Now with Series 7 at an end it is time to critique Moffat’s run so far with Doctor Who (this will be in no particular order because the same issues run throughout all his series).  For a look at all the seasons under Moffat you can check out part 1. (Spoilers and sorry for the length)

  1. Moffat seems to think it is acceptable to replace an actual story with catchphrases.  Take for instance this season.  We have been looking forward to Trenzalore since it was announced last season.  At the end of the sixth season it was said it will be the fall of the 11th.  Yes, this was cool and all but the 11th Doctor did not fall.
  2. Threads going nowhere.  I understand that sometimes threads can be underwhelming, but when they go nowhere, that’s a major issue.  Let’s look at a few.  The first spans seasons 5 and 6 with the makeshift TARDIS.  We first see it in The Lodger chilling above Craig’s house.  Then again in season 6 the Silence have it.  Neither of these occasions is it explained why it exists, who made it, why, and if they’re the same ones.  If there are two
    "Doctor, do you think it's important?" "Nah, Moffat will forget about it."

    “Doctor, do you think it’s important?”
    “Nah, Moffat will forget about it.”

    different ones then this is a really, really big issue.  It’s not like the TARDIS is a Honda Civic that has little significance, it’s a time machine from Gallifrey, it has to mean something that it’s being replicated, right?  But it goes nowhere.  The same goes for the Silence.  All we learn is they’re a religious order and recruited Madame Kovarian to lead an army.  This makes no sense.  What is the point of the Silence?  What is their quarrel with the Doctor?  They just showed up one day and seemed to say “hmm, what shall we do today, I don’t know, I don’t like the color blue so how about hunt down people with blue vehicles.”  These are either season or two season long threads that go nowhere, not good at all.

  3. Why did the TARDIS explode?  This could go with my last point, but it has an extra level of importance because it is the TARDIS blowing up.  It seems like someone went to very large lengths to make a universe based on Amy’s memories/favorite book for kind of no reason.  At least no reason that ties in to the TARDIS exploding.  I won’t lie, it is a very grand finale, but take a second to analyze it and it makes no sense.  I don’t mean it makes no sense in terms of if it could happen, because sci-fi can’t happen, but it makes no sense because it is never explained.  The same goes for how the Doctor got out of the Pandorica before opening it with the sonic screwdriver, which leads me to my next point.
  4. The sonic screwdriver is now a magic wand.  This may be the cause of having rushed episodes, but the sonic is now able to solve every single thing in the universe.  It’s like a way for writers to cop out of writing a well thought out episode.  I would like if they’d go back to 5th Doctor era and basically take away the sonic.  Allow the Doctor to show that he’s smart and isn’t a graduate of Hogwarts.
  5. Writing characters without feeling, and by this I mean Clara in the majority of season 7.  I like Clara, I really do, but her character was very inconsistent in season 7.  One episode she’d be scared at the sight of death and start reflecting on traveling with the Doctor and not long after she’d be holding a giant gun and leading a small group of soldiers.  This inconsistency made it difficult to relate to her and took away from the story arc since at that point she was the story arc.  But that is a reflection of Moffat writing.
  6. No two parters from season 6.5 to now.  This drives me crazy.  Countless episodes have been rushed to no end.  The Power of Three not only had a rushed story but also led to the Doctor using his magic wand to do something very un-Doctor: kill a ton of innocent people on those spaceships hovering around the Earth.  Every Clara episode was rushed, taking time away from building a relation between Clara and the Doctor and Clara and the audience, which was even worse due to her not being there a whole season.
  7. There isn’t a tone anymore.  During the RTD era there was always a tone for a season or at least tonal changes made sense.  But let’s look at season 7.  What in all things Doctor Who was the first five episodes of season 7?  Dinosaurs on a Spaceship may very well be the worst thing I have watched since Love and Monsters.  Seriously, the tone of that was jarring as was the awful script and set pieces (riding a dinosaur, that is a  jumping the shark moment if I ever did see one).  This whole season was built on blockbuster movies in around 40 minutes, and it doesn’t work.  It leads to many inconsistencies in tone and character development as well as rushed stories.
  8. Stupefy!

    Stupefy!

    Too confusing?  Are the plots too confusing?  No.  Moffat is right when he says that, but he is right for a reason he doesn’t know.  The stories simply, going back to point 2, don’t go anywhere.  It’s a bunch of threads that are still floating around.  At this point it would be best to get rid of all these threads and start over.  Reboot the reboot.

