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08 November 2008 @ 06:23 pm
Steven Moffat is Naked  
shinyopals mentioned that she was writing a massive post (I can't wait to read it) on why Steven Moffat is not her favorite writer. It reminded me of one of my "To Do" things that's been on the list for about three months: Write a post about why I don't like Steven Moffat. I figured that I might as well get off my duff and do it now so as to not be influenced by her no-doubt brilliant insights. As of yet, her essay is not posted yet, but if you're not on her flist, keep an eye out for it because I'm sure you'll enjoy the read if you're anti-Moffat. In the meantime, I give you my much-less verbose (I know, ME!) take on why Steven Moffat is not my favorite writer.

I've been going back and forth about watching series five of Doctor Who for some time. I waffle because I do genuinely love the show, the Doctor, the premise of it all so I don't want to lose that. On the other hand, I am not a fan of Steven Moffat's style and he is taking over the show come series five. At first, I had decided that if David Tennant left the show after the Russell T. Davies-specials next year that I would be more likely to give Moffat's Who a chance, because while I freely accept and embrace that the different regenerations of the Doctor are all the Doctor, my heart associates Christopher Eccelston's Nine and David Tennant's Ten with Rose. I figured that with neither actor playing the role, as long as Rose wasn't mentioned -- which would make sense in light of the series four finale -- I could just blithely accept a new Doctor without the Rose-colored memories (yes, I went there) under Moffat's direction.

As anyone reading this knows, David Tennant has announced that he is indeed NOT returning to Who in series five and is exiting with RTD. So my decision should be made for me, right? Well, not so fast. We still have the Moffat issue which I originally put down to being just about my Doctor/Rose love. Whether you like the man or not, his writing or not, it really can not be argued that he is NOT a fan of the Doctor/Rose love story and he has sought to underscore it and, in fact, has spat all over it in three of his last four ventures for the show. (And it should be mentioned that in the fourth one in which he did not do so, it was a Doctor-lite episode.) So naturally as a die-hard Doctor/Rose fan, I did quite easily just put my dislike of Moffat down to my love of Doctor/Rose. However, there's more to it I've come to realize and with that more, I've reached my final and firm decision. Unless they cast an actor I absolutely, positively adore, I will NOT be watching series five of Doctor Who mainly because it won't be the program, the Doctor with which I fell in love.

Going back to my history with new Who, let me chart my "history" with Steven Moffat as well. I watched series one and was devastated when Christopher Eccleston was replaced in a glowy, burning burst of regeneration by David Tennant. I stopped watching the show. A few years later, a friend of my sister's began pushing me to take it up and assured me that Tennant would win me over (hah! I thought). Sometime amid this conversation, my sister asked me which episode I would recommend that showed the best of Who in order to get her watching. I recall absolutely that I said a two-parter that took place in World War II. I had no idea who wrote it or its popularity in the fandom.

Anyhoo, I got series two and three + "The Runaway Bride" from my sister's friend and began watching them. I was also reading stuff on the internet after each episode so when I finished "School Reunion," I began to read a lot of grumbling, jokes about the Doctor/Rose shippers boycotting the next episode. Which was, of course, "The Girl in the Fireplace." So I went into it (at this point, only four episodes into Tennant's reign, the Ten/Rose-portion of the Doctor/Rose love story and it had been almost two full years since I'd watched series one) expecting that I'd have issues based on the fact that I did like the Doctor and Rose relationship. Still, back then I wasn't even remotely obsessed with the couple, I liked them, but that was all. I was still casually watching the show. So I watched GitF and I loved it. I thought it was gorgeous, romantic, thrilling. I checked to see what else that show's writer had written and saw that he had done that fabulous two-parter I remembered, and then I saw that he wrote another episode coming up in series three. Ooh, fun! Moving along, I finished series two, and by the end of it, yes, my sister's friend was right: Tennant had won me over; as well, I was in love with the Doctor/Rose love story despite the different actor.

I waited a few weeks, and then watched series three, enjoyed it, missed Rose, loved "Blink" and moved onto series four currently in progress. After I finished watching "The Doctor's Daughter" -- the last episode that had aired -- I recalled a few tidbits I'd caught reading stuff here and there, namely that Moffat had another two-parter coming up and that he was taking over series five. I was thrilled and excited about both so much because I recalled loving "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances," "The Girl in the Fireplace" and "Blink." All of this, despite now being a die-hard Doctor/Rose shipper.

