Steven Moffat reveals the one thing he’d do differently if he was in charge of Doctor Who again

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by starsuperion, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    Oh, that's an interesting theory. I always found that whole episode kind of shaky, but I did appreciate the emotional impact that it had on The Eleventh Doctor. He was always very clingy, so I think that would be a reasonable explanation.
     
  2. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Fair enough. But, it certainly would be hard to quantify "much" in this case.

    Or maybe fans expectations.

    Two words. BAD. WOLF.
    Moffat is hardly the only one guilty of obvious arcs and lack of subtlety.

    I agree with that. I thought a mystery of the Impossible Girl shouldn't be one to a Time Traveler. That said, there were still great episodes that season and I didn't feel the need to get on the internet and hurl vitriol at the show runner.

    Timey wimeyness literally comes from one of his greater stories. Blink. Why not go with something that works, that people loved?

    I agree, the ending of that story makes very little sense. That said, you wanted to end the story in one way, he wanted to end it in another. I feel I can't fault a writer for doing what they want, only the execution.

    And fans heaped scorn on them, claiming they can do it better--while having no experience in TV or running a show.
    I get it, he didn't live up to expectations. I had problems with his resolutions to his arcs. But, to say he deserved ALL of the criticism, and the method it was delivered in--the hyperbole, the personal attacks, is insane.
     
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  3. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, there's a whole bunch of threads at Gallifreybase that prove you so, so wrong.

    I'd link you, but oddly enough for a bunch of people supposedly highly intelligent and following possibly the most anarchic fictional character ever, they're a humourless bunch of pricks and banned me for joking about a woman having been stung by wasps. Not wishing that a woman WAS stung by wasps, you understand, but commenting that she might already have been.

    Once you wrap your noggin around that, people pre-hating Moffatt seems almost simple by comparison.

    But, if you want some objective proof, let's look at those pre-condemning the Thirteenth Doctor because - on top of being over 2000 years old with the ability to change her face and travelling in a sentient Police Box that is bigger on the inside - she's got tits.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  4. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I came up with the theory about Amy, Rory, and River scamming the Doctor pretty much within fifteen minutes of watching "Time of the Angels," because I was trying to make sense out of what I'd just seen. The Doctor's clinginess was a recurring issue throughout Season 7A, and it was obvious that he couldn't let them go unless he absolutely had to, especially since he then goes and sulks on a cloud for years upon years. Everything about their loss felt very "artificial" and maybe that's what it would take to convince the Doctor that they were lost to him.

    "The God Complex" was, I felt, a better exit story for the Ponds as regular characters. But that's another problem of Moffat's; he doesn't know when to let something go.
     
  5. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    The God Complex and Last Christmas were great exits for Amy/Rory and Clara respectively. If they'd stayed like that, they'd be the best-ever companion exits, period.
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Oh, I'm sure it's a great place, I'm just making a joke based on things that have been said about it on the show, ironically under Moffat. Like Strax insisting on going to Scotland on his weekends off because it was the most Sontaran place on Earth or something.
    IMO, the only one of Moffat's seasonal arc which didn't work was the theme of death that was present throughout much of season 9. That was so unsubtle, there might as well have been a bright neon sign in every scene that had written on it "PEOPLE DIE CLARA WILL DIE."
    I kind of wondered if Mels was just meant to be a sort of meta-reference to this sort of trope. The whole thing after all seemed way too on the nose. Although...
    I suspect this might be closer to the truth.
    Moffat really didn't think out the Ponds' departure. IIRC, someone actually did ask him why didn't the Doctor just take the TARDIS to London in 1930 and take a boat to New York and pick them up, and Moffat's answer was "it would still have destroyed New York." This is one problem with the "part-time companions" thing he had going with the Ponds in their final days and for Clara's run, the only way you can get rid of them permanently is through incredibly convoluted means,
     
  7. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    For all of Moffat's faults, and I'll admit he had his fair share (but I don't necessarily agree with the number or the extremeness), he did give me my third favorite Doctor (Eleventh) and two of my favorite companions ever (Amy and Rory). His tenure produced some of the best individual stories ever (at least since the show returned) such as "The Doctor's Wife," "The God Complex," "The Girl Who Waited," "Vincent and the Doctor," "A Christmas Carol," and "Last Christmas" (among many others and your mileage may vary). His biggest problem was his story arcs.

    Honestly, I kind of hope Chris Chibnall avoids story arcs for the most part. Of course, there should be character arcs for The Doctor and her companions, but do we really need these great sweeping story arcs that both Davies and Moffat gave us? Less is more and I would love to see the show go back to "simpler" times of the classic run (aside from the Cartmel Master Plan).

    I completely agree about those of episodes, and if I squint just right, I'm able to pretend those are their actual exit episodes. Also helps that not only were those two episodes great exits for those companions, but they were great stories unto themselves. It's a shame Moffat doesn't know how to let go because that really hurts his writing. Same thing has happened for Bill twofold: Not only not allowing her to keep her tragic ending as a Cyberwoman, but after she was magically fixed from that state, she''s going to return for "Twice Upon a Time." Granted, Davies had the same problem (aside from Donna).
     
