What I thought of Doctor Who: Twice Upon A Time

In terms of stakes this episode of Doctor Who had a lot to achieve. It wasn’t just the last episode of Peter Capaldi’s run, but also head producer Steven Moffat, as well as being the first introduction of the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker. Add into this the fact the story was a multi-Doctor story with David Bradley doing a good job of portraying William Hartnell’s first Doctor plus we’ve got a WW1 army officer played by Mark Gatiss who has been displaced in time for some reason. It sort of works as long as you’re prepared to ignore the plot as that’s really secondary to what else is going on here.

The episode starts with a recap of the very first regeneration 709 episodes ago as the First Doctor (One) faced down the Cybermen, and that nicely leads into One meeting Capaldi’s Doctor (Twelve) at the South Pole after he’s just faced down the Cybermen. Both are refusing to regenerate; in One’s case because he wants to die in the same body he was born in and in Twelve’s case because he’s done with it all. He’s tired of fighting and just wants some peace. In the middle of all this is the riddle of why a WW1 officer has be placed out of time with both Doctor’s? Enter a group of glass androids powered by memories called Testimony who harvest people’s memories at the moment of death, so when Twelve’s former companion Bill Potts returns she can only remember everything up the point of her death. Twelve suspects something bad is going on, and One and Twelve team up to find out what’s going on.

It turns out the plot doesn’t really matter. Testimony aren’t baddies, but actually an academic project from the future to preserve human memories and experiences. This plot device allows Moffat to bring back all of Twelve’s companions (yes, including Clara) to give Capaldi’s Doctor a farewell, and deals with the idea of memories never being replaced. We’ll just make new ones and move on instead of wallowing in past memories which is as subtle a way as possible as saying we need to move on but we’ll still have memories to fall back on when we can. to an audience partly made up of people concerned the new Doctor will be having adventures while not in possession of a penis.

As an episode it is probably the best Christmas special since A Christmas Carol, and a nice sendoff for Capaldi who again shows that he can make any script sing, and here’s been the problem with Moffat’s time as head writer; all the promise of his first year with Matt Smith vanished as plots became needlessly convoluted and were rarely resolved in any satisfying manner. Twice Upon A Time is a fairly simple story by Moffat standards but the hundreds of thousands watching for the regeneration who aren’t regular viewers would have been scratching their heads over some of the plot which did involve having a bit of knowledge of Moffat’s run and indeed, the 54 years history of the programme. Indeed one of the other problems of Moffat’s time is a viewer needed some knowledge of the history to appreciate the programme fully. That said the revelation of just who Mark Gatiss is playing is a lovely wee touch for fans of the programme going back to Patrick Troughton’s time, though I found Moffat making Hartnell’s Doctor a sexist prick

Yet this episode feels like a palate cleanser for what’s to come. A new producer/head writer in the shape of Chris Chibnall, and of course, a new Doctor in the form of Jodie Whittaker. Everything is set up at the end of this episode for a totally fresh start which brings me to the regeneration. Isn’t my favourite. That’s still Peter Davidson to Colin Baker at the end of Caves of Androzani. That story also featured a Doctor fighting off a regeneration, but in this case it was to save the life of his companion and it features the best opening lines from a new Doctor while breaking the fourth wall.. It still can’t be beat.

Capaldi’s regeneration is good though and is essentially a monologue outlining what the Doctor should be; never cruel or cowardly which is the line former Doctor Who writer Terrance Dicks has used for years to describe what the basic character of the Doctor. How Moffat uses that line here is to tell the audience that as long as the Doctor remains these things then they are the Doctor, regardless of how they look.

The new Doctor has a cliffhanger to resolve but she comes to the audience as either a blank slate, or as an evil example of how the snowflake Femnazis are making everything awful from the ”we’ve got blue passports” brigade. She’s got the potential to give the programme the jolt it needs as long as Chibnall remembers that not every viewer will be dripping in the history of the programme and to make stories accessible while at the same time keeping the hardcore fan happy. Not an easy task, but I wish them well and although I’m full of regret we never saw Capaldi hit his full potential that we’re going to get something very special with Jodie Whitaker.

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Steven Moffat has left Doctor Who and we might be demanding him back….

Steven Moffat, the lead writer and ‘showrunner’ (horrible Americanism)  of Doctor Who is leaving after series 10 of the new series next year. This should be a good thing as the programme is suffering from some truly terrible scripts plus there’s an instance by Moffat ro make things needlessly complicated for anyone just wanting to tune into a bit of Saturday night telly to have seen 53 years worth of episodes to get not just tiny wee things as a nod to the fans, but big major plot points.

