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29 November 2008 @ 08:20 pm
Why Steven Moffat Isn't All That  
I love this writer! I just posted an article below written by the same writer about "The Hottest Kisses You Never Saw" which featured the Rose/TenII kiss from Confidential and then I randomly found this. And oh yes!!!

Why Steven Moffat Isn't All That

By Nivair H. Gabriel

Despite the fact that his hair is dark brown, Steven Moffat is everybody's favorite golden-boy Doctor Who writer. He's won two Hugo Awards so far for his episodes, and been nominated for two more Nebulas and another Hugo as well. With current showrunner Russell T. Davies's blessing, Moffat is all set to take over Doctor Who in 2010. But color me skeptical — I'm not sure we should be as happy and excited about this as everyone thinks.

Don't get me wrong. There was a time when I, too, thought Steven Moffat was one of the greatest television writers in the world. I watched all the seasons of Coupling — even the one without Richard Coyle! — and I adored his brilliant World War II two-parter in the first season of Doctor Who. Clearly Davies did, too, according to his March 2008 interview with Digital Spy:
I'll rewrite 100% if I have to. With Steven Moffat's scripts, I don't touch a word, but anyone else's I do.
Not one word, Russell? Seriously? Trust me - if you really can't find a single problem with Moffat's work, I don't think that you're doing your job as showrunner. Sure, Moffat kicked ass with "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances," but his episode contributions have been going steadily downhill from there. Let's look at the evidence:

"The Girl In The Fireplace"

This was a clever story, at the beginning — it's one of those historical episodes that lets the Doctor Who producers clap themselves on the back for being educational guides to hordes of British schoolchildren (and adults). The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey discover a drifting spaceship in the 51st century (Moffat's "futuristic era" of choice, apparently - he's used it before and he'll use it again) and, as it turns out, the spaceship is attempting to repair itself by harvesting human organs from its visitors. To make matters worse, bits of pre-revolutionary France keep popping through time pockets on the ship, and sucking the Doctor back.

What then develops is a random, thoughtless romance between the Doctor and famous courtesan Madame de Pompadour, who was the most famous mistress of King Louis XV of France. Apparently the Doctor's always had a crush on her; with the whole universe at his disposal, naturally the most impressive, alluring woman he can think of is a professional sex buddy from the 17th century. And after a short acquaintance, aided by the vagaries of spaceship time pockets, he's ready to settle down and give up everything for her: not only his life, but Rose's and Mickey's as well. It's pretty jarring, if you're used to watching a show about a time-travelling maverick who values his companions above all else, who never has sex, and whose one prized possession is his TARDIS. And who, a single episode before, promised his longtime friend Rose that he'd never leave her — especially not to be mutilated alive by robots on a deserted spaceship.

It's sinister. And it belies far too much of what Steven Moffat really thinks of women like Rose and Madame de Pompadour:
There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married - we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.
Whatever your opinion of his none-too-thinly veiled misogyny, it's clear from that comment that Moffat views people only in terms of vast generalizations (Actually, Steven, what you seem to misunderstand is that not all women are hunting for husbands - some of us are scheming to take over Doctor Who so we can make it cohesive and thoughtful, instead.)

It should come as no surprise, then, that he has more trouble with characterization than any Doctor Who. showrunner should.

"Blink"

Nowhere are his characterization troubles more evident than in "Blink," Moffat's much-hailed Season 3 episode about statues that come to life when no one's looking. The idea of super-deadly aliens hiding out as gargoyles is certainly a tantalizing one, but the real scare in this episode is not those famous Weeping Angels. It's not even Moffat's embarrassingly flat narrator, Sally Sparrow, whose lack of complexity has earned her a place of honor in the annals of Mary Sue. It's the way women are written as if they have absolutely no control over what happens in their life at all — and they're fine with that.

"Blink" is a Doctor-lite episode, so we don't see him much and Martha appears even less. One might at least expect a solid presence, though, from his educated companion: She's most of the way to becoming a medical doctor, and, having grown up in a large and wild family, doesn't take shit from anyone. When she and the Doctor get trapped in 1969 with a broken TARDIS, though, it's Martha who's saddled with the consequences — and when she complains about working in a shop to support his doing who-knows-what, the Doctor shushes her away. Not now, Martha, men are talking.

To be fair, the woman with the most screen time, Sally Sparrow, does experience a tiny bit of development... if you could call it that. Throughout the course of the episode, while remaining quite superhuman in the way she deals with every obstacle, she's firm about her disinterest in her unwitting sidekick Larry. And yet, once the adventure's over, she loops her arm through his, all done with saving the world and ready to run a shop. No explanation.