  9. Strax, Vastra, and Jenny.  Simply put, I hate these characters to no end.  Strax is a disgrace to Doctor Who mythology.  His character makes zero sense.  How does a warrior race turn into him?  Vastra is somewhat better as she at least does things and is competent.  Jenny is apparently a ninja.  Get rid of these characters, they’re not fun at all.  Instead, they make me cringe every time they’re mentioned or show up.
  10. Get new writers.  Obviously these guys have been on too long and have run out of ideas.  Maybe they’re just not good Doctor Who writers.  I don’t know, maybe it is a bit of both.  I don’t want to get all sexist, but I believe there isn’t a female writer on New-Who.  Why is this?  Also, Neil Gaiman is a bad Doctor Who writer.  And all the Gaiman fanboys attack me.  But hear me out.  The Doctor’s Wife could have been really good, but so much was wasted on Amy and Rory running down corridors and Rory being killed again.  Gaiman said he was glad he could write for Rory (it was supposed to be in season 5 but due to budget reasons wasn’t so The Lodger took its place) and all he does is kill him again.  The episode was basically half wasted.  Nightmare in Silver is one of the worst things I’ve watched.  It was boring and the Cybermen updates were just a lazy way to make them trot on forever.
  11. The Doctor is the most evil, powerful being in all creation.  Three seasons now we’ve had almost the same finale: the Doctor is evil and the evil dudes want to kill him.  It gets old.  The Doctor was never this all powerful, godlike force.  He’s just a traveling Time Lord that happens to put a stop to evil when it needs be done.
  12. Underwhelming enemies.  The Silence ultimately had no point.  They loomed in the shadows but didn’t do that much.  The Great Intelligence wasn’t quite so great and was absent for the majority of the season when it could have been a recurring thing (again, Clara’s story had no point for most of the season either).  The Weeping Angels show up so often that they are no longer cool.  Classic Who enemies, especially the Daleks and Cybermen, have overstayed their welcome, but that’s because they’ve shown up too much (Classic Who barely had them compared to how much we’ve seen of them since 2005).  It is like the creativity has been drained from the writers, so as point 10 notes, bring in some new ones.

I feel like Moffat needed RTD to calm him down.  I’m currently watching Torchwood: Miracle Day and only three episodes in I wish RTD would be involved in Doctor Who again.  I love how Miracle Day has a story and it keeps building and making sense.  Then I go and watch Doctor Who and it seems like Moffat just puts things in there to stir the pot but never mean anything.  Season 7 felt like two episodes were written and he told the guys to write a few filler episodes and put them in any order.  Maybe Doctor Who would benefit from having a mini-series type format.  At least then there could be the chance of consistency.  Even watching Fringe right now I’m looking forward to getting into season 3.  There may be filler episodes but they don’t change the tone of the show or cover up threads that go nowhere (at least through season 1 and 2 it has been consistent so far, I’m new to the show).

Consistency is a word I’ve used a lot and for good reason.  Without consistency it is difficult to care about characters and if you don’t care about characters then what is the point of watching the show?  When watching Downton Abbey I can’t wait to see what happens with the characters, even if it is something as small as seeing what Carson (the butler) has to put up with from his staff.  These are characters I have grown attached to.  If something good or bad happens to any of them the reactions of all the other characters makes sense and the impact is felt.

Watching Doctor Who it is difficult to care.  When Rory dies for the tenth time I no longer care, it doesn’t mean anything.  It is like Moffat has created hollow characters.  Amy was on there for two seasons, but it felt like an eternity.  Her character was good in season 5 but in 6 it is like the show became her but yet she barely developed.  With all the focus on the Ponds I would have liked to see them grow but in the end all they did was say they love each other, almost divorce, and then love each other.  At least Clara eventually grew to become stronger and realize she had to save the Doctor for the sake of the universe.  And in turn the Doctor showed a selfless side of himself to save her.

The characters may not have much development but neither have the finales.  As mentioned in point 11 the Doctor is apparently this evil god or something of the sort.  It is running thin these days.  Finishing three season almost the same way takes away any suspense.  I wasn’t at all exciting to watch this season’s finale, even though it was very good.  I just didn’t want to see another person wanting to kill the Doctor for no real reason.

I can only hope the 5oth will be something special and lead to a new beginning of sorts for season 8.  I’m not giving up yet, but I can’t help but feel the show is growing stale.  Bring in some new writers with new ideas.  It’s not that hard.  I’ve skimmed fan fiction more interesting than some of the nonsense the current writers produce.

Here’s to looking forward to a brighter future for the show, as I do like it, but Moffat isn’t doing much to make me care about the characters or story these days.

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