Although Moffat has done some fantastic episodes his time in charge has been self-indulgent and it’s wasted one good actor in Matt Smith (who should have had more classic stories) and is still wasting a superb actor in the shape of Peter Capaldi. Moffat needed someone to curb him, and to be fair, his last series did feel better in terms of stories but yet again what let him down was his self-indulgence not to mention the avoidance of killing off Clara which was were her story arc was heading and would have made dramatic sense. Instead we got a pandering continuation for a character not to mention the threat of yet another return.

Tearing up the expected rules of drama is fine if you’re going to do something interesting with it, but Moffat’s done little interesting and there’s good reason why the episodes he wrote last series were the least interesting because he’d ran out of anything interesting to actually say. But Moffat did help bring the programme an international popularity as the BBC realised they could market the hell out of it outwith the UK, so he’s also guaranteed a cash-cow for the BBC at a time when the Tories are squeezing the corporation hard for budget cuts.

So he’s going. Good luck to him. I just hope he’ll have a good replacement with a good track record in writing some great plots and dialogue…..

Oh.

Fuck,

Chris Chibnall is taking over…..

 

Steven, I was a wee bit too harsh!! Please stay! We’ll be better together!

The Doctor Who finale was Steven Moffat’s big bag of shite for us all

Spoilers await for the latest episodes of Doctor Who. You’ve been warned.

 

In Crisis on Infinite Earths, the first huge DC Comics crossover series from 1985, writer Marv Wolfman was told to kill off the Barry Allen version of the Flash as a huge statement that DC were not mucking about in regards changing everything. So Wolfman gave Barry Allen an heroic death saving the entire universe from the evil bad guy, but he left an opening in that death should anyone at any point want to bring Barry back and it’d also provide new motivation for Barry Allen.

Wolfman’s idea was that Barry could be plucked from his timestream in the fraction of a second before he ran himself to death, and he’d live on having adventures, fighting crime, being part of the Justice League, etc, but all the time Barry would know that he’d have to return to face his death at some point so he’d make every second count in whatever time he had before going off to die. This way would have kept Barry’s sacrifice intact and created a new motivation for his heroism.

If anyone reading this was watching Hell Bent, the last episode of Series 9 of the returned Doctor Who last night you’ll realise right away that producer and head writer Steven Moffat used virtually that same idea to return the character of Clara back to life a fortnight after everyone thought her dead and gone in an episode that cheapens the previous episodes, and not just that, it means that in future if Moffat writes a major character or companion’s death, we’re not going to trust it. So frankly, why the fuck should we emotionally invest in anything Moffat writes at all from now on if something like Clara’s death can be so easily reversed?

Her death was the logical end of her story arc. She’s been cocky, selfish, stubborn and in thinking she’s as smart as the Doctor, she did something that doomed her to facing death and she did so calmly and heroically. She got a good death scene and we, the viewer were invested in that so even if you didn’t especially care for the Clara character (she was at times exceptionally annoying/badly written and acted) this was an amazing scene because it was great. A companion died because they thought they were the Doctor and the Doctor stood back knowing he could do nothing, then after being essentially put through billions of years of torture by the Time Lords turns up on Gallifrey to enact revenge and justice upon Rassilon and the High Council for their part in the Time War.

Everything up to there is great. There’s some nice little scenes of the Doctor mingling with ordinary Gallifreians that tell a lot mainly because of Peter Capaldi acting his balls off as he has done throughout this series. Then from about 20-25 minutes into Hell Bent it turns to crap as the Time War/Rassilon plot is wrapped up far, far too quickly (it’s a few lines of dialogue in passing) for something that’s been built up since the programme came back a decade ago.

No, that decade worth of plot, character development and story is ditched so the Doctor gets the Time Lords to pull Clara out of her timestream a moment before her death so she can help him find out who or what the hybrid (this series ongoing plot) is, but in reality the Doctor has gotten the Time Lords (who are now Rassilon free and look to the Doctor not just as a war hero that saved them all, but as a leader) to do this for him so he can bring Clara back to life, and it’s these scenes the writing collapses. The Doctor ends up shooting a Time Lord in a scene that’s stupefyingly  callous because this is something he’d never, ever do. Sure, there’s a line saying that ‘death is like man flu for Time Lords’ which is nonsense as the programme has made it clear that they feel every part of their death, and it ticks off another regeneration which brings them nearer to death.

