Game review series called ‘Zero Puntuation’ by Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw. Look him up; if you have the same sense of humour as me you’ll laugh a lot, anyway I digress........

So, back to Who. I have to confess, I wasn’t a great fan of series 5, there were some great one off episodes, like The Eleventh Hour, Amy’s Choice and Vincent and the Doctor. However it did also have some clangers of episodes (Victory of the Daleks!!!). When the series ended I was left feeling a bit luke warm about the whole thing, really liked Matt Smith, but the rest just wasn’t inspiring me.

The 2010 Christmas special was next, and I have to confess, it was the first time I’d ever watched Who episode and felt bored, it just did nothing for me at all...

Series 6, I’m pleased to say that series 6 started really strongly and I really liked the opening two episodes... However in dying moments of episode two there is a little girl that regenerates the result? Me shouting abuse at the TV, the theme of my rant ‘you have got to be kidding!!’.

Ep 3, pirates, it was a bit of a wet fish (pun – groans...), then again it had the difficult job of being after the series opener so it could probably be forgiven.

Tennant and Smith
The Doctors Wife followed and it was great, Idris as the human embodiment of the Tardis really worked, I wasn’t too fussed by Amy and Rory running round the Tardis, but nothing can be perfect.

Then it all went a bit downhill, Rebel Flesh and The Almost People had the potential to be truly amazing episodes, they could have fully explored what it is to be human, what makes us what we are and if clones can replace the original, instead it turned into a two episode waste that ended with an unnecessary CGI monster and then a few second plot device.

A Good Man Goes to War... I have to confess I don’t really have a good word to say about the episode, it just seemed to be a case of how much can we do in one episode without actually achieving anything, and then there was the big River Song reveal, that again just didn’t do anything for me.

With that the mid season break was upon us, even this had caused a great deal of discussion and debate, mainly around was it a good idea and was it making the show too American... Having fully thought about I’m not overly fussed by the break, I would have preferred there not to be one but it wasn’t a massive issue.

RTD & Moff
With the break out of the way, Who was back with the interesting titled ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’. I wasn’t impressed, it seemed all over the place and again and it story also seemed to cheapen the whole act of regenerating. Once again I felt distinctly unimpressed by the whole thing, I also wondered what an occasional viewer would think? The episode was so self-referencing that people just wouldn’t get it.

Night Terrors and The Girl Who Waited have restored my faith a lot, both were really good episodes and great to watch, there weren’t bogged down in the long-running story arc and there was no River Song, they were well written good quality stories.

That brings us up to The God Complex, it was ok, just seemed a little weak overall, almost as if there wasn’t enough plot to fill the time...

Overall, I’m not really feeling the Moffat era, I think I just expected more? The one off episodes that Moff penned during the RTD era were amongst the best and are my favourites, ie Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, Empty Child. The long running story arc while a good idea just isn’t pulling me in.

I think I’d prefer some longer stories just like in the ‘good old days’ of classic Who, I confess I miss cliffhangers!

I’m hoping that the end of series 6 ties up all the loose ends and answers all the outstanding questions.

Is it too much to ask to just be able to sit and watch a show that I’m a big fan of without having to worry about people picking on the ratings, wondering if there will be a full series or not next year and panicking over what is being planned for the 50th Anniversary.

All I want to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the show...