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On Moffat and Doctor Who

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 5:28 AM
So! A bit of rant time, hm. Just a little tension for those conflict-lovers out there, ha.

I'm honestly not sure where to begin with all this-- all I know is that I'm actually quite alone and don't really have anything for my mind to chew on, so I'll scurry on until the tea wears off.

In regards to so called Whovians that creep on Tumblr to write essays about the things they hate (namely, the direction of Steven Moffat and the 11th doctor era) I raise my hand and say what I love.

I consider Steven Moffat to be an imaginative, inspiring, (but certainly not perfect) down-right Madman of a writer; and I love his works for that. I've watched some Classic Who, I've seen the 9th, 10th and current 11th Doctor eras as any faithful fan has--- so you can't deny me any credibility in my opinion. And let me be honest here--- if it wasn't for that new imaginative, creative (and fantastically quotable) touch in the show's writing, I would like classic who more then the current generation of Doctors. I don't base my favorite Doctor on who's the most attractive, or fun, or even by a similar personality-- I base it on how well I can connect. And when I mean connect, I mean it in the most powerful manner. The reason I don't jump into so many fandoms as strongly as others is because I am simply a fan to those series; I love it--- but I don't grow or learn from it.

For some odd reason, I can't wrap my head around any reason why Moffat is so hated among Whovians. I understand that he didn't write every episode, and I understand Davies wasn't the only writer for the 9th and 10th eras--- we look back and see that Moffat was with the 9th and 10th Doctor era as well. He was the inspiration behind the weeping angels, he wrote those gems like "The Girl in the fireplace". And I really feel that those who hate on Moffat or Davies are either very tragically misinformed, way too much of a Tennant/Smith fan to even see the writer in the credits, or they just want every single story to end the way they want it to. Of all the greatest stories in the NuWho line-up, you can rest assured that some of the most heartwarming (and tragic) stories are his work along with other unnamed writers.

I understand how the brilliant 10th Doctor is the most beloved of the NuWho line-up; he's got the most iconic look, he's got the charm, he's got the best romantic stories (and story arcs for that matter), and he's got a brilliant line-up of companions-- from Donna and Martha to Mickey and Jack.

But I didn't connect. I didn't feel close or have him live outside of the screen--- he was the Doctor, and I was over here. He was a charming character with coolness and goofidity off the charts, an awesome arsenal of wonky catchphrases, and great hair. All eleven Doctors are different and have qualities that appeal to different people, I really just don't see the point in wanting a certain regeneration back because you don't like the current one--- there's someone that'll fall in love with him, and it doesn't have to be you.

I do indeed love Ten, I love that the people I know love Ten, I love his hair and his quirkiness and his "WOT?!"s... but I did indeed feel that he was missing something that could connect to me and let me feel what he feels--- he was a lover, a very heavy and romantic lover, a very passionate and devoted man;  I think that's why so many people love him dearly, and I respect that. But I have trouble connecting to heavy star-crossed lovers that kiss and love and die for each other time and time again; it makes a fantastic story and I understand its charm--- but even as a kid, I had trouble really understanding and enjoying these romantic stories. I smile at it ( and yes, I did indeed have some feels) and I understand why the people adore such men from these tales--- but I just needed something a little more... close to the heart, not a heart full of devotion for another heart--- but just a heart full of love.

Enter the raggedy Doctor falling from the skies.

It didn't happen at the beginning, or all at once--- it wasn't a flawless and smooth "hellooo!" and off we go--- it was interesting, it was raw and imperfect and it was like you were discovering a new creature all at once; the new Doctor. As he put it, 'he was still cooking'; and it was like I was the one poking him and trying to see what food he was keen on. Moffat wrote the regeneration as a process, as a 'let's get to know the old man again'--- and it was something that I could watch and not get tired of ever. It wasn't romantic or even at all that grand--- it was the kind of adventure you'd probably have in your backyard while hunting in the mud for bugs or climbing trees; very down-to-earth and pure. It was the story of how a child found the most feared being in all the cosmos, and really had no idea of what she had found---- it struck me and made me feel like I was 8 again. The way I know when writing inspires and connects to me is when I transport--- when I become one of the characters and fit that persona, despite differences like gender or age.