But to Moffat, Clara is the most important thing here. The Doctor can go against 52 years of characterisation and act like an arsehole to save one life that’s lost because of that person’s hubris. Moffat looked like he’d carved out a good arc for Clara, given her a death which lets her leave with some dignity and this would give the Doctor the motivation to face the Time Lords and bang! There’s a decade worth of story ended in a decent way.

Instead Clara isn’t just alive still, but after some utter gubbins ends up with her own Tardis in the company of the immortal Me, the character played by Masie Williams. There’s some more gubbins that involves the Doctor forgetting the arseholery he’s done (but he’s still done it anyhow) and getting back to being the Doctor, but Clara and Me are whizzing round all of time and space in their own Tardis. Clara lives and she can have her own spin off because in the land of Steven Moffat, logical character arcs and character development goes out the window when it comes to a character who seems like his own avatar in the programme.

What’s really tragic is that this series has been on the whole, excellent. The focus on two part stories has allowed for some good storytelling, and the undersea base story, and the Zygon story stand out especially as some of the best stories since the programme came back in 2005. Also Peter Capaldi has hit his stride in terms of being the Doctor. He’s holding this programme together with some seriously good performances which considering at times he’s given some rubbish to speak, is a feat and a half.

Ultimately though allowing Clara to live, and to happily flash round round the universe in her own Tardis, cheats the audience and in the programme diminishes death as a serious dramatic threat for a future companion. In short, it’s a steaming big bag of shite that makes Clara The Most Important Companion Ever, and makes the next person smaller in scale because they’ll never be Clara and that’s quite depressing.

What I thought of Doctor Who: Into the Dalek

Thoughts about Deep Breath.

Episode two or series 8 of the 21st century version of Doctor Who, Into the Dalek,  sees the return of the Daleks. Again. Every single series since the programme returned has seen the Daleks pop up over and over again to the point where they’ve went from incredibly effective monsters to cartoon baddies who are incredibly easily defeated. It’s worth noting that in the seven years Tom Baker played the Doctor, he faced off against the Daleks only twice. In short, the Daleks are now seriously overused, but the BBC need them to sell toys. Lots and lots and lots of toys. So the Daleks are back in what appears to be Stephen Moffat’s homage to Fantastic Voyage.

This is also the second of two episodes directed by proper film director Ben Wheatley who does really work wonders with what is becoming a noticeable decrease in budget from previous years. It’s also the first full episode with the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, not running around in the traditional post-regeneration mess. This is the new Doctor in full flow and so it’s an important episode because the audience is going to really start to decide whether it likes or dislikes Capaldi so the use of the Daleks so early is probably seen as a safe bet to help give the new Doctor a little boost in the ratings, and seeing as ITV’s popular shitefest The X Factor is back, it needs to keep the momentum going.

Into the Dalek is essentially nu-Who looking back and doing it well. The plot is basically that of Fantastic Voyage as mentioned, and this is even referenced in a line of dialogue, but for those of old bastards it’s also The Invisible Enemy, a serial from Tom Baker’s era. The story is basically the Doctor and companions get miniaturised and go into a captured Dalek who is the prisoner of some humans at some undetermined point in the future. This Dalek however is ‘good’ as it’s seen the birth of a star which has taught it the lesson that life prevails regardless of how many stars the Dalek Empire snuffs out.

Of course the Doctor finds what’s causing this in the Dalek (an internal radiation leak), seals it and this changes the Dalek back to the murdering psychopath we’re all used to which means the rest of the episode if spent trying to stop the Dalek, or indeed, try to make it ‘good’ again. In the course of this we find out more about Capaldi’s Doctor and he’s not nice, simple and heroic like Matt Smith’s or David Tennant’s. He’s very alien and very callous when it comes to human life being sacrificed when it needs to be, or at least until Clara slaps him in the face and gives him a serious bollocking. This Doctor has shades of Hartnell, with a lot of Tom and Colin Baker with a little bit of Pertwee. It’s quite brave of Capaldi (who I assume is helping guide the characterisation) to play a Doctor who isn’t just a grumpy old man, but almost sociopathic at times before flipping into childlike wonder at the universe. He’s not especially heroic so far, and in fact there’s a serious ambiguity around him hence the ‘am I a good man Clara‘ line.