And then I decided to rewatch series one and two. Suddenly, I had a few issues -- not major, but still there -- with that two-parter. Rose acted a tad out of character. Hmm. Moving along. Got to "The Girl in the Fireplace" and I was excited to watch it again because I had loved it so the first time ... when I was a casual viewer, and not one who carefully followed the arcs, the character beats, analyzed and broke down moments in the series. It will surprise no one to read that this time I did not love it. I did not like it; I didn't even dislike it. No, I flat-out hated it with a passion that had previously been reserved for particuarly crap-tastic episodes of Veronica Mars.

What was the big difference? Read that last paragraph again.

I was a casual viewer, and not one who carefully followed the arcs, the character beats, analyzed and broke down moments in the series

NOW, I carefully followed the arcs, I watched and saw the character beats and how those beats played out, spreading themselves across the series as a whole, broadening and enriching each subsequent episode. Seeing this episode with all of that in mind, it made no bloody sense for any of the main characters involved. History buffs will also point out that Madame du Pompadour was horribly, inaccurately written, and that Moffat/Sophia Myles combined to make her come across as a vapid twit. Honestly, I don't care because I knew I'd never see her again. No, all of my righteous condemnation of the episode revolved solely around the absolute horrific mischaracterization of the Doctor, of Rose, even of Mickey for goodness' sake.

Even moreso, the writer in me was livid, infuriated that Moffat -- by ADMITTEDLY not reading the previous script -- completely missed a brilliant opportunity to enhance, enrich and continue the Doctor/Rose arc by using Reinette in a fashion that she was essentially tailor-made for in the previous episode. I wrote in my review-rewatch for World War III this little bit:

[A] scene that may or may not further illustrate the Doctor's growing feelings for Rose is his face to face conversation with Mickey. Like in "School Reunion," the Doctor asks Mickey to join he and Rose on their adventuring and it was quite clear to me (and I think, most viewers) that his intention was to put a buffer between he and Rose and their growing closeness after their "humans wither and die" conversation. The same, I do believe, can be said about this invitation. The Doctor had revealed his strong feelings for Rose on two separate occasions in the last couple of hours. The first could be excused and dismissed in the heat of battle, but the latter -- a blatant plea disguised as temptation to keep her with him -- had no such excuse, and coupled with the earlier reveal made it quite clear to the Doctor *and* Rose that something was there.

So, Mickey showed that he wasn't quite the idiot that the Doctor had assumed, and here he was, a handy way to widen that ever-growing closeness between the Doctor and Rose before he did something stupid like choose her over the many. So, he asked Mickey to join them, good buffer. Again, I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. After all, it's very similar in situation to why the Doctor asked him in "School Reunion."

And if you take the whole comparison further, remember that he'd asked Sarah Jane first, and then Mickey ... and then Reinette (we'll just ignore Moffat's out-of-character take on the Doctor asking, and stick with how it *should* have flowed within canon) in the following episode, looking for someone, anyone to create that buffer between them. Here, when Mickey declines, the Doctor -- as in the series two episodes, doesn't stop there -- he agrees to let Adam join them in the very next episode, and a few episodes later (after doing an *incredibly* stupid thing for Rose), he asks Jack ... yet another attempt at a buffer.

My point is -- as stated above: how it *should* have flowed within canon -- it COULD and SHOULD have been perfectly placed in the series had Moffat had the Doctor use Reinette as he was using Mickey (and tried with Sarah Jane) in the last episode as a buffer between he and Rose. That would have PERFECTLY carried over the emotional and character continuity. Instead, Moffat chose to not read the script before his, chose not to follow the story arc that was being crafted beautifully by EVERYONE ELSE involved with the making of this show because he simply didn't care? Considered himself above it? Felt that his vision was the only one worth following even if he was playing in someone else's playground and messing up the character and arc continuity?

Who knows?

All I know is that the rewatch of "The Girl in the Fireplace" was the beginning of the end of my love for Steven Moffat. Then came "Silence of the Library/Forest of the Dead" and here, I'll simply quote butterfly's response to this comment by me: Moffat wrote and Tennant acted out a tragically beautiful love story between the Doctor and Madame Du Pompadour ... in between seventeen episodes prior and nine episodes and two more series' following of a love story between the Doctor and Rose Tyler.