As Colin Firth put it: "When I'm really into a novel, I'm seeing the world differently during that time - not just for the hour or so in the day when I get to read. I'm actually walking around in a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism."

I became the Raggedy Doctor at times, and other times I became little Amelia Pond. I was in the story, and it was what was missing from Ten's era for me.  

Moffat has that Mad and magical spark about him as a writer, along with the other tragically unnamed writers--- that can channel and break the boundaries of Technical babble and 'strictly sci-fi' footholds to create something that is without a solid genre-- something that can only be categorized as "Doctor Who"! Its history and misery and love and rabid madness with a pinch of space and time! Yes, I miss the sci-fi aspect of the show, I miss the crazy scientific names and the aliens; there is indeed a lack of that in Moffat's adaptions.

But as Smith himself put it: "At it's very core? it's quite simple. It's about a silly man who turns up with a ball of string and a toaster to save the day. but within that you're not bound by logic, by time, by genre, by place, by space, or really by what your character does because he can do anything. And you know also being close to the central concept of time travel, it's magic, it's a magic thing."

Some complain that he doesn't do much of a continuity nod to the previous Doctor--- I can agree to an extent. He seems to enjoy referencing to classic who then he does to NuWho.

Others say that he has transformed the Doctor to a man who now kills-- I disagree. The Doctor is a man--- no matter how good he is, he's still flawed, he is now emotionally compromised and quite quite broken (but still clever)--- he may not understand all of human emotions, but he sure as hell can exercise them. This has been proved before Moffat or Davies came onto the scene. I may not agree in the manners Moffat uses to reflect this concept, but to have a perfect Doctor that can fix everything and have everyone live all the time is not what the show is about at all! No Doctor has been able to perfectly save everyone... and we know that. If you were to travel 900+ years in time and space, see what he's seen and be confronted with yet another heartless, spineless villain--- you'd probably want to point the gun to his head too.

Cast the first stone. If you expect any man or woman to be perfect throughout every moment in their life--- you're going to meet much heartache.
Others call Moffat to be "sexist"--- and while some proved some reasonable arguments and examples, I don't watch a show to see how many times they can insert a skirt joke or downgrade either of the genders. Since he started working on Doctor Who in 2005, Moffat has a history of writing female characters that manage to be both strong and meaningful--- including Nancy (The Empty Child), Madame de Pompadour (The Girl In The Fireplace), Sally Sparrow (one of my favorites from 'Blink'), and of course Amy Pond and River Song and even some one-episode supporting characters. While Amy does occasionally get captured and end up as the damsel in distress, that's part of the role of the Doctor's companion. It even happens to the male companions like Rory. (the guy just gets left there like a rag and DIES several times). You can't get all rosied up and bothered just because the girl is strapped to a chair--- you should see yourself as more then whats in your pants. So seriously. Just don't.
Others call Moffat out as being very haughty and prideful, I agree 100%. But see, I think I know why--- the man was never a popular kid in school, he was bullied just like thousands of other kids; and funnily enough, he applied for his first job at BBC when he was about 7. He reminds me so much of myself in this way.

This kid was a dreamer--- not just any old TV writer. Perhaps he's lost his kindness or purity, but I bet you he ran into a lot of trouble and obstacles just like any other creative person--- for him to become head show-runner as he had envisioned for himself at that young age is something to applaud in itself. I admire people like that, and there's no reason for me to dictate on how he carries himself in interviews or what he writes on his Tweets. He is the writer, I am the audience--- I understand as a writer, that when you write; you write to please the audience you want to impact; not what the majority expect from you based on what the past writers have done. The most important thing as a writer is identity. If you are pleased with it or not, put the remote down, walk away and let the artist paint as he or she wishes to. Just as you complain about stereotypes not being the boss of you, writers are never under command of their fans--- any good writer will tell the story they want to tell. Period.