And this brings me to Clara and Jenna Coleman. When she was started she was essentially a blow up doll who jumped around looking pretty at the side of Matt Smith. There was nothing to her, but now there is and Coleman is called upon to act, which she does very well. Clara is now the audience surrogate so it’s important she develops otherwise Capaldi’s Doctor is stillborn, so it’s good to say she’s becoming a fully formed female character. Somewhat of a first since Moffat took over.

This episode also sees the introduction of Danny Pink, a new character who is intended to be the boyfriend of Clara. He’s an ex-solider clearly suffering from PTSD, and apart from looking like Andros Townsend, he’s an interesting character so far. The fact he’s an ex-soldier is going to be obviously important after the end of this episode when the Doctor refuses to let one of the future soldiers join him as she’s a soldier. Make no mistake, this isn’t the easy to love Doctor of Tennant or Smith, this is harder and about as hard as you’ll see for something which is still a children’s/family programme for a Saturday teatime slot.

The plot is thin but this is about the new Doctor coming to terms with who he is and what he’s done, plus the intention he has to make things good, and better. The fact that he doesn’t create a good Dalek, but leaves the future humans with a Dalek who hates other Daleks because it’s looked into the soul of the Doctor to see his hatred for that race (yes, the Doctor is racist) and decided to kill them all. He’s failed from the very start of this regeneration. There’s no great victory even though he’s tried to be a ‘good man’.

Into the Dalek is a fine episode. Short on plot but it’s all about the characters. The direction is splendid and it’s nice to see Michael Smiley pop up in what is basically a cameo role. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is developing nicely, and the mystery of Missy is nicely developing without being too intrusive. In fact so far, this series is free of the messy storytelling of the previous two, and the lack of jump cuts every five minutes lets characters develop. It’s interesting to see this Doctor grow along with Clara. The problems are the thin plot, and the fact that the spaceship this is set on looks like a disused office in Cardiff because, well, it probably is. No matter how good a director you have, they can’t hide things like that.

Any criticisms though as small. This is a fine episode which sets this series up nicely and it has to be said, it’s nice to actually enjoy Doctor Who telling stories simply again.

Next week, Robin Hood?

The Time of the Doctor

Christmas Day saw the final Matt Smith episode of Doctor Who, The Time of the Doctor. It should have been a great send off for an actor who has had to struggle with opinion coming after the ridiculously popular David Tennant, not to mention some truly awful scripts but Smith himself has been on the whole excellent. He really did deserve a great final episode that would be a classic.As i sit here having watched it again on Boxing Day, I have say that he didn’t get it.

Instead we got a mess with monsters turning up for a scene before being forgotten about, or in the case of the Sontarans (who used to be utter, utter bastards but are now comic relief) dismissed with a crap gag about how crap they are. The Weeping Angels are introduced and instantly forgotten about. The Cybermen get a reasonable crack but it’s the Daleks who get their time in the sun again, but not the new shiny Daleks of Smith’s first year, no, it’s the Daleks of old because the new shiny Daleks were pish.

Anyhow, Steven  Moffat uses this episode to wrap up every single dangling thread from the last three years.which makes it sound like he’s engineered some massive fantastic masterplan rather than leave things lying in order to create a ‘mystery’ as opposed to letting it naturally and organically develop as part of the drama. Throwing around ideas like confetti and leaving them dangling for years only to be wrapped up in a throwaway line at the last minute is frankly, shoddy, sloppy and just plain crap.

Then there’s urge to make things  Epic!! EPIC!!!!!

I’m bored with epic as the default setting for virtually every genre film and TV programme going. Make it about people and make a good story rather than throwing shite at the wall in the desperate hope that it’ll stick. We don’t need drama to be at this insane level all the time as what’s lost are the characters, so with the Time of the Doctor, all the supporting characters are just cardboard cutouts who we’re supposed to care about because we’re told we need to care about them. Clara we don’t care about but she’s cute and perky so Moffat takes that criticism by giving her a family we don’t care about because they’re cardboard characters drawn with such broad brushstrokes that a writer on Eastenders would be bollocked for writing like that.

Making something smaller doesn’t make it worse. This seems to be the fear for not only Moffat on Doctor Who, but across genre fiction generally but it really makes it hard to take when Moffat constantly has universe ending threats being overturned every week. That reduces the drama, it makes the tension non-existent and it just makes the Doctor a superheroic figure who can do anything. As DC Comics found with Superman, when you have a character who can do anything, it’s boring so you have to peel everything back at some point. It is however a sign of the slow Americanisation of the programme as more and more it looks to that market rather than concentrate on what made it work in the first place.