"And then he attempts to do exactly the same thing in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead", only with David refusing to play along that time."

After that? I was done. Just absolutely done with Steven Moffat as a writer. But he wasn't done with me. Some who read this may be aware of the fact that I've been doing long, analytical rewatch-reviews of all of the Rose-related episodes from Who and I recently finished "The Empty Child," the first of that World War II two-parter and found that the characterization of the Doctor and (especially) Rose was not just a "tad" off as I recalled from my first, non-analytical rewatch. No, no, the two characters were horrifically off. In the case of Rose, it was damn-near close to character assassination. Oh, Moffat, just when I thought I couldn't think any less of your writing, I'm sunk anew by how you just blithely disregard character continuity.

So, long post summed up? Steven Moffat is not my favorite writer, far from it.

It is not because I was/am a die-hard, love them and squish them forever, Doctor/Rose shipper and he spits and shits all over their beautiful love story. It is not because I think he's a sexist pig (or at least writes like one; he may be quite lovely in person) -- although, he is/does. It is not because when looked at closely, his plots (supposedly so tight and together) don't hold up. Nor is it because he uses gotchas and cheap ploys to get a rise out of the audience for a first-time viewing that no longer exists in any subsequent viewing and thus shows said gotchas and cheap ploys for exactly what they are.

Although, admittedly, I do think that all of the above are quite fair reasons for finding Moffat's writing less than desirable. However for me, those would make me think less (admittedly much less) of him as a writer, but would not cause me to utterly despise his work. No, I despise Steven Moffat as a writer because he shows an absolutely appalling lack of respect for every single person involved in creating the new Who. And I say this because every single person involved in creating the new Who -- at least publicly -- other than Moffat has written, scored, produced and acted out this beautiful, epic love story between the Doctor and Rose Tyler.

Steven Moffat completely and utterly disregarded the canon of said relationship in all episodes surrounding his. That shows a shallow, petulant quality in how he approaches his work that he could so easily dismiss the hard work of all of the writers, directors, actors, etc. around him who have been carefully building up said relationship. If he were a disrespectful ass who deliberately went against the wishes of the executive producer of the show he was working on knowing that because of his awards he could do so without impunity, but still managed to create brilliant television that honored the arc and emotional continuity of said program, I wouldn't be his biggest fan, but I wouldn't be on the anti-Moffat train either. And I would willingly concede his brilliance as a writer. (And even despising his writing as I do, I still will concede that he CAN write -- just not with any depth, or by honoring the continuity of the characters and arcs as written by previous writers.)

Moffat is a selfish, disrespectful writer, and he does NOT offer brilliant television beyond an initial viewing. Once one rewatches any of his offerings -- even without an eye towards the arc and emotional continuity -- things fall apart in the area of the plot, the general characterization, the gotchas and cheap ploys are revealed as such. And once one adds in the consistent characterization, well, what you're left with is a mess. But that first viewing without being well-versed in the character and arc-continuity? It is golden, thus his awards. But looking deeper, taking into account the program as a whole, as opposed to each episode a separate entity, the gold turns to dust. In other words, he is the Emperor with no clothes.

And I believe it is quite possible that the BBC will learn within the next few years that Steven Moffat is, indeed, wearing not a stitch.

ETA: shinyopal's massive, and I do mean, massive! post is up. Check it out here.
Opal: AoG and JE: shinyopals on November 9th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
It might be argued that I've done enough talking about Moffat today, but here I am! Especially since in my MONSTERESSAY, I didn't mention my own fandom history.

It's actually highly similar to yours, in that I'd watched s1-s3 and come out shouting the praises of Moffat. I didn't *love* GitF the first time I watched it, I was kind of "meh", but TEC/TDD more than made up for it. But then, like you, I watched again and this time I wasn't a casual viewer. All the same, for a while I was saying "Well GitF is good as a standalone episode, it just blows in terms of continuity" because I knew I hated it because it hurt my ship.

But the longer I spend in this fandom, the more I learn about him and the more I read into this writing and, as evidenced by my POST OF DOOM, these days I can't think of *anything* good.