Her friend Kathy makes a similarly nonsensical choice, when the Weeping Angels toss her back to 19th-century Hull and she finds herself alone in a field with a boy named Ben:
KATHY: Are you following me?

BEN: Yeah.

KATHY: Are you gonna stop following me?

BEN: No, I don't think so.
And then - marriage. Just like that.

It must make sense to some viewers and writers, that a happily single woman with her head screwed on straight could suddenly turn a corner and be ready to submit to previously unworthy suitors. The "no-means-yes" romance plotline is a convenient and popular one in television; hell, it's even been in Buffy. But as any dictionary will tell you, "no" is the opposite of "yes" — and the more television writers like Moffat push that dangerous fallacy, the more girls and women will find themselves victims of sci-fi fans who don't understand the rules of consent. Or, at the very least, they'll find themselves working in a shop to support a boyfriend's useless tinkering.

"Time Crash"

Okay, I'll admit it: this was a wickedly entertaining eight minutes. And yet, think about it: It's the Fifth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor, together. All one really needed to do was have them declare mutual respect using their trademark catchphrases, and possibly mock each other's costumes — both of which Moffat did, like the experienced audience manipulator he is. This doesn't mean he has any great genius to impart, or that "Time Crash" actually provided anything for anybody beyond fanboy glee for the Doctor Who faithful who remember Peter Davison's first time in the outfit. How fabulous for them; how utterly boring for the rest of the world, who deserve a part of Doctor Who as much as anyone.

"Silence in the Library" / "The Forest of the Dead"

If you're unconvinced by what I've said so far, I promise you that this baby is the clincher. Perhaps "The Girl in the Fireplace," "Blink," and "Time Crash" had enough cleverness and nerd-nip in them to blot out the Moffat misogyny, but his Season 4 two-parter established without a doubt that this guy has jumped the shark.

These episodes are peppered with problems. First of all, the main danger is a roving hive of flesh-eaters that exist in every shadow — which means, yes, keep in the light and... don't blink. Wow, that sounds familiar. And a (you guessed it) 51st-century archaeological research team has special technology that captures brainwaves in telecommunications devices, making it possible for people to literally speak from the dead. It's disturbing, especially when the team forces everyone to sit through someone's dying thoughts for several minutes … before they realize, oops, they could have turned it off all along. Moffat's estimate that only a few thousand visitors would come to the largest library in the universe is pretty sobering. His irritating repetition of successful tricks from his previous episodes is even more sobering. The worst, however, is yet to come.

To add to his litany of badly drawn, disappointing female characters, Moffat gave us River Song, an archaeologist from the Doctor's future who not only knows everything about him, but to whom he's also entrusted his precious sonic screwdriver. I'll say one thing for ol' Steven — apparently, he's a great wingman. He loves to set the Doctor up with every eligible, eternally willing female who comes along. Song's maddening smugness about her foreknowledge goes hand-in-hand with Moffat's, whose script is blasting love and admiration for Song before the audience has even accepted her existence. She's got no character; all we know is that someday she's important to the Doctor and that she loves him to pieces — so much that she's kept a detailed diary of every minute they've spent together. The idea that someone as empty as Song could actually be a romantic foil for the Doctor goes way beyond distasteful. I mean, once, we had Romana.

The next secondary character we get is Miss Evangelista, a personal assistant to the expedition head who's breathtakingly beautiful — but also breathtakingly dumb! Get it? Isn't that hilarious? It gets better - Later, we see the undead cyber version of the character and because of a few misplaced zeroes and ones, now she's incredibly smart yet hideously deformed, because you can't be intelligent and pretty. Ha! Ha!

But the worst part of Moffat's two-parter has nothing to do with sexism or characterization. It's at the very end, when River Song sacrifices her life for the Doctor's — and the Doctor collects her last remaining brainwaves to be stored in a giant computer program. In that way, Moffat tells us, she can live forever; and the camera pans over a vast cyber-meadow inside some giant hard drive, showing all of the lost archaeological team members.

With that, Moffat casually slips in his belief that the richness of human life can be captured with nothing more than what it takes to power a couple of LEDs. There's no discussion on this from any character, no resistance, no ambiguity in the dialogue — it just is. The Doctor's given her this great gift, something we could all hope for if we didn't bother to think about what it meant: He's simply translated her characteristics into lines of code and flipped a switch.