-------- Enough about Moffat-- hopefully you get my point. Now on to eleven.

When I saw the most popular modern Doctors (9, 10 and 11) I thought I was going to like Ten best, honestly.

But when I see eleven--- I think of the phrase, "Those holding sadness will die bringing joy."

After the events of "The End of Time": Eleventh reacted by not letting people see his feelings. He does all he can to make people laugh, and to make people think he truly is "always alright". He is tired. and old. He hunches his shoulders and twiddles his fingers when left alone. He wears a bow-tie, reeks of dorkery and calls himself "silly old Doctor". He is so, so eager to travel with someone because he is alone, and all those pals from before-- they're all gone. Every time someone grows up or forgets or moves on, he loses someone else. He has a certain madness to his character; madness and majesty and a very deep sorrow that's built up from his past selves. This isn't just because of how the writers wanted to portray him--- but it is an embodiment of everything and anything he's gone through in the past near millennium. It bothers me that people dislike a regeneration because they aren't as they were before.

Answer me this--- if you've gone through a life-changing experience, have had a friend (or friends) of yours die, or simply leave--- would you still retain your current habits and ways to display your emotions? Anyone who's been through any struggle can tell you that it can and will change your essence, a tree that loses its branches will grow back eventually, but it won't take the same shape it had. Even with all that, you see time and time again that each regeneration still carries a piece of the previous ones, so there shouldn't be anything to be angry about.

The Doctor reminds me of those old heroes that greet death as an old friend, and He knows that everyone eventually leaves. But he does it anyway, he moves on. And the reason Eleven is so beautiful to me is because he keeps living, when others isolate  themselves and whither away, The Doctor keeps going because there's so much to see. Because he's not done yet. If that isn't inspiration to any person facing oppression, then I don't know what is.

I love that he's not perfect, I love that he shows that no matter how highly you think of yourself or how much you think you know, sometimes the simplest people can teach you something brand new.

Perhaps many fans would disagree with me--- but I love the fact that he isn't so heavily romantic with Pond, but rather as Ten was with Donna, she was a dear dear friend. I love Gaiman's story of the Doctor and his wife, and the symbolic story it has: I feel it shows that what we truly need has been with us the entire time, within us; and perhaps they appear for a time, and then leave just as quickly only to show you that you aren't always alone, and that the places you've been and the people you met were all for a reason.
Do you know how heartbreaking that is? To find the person that's been through everything you've been through; to see what you've seen and has died as many times as you have--- and to meet for only one day? I would fall on the floor yelling in tears if anything else.

Eleven is very very dear because he is so real to me--- he is as one of those friends that live so very far away; but you smile at the thought of them and know that they're out there; fighting to the next hour just as you are; so you are alone and not alone. He's not very impressive in looks, (though some beg to differ) but he is so very different in the most wonderful way. He's vulnerable and flawed, he's hurt and he pretends he's ok--- which one of us hasn't done that?

He's someone I can relate to and see as a reflection of myself; just like Date Masamune, Dan Haseltine, and past messengers, he's someone that I'd ask to myself "now how did he get out of this sort of sadness" "how does he cope with the loneliness?" and I feel that if he's survived the measures he's gone through, then that means that I will too.

When I see him cry, I feel that its alright for me to cry as well; heroes can cry without bane and are bound to make mistakes--- in a sense, the Doctor (in all his forms) has helped me to get in touch with my emotions; to learn how to cry and not just fight in an angry, robotic haze, to be exposed and throw things across the room when the right time comes. To learn to cut your emotions off for a time in order to do what you need to do, and to help people out of simply helping.
I've always been clever and frustrated and have lived through much more then I thought I would in a normal 18 years. I've tried to make friends and succeeded and have had them walk out on me, or even worse--- get hurt because of me; sometimes you can forget who you are, and think yourself to be both the friend and enemy, the best encourager and a corrupting influence.