I totally agree with your post here and I think you've summed up my personal feelings, whereas I've distanced myself a little more in my own post, if that makes sense. But you've written exactly why his lack of respect for the characters and stories annoys me personally so much, especially given how similar our fandom histories are.

And you're right about GitF. Generally, I don't like a buffer character in the way of my ship, but it would have made sense and could have been written in a way that did so.

I'm also with you on s5 - I totally get the dithering. There's a little part of me that still wants to watch, both for the trainwreck it's most likely to be and also because I adore this show, both Classic and New Who. But I don't think I can bring myself to watch New New Who because of how much it's going to hurt!


Edited at 2008-11-09 01:52 am (UTC)
Arabian: Dr Who (Rose/10/9)arabian on November 9th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
It is interesting that a lot of those anti-Moffat now did enjoy him quite a bit before really getting into the nitty-gritty of the show. And that I think does explain his popularity and his awards. It really is a small number of people who sit down and analyze the hell out of a tv show, and for the many, many more who don't, they just get the shiny, happy, first viewing without bringing forth the follow-through from other episodes. And, if nothing else, Moffat is good at the shiny, happy first viewing.

It really does frustrate me about GitF because it could have been heartwrenching and beautiful and brilliant; the pieces were there, but Moffat just threw it all away.


trustme1013: Not this again!trustme1013 on November 9th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
I completely agree with you. I do. I can't think of anything I might add, except that I'm insulted by his disregard for me as a viewer. I really am.

My first episode was The Shakespeare Code, and while it was Martha's first adventure (a perfect place for me to start) I could see that this Doctor was dealing with some serious issues, and ... Rose... The mention of Rose intrigued me. Who was this person to such a strange man I discovered had two hearts? I watched the episode again and then immediately downloaded Seasons 1 & 2. And, I caught the whole TEC/TDD misstep ... Rose acting trampy? Are you joking, Mr. Moffat? Though, yeah, Captain Jack's something else ... it felt so... forced, especially after Father's Day (the best episode ever, imho, right after TIP/TSP)

Anyway, brilliant!

*shakes fist at Moffat and points him to icon*
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - One Heartarabian on November 9th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, that's it perfectly: He disregards viewers' intelligence because he clearly doesn't expect any television watcher to actually look behind the shiny, pretty surface.

It's so interesting seeing how different shippers came to be so, and how many of those people see the same things in Moffat's episodes, once they've really gotten into the show.

FD (and TIP/TSP) are up there in my top ten definitely. When I'm done with my rewatch and just rewatch episodes for fun, I'm coming up with my favorite 10 (or 20) episode list!
Diana: *heart* -- the Doctorbutterfly on November 9th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
Beautiful post. My own path toward Moffat dislike started post-GitF. I utterly fell in love with the show over the course of watching S1 (the Doctor/Rose relationship being a particular draw) and then fell for Ten in TCI. So, I was very attached when GitF rolled around and all of a sudden that guy that I'd liked so much was just gone and Rose was crying and I was flipping pissed off at the show turning on me like that.

And then came RotC and the show (and the Doctor) was back. It's the hardest and most unexpected case of emotional whiplash that a show has ever given me. All the more so because I was looking forward to GitF. I'd read up a little about MdP, thought she sounded cool, and was willing to go with a complicating love story within the Doctor/Rose story (plus, I'd watched and enjoyed Moffat's Coupling). Only Moffat completely jettisoned that story before writing his own -- Rose and Mickey's relationship development completely vanished, and Rose was a weak, pale shadow of herself (especially after how feisty she is in SR). I felt like he'd broken her.

And, of course, the Doctor was a stupid, arrogant asshole in GitF and, really, all other Moffat-episodes (though slightly less so in TEC/TDD).

Now, the Doctor can be dense (especially when it comes to people!), or he can be careless of people's emotions, and he's definitely high-handed and thinks he should be able to make other people's decisions if he thinks they're making stupid ones, but he always has good reasons. It always makes sense. They're purposeful character flaws.

Except in Moffat's episodes. His lie to Donna in SitL makes no sense. It's not like she's not going to find out! All it did was let her know that he likes fucking around with her head. What purpose does that serve?

