We’re big fans of Doctor Who here at Stranger Views. You can see how much we’ve enjoyed the show just by flicking through the TV section of the site.
Yet we stopped reviewing Doctor Who after the ‘Before the Flood’ episode of last season’s Who. We just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm for the show anymore, and here’s why.
We stopped enjoying Doctor Who
An obvious point, but one worth making. Although there were some high points in the last series, overall it was disappointing. The plots were weak, some of the acting stilted and the overall quality poor.
Doctor Who plots are always silly. That’s not the problem. The issue is that those involved in the show seemingly stopped caring about internal consistency. How on earth did Sleep No More get the green light? A story about killer sleep gunk? It should have been left on the cutting room floor along with Kill the Moon. It should then have been burnt and its ashes scattered across the 7 continents. And then burnt again.
Too much Clara
Sometimes writers fall in love with their creations and I’m afraid this happened with Moffat and Clara. I’m not the first to complain that Doctor Who became the All About Clara Show.
The presence of Clara has warped and distorted the Whoniverse out of all shape, with Capaldi’s Doctor becoming obsessed with her to a strange and unhealthy degree. This has lessened the Doctor as a character and diminished his other-worldliness into just being weird. Capaldi’s Doctor’s Clara obsession has retroactively weakened his relationship with River Song, Ami, Rose etc. The Clara focus has also taken away valuable screentime from Capaldi, which is a travesty. Watching Stephen Moffat’s Doctor Who is sometimes as enjoyable as realising that the 50-year-old guy you’ve been talking to has an unhealthy obsession with the pretty student next door.
Do you think this crucifix pose was an accident?
Moffat is a lazy storyteller
Moffat sets up great scenes with the best of them, but then he seems to get bored and forgets to write his way out of them. And it’s so disappointing.
In the most recent series, we finally got to see the Doctor return to Gallifrey. This should have been the culmination of the Doctor’s journey since his return to our screens. Instead, it was just a pit stop on the way to saving Clara. Again.
He’s forgotten what the Tardis is for
The Tardis, much as we love her, should not be part of the story. It should simply get the Doctor to the story. That’s why many pre-Moffat episodes of Doctor Who spent a couple of minutes explaining why the Doctor was separated from the Tardis. Moffat appears to think that having the Doctor cheat and travel back & forward in time mid-storyline is clever. It isn’t, it just makes it more obvious when he doesn’t do it.
Do you remember when the Time War was Time Locked? The Doctor could mope about his role in the Time War but we wouldn’t have to deal with Gallifrey or any other Time Lords messing up the storyline. But Moffat just couldn’t leave well alone.
Instead, he created endless contradictions and paradoxes, which the Doctor usually explains away by some glib pseudo-science. Or in one case actually talking directly to the camera to explain the bootstrap paradox.
The problem with paradoxes in a storyline is that they’re, well, paradoxes. You may not know this but Paradox is taken from a greek word meaning: something that doesn’t really make sense. You should not keep introducing elements into a story that do not make sense or are by their very nature obtuse. It’s just poor storytelling.
He’s left so many unanswered questions
So who was the Hybrid?
Why did the Silence try and blow up the Tardis?
Just why did Missy get Clara in touch with the Doctor?
Why on earth did Missy go from trying to kill the Doctor to giving him an army?
Theses are just some of the questions that have been left unanswered by the show. Missy has given some rather hard to believe explanations as to why she hooked Clara up with the Doctor, but none of them made any sense. Although, given how her grand plan seemed to be to give the Doctor an army of Cybermen for him to send into the sun, perhaps Moffat simply decided to write her as an idiot.
Moffat is no stranger to giving us cool, but ultimately pointless, villains. The Silence’s master plan seemed to be to blow up a universe. A universe they were still inside. Which is pretty much a zero score on the villain intelligence test.
As you can see, this rather long article could have been summed up in one phrase: Moffat is a rubbish showrunner. I hope that this whole article is proved a lie, and that come the Christmas Special I’ll be excited by Doctor Who again. But, right now, I just can’t see it happening. If you disagree or agree with me, I’d love for you to let me know either in the comments section below or on social media.