Sunday, 7 February 2016

MOFFAT TO DEMATERIALIZE - NOT BEFORE TIME...



Hooray!  STEVEN MOFFAT's leaving DOCTOR WHO!
From penning some of the best episodes under RUSSELL T.
DAVIES' tenure, he went on to oversee (and write) some of the
most self-indulgent geek-fests the programme's ever been prone to.
My one reservation about his replacement, CHRIS CHIBNALL,
is that he's also a long-time Doctor Who fan, which means he may
likewise aim the programme at the anoraks, instead of a wider
audience as RTD did when it was revived in 2005.

I'm hoping that PETER CAPALDI stays with the show for
quite a bit longer.  He's been poorly-served by banal stories and
prattling dialogue, so it would be good to see what he's capable of
given some intelligent scripts, and plotlines which involve more than
merely running through claustrophobic corridors with doors open-
ing and closing behind and in front of either him or his companions.
What the programme needs is scripts of the quality of STAR
TREK's 'CITY On The EDGE Of FOREVER'.

It would also be a good idea to reintroduce some tension
between the Doctor and his companion(s), of the kind that ex-
isted between the first Doctor and his original fellow travellers.  I
found the over-familiarity of CLARA (and her predecessors), and
the running banter 'twixt her and the Doctor (like that of a comedy
double-act) extremely tedious.  The companion should always
harbour some doubt about the Doctor, and perhaps even
fear him a little.  We need that tension.

Remember when Clara slapped the Doctor?  Not only
would there've been a stushie had that happened in reverse,
it instantly robbed him of his authority and dignity - and all for
the sake of a cheap laugh.  (Sadly, violence by women against men
seems to be more acceptable on TV.  What a message to give out.)
He's a 1000-odd year-old time-traveller for goodness' sake -
not a naughty little brother.  The Doctor should be held in awe
and respect by the companions - with a fair serving of fear
and suspicion as well.  That's the way to go.

So hopefully Capaldi will stick around and do the Doctor
the way he should be done.  Let's just hope he loses the sun-
glasses and the guitar 'though - these desperate attempts to be
'down wiv the kids' are simply ridiculous.  The show's played for
laughs far too often - it's well-past time it returned to being serious
drama.  And one thing I hope future writers will take on board is
that not every story has to be SF-orientated (apart from the
inclusion of the TARDIS, obviously - that's a given).

Here's a novel idea:  How about a straight action-adven-
ture or mystery tale set in the past?  Now that would make
for an interesting change of pace, and may even reverse
the declining viewing figures.

Okay, I'm now strapped into the stocks,
and rotting fruit is available - fire away!

14 comments:

SCOOP said...

I agree with you Kid, and your reservations about Chris Chibnall. I was really pleased about Peter Capaldi getting the role as I welcome an older Doctor. Chibnall appears to want to go back to having a younger Doctor again, or worst a female one! I, like you would have like to have seen a totally unbiased producer appointed, who has a bit of life experience outside of a type writer, someone who would drop the anorak Who stuff and bring some excitement instead of the over indulgent sentimental clap trap that seems to be the trend.

Kid said...

I'm in shock, Scoop. It's not often that someone agrees with me on this blog. Incidentally, the day the Doctor becomes a female is the day I give up on the show completely.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I've only just caught up with all the Matt Smith Who episode the other week, I have seen some Capaldi stuff too though. We couldn't be further apart on opinions of Moffat and Davies, Moffat rescued it for me, Russell? Well let's just say his best work is behind him, the stuff he wrote for the Chuckle Brothers, Don't know much about the new guy, except he was one of those responsible for Torchwood being so dire, man that show was like watching snails crawl up the moss on the shed.

Kid said...

Torchwood was tripe, so I fear the worst. And how dare you disagree with me, DSE - don't you know I don't tolerate that sort of thing? (If you believe the nutters that is.) All I know, is that I generally enjoyed the series that Davies oversaw - even (and especially) episodes that Moffat wrote, but my enjoyment went out the window once he took over. Good moments to be sure, but disappointing overall.

sroman said...

I thought Moffat's script for "The Eleventh Hour," Matt Smith's first episode was brilliant—a great way to introduce new viewers to the series without getting bogged down in the show's history. But then he started the narrative that Doctor Who wasn't a science fiction or science fantasy show, but a fairy tale, and never let go of it. Then he shifted the focus to it being about female companions with "great secrets" that could affect the universe. It got tiresome. Then I thought he redeemed himself with "The Day of the Doctor," only to make a mess of Smith's exit, "The Time of the Doctor."