Once one rewatches any of his offerings -- even without an eye towards the arc and emotional continuity -- things fall apart in the area of the plot, the general characterization, the gotchas and cheap ploys are revealed as such. And once one adds in the consistent characterization, well, what you're left with is a mess.

Yep. Every other episode of New Who that I've watched gets better with repetition. Moffat's are the only ones that inevitably get worse.

Edited at 2008-11-09 04:13 am (UTC)
Arabian: Dr Who (Ten)arabian on November 9th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
I think that if (a) I hadn't been obsessed with another couple when I began watching New Who, and had gone straight into series two, I would have reacted much as you did. It was my attachment to Nine/Eccleston, and the length of time between watching series one and two that kept me at arm's length.

Okay, I only watched them once (and never intend to do again), but what lie did the Doctor tell Donna in SitL? That keeps getting mentioned and I can not remember it for the life of me. Probably because I blocked out so much of those episodes purposefully.

Every other episode of New Who that I've watched gets better with repetition. Moffat's are the only ones that inevitably get worse.

And that is the bottom-line argument for me.
Diana: Flame Hair - Donnabutterfly on November 9th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
DOCTOR: "Oh, you know, just passing."
DONNA: "No, seriously. It was all, "let's hit the beach" then suddenly we're in a Library."


DONNA: "So... We weren't just in the neighbourhood."
DOCTOR: "Yeah, I kind of, sort of lied a bit. I got a message on the psychic paper."

I mean, it's such a tiny, pointless lie, which is exactly why it's so annoying.
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on November 9th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I mean, seriously, what was the point? God, Moffat. Done with you. Just done with you.

I think it every time I see it, but GOSH, I love that Donna icon of yours, and again, I remind myself I have to make at least one more Donna icon.
Diana: Dressing Up -- Donna and the Doctorbutterfly on November 10th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
Donna is so very awesome.

*hearts Donna*
pncwhopncwho on November 9th, 2008 06:07 am (UTC)
Great post, really, really well thought-out and stated. It's turned into Anti-Moffat day, wonder if his ears are burning? ;)

Honestly, I agree with all your points (and shinyopals', too). To paraphrase the Bard, Moffat's scripts are "full of sound and fury signifying nothing." Indeed, they are all pretty effects and flashy monsters trying to hide the lack of characterization and continuity.

The sexism is a serious problem, too, though I think it's linked to the lack of characterization. He just doesn't see his characters as people, and the female characters even less so because of his own views about women.

I am afraid that this show which I have loved for twenty years is going to crash and burn with Moffat at the helm. I just can't see it succeeding as a shallow, plastic shadow of itself. :(
Arabian: Doylearabian on November 9th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Well, while I've been meaning to write this for awhile, it wasn't until shinyopals talked about hers that I realized I better get off my duff and get my thoughts out there now or I'd be cribbing so much from her essay on it.

Yup, "full of sound and fury signifying nothing," indeed. And because I'm feeling spiteful because a pro-Moffat troll anonymously responded (since deleted), I'll add the beginning of that phrase: It is a tale told by an idiot.

He just doesn't see his characters as people

YES! They are just things that he can play with to fit his moods, his plots, his ideas.

I'm hoping that if Moffat does destroy what makes Who Who, that the BBC will pick up on that pretty damn quickly and he'll be let go soon enough. One, at the most two series, is all that I think the show can afford. Then maybe they can hire someone who actually gives a damn about characterization and consistency.
pncwhopncwho on November 11th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
I'm hoping that if Moffat does destroy what makes Who Who, that the BBC will pick up on that pretty damn quickly and he'll be let go soon enough. One, at the most two series, is all that I think the show can afford. Then maybe they can hire someone who actually gives a damn about characterization and consistency.

Or they'll just cancel the show, like they did in McCoy's third year. :(

DW has so much potential, for good or bad. In capable hands, it's the best TV show ever, but in the wrong hands, it's utter dreck.
But you can call me Bowie: dr who 9 do not wantisiscaughey on November 9th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC)
Well said.

I, like you, started out really liking Moffat. I loved TEC/TDD. I didn't really like GitF (but I was slow to like S2 anyway, so I didn't notice that one in particular), but I loved Blink and I loved Time Crash.