Which is to be fair partly what Moffat has been trying to do but he can’t resist overcooking things so we end up with things like this which was so full of holes, so full of pandering fanservice that it barely at times resembled a piece of TV drama, rather a piece of disconnected scenes held together by someone telling you what happened elsewhere. When a drama relies upon telling you vast chunks of story then it’s failing it’s job, and yes, I understand the whole fairy tale thing Moffat was trying to do but let’s be blunt, it didn’t really work.

So in the end Matt Smith was a great Doctor with poor scripts. I wish he’d been given better to work with but there’s a lot of nuggets among the average stories he’s had to work with. He deserved better but we now look forward to Peter Capaldi in the autumn.

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The Slow Painful Death of the Art of Criticism & How It Hurts Doctor Who

As mentioned last time this week’s final episode of this series of Doctor Who sparked a few things off in my head. This was mainly in the reaction to it online and the fact that the Emperor has no clothes but if you distract people from this you can create a success out of anything as long as people ignore the obvious. From now on there’s spoilers so be warned if you’ve not watched it yet.

Now I’m not talking about enjoying something. I still enjoy Doctor Who most of the time and thought the Neil Gaiman episode last week was excellent, and Mark Gatiss did a great one the week before that which played on the campness of Who while mixing in influences including a large League of Gentlemen one which is always going to get my approval. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy something and notice the huge gaping problems with what you’re watching. I’m talking about that most horrible of things in modern genre fandom, the Squee Factor. Which isn’t to say that people are wrong, but if you’re just sitting there thinking that something is good because it’s ”cool” and it’s what you as a fan want, then all  that’s on the screen is a version of fanwank which is building and building things up but forgets to create drama or characters in order to get what the writer, and a large chunk of the fans want but it doesn’t mean the story or the programme actually needs it.

This creates the defence of ‘but if I love it then it can’t be bad’, or ‘ur a hater!!!’ because when the writer of the programme itself is a fan then the temptation to write professional fanwank is huge and this is the huge gaping hole that Stephen Moffat has written himself into. In creating a programme aimed more and more at the fans as opposed to the populist days of Russell T. Davies (which did end up being tied in knots because of pandering to fans) that’s ended up fetishising the character of the Doctor in a way only a fan of the programme could.

So that’s why The Name of the Doctor isn’t anything more than fanfic writ large on HD screens and funded by license payers rather than banged out online, or in the old days, hammered out on a typewriter then photocopied and distributed as fanzines. I’m not knocking fanfic per say, but when you have an episode made up essentially of actors spouting large unweildy chunks of exposition at each out while the writer hammers home the point that Clara is ‘important’ and the Doctor is the huge mythological figure akin to God, or Allah, or Jebus rather that this weirdo alien bloke going around having adventures. It can’t be as simple as that as producers and writers (many of which were fans growing up) see the character as a HUGE INFLUENCE on EVERYTHING which is really some sort of meta-commentary on how Doctor Who influenced them as children and children tend to make influential figures in their lives bigger than they actually are so that’s why we end up with the Doctor being this massive figure in all of creation which makes people think it’s all grown up and dark and stuff.

In reality it takes away from the core of the character in that he was one of many of his people who escaped the cloying nature of his people to do good because he wanted to escape. He was a drop out created just before the idea of a drop out became part of the sixties culture on both sides of the Atlantic, so the Doctor was this rebellious figure saying ‘fuck you’ to the establishment  even though he was sometimes part of that same establishment. In fact the entire first year of the Jon Pertwee era rams this point home as he’s constantly trying to run away like a child would if they were unhappy with their family and I found that amazingly powerful when I started watching the Pertwee era when I was a kid because things weren’t all bread and roses when I was growing up, so what I’m saying is that I’m as much as a screaming fanboy as anyone. I am able however to spot steaming shite when it’s served up to me.

This is where we have a little diversion and I have to recommend going off and reading the TV criticism of Clive James. In particular I remember reading The Crystal Bucket around the age of 15 or so thanks to an English teacher who tried to spark some ember of writing skill I must have shown in school but never properly did anything about. It’s a fantastic book and James is the best critic of television I’ve read apart from Harlan Ellison. His essays collected in The Glass Teat are spectacular and comparing both James and Ellison’s criticism compared to say, Sam Wollaston’s barely literate ramblings in The Guardian shows you just how lost the skill of criticism has become in the media.