  8. starsuperion

    starsuperion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Moffat deserves criticism for a majority of the writing failings after season 6, but his tenure did bring about some really cool things. I loved the 50th anniversary special. The return of roundels in the TARDIS, the war doctor story arc, the return of Paul McCann and his regeneration, the return of the time lords and Gallifrey, and the cool trio of Silurian led detective agency in 19th century London, along with the inclusion of new cybermen, Warwick Davis as the Emperor of the human imperium, and the Daleks planet of crazies. There is much to like there.
     
  9. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    They never left.
     
  10. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Just to be clear, I don't think that Moffat should be free of criticism. But, there's a difference between criticism and slagging on someone for "destroying" your favorite show. Name calling and tantrums are no criticism.
     
  11. starsuperion

    starsuperion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's true, but they certainly weren't many of them in the Smith to Capaldi TARDIS.. I liked the neon roundels added after. They were a nice touch. As for Rori and Amy.. and pretty much anything the Doctor has done in his life, Clara by jumping into his timeline made all his victories possible, as she was countering the great intelligence. So, Moffat basically took the Doctor's past 50 years, and essentially tied all of it to Clara.. So right there, story wise.. that put me off.. alot.
     
  12. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Well he's not alone with that, and letting go of companions was as much a chore for RTD as Moffat, and once you get into the realm of people wanting to travel with the Doctor forever you're stuck with how to handle that when the actor wants to leave or the character's run his/her course. So Rose had to be separated from the Doctor by being trapped in another universe she could never, EVER, escape (until she did) Donna had to undergo a mind wipe, Amy and Rory had to be trapped in the past, Clara had to die/be reborn/become immortal/never see the Doctor again, Bill became a Cyberman and then a crazy alien water thing...really the only two modern companions whose departures felt like classic departures were Nardole (very Nyssa) and (ironically given she's perhaps my least favourite character) Martha, and even Martha had to come back several times. Note I'm kinda ignoring Jack and River here, but realistically we did see both their exits. The Face of Boe and Professor River Song both died.

    On one level I get it, the Doctor has full control of his Tardis and back in the day he was somewhat adept at abandoning people and never, ever seeing them again, but the modern show's gone too far the other way. Everyone always wants to travel with the Doctor and he can always get them home again and pop round for tea long after they've left.

    There must be a middle ground.

    I'd like to see more companions who travel with the Doctor almost by accident (Tegan, Ian and Barb) or because they have nowhere else to go (Nyssa, Turlough) and it'd be nice if just sometimes people had had enough. Tegan's exit is still phenomenal, and it's surprising more companions don't effectively get PTSD. Yes they see wonders, but a whole lot of warzones too!

    I still liken travelling with the Doctor as being akin to backpacking on your gap year. It's fun and adventurous, and sure some people turn it into a life, but most people get tired of sleeping in tents, tired of the lack of stability, and they want to go home get a job raise a family etc.
     
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  13. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agree with all of that. And, that Tegan had a great departure, perhaps the best ever. Sometimes you just see too much, experience too much, and her departure didn't whitewash that and that's why she left.

    I'll just add that in the modern show, it got even worse over time as it wasn't just the departures that became a problematic chore but also the part-time nature of companions detracted.

    I hope Chibnall changes those aspects.
     
  14. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I don't hate the idea of part time companions as much as some, and in reality that's what you'd choose surely, to pop off for adventures but still be able to live at home with friends and family etc, but yeah I hope CC quashes this, or at least does something a little different with it.
     
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  15. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    [SIZE=14px][FONT=Open Sans][COLOR=rgb(255, 255, 255)]
    I can't remember right off but I suppose you're right. "The Magician's Apprentice" is one of my least favorite episodes, so I've forgotten a lot of it. And my mind wanders during the final denouement of "The Woman Who Lived." As far as I'm concerned, the story is over after the Doctor parts ways with Me.

    Agreed that JNT probably deserves more credit than he gets from fans simply for keeping the show going and promoting the show. His problem was that, while he was a great showman, he wasn't very good at running the show. Granted, I think part of his problem was that he & Eric Saward should never have been working together for that long. Saward has made his feelings about JNT very clear and you kinda wonder why he stuck around so long if he hated JNT's capricious mandates so much. (For what it's worth, I've never heard Andrew Cartmel complain about the kinda stuff that Saward talks about.)

    IIRC, haven't the ratings for nearly every show been sliding down for the last decade? I figure that's more attributable to changes in TV viewing habits more than anything else. (IIRC, there was a graph that I saw a while back that was looking at the ratings for Doctor Who vs. other long running shows that had been on during the same period like Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale, etc. It showed that the ratings had gone down for all of the shows and Doctor Who had actually gone down less than most of the others, with the exception of New Tricks.) And while they may be going down in the U.K., it seems like every year I hear about the show breaking yet another ratings record on BBC America.

    And I've often read interviews with Moffat where he comes across as quite self-effacing. There was one where they asked him what he thought his greatest episode was and his response was something like, "I'd be pleased to think that I've ever written anything good, let alone great."