It wasn't until later when I got really involved in online Whovian fandom that I started hearing about Moffat as a misogynist, and went back and re-watched his stuff more seriously, and really started noticing these things.

Then there was his S4 two parter, which not only (as you say) shat all over the storylines and the arcs, but also was just not a very good story to begin with, and also continued to display hideous amounts of misogyny.

And last but not least, he made those ridiculous and insulting comments about Rose. I don't care if he was "kidding", it was rude, sexist, and disrespectful.
Arabian: Dr Who (9) - WTFarabian on November 9th, 2008 08:29 pm (UTC)
I really think that Moffat is the kind of writer who succeeds beautifully as a one-shot writer. If you take his episodes out of context with the rest of the series (excluding the execrable SotL/FotD), they really are very, very good. It's just in the context of the arcs that play out throughout the rest of the episodes that you see the flaws. Simply because he does not play well with others; he wants to do his thing and his thing alone and bedamned to anyone else's work.

As for SotL/FotD, those were just bad. Badly cast (sorry, Alex!), badly created characters, badly plotted, bad everything. I swear if they win, let alone are even nominated, for the Hugo this year giving it to Moffat again -- who, really, only deserved it for "Blink" in my book -- I'll be infuriated. I so want RTD to get it for "Midnight" or "Turn Left."

Finally, yes, he insulted Rose. Bastard.

Edited at 2008-11-09 08:30 pm (UTC)
tangerinetani on November 9th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
Excellent points about Moffat!

Like you I am skeptic about the 5th season. David Tennant was my first Doctor, and he keeps me far more entertained than Eccleston's doctor (who does have his moments though) and it was the Doctor/Rose relationship that really got me hooked this summer.

Now that both those aspects of Who are effectively gone...it'll be hard to feel the same love for the show. I'm not really a big sci fi fan in general, it was the characters that really got me hooked on this show.

And another thing that pisses me off about what moffat did with the library two parter....he made River say "You watch us run." A total kick in the face to the doctor/rose because, part of their special bond was the fact that they were always running together (and to each other).
Arabian: TVarabian on November 9th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say I'm skeptical about a 5th series, I basically expect it to be pretty awful based on what we've seen of his work on Who thus far, as well as his quotes in general and about the show. And Tennant was NOT my first Doctor; Eccleston was and I adore him so much.

I'm actually a sci-fi fan, but I watch Who -- like you -- for the characters. Moffat has flat-out said that he doesn't believe characterization is necessary for Who therefore any shot there was of me watching his version is gone, kaput, outta here!

Everything about that library two-parter pissed me off.
sunnytyler001sunnytyler001 on November 9th, 2008 12:00 pm (UTC)
The only way I'll be able to watch Moffat's DW is by watching it as a whole new show. I'll have to forget Rose and Ten and Nine, and RTD's who or at least, see it as a different story, with different characters that has no links with Moffat's Doctor.
Otherwise, it will be too painful.
Rose and Ten II are safe, in their world, having wonderful adventures and living a long happy life. That's all that matters... isn't it?
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Kissarabian on November 9th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
And see for me finding out that he doesn't think characterization is important or even necessary in Who just makes it clear that his is a show I'll have absolutely no interest in watching.
sunnytyler001sunnytyler001 on November 10th, 2008 09:00 am (UTC)
I'll still give it a chance... we never know...
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - One Heartarabian on November 10th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
If all of us who expect the worst are wrong, I'm sure it will be easy enough to catch on the episodes. I'm not holding my breath; I'll be too busy rewatching episodes from series 1-4.
miss_jen_b on November 9th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
I'm sooooo with you on all of this. I have serious issues with Moffat, most of them to do with how he treats the companions, shoving them off to the sidelines while the Doctor goes and has fun with his Dolly du Jour. And to have his own little canon going with complete disregard to the whole rest of the series is Not Good (it's so bad it merits capitalisation). What I thought was originally clever in his S1 episodes and to some extent GitF (51st century references, squareness guns etc etc) are now the things I dislike most about his writing. It seems quite self-indulgent.

Also, while I'm one of those strange 10/Rose shippers who actually quite liked GitF and Reinette (gasp!), Moffat clearly hadn't done his history homework. His portrayal of Madame du Pompadour bugs me (and is soooo inaccurate), as does his portrayal of female characters in general (except maybe Sally Sparrow). Donna and Rose in particular spring to mind here.