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Go read this stuff. It’s important and it shows you how to do it rather than recapping the synopsis, adding a funny line, adopting a popular stance, then moving on.

When you have a programme written by fans, for fans and criticised by fans (normally along the lines of ‘this was awesome’ or ‘squeeeeeee’) in the newspapers, online and on fansites, genuine criticism becomes swallowed up in the fight to get heard. Part of this is people who genuinely did enjoy it, and I’ve no real problem with them. Part are people bandwagon jumping trying to get in on what’s ‘cool’ or just parroting what they’ve heard elsewhere and a large part are people desperately trying to be heard so they can get a paid job in the media and this last one causes problems because this is generally where all critical facilities tend to go out the window.

See, it’s very hard to seriously criticise what might be a future employer, or something you want to work on should be lucky enough to do so. This leads to the horrible situation of the sort of soft criticism you see especially on comic sites like a Bleeding Cool or CBR because you don’t want to lose those exclusive interviews, the review copies, the access to professionals and all the other stuff that you really want to get involved with rather than actually write criticism. You want your cake and eat it, or indeed, gorge on it. If you’re really lucky you might get a job with Marvel or DC Comics, and that might lead to working for a TV production company, or a TV channel or a film studio and then you’re quids in. It’s a means to an end rather than a goal in itself so it suppresses real criticism so rather than reading about how Moffat doesn’t seem to understand anymore how to form a drama in it’s own right, you just read thousands of versions of ‘squeeeeeee’.

Which brings us to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and a storyline which has been building for years, or at least the consensus is it’s been building for years rather than being thrown together and made up on the hoof as some of it clearly looks like it has because everyone is so intent to make things HUGE and EPIC like a fan would that they’ve forgotten that the best drama is made up of what people can relate to and simply put, you can’t relate to a God. You can relate to someone breaking free of a cloying establishment and doing good things to help people, but a God who is so important we can’t even know his name or something bad will happen somewhere to everyone isn’t a relatable hook, so it all becomes fanfic. It all becomes about rushing from one scene to the next so someone can spout another huge bit of exposition and the Doctor acts like a cretin because that’s how some people growing up saw the character, and it plays well in the US.

Creating good, populist drama is hard. Creating good criticism is hard. It involves hard work, research and an education and by that I don’t mean a degree, but a knowledge of television, how it works, writing, dramatic structure and of the world generally rather than just recycling what you know. It also takes a will to demand quality be it Doctor Who, or Eastenders or anything because why should the audience accept rubbish because it throws some bones to the fans who will watch it regardless of quality. Spouting exposition at each other isn’t drama. Telling us in huge unsubtle strokes that a character is Very Important isn’t creating a human drama, it’s just demoting female characters on the programme to plot points rather than people as it’s only the female characters who act as these important plot points. It’s odd, and there’s a weird feel about seeing female characters who only exist as a puzzle for the Doctor to solve rather than being people in their own right which says something about what’s rattling inside Moffat’s head.

Really though the point of this rambling nonsense isn’t to have a pop at a popular programme, or fanboys or anything that ”haters are going to hate” but to demand quality and honesty rather than shouting ‘squeee’ at the screen every five minutes because the script has spat out another piece of fan service.

And it’s not just Who that suffers from it. It’s virtually everything genre related out there because production companies and film studios do their market research online which means they encounter the hardcore fan, and when something new or different is proposed to try to widen the appeal/audience you get fans tied up in knots complaining how it’s not ”their” version of the character, or just plain outright misogyny or racism.

I want Doctor Who to thrill, excite and challenge me like it did when I was watching all those great Robert Holmes stories, or even a return to the quality Moffat is clearly capable of.  As said, it’s still fun to watch most of the time but it’s fell into a hole of it’s own making by building up everything to a huge and massive scale that the drama is lost in the twists and turns of the plot. All the likes of Moffat is doing is just eating the history of the programme and spewing it out but bigger and more epic and this is the final point. Fans want their programmes or genre fiction to be more epic and big and huge and massive and enormous, but there’s a point where you can’t go anywhere else and this isn’t helped by the feed of uncritical, or basically crap criticism.

Saying something is ‘shit’ or ‘sucks’ isn’t criticism. It’s just an opinion. Saying something is ‘cool’ or ‘fun’ isn’t criticism. It’s just an opinion. Far too often that’s what we get as criticism and frankly it’s shite…………

Next time, something else……