The line between intelligence and artificial intelligence is a powerful concept in sci-fi; it has sparked countless fantastic books, movies, and discussions. Moffat glossed over all that without a single word. If he'd rather ignore the thoughtful philosophical considerations that sci-fi can inspire, why is he even writing sci-fi?

Science fiction is supposed to be about raising the level of discourse on society by opening up the door to fantastic possibilities. It's supposed to be about hope, exploration, and opportunity — not cheapening what it means to be human, and certainly not subjugating people in the name of great white men. Yes, the first episode of Doctor Who (which aired all the way back in 1963) featured the Doctor as an old white man, cautioning his granddaughter against mimicing the stupidity of "the red Indian." But that racism wasn't something anybody wanted to see in the Doctor Who revival, and neither is Moffat's simplified view of human life or his bizarre seeming vendetta against women. We're in the future now; let's give everybody a chance to be great.

That said, no matter how great you are, you'll still need an editor. Everybody does. Even — maybe especially — the not-so-fantastic Steven Moffat.
Source

The comments ranged from the Moffat-lovers jumping all over the writer (including many males not thinking misogyny is a problem) as well as some reasoned agreements. (At least the first page, there were six.) Still, it's nice seeing someone in any form of media NOT fawning over Moffat.

Basically, the writer details so many of the misogynistic issues that those of who are NOT Moffat-fans have. Detailed and broken-down with logic and not presented under a haze of Doctor/Rose 4-eva twuwub! Awesome.
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WeHo M.: DW - OH BLOODY HELL!afrocurl on November 30th, 2008 02:39 am (UTC)
Is it really bad that Moffat is misogynist in his writing? I've never seen that as a flaw, and I take his stories as his imagination at work.

That's to say that I've never watched Coupling, but I do know the man is all male and if that influences his writing, that's fine. TV does not need to be completely reflective of society as a whole.
Diana: Huh? -- The Doctorbutterfly on November 30th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
Is it really bad that Moffat is misogynist in his writing? I've never seen that as a flaw, and I take his stories as his imagination at work.

Are you really asking whether or not sexism is bad, especially in a show geared toward family viewing? I'd really like to believe that I've misinterpreted you.
WeHo M.: DW - Huh?afrocurl on November 30th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
No, I'm not asking whether sexism is bad. I'm wondering why it matters in the context of what he will do with the show in his hands.

Does that make sense?
Diana: Embrace Logic -- Sam Carterbutterfly on November 30th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
Because sexism and misogyny come through in the writing. Especially in a show that has been, in Russell's hands, so welcoming to young women, Moffat's writing is a slap in the face.

Sexism on television reinforces a sexist culture and is very much related to the reasons that women still don't make as much money as men do in the same jobs or why a woman with qualifications often isn't taken as seriously as a man with the same qualifications or why beauty in a women is considered to be her most important trait. It matters because television creates culture as well as reflecting it and casual sexism is damaging to society.
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - afrocurl on November 30th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - afrocurl on November 30th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 03:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Arabian: I ♥ RTDarabian on November 30th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
TV does not need to be completely reflective of society as a whole.
No, it doesn't, but his view of women is pretty disgusting and that's reflected in his writing. As for me, personally, yes, I DO find it bad that Moffat is misogynistic in his writing, especially when it's in a show that celebrates humanity and all forms of life, regardless of race, creed, gender, etc.

And while this writer just points out his misogyny, I have other issues with Moffat as a writer: He also plays fast and loose with emotional continuity (basically ignoring it for his own plots), as well as writing the companions out of character (see Martha in "Blink," Donna in "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead," and Rose in "The Girl in the Fireplace") or outright commits character assassination (see Rose in "The Empty Child.")

In addition, he shows an absolutely appalling lack of respect for every other single person (at least those who've spoken publicly either through their words or through their craft) involved with the crafting of new Who by completing ignoring the Doctor/Rose arc, and, in fact, spitting all over it's very presence by creating chick-of-the-week romances for the Doctor.

Finally, his plots don't hold up upon a rewatch and instead are shown for the shoddily plotted, 'ooh!gasp!' shock that makes no sense or simply loses its magic upon a rewatch.

ETA:
I take his stories as his imagination at work
One more point: It's not really HIS imagination at work for the most part. He borrows liberally from history and essentially reworks the same plot in his episodes to varying degrees. And both GitF and SitL/FotD rely heavily on the themes from his favorite book, The Time Traveler's Wife.

Yeah, me NOT a Moffat fan.

