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I think a lot of Moffat episodes were also worse once he started writing a bunch more every season

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14 hours ago, Brónach said:

I think a lot of Moffat episodes were also worse once he started writing a bunch more every season

It’s possible, I think part of it is down to Moffat being a far better one-off idea writer than a writer that can sustain multiple ideas across a whole series, which is why after Series 5 those arcs started getting very wonky. His worst episodes tend to be finales where long-running threads need to be wrapped up

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3 hours ago, DarthDementous said:

His worst episodes tend to be finales where long-running threads need to be wrapped up

 

Which is why Time of the Doctor is a miracle and a classic. 

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To me it's clear that Moffat, like most writers, can write wonderfully when given autonomy and time. But the pressures of being executive producer, lead writer, etc were always going to mean drop in quality in his individual episodes. There's a reason series 5 is so damn strong, and that's because he had over a year of not being the showrunner to come up with his ideas and draft his scripts. Things weren't helped when Sherlock became an unexpected smash hit and he had two wildly successful shows to run. The production issues hampering the show in 2012/2013 coincided with his era's weakest episodes (with the sole exceptions being Day and Time of the Doctor, which he obviously had a lot of time to work on). He had a much better flow by the time Capaldi entered the picture and that shows in his writing as well - two of his standalone scripts (Listen and Heaven Sent) during that time are the best he's ever made for the show IMO.

 

Reading through RTD's Writers Tale gives a detailed picture of what the job looks like. It's hard to write an excellent script when you're busy approving CGI from one episode while madly rewriting another episode written by someone else. It's a miracle anything makes it to the screen. It also gives me some empathy for Chibnall who clearly struggled with the demands of the job as well.

 

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I suspect that fan demand/outcry is a lot stronger on Who than Broadchurch and will more readily expose weaknesses in storytelling.

 

The problems in his latter episodes with his 'sermons' is not inherent, I don't think. You could do an exciting, fun, mysterious plot and simply have a topical issue as part of it - Rosa was a nice example of that done well, although he's not winning any brownie points for that 2D villain. Unfortunately much of the time he focused too much on those issues at the expensive of the elements that make Who.

 

Makes me wonder whether he pitched his ideas to the BBC and everyone realised too late that he'd got the balance wrong, or whether they just left him to it.

 

Now I will give Chibnall kudos for that episode set in the storage facility. That was an engaging, thrilling and fun standalone mystery. It gave us a glimpse of what he can do when he turns off the 'social issues' part of his writing.

 

Also, I noticed that the odd episode that I really liked didn't seem to be popular generally. I rather liked the episode with that little metal-eating creature in series 11, but it doesn't sound like many others did.

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Things about that episode is that I would've preferred the creature to have been a 7-feet tall thing of terror as opposed to something that looks like it got lost on its way to a Disney movie, although I will concede its initial appearance makes for quite a nice visual gag.  

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20 hours ago, Tallguy said:

 

Which is why Time of the Doctor is a miracle and a classic. 

I feel the same way about that finale as I do with all of Moffat’s others except for Series 5

 

There’s one idea I absolutely love, in this case it’s the aged 11th Doctor having one final Christmas with Clara, but then the rest feels very clumsy. Really not a fan of having big villains showing up as just cameos to be quickly dispatched , really cheapens their threat. Impressively, unless I’m forgetting something, RTD managed to avoid this. Whenever the Daleks showed up it was *their* episode, and I think that’s part of why they feel best handled under his run

 

 

As for writing under pressure I feel like RTD is an anomaly in that regard. He delivered his strongest season (4) and best episodes (Turn Left and Midnight) while simultaneously working on *three* other shows (Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, and Doctor Who Confidential)

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20 hours ago, Docteur Qui said:

with the sole exceptions being Day and Time of the Doctor, which he obviously had a lot of time to work on

 

I gather that was actually not the case.

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1 minute ago, Tallguy said:

 

I gather that was actually not the case.

You are correct, Moffat has bemoaned how difficult that script was to write and how getting to do a novelisation of it was a dream in comparison 

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I mean, more time comparative to a regular series of the show; 2013 had the back half of Series 7 and the two specials (plus Night of the Doctor), compared to the full run of 14 episodes in previous years. The gap between Time and Series 8 was the longest the revival had until the full year in 2016.

 

I understand it was probably hellish, but he clearly spent more time on those two scripts than any individual one in series 7, and it shows.

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Unlike US shows which I gather start airing long before filming is finished (more like an assembly line of episodes in the case of 24, Lost, etc) The BBC finish filming long before broadcast don't they, so the ideas and character movements are mostly set in stone long before they know the audience reaction.

 

Hence I don't doubt for a moment that the Who showrunner must be one of the hardest jobs there is, and for that reason I fully appreciate the difficult job Chibnall had to do. We can only disagree with a lot of the creative decisions he made.

