I recently had some free time in my schedule – well actually it was because I was sick with the flu – which allowed me to finally sit down and watch the last two episodes of Matt Smith’s debut season. I had no preconceived ideas or thoughts regarding the episodes; about all I knew of them was that they were the final two chapters in the story arc that had permeated the past season. I watched the two episodes back to back and ninety minutes later was done. What did I think? Well… To be totally honest with you, I was extremely disappointed. My immediate reaction towards both episodes was “what a convoluted bunch of crap!”
I’m sorry if you don’t agree with that sentiment, but that’s how I felt after watching The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang. While I found the former to be a better episode than the latter, I really don’t think either episode was anything special. The scripts did contain some interesting bits, but overall the constant jumping back and forth in time and the overly complicated story plot did nothing more than confuse the viewer. I mean, what’s the point of putting the Doctor and his companions in peril, if five minutes later they can pop back in time and leave a message for themselves that something is going to happen so they can avoid it, and then change the outcome. From my understanding of the series, and from being a loyal viewer for almost 30 years now, this really isn’t supposed to happen. The whole thing reeks of lazy writing as well as negating the whole point of the Doctor travelling in time. If he can pop back five or ten minutes previously and warn himself about an upcoming event, then what prevents the Doctor from popping back and time and say, saving Gallifrey, or stopping Adric sacrificing himself? To me, this kind of story negates the whole premise of Doctor Who.
Those of you reading this probably already know how critical I was of the RTD era, and while we’ve had both a new lead actor in the role, new supporting characters and a complete change of production personnel behind the camera, I was looking forward to a new era of Doctor Who. Now having said that, I have to be honest with you, on the whole while Steven Moffat is seen as one of fandom’s favorite writers, I have to say that so far I really haven’t been that impressed with his work on the series since he’s taken over. The impression I’m getting is that while he remains a good writer overall, I think now that he’s an Executive Producer on the series, as well as the guiding force creatively behind the show, his attentions are being divided in too many directions and, as a result, his time for crafting excellent stories is being severely curtailed. Plus, I think also dividing his attentions between Doctor Who and Sherlock as well, has not helped, thus further taking away from the main show at hand – Doctor Who.
Too many fingers in too many pies and sooner or later something, or someone, is going to suffer, and I hate to say it, Doctor Who is suffering.
Please don’t get me wrong. I think Moffat is a fantastic writer, and he’s written some of the new series’ best stories. But I’m not entirely sure he is the best person to be heading the series. But then again, neither was RTD.