London360 Blog: Should Steven Moffat Leave Doctor Who?


Hi Everyone! 🙂

This is a blog I wrote about on the 24th September 2015 just after the Series 9 Opener called “The Magician’s Apprentice” and this is an opinion piece:

According to the Guardian, Doctor Who (DW) is one of the BBC’s most popular shows in the United Kingdom (UK). It has been a part of British culture since 1963 when the programme first aired. Then the show had a long hiatus when it was first cancelled in 1989. In 1996 it was briefly revived as an attempt to introduce the show to American audiences with a TV Movie.

This all changed when it was given a new lease of life in 2005 and with that the show has been getting stronger ever since. The reason for it’s success so far is due to the global reach it now has compared to 19 years ago. A good example of this was on the show’s 50th Anniversary in 2013 where 12.8 million viewers tuned in the UK (according to BARB). In Canada 1.1 million people watched it live on a TV Channel called Space. This was the highest audience figure in the Channel’s history (according to Doctor Who News). The cinema takings for the screening of the 50th Anniversary was $10.2 Million (approximately £6.7 Million) across the globe (according to Wrap News Inc.).

There have been many actors who have played the titular character of the show known only as the “Doctor,” who is a time travelling alien known as a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, loves visiting Earth a lot (specifically the UK) and has had a number of companions who have accompanied him over the years. The Doctor also has a machine that has allowed him to travel the whole of space and time called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space).

Since 2005 there have only been two head writers of the show and been in charge of the programme. The first was Russell T. Davies who brought the show to a new generation of viewers and the second is Steven Moffat who has been in charge since 2010.

I recently watched the first episode of Series 9 (since DW’s re-launch) called “The Magician’s Apprentice” and absolutely loved it. I enjoyed the writing from Steven Moffat and his portrayal of the Doctor who is currently played by Peter Capaldi (known as the Twelfth Doctor). I also enjoyed how the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and the Time Lady Missy (Michelle Gomez) were an important part of the plot. I must not forget Davros (Julian Bleach) who is the main antagonist and creator of the Doctor’s most fought enemy called the Daleks. In this episode I felt Davros was actually a useful