In the end, we all have those special figures that come into our lives and somehow change our person and help us grow and learn. and The Doctor, in all his forms and among others-- is one of the greatest and dearest to me.

Comments are welcome, you can speak your mind regardless of differences. My point is in the air.

  • Listening to: Cory Asbury
  • Reading: adlgfdjgladkgjadkgjds
  • Watching: Doctor Whoo-hoo
  • Playing: Kingdom hearts: chain of memories
  • Eating: nothing
  • Drinking: Ginger ale, blokes!
Skin by Ikue (modified by The-Longfall-of-1979)
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TheSUNGlassKid Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
It's much like the way JJ Abrams writes. He doesn't bother with the science, he just takes normal people and puts them in extraordinary circumstances and we sit back and see what happens.
Keifeto-McCormack Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student General Artist
i agree with everything here. this says a lot of what I've felt towards the whovians who just diss eleven and Moffat left and right because it isn't Ten/Davies. seriously i enjoy Moffat's work he's brilliant and inspires me as a writer when i work with certain characters of my own. and i agree with the connect with Eleven, its very much there and i think that since that connection is there many people pull away cause they don't want to feel those emotions, cause they guard themselves from it. they don't wanna feel sad, they wanna be happy. but i think its necessary to feel every side of the emotional spectrum and you put it so elegantly that i feel like i'm stumbling for words. im going to stop typing now and find me some Who to watch ^^
sneakybookworm Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
YES. YES YES YES and one more whopping YES. I began chewing my fruit snacks faster as I was reading this and listening to "Amy In The Tardis." I completely agree with every single word here. People are surprised when I say that Eleven is my favorite Doctor. They ask, "Why? I like Ten the best." And I reply, "Because I can relate to him the most." I'm glad I'm not the only one. :)
And everything else you said deserves a gold star. :star:
FeatherFactory Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Moffat is brilliant, and I love his stories. He's not so good with writing female characters, and that is something he needs to work on, but overall, I feel his writing is natural and smart.
And if you love one character more than other characters, screw the people who say you're wrong.
TheHappySamosa Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
I agree with you completely, for both the Eleventh Doctor and Moffat. I'm just a bit disappointed by Moffat's gaping plot hole in "The Angles Take Manhattan," and do wish he'd include more sci-fi elements. Other than that, I love his writing. One huge difference that I've noticed between RTD and Moffat is stand-alone episodes. When RTD was writing, it seemed like there were many of them, and now not so many with Moffat; he tends to have a story arc with episodes leading up to the conclusion. Mind, I like both styles.

For me, the Tenth Doctor was running from his past and only when he finally regenerated did it catch up to him. The Eleventh Doctor now has to deal with that emotional turmoil as well as the consequences (such as the events in "A Good Man Goes To War"). I also feel that the Eleventh Doctor is more emotional by being... less emotional. The fact that he tries to make everyone happy to distract himself from what he's done is just so sad.
LauzyJayne Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
:iconclapplz: Very well said. I'd say more on this but I have to rush off to work so I need to sit down and read it more thoroughly, but I agree with everything you're saying as someone who also wonders why Moffat gets so much hate among the whovians.
CarryPhoenix Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
"The secret of ideal is being imperfect. See my nose? It's pear-shaped and a bit... broken. So only I have such nose and it makes me myself. We're unique because of our imperfect features". (A not-perfectly-rememebered quote from The Bicentennial Man).

Yeah. Eleven was my first DW. And I liked this though of iconic image of Ten. That not-too-romantic attitude, that pain hidden behind childish manners... and all. But that doesn't mean anything special. Nine, Ten and Eleven are all cool, but differently - that's the point. And I'm too sure that all previous ones are too (shame on me, I didn't watch classical episodes... gotta find). Huh, that's always so - positive sides blocked by "negative" (or the ones which seem to be so)... alas.

There is no place to hide, to run or to escape,
But you cannot delay your own life.
Yes, there's no place to run, but know that somewhere there
Someone's looking for you among the rain.
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Submitted on
February 1, 2013


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