When Capaldi took over, I thought he and Jenna Coleman could have a relationship reminiscent of Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen's Doctor and Sarah Jane--great friends enjoying themselves in their adventures--but it never panned out in the writing. And now the next series doesn't start until 2017? Bad idea.

Kid said...

I saw that episode, S, but it's so long ago, I can't recall my thoughts about it at the time. However, one of the things that's wrong with the show in my opinion, is the idea that the Doctor and his companions are "enjoying themselves in their adventures". They shouldn't be - they should be sh*tting a brick. Even Verity Lambert (the show's original producer) lamented the fact that there was no real sense of menace any more (this was around Sylvester McCoy's time, but it applies today) and that there was too much of a sense of "Jolly hockey-sticks, what fun!" pervading what should have been dangerous events. As for the show not starting again until 2017, I think that's to avoid been damaged in the ratings by the Rio Olympics coverage. Perhaps it's a good thing to allow an appetite to build for the show's return - it probably needs a rest. Unfortunately, it'll be more of Moffat's feeble efforts for that one series. Hopefully, he'll surprise me.

Mark Carter said...

The last two series have definitely been more miss than hit, but Capaldi should definitely stay. He's made the best of the tat he's been given, and I think he's got the makings of a great Doctor if only the scripts will allow him. The idea that the kiddywinks will only respond to a young Doctor is ridiculous. I totally bought into Pat Troughton when I was 4 or 5 because he was a superb actor and the stories were exciting. My son grew up on Classic Doctor Who (horrible phrase!) before the series returned, and had no problem watching an older man in the role.
Tom Baker and Liz Sladen DID play it like a couple of old friends (especially when in the Tardis), but she was also able to revert to the frightened companion when necessary and need the Doctor to save her. Clara just waltzed through every scene with absolutely no sense of threat or danger at all. Again, this is purely the fault of the scriptwriter and not the actress.
A 12-month break will hopefully do little harm, and then the BBC can trumpet its return in 2017. With any luck, Moffat will try to bow out in style.

Kid said...

Thing is, MC, Tom's and Liz's characters had enough time to become familiar (remember, she first partnered Jon Pertwee), but in the modern series, that familiarity occurs far too quickly. I think it happens because of the writers' seeming fixation with having the characters swapping banter with one another. And you're right about the age of the Doctor - William Hartnell didn't seem to deter kids from taking to the programme, and he was the same age as PC. I assume ('though I could be mistaken) that the series will be MADE according to the usual schedule, but broadcast will be delayed until 2017.

Colin Jones said...

The next Doctor should be a black lesbian...okay, I'm not being entirely serious but a female Doctor might be fun - don't be such a stick-in-the-mud, Kid :D

Kid said...

If they did a female time-traveller, who had her own Tardis, I wouldn't have a problem with that. However, changing the gender of the existing Doctor would only be part of a gay agenda to blur the distinctions between the sexes and foist all that gay/lesbian/transgender mindset on the rest of us. To which I say - pants!

Colin Jones said...

Oh Kid, don't be so ridiculous - the female Master wasn't part of a "gay agenda", just a refreshing take on an old character. What if a female Doctor was played by somebody like Salma Hayek or Caroline Munro...would you object to that ?

Kid said...

Oh, come now, CJ - of course she was. Otherwise she'd have been an entirely new baddie. Do wake up to what's going on around you. If A female Doctor (as in 'another' one) was played by Salma, no, I wouldn't object. If, however, she played THE Doctor, yes I bloody well would. No gay agenda? Torchwood, Captain Jack, Missie? What was that about not being ridiculous?

Colin Jones said...

But they didn't want a new baddie, they wanted the Master in a completely new form. The Timelords are aliens who can change bodies so it's not that much of a leap of the imagination that they could change sex, is it ? I never saw Torchwood but I know about Captain Jack - I'd hardly say that one gay character (or wasn't he bisexual ?) constitutes a gay agenda.

Kid said...

Och, you're at the wind-up, CJ. Been on the Lamb's Navy Rum? They wanted the Master as a woman to push the gay agenda. Why do you think Torchwood was full of guys kissing all the time (so it's been reported - I turned it over the first time it happened) - or for that matter, on Emmerdale and Coronation Street as well? Do keep up with the rest of us.

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