Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Suggestions for Moffat

I was reading a blog entry by someone who had some ideas about how best to keep Doctor Who going for years to come.  It's a really good read, grammatical errors aside, and you can do that by clicking here.

The blog guest writer, George Edgington, posits that the show must be willing to tell good stories consistently.  He points out how some episodes of the post-2005 show are written basically as what-ifs, with the head writer (in this case, Stephen Moffat), tossing out an idea and the episode writer following through.  The problem is that this often results in stories that really probably shouldn't have been told, or rather, should have been told much better, such as in "The Rings of Akhaten".

Okay, that's a fair point.  Another one is that too often in the show's current form, monsters are created for no other reason than the writers thought they needed them in there somewhere, and that not only leads to poor storytelling but wastes time and money inserting a monster that will likely only be used once and then be forgotten.

I'll expand on this point by referring you back to the Whisper Men in "The Name of the Doctor", those minions of the Great Intelligence who were there simply to add an element of fright to an otherwise good story.  Did we really need them there, especially since Moffat went through the trouble to concoct The Silents and have them be on a quest to prevent the Doctor from ever traveling to Trenzalore?  No, we didn't.  Better it would have been to devote an entire episode to them, because the Whisper Men did have potential, but that potential was wasted.

Another episode in which a monster was created simply to have one inserted was "The Crimson Horror", which proved not at all horrific and indeed, came off as downright silly, as the episode was obviously a light-hearted one.

Moffat needs to stop with this, because frankly the quality of Doctor Who has gone steadily downhill since he took over as head writer.  With Matt Smith leaving after the Christmas episode, we'll have another opportunity to start anew, with a different actor stepping into the main role and a new set of opportunities for great storytelling.  But those opportunities can only be fully realized if there's real storytelling going on, and under Moffat that just hasn't been happening.

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