I just hope that when he takes over he'll let the other writers do their thing and not make a mess of things. I agree with what various people have said above - Moffat's Who is going to have to be viewed as a completely different show to RTD's, if it's watched at all...

*gets off soapbox* I'm glad there are other people with Moffat issues!! Maybe we should start a club...
Arabian: Billie Piper_04arabian on November 9th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
BTW, there was a response to your post but it was someone disagreeing and anonymously so and I'm at the point where if the Moffat-fans want to defend him, they can do so, but not anonymously. If you love him that much, own up to it and don't do it without a name. Otherwise I won't even honor your thoughts with a response.

Now to your post: God, I HATE how the companions are just sidelined completely by Moffat. And you just know that had his 3rd series episode NOT been a Doctor-lite one, he would have sidelined Martha for his character.

Yup to disrespectful and petty, add self-indulgent to his flaws as a writer. Honestly, your hope that he'll let others writers have their own voice? I doubt will have even a snowball's chance of hell in happening. He's got the reins, it will be ALL about him.

We should start an anti-Moffat club. I know at least ten people who would join!

Edited at 2008-11-09 08:41 pm (UTC)
Salienne de Lioncourtsalienne on November 9th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think you've outlined four of my biggest beefs with Moffat: his complete and utter disregard for anything that's not his episode, his attitude towards Rose, his "clever writing" at the expense of the characters, and his misogyny. And I say this as someone who loves GitF!

The Library two-parter is the greatest culprit of all of the above, I think. Sticking a romance into a greater romantic arc (I mean, they have to use pictures of a blond and a wolf on a wall to foreshadow, since the script doesn't allow for it) and randomly turning Donna into a bitch highlight the first two, whereas the entire idea of River Song highlights the third (I've ranted at excess on this in other places, but I could do so again here if it is so desired). As for the misogyny...

The woman who must either be smart of pretty and River Song's ending pretty much speak for themselves.

Basically, I think Moffat cares about his own ideas and characters over those of anyone else (which is why, iroinically, I think a season produced by him will work much better than his stand-alones), but at the same time, he sacrifices character to plot. In the meantime, he peppers his stories with things like mandatory female love-interests, the beautiful-or-brilliant-but-not-both character, and the kick-ass archaeologist's happy ending being taking care of children for the rest of eternity.

Just... ugh.

Rose is off with Ten II and the Doctor is capable of angsting silently, so I'm okay with that (more or less). I'll watch S5, but I really really hope his other weaknesses (particularly the misogyny) don't show up in the scripts of other writers.
thebadwolf91 on January 31st, 2009 01:34 pm (UTC)
Hello! *waves* I hope you don't mind me replying - bit of a lurker, I've been reading some of your posts, and I gotta say I agree with this one quite a bit.

Like you, I actually rather liked Moffat's writing at first. I loved TEC/TDD on first viewing - I thought it was scary, thrilling, funny, one fantastic watch. I even liked GitF - though admittedly, back then I wasn't an avid shipper. And I adored 'Blink' (I'll admit that I still do actually, though I haven't watched it in a while).

The thing about Moffat's writing, I believe, is that it's rather like picking up a shiny, new toy. It's gold and bright, and full of scary monsters and witty dialogue - something the casual viewers just love first time round. However, once you've bought the shiny, new toy and start to play with it and scratch the surface a bit more... you begin to see that, in fact, this toy is a little bit broken. Actually it's very broken. With basically all the flaws you've stated in this post.

The characterisation is so bad I usually end up cringing away in horror. The plot's cheap and makes me frown quite a lot. And there is NO continuity in it. I'm terrified he'll make River Song the new companion, mainly because I HATED her - and I don't actually think it was only because she spat all over my ship either, I generally didn't like her character.

I guess I'm just trying to say that I agree with you. Much. And I think it's a real shame that this writer, who has ALL these flaws, is taking over my favourite show.

I'll still watch. Souly because I really rather like this new Doctor that's been cast and want to see what he has to offer. But I have a feeling that if I want to enjoy it, I'm going to have to watch without the critical eye. And I'll probably have to ignore the previous Doctor/Rose arc too :o(

Anyway, heh heh, sorry for rambling on. =D