A Bit of a Gloat


Gloating is an ugly emotion, and I get so few chances to indulge in it.

Having jacked Doctor Who in after a series of increasingly disastrous and nonsensical episodes, I have to confess to finding myself amused to read that the series is apparently in trouble.

If the reports I have been reading are to be believed, last year’s ratings – the first series to feature Capaldi – tanked it big time, and the first two episodes of this season – the ones to which I took such exception when I watched them – made last year’s audiences look like a major success.

Add to this the by-now confirmed fact that Jenna Coleman is leaving and the new rumours that Peter Capaldi wants to quit to spend more time with his wife and children, and the waters are seriously mounting.

But what astonished me most was the rumour that the BBC are considering radically reformatting the programme by cancelling the 2016 series and substituting a short series of films, a la Sherlock.

This isn’t without precedent: there was a year under Russell T Davies where the same approach was adopted, but I don’t think that had anything to do with audiences.

We shall await developments with interest. This is but one report and may have no truth to it whatsoever, but in case it’s on the money, I just wanted to bring this up. Needless to say, I believe I have the solution: it should be Stephen Moffat who leaves. Time for fresh minds and ones that can combine imagination and wit with plots that actually make sense.

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4 thoughts on “A Bit of a Gloat

  1. I absolutley agree. Steven Moffat seems to care little about this show. His writing is lethargic at times and mediocre at best. Sherlock seems to be his only claim to fame. The Russel T. Davies era was way better.

    1. I see it differently from you. I was happy to see the show back after so many years, but really didn’t like Russell T Davies’ approach (loathing Billie Piper played a large part in that). I did like Moffat’s approach to the show for quite some time and I’m on record here as extravagantly praising ‘The Day…’ and ‘The Name of the Doctor’, though the departure of Amy and Rory did take the shine of the show. Clara in the last series was where the rot seriously set in, but the real problem is that Moffat has started to believe his reputation for flash and eccentricity, and in doing so has turned Clara into an insufferable monster and the show into a farrago of jangling, clanging, clunking ideas that make no sense at all, and which try to distract holes in the story that you could drive the inside of the TARDIS through.

      As long as someone tells me when Moffat goes (I’d love to see Mark Gatiss take over), I’ll try the show then.

      1. Well, if Mark Gatiss took over, I think the fandom would have a field day. While Moffat has given us brilliant episodes(The Name of The Doctor), I am somehow partial towards Davie’s era. Maybe it’s because that’s the first bit of Who that I watched. Also, Clara is a major misfit. I simply cannot seem to like her no matter how hard I try to.

  2. That’s one of the things about Dr Who, that it sometimes feels as if it’s infinitely malleable. I’m old enough to have watched episode 1 the night it was first shown and though I missed episode 2 (until it was repeated, 18 years later) I was there throughout Hartnell and Troughton. I really didn’t like the big change they made, confining Pertwee to Earth so I missed practically all of him and Tom Baker, but came back for Davidson. I was one of the few who liked Colin Baker but I never watched McCoy. I just didn’t like Davies’ version, but I loved Moffat’s until he lost any sense of control. And we agree on loathing Clara. But the beauty of Who is that it will change. It always has done, it always will. It started off as an educational programme: for every SF story, there had to be a historical one, until the massive difference in audience figures became too apparent. I liked the historical ones, though. Next showrunner, please.

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