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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Doctor Who: The Time Of The Doctor


Thank you, Steven Moffat. Thank you for hammering the last nail in the coffin of my waning interest in Doctor Who.

The disillusionment that began with the appalling The Beast Below has now plunged to an all-time nadir, but I'm okay with that. My anger and disappointment with the direction the show was taking under the stewardship of Mr Moffat has long since evaporated and I just don't care any more. It's just a TV show. And not a very good one at that.

The Time Of The Doctor was a lot of smoke and mirrors covering up for the fact that very little actually happened in this Christmas special - except for a lot of sitting/standing around.

Moffat clearly had his list of dangling plot threads ("Who blew up the TARDIS?" "Oh, that was so-and-so." Tick, Next...) and, at least, the issue of The Doctor reaching the end of his regenerations was addressed - and quickly circumvented by the Time Lords belching out some magic pixie dust through the dimensional crack that gave The Doctor a whole new cycle of lives (if it's that easy a problem to solve, why is it even an issue for the Time Lords in the first place?).

We were introduced to another of The Doctor's girlfriends, Tasha Lem (Orla Brady), because he is really a salty seadog with a girl in every port, and saw the return of the worst Doctor Who monsters, since the Abzorbaloff - The Silence, who have now been reduced to simply creatures that shoot lightning from their fingers.

The whole story of The Doctor staying in the town of Christmas (oh, give me a break!) was, of course, nonsense - couldn't he have come up with a "great scheme" a bit quicker? It was almost The Power Of Three all over again. Just with more daleks and cybermen (who really could have been any aliens besieging the planet).

The Time Of The Doctor kicked off with an awkward visual gag about nudity that looked as though it was supposed to be a running joke, but then fizzled out, and poor Clara did absolutely nothing through the whole story (except plead to the Time Lords to give the Doctor some new regenerations) so that even while he was going through his regeneration, all she could do was stand around and look slightly embarrassed.

Episode time was wasted on introducing us to Clara's family - and the whole fandango about cooking a turkey - who added nothing to the story. Given how much of the episode was The Doctor just sitting/standing around, this piece could have been cut drastically and still focussed on The Doctor's transition from one face to another.

And what's with using his "regeneration energy" to shoot down a dalek warship? Has The Doctor been weaponised? What happens at his next regeneration - does he blow a planet up?

The actual transformation into Peter Capaldi's Doctor was quite half-arsed and it looks as if those of us hoping for a less Moffat-y Doctor for Number 12 are going to be sadly disappointed.

But I don't care.

If you want more erudite opinions, from true fans, of Doctor Who from now on you'd be better off following Siskoid's Blog Of Geekery or The Wit And Weirdness Of Al Bruno III.

At the start of the year I made a promise to myself that I would stick with this show until at least The 50th Anniversary - and that was a glorious triumph of style over content - but now I've got plenty of other fandoms to keep me occupied.

8 comments:

  1. Been waiting to hear your views. And I couldn't agree more. What a load of bollocks. Another Deux Ex Machina story from Moffat who seems incapable of giving any depth to either the characters or the episodes. Still hope to see some changes for the better with the introduction of Capaldi's doctor but with Moffat still at the helm I'm not holding my breath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the problem with Moffat reigning supreme - no-one to calm his excesses down or to simply say: "That's a load of bollocks, write something that makes sense!" At least on Sherlock it's more of a team enterprise.

      Delete
  2. I mostly agree, there were one or two good moments but mostly it was just a confused mess. Rather sad really, I was hoping that Matt Smith's exit would be as good as his entrance, which is still my favorite Matt SMith episode. As someone else said "I like Matt Smith as the Doctor, I just don't care for Matt Smith's Doctor."

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I like Matt Smith as the Doctor, I just don't care for Matt Smith's Doctor." - I like that ;-)

    Although I did feel by this episode he had pretty much become a parody of himself, overplaying the whole gangly scarecrow bit. Sadly, I won't miss him now he's gone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That sucks, but it is not unexpected.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Once I knock the first season of Atlantis on the head (probably tomorrow) that leaves Supernatural, and Agents of SHIELD as my current review fodder.

    I'm sure, eventually, I'll find a new show (or shows), but I'm also hoping it will encourage me to broaden my blog writing and, hopefully, get back into writing more about gaming and comics.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really enjoyed some of the Moffat stories he wrote when he wasn't running things and it was only season 7 that seemed to wank completely, although I couldn't stand the River Song episodes from season 6.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In large part that's because, before he was show runner, all Moffat's scripts would have been reworked to some degree by RTD.

      We have to remember that Moffat created what is generally regarded as the "best" new alien race (and at a time when RTD's ideas for aliens were all animal heads stuck on human bodies) - The Weeping Angels. And then during his time as show runner, by a process of continued over-exposure, has reduced them to a laughing-stock (The Statue Of Liberty, really?) And what was the point of their "cameo" in The Time Of The Doctor?

      Moffat's biggest problem is he just doesn't seem to know when enough is enough.

      Delete

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