    Moffat may in reality think that some of his episodes may have been genuine misfires but I'd hardly expect him to admit it while he's in the midst of running the show. Talk to him in a decade and maybe we'll get a more frank, clinical assessment of his tenure. For now, I would expect him to think that everything that he's written is good, otherwise why write it?

    The crack was never meant to be subtle but I thought it was an effective tease. And Moffat at least generally incorporated his arcs into his seasons more than RTD did. RTD's seasons weren't really "arcs" but more just season long easter eggs that wouldn't be explained until the finale, like "Bad Wolf" in Season 1 or the references to disappearing planets & bees in Season 4.

    While your mileage may vary, I LOVED the shocker of killing the Doctor at the beginning of "The Impossible Astronaut." While I knew in the back of my mind that they couldn't ever actually kill the Doctor because they need to keep milking the cash cow, I was flabbergasted for the entire season as to how they would actually get out of it. It completely worked for me. The resolution left me flat, but the set-up was incredible and is still one of my biggest jaw-droppers in the entirety of the franchise.

    And I liked Clara. I wasn't crazy about her in Season 7 but I thought she was a lot of fun the way she tried to keep the Doctor in-line in Seasons 8 & 9.

    Admittedly, it would have been nice for them to plant a brief set-up for Mels in the prologue of "The Impossible Astronaut." But for what it was, I thought the flashbacks in "Let's Kill Hitler" did a great job of setting up the character and I was completely surprised when she turned out to be River.

    As has been mentioned, that's not confined to Moffat's Doctors & companions. The departures of Rose & Donna were way over the top too.

    Certainly a solid list. I don't know that I would necessarily call "A Christmas Carol" & "Last Christmas" great episodes but they were at least a solid improvement over the usual tepid Christmas fare. "The Husbands of River Song," now that's a great Christmas special. And there have been many other excellent episodes provided during Moffat's run, like "The Eleventh Hour," "Amy's Choice," "The Lodger," "The Day of the Doctor," "Listen," "The Caretaker," "Flatline," "Heaven Sent," "World Enough & Time," and "The Doctor Falls." And some others that may not be game changers but are, IMO, perfect executions of the Doctor Who formula, like "The Vampires of Venice," "Mummy on the Orient Express," "Under the Lake," & "Before the Flood."

    I was fine with them bringing Martha back because they'd already established that she could easily come back because she didn't have some kind of cataclysmic departure. She just moved on. Personally, I wish they'd done that with Clara by keeping her rather low-key exit at the end of "Death in Heaven." (I don't get all the love for her "Last Christmas" almost-departure.)

    As for Amy & Rory, I struggle a lot with their later episodes because, if I'd been Rory, "The Girl Who Waited" would have been the definitive breaking point for me. It was such a near-miss for Amy that so easily could have gone the other way. I would have put my foot down and said, "That's it! Home! Now!"

    As for Bill's resurrection, I can't really fault it because her becoming a Cyberman was so traumatic for me as an audience member that I'm just glad she's OK. (I didn't really feel like there was all that much chemistry between her & the puddle girl though.)

    I liked Tegan's exit, although I wish that there had been a bit more build-up to it in the story. Still, that was pretty par for the course for the classic series. Dodo & Sarah Jane both had pretty sudden exits. And the departures of Leela & Mel were just outright bizarre![/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
     
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  16. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ So, I had the opportunity to ask Cartmel about his experiences with JNT. This was in a very small group setting. Cartmel said that he and JNT got along fine. That it took understanding the give and take that was required. He knew what he had to give JNT in order to get what he wanted. It was often offering small things too, and Cartmel would get wide latitude on everything else. I think understanding how to navigate that is what made the difference. As an aside, I found Cartmel to be such a refreshingly nice, kind person. Very thoughtful and articulate.
     
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  17. Worf2DS9

    Worf2DS9 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Prior to becoming showrunner, Moffat wrote some great episodes for the series (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Blink, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead). Does anyone think he could (or would want to) return to write an episode or two in the future for a new Doctor, or is he done like RTD?
     
  18. starsuperion

    starsuperion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That actually sounds good again. Accidentally ends up in the TARDIS, on the run and no real life..the Ian and Barbara trope..that's Actually kinda cool. Loved when they invented the randomizer. That was a good series arc to milk, and refreshed Bakers series with a new story direction that was refreshing and exciting. Unpredictable. I can see the title now..

    Doctor who.."The Accidental Tourist".

    Haha. Brilliant!
     
  19. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    It'd expect he'll be done with the show for some years to come. He's burned out and wanted to leave the show a couple of years ago but BBC twisted his arm. Maybe someday he'll come back and write another episode (maybe Davies, too), but it won't be anytime soon.
     
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I seem to recall Moffat has said that Twice Upon a Time will be his last Doctor Who script. Whether him or RTD ever come back remains to be seen, but if they do it won't be for a long while. I'm thinking a decade or so at least. Hell, Moffat has more or less devoted an entire decade to Doctor Who, given he began writing the script to The Eleventh Hour in January 2008.
     
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