Edited at 2008-11-30 03:39 am (UTC)
WeHo M.: DW - Does not bode wellafrocurl on November 30th, 2008 03:41 am (UTC)
I suppose that, as a non-shipper in Who, Moffat's continuity issues with some characterizations don't bother me.

The same goes for his treatment of female characters. He's a man's man, and it came across in what I've been told of his stories in Coupling. I have openly seen him stare at breasts and it doesn't make him less of a writer and creative person.

I don't think that any writer now can invent stories out of whole cloth, so borrowing from literary and historical references is a natural byproduct.
Arabian: Dr Who (Ten)arabian on November 30th, 2008 03:51 am (UTC)
But it has nothing to do with being a shipper. Martha and Donna's out-of-character actions have NOTHING to do with my loving Doctor/Rose. (And some of Rose's out of character actions have nothing to do with the Doctor/Rose aspect of it, although, most does revolve around that, I admit freely.) It's how he presents them as less-than or extensions of the Doctor (ie, a man) that disturbs me so.

He's a man's man, and it came across in what I've been told of his stories in Coupling. I have openly seen him stare at breasts and it doesn't make him less of a writer and creative person.
Hogan Sheffer is a man's man, that type of writer whose goal on every soap opera he's ever written for (and gotten ridiculous, and deserved, amounts of kudos for injecting new life and an intelligence into the soap genre) was to give the men their balls back. Yet, interestingly enough, some of the best characters he writes for are females because he writes them as people, not as a lesser species.

For me, Moffat writes women as not worthy, not as good as men, and as a female who thinks that women are just as fine and dandy as men, I have a problem with that. And since he's unable to keep his own (negative and demeaning) view of women out of his writing, then, yes, I do think it makes him less of a writer. Which sucks, because taking the misogyny and his lack of character/emotional continuity out and looking at his episodes as stand-alones, he DOES have enormous talent.

Alas, I personally can't take any of that above out of the equation. Therefore, it certainly makes him a writer I have no interest in. For me, Moffat is so bad, that I would take Rob Thomas (and you know how I feel about him!) over Moffat any day, any hour, any second of my lifetime.
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
Diana: Baggage -- the Doctorbutterfly on November 30th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)
One more point: It's not really HIS imagination at work for the most part. He borrows liberally from history and essentially reworks the same plot in his episodes to varying degrees. And both GitF and SitL/FotD rely heavily on the themes from his favorite book, The Time Traveler's Wife.

The thing that bothers me about this is that he needs to force the Doctor into this unnatural shell to fit him into that story. TTTW is about a man who can't control his time travel. That's what makes it a tragedy. In order to make that story fit into DW, Moffat has to take away the Doctor's agency, making him a helpless two-dimensional drawing of a character.
Arabian: Dr Who (Ten)arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
Right. He doesn't just borrow liberally from other sources, he does so in a way that is not organic or true to the Who characters. And that's a shame because Who (especially new Who, in my opinion) has some amazing characters that do not need to be shoehorned into plots that don't fit them to make an interesting story.
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - skybound2 on December 1st, 2008 12:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
never underestimate a Celtvanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
I'm usually the first one to cry foul on these sorts of things, but apart from the glaringly bad ending of "The Forest of the Dead" - motherhood is not every woman's idea of happily ever after, thankyouverymuch - I haven't seen this "glaring" sexism much in his work. Reinette didn't get me up in arms; after all, the Doctor's been known to form attachments at the blink of an eye, and to be somewhat of a bastard when it comes to leaving his companions behind (think Jack on Satellite 5). As for Ben and Kathy, would it be less "dangerous" for her to fall into his arms at first sight, less demeaning? While the "no-means-yes fallacy" is quite dangerous, this is in the context of banter, not sexual advances.

As for Sally Sparrow - characters falling flat is not a concept exclusive to a single sex. (If it were, Queer As Folk wouldn't exist.) There is a line between spotting actual misogyny and crying wolf, and I'll be the first to admit it's really, really hard to toe, especially when you can't actually see the proverbial wolf. So with all respect, I agree with afrocurl on this one (at least, I think I do - I'm not entirely sure what she's getting at). Moffat may be sexist in his own life, and a little misogynist in his writings, but is it any different from one of the thousands of jokes wives make about their husbands being as useful as a socket wrench?
Diana: Flame Hair - Donnabutterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
As for Ben and Kathy, would it be less "dangerous" for her to fall into his arms at first sight, less demeaning?