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16 hours ago, DarthDementous said:

I feel the same way about that finale as I do with all of Moffat’s others except for Series 5

 

There’s one idea I absolutely love, in this case it’s the aged 11th Doctor having one final Christmas with Clara, but then the rest feels very clumsy. Really not a fan of having big villains showing up as just cameos to be quickly dispatched , really cheapens their threat. Impressively, unless I’m forgetting something, RTD managed to avoid this. Whenever the Daleks showed up it was *their* episode, and I think that’s part of why they feel best handled under his run

 

 

As for writing under pressure I feel like RTD is an anomaly in that regard. He delivered his strongest season (4) and best episodes (Turn Left and Midnight) while simultaneously working on *three* other shows (Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, and Doctor Who Confidential)

 

avalanche of RTD Daleks here it comes, because he loves them

 

unless he becomes reasonable and realizes it's stale

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The Daleks had a well-earned rest, from 1967 - 1972, and returned with... DAY OF THE DALEKS. Oh, dear. Subsequent stories weren't good, until GENESIS OF THE DALEKS.

Nu Who manages to treat them, mostly, with respect, even if some of the ideas are old (DALEKS IN MANHATTAN borrowed, heavily, from REVELATION OF THE DALEKS).

I don't mind The Daleks. I'd rather have them, than The Weeping Angels, or the entirety of FLUX.

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Moffat said the difficulty in featuring them is that there has to be a really good reason for them to be back, as logically they would just give up and leave upon discovering they're up against the Doctor again given how often he's beaten them.   

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Is the rumoured deal with Terry Nation's estate still in place? I.e. that they need to be featured in every series otherwise they will permanently revoke the rights? It's a maddening situation to be in, but it's led to some pretty creative ways to address the situation (like Adelaide as a child seeing a Crucible Dalek from Stolen Earth/Journey's End and realising it didn't kill her for a reason).

 

23 hours ago, DarthDementous said:

As for writing under pressure I feel like RTD is an anomaly in that regard. He delivered his strongest season (4) and best episodes (Turn Left and Midnight) while simultaneously working on *three* other shows (Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, and Doctor Who Confidential)

 

Indeed, and as an aside this bodes well for the show's future; one of many reasons I imagine RTD is returning is to shepherd a plethora of Whoniverse spinoffs in the future. He's said it before; it's a world that deserves just as much creative output as Marvel or Star Wars. If there's one way to secure the show's legacy it's to get this stuff going and inspire more creatives to get involved with it. Future writers and showrunners of the flagship can earn their stripes working on spinoffs, just like the "old guard" did with the Target novels and Big Finish stories.

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7 hours ago, Docteur Qui said:

Is the rumoured deal with Terry Nation's estate still in place? I.e. that they need to be featured in every series otherwise they will permanently revoke the rights? It's a maddening situation to be in, but it's led to some pretty creative ways to address the situation (like Adelaide as a child seeing a Crucible Dalek from Stolen Earth/Journey's End and realising it didn't kill her for a reason).

 

 

Indeed, and as an aside this bodes well for the show's future; one of many reasons I imagine RTD is returning is to shepherd a plethora of Whoniverse spinoffs in the future. He's said it before; it's a world that deserves just as much creative output as Marvel or Star Wars. If there's one way to secure the show's legacy it's to get this stuff going and inspire more creatives to get involved with it. Future writers and showrunners of the flagship can earn their stripes working on spinoffs, just like the "old guard" did with the Target novels and Big Finish stories.


This is what's happening, I think ... RTD's said he has big plans. I like the idea of future 'staff' for Who itself working on the peripheral shows first ... we've seen how first-time TV writers doing 'the main show' has panned out during the recent era :S .

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great addition! I love that RTD snagged Harris for the special(s), he was great in It's a Sin. The rumour mill has all but figured out who he'll be playing (spoilers below)

 

Spoiler

The Celestial Toymaker! The picture below was taken from a filming location. I haven't seen any of the serial myself (which I understand is among the missing, save for its last episode). Apparently the villain has reality-warping abilities, which could explain why the Doctor has degenerated into Ten. 

 

 

 

Gosh I love being excited about this show again!

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I agree, but Doctor Who without The Daleks, is like Star Wars without Darth Vader, or Star Trek without the Klingons.

Used sparingly, they can pack quite a wallop (DALEK). It's a shame that they have been very overused, since 2005, almost to the point of parody.

It's no secret that Pertwee hated them.

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1 minute ago, Brónach said:

if we had like, a single DALEK out of the sudden every decade, it would be very fun

Sucks that they can't just do that and there has to be an appearance every season.

However, how Moffat avoided it every once and a while was good.

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21 hours ago, Brónach said:

 

i hope so, and that RTD gets over his Dalek addiction


Considering the Dalek stories in his era were pretty good overall I for one welcome this addiction. Consistently pretty intimidating as well

 

20 hours ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Also, I agree. Unfortunately, the concept of "less is more" is not something that RTD knows much about :lol:


cough Midnight cough

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3 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

"Midnight" is good, but it is the exception which proves the rule.


I wouldn't be so sure, 'Turn Left' is another example of doing a lot with a little. RTD gets bombastic and kitchen sink-y for his finales there's no denying that, but he's a remarkably efficient storyteller. Much easier seen in his non-Doctor Who work

Actually, I'd also nominate Children of Earth as an example of making something very effective by creating what is essentially a minimalist alien invasion. Works wonders for the terror of the situation and allows the focus to primarily be the effect on the people, which is something RTD has always excelled at in sci-fi and was sorely missed in the new era

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1 hour ago, Brónach said:

I suppose this will be RTDish but different

 

However "bring back David Tennant" seems awful

 

Hey! It could be the Diamonds Are Forever of Doctor Who! Or maybe Never Say Never Again!

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