Why does she need to end up with him at all? There's no particular reason for him to show us the 'yes turns into no' story with nothing to contradict it. He could have had Kathy met by anyone when she went to the past. This is what he chose to do. Just like Sally and Larry... what possible reason do they have to end up together? Why is that at all necessary to the story? All it does is add to the impression that women must end up in a romance to be worthwhile.

So with all respect, I agree with [info]afrocurl on this one (at least, I think I do - I'm not entirely sure what she's getting at). Moffat may be sexist in his own life, and a little misogynist in his writings, but is it any different from one of the thousands of jokes wives make about their husbands being as useful as a socket wrench?

Also, I'm a bit perplexed at the notion that lots of men being sexist makes it all right.

Edited at 2008-11-30 04:14 am (UTC)
never underestimate a Celtvanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 04:17 am (UTC)
Actually, she does need to end up married - or at the least, involved at some point in her life - because her grandson is the one to deliver the package to Sally.

All it does is add to the impression that women must end up in a romance to be worthwhile.

This was why I liked the banter, though. Because though she does end up in a romance, it's not with the swooning and the horses and riding off into the sunset. Rather, in their (admittedly short) conversation, Kathy stays the dominant one, with Ben displaying more of an amused subservience, setting up - or at least I like to think so - their relationship in the future. Maybe she could meet & marry someone off-screen, but the Kathy/Ben meeting gives us a point of reference, something to help us imagine her strange, displaced life. Had she met someone else and we never saw the husband, it would have seemed even more of a bad cliche.
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 04:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 05:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
never underestimate a Celtvanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
I am... not sure where you got that from. Rather, I was referring to the way that the door swings both ways (though not as often for men). Chick lit, for instance, often feature men that are either sluts or ball-scratchin' Neanderthals, but nobody calls them out on it.

In a show such as Who - which, for the most part, is comprised of individual characters, instead of the stereotypical roles, filled-in (for the most part, mind, not completely) - it seems somewhat inaccurate, if not irresponsible, to do just what we call the writers out for and generalize genders. Rather, I think the characters should be viewed first and foremost as individuals - sexless - and if then one finds something that cannot be explained away as anything but sexism, then yes, go ahead cry about that wolf.

I'm not saying Who doesn't have misogyny, because it does. Essays have been written on it; hell, I've written essays on it. But I think there is a tendency to see misogyny in everything when it exists in some, and yeah, I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but do you get what I'm trying to say? It's the same thing I tell my gay friends when they complain that they "just don't get straight people": don't generalize. Don't divide.

...Or something.
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 05:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - butterfly on November 30th, 2008 06:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Arabian: Billie Piper_04arabian on November 30th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
I do see your point in that it's not glaring (because, really, it's not). It's the little things (plus, a few big things) that just add up when you stack up Moffat's six episodes all together. The women all become needy, swooning over some man, dependent upon another ... basically less-than, in my view. It's not in your face (and thank goodness for that), but it's a constant thread and I fear that when he has complete control over the series, it will become a tapestry.
Moffat may be sexist in his own life, and a little misogynist in his writings, but is it any different from one of the thousands of jokes wives make about their husbands being as useful as a socket wrench?
No, it's not, but those jokes that wives make are still insulting, and presented as such. However, they're generally presented in light of a specific situation and aren't repeated ad nauseum. More importantly, there are other shades generally on display in the commentary. For Moffat, it's always that women are needy, clinging, have to have a man/romance to be happy ... in other words, less than. There are no other shades.
never underestimate a Celtvanitashaze on November 30th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
It's not in your face (and thank goodness for that), but it's a constant thread and I fear that when he has complete control over the series, it will become a tapestry.

This too is true. I suppose what I've been trying to say is that in the grand continuity of Who, Moffat's little things are more or less blips on the radar, things that I don't see to be anything to grumble over. But with Moffat as the Grand Poobah of the Writing Staff, this may change, and I agree with you there in that it worries me. (I suppose, then, this may be a conversation to continue after several months. And when is that Christmas special, anyway?)
(no subject) - arabian on November 30th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
madeellymadeelly on November 30th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
I agree with most of what you say here, except that I do love the episode "Blink." I think it's a great episode because it really fits into what I think of as sci-fi, more so than most of Doctor Who. I don't think Sally is a Mary-Sue, but that might just be me.

Arabianarabian on December 1st, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
I actually agree with you completely, but then I've only watched "Blink" once and it was before my Moffat issues surfaced, so I'm kinda afraid that if I do watch it again, I'll find things to loathe about it as well. *Sigh*
madeellymadeelly on December 1st, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
That's cool (*iz stupid and did not realize until after comment was posted that you did not write this article* xDD). I know what you mean, though, but I rewatched it and the only thing that was worse for me was that it was less scary. I still liked it.
eolivet on December 1st, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
What a great article!! He didn't even touch upon my other huge problem with the S4 two-parter, which was how badly he treated Donna -- arguably the Doctor's strongest, most vocal, most liberated female Companion yet. Donna is prized for her assertiveness in speaking, yet her "husband" has trouble speaking (ha ha ha!) She's been trying to make her way in the professional world, and here, she becomes a housewife. It's the exact kind of seemingly solitary existence (albeit a different type) for which she left her job to travel with the Doctor.

And yet, she's happy with it. And the scene where she discovers her own children are fake is horrifying -- it's disturbing and awful and sad, and yet, I don't think we're ever meant to feel bad for Donna on a human level -- just that she's a victim of this big, bad cyberworld. Aww, pity the poor woman -- she got (cyber)punked. :x

Then, Moffat just brushes five years of her (albeit fake) life under the rug, so we have one more time for poor, doomed River Song? Of all the Moffat eps, this may be his most epic fail -- because it fails on so many levels, and for every single female character involved. :/
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on December 2nd, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
Wow, I did not know that you weren't a Moffat-fan. Are you interested at all in checking out this group that I co-maintain (theemptywriter)? It's basically a place for Who fans to vent, to worry, to discuss how the show will change under Moffat in 2010. If you are interested, I'll send you an invite.
eolivet on December 2nd, 2008 04:29 pm (UTC)
Oh how funny...I thought I responded to your Moffat posts (I've read them all -- in my head I responded, anyway!) I think you bring up a lot of good points (though I have a hard time letting go of my S1 love) and even though several of my LJ Friends like his work from elsewhere ("Coupling," a kids show called "Press Gang"), I was disgusted at his S4 eps, and have major problems with both "Blink" and GitF.

So...I'm with you in spirit, if not always vocally. ;)
(no subject) - arabian on December 2nd, 2008 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
anna_sg1: colonel Carteranna_sg1 on December 4th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
Wow.

I accidentaly came across this post and after reading the article... just wow.

I mean, I did have problems with "The Girl In The Fireplace" and series4 two-parter but to see my thoughts put into words so eloquently is just awsome. :)

As for Blink - nothing but love. although I have cringed a bit at the scene when Doctor dismisses Martha just like that
Miss Tuesday: Doctor Who - Oral Fixation (_archaicangehat_fm on January 17th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
You know, I'd never really given it much thought. I always knew there were certain things about his episodes that bothered me, but I could never articulate it. It's interesting (and a bit sad) to see how his misogyny makes its way into his writing. I'll be approaching S5 with a certain amount of trepidation as a result.
coffee zombiechaos_by_design on January 29th, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
Interesting article.

I didn't agree with all of it; I didn't think Sally Sparrow was a Mary Sue. I saw her as competent and able to figure things out, but that doesn't add up to her being a Mary Sue for me. I also didn't mind River Song. I've never felt like I could judge her properly as we really don't know too much about her.

That being said, the "chase" scene between Ben and Kathy does have disturbing implications. Also, I wasn't crazy about River and her team getting uploaded to that computer in the end of FoTD, in large part because I thought the speech she makes at the end could have really stood some editing down. And no, I don't necessarily think that a life inside a computer is really comparable to being alive in the real world; one of the characters in the episode even alluded to that when he mentioned that CAL's existence was only "half a life".

The direct quotes from him are pretty vile though and are enough to make me feel rather ashamed of liking his episodes as much as I do. I'm rather apprehensive for the series to come.
Arabian: Dr Who (Nine)arabian on January 29th, 2010 12:33 am (UTC)
I remember really liking Sally Sparrow, but I'm honestly afraid to rewatch "Blink" at this point because every other ep of his I've rewatched and found myself appalled at the dreadfully inconsistent characterization and gaping plotholes. I don't want "Blink" ruined as well. Sigh.

The direct quotes from him are pretty vile though and are enough to make me feel rather ashamed of liking his episodes as much as I do. I'm rather apprehensive for the series to come.

Yeah, that's why I'm not watching it. I just can't. For me, I began to see these issues in his episodes before I even read those quotes, then I did and it just made all the vile-ness in his episodes make so much more sense. I'll watch Who again when he's gone (if it's still around). It's a shame, because I think Matt Smith is a cutie, but no, life's too short to watch a man's work that pretty much bugs the heck outta me in almost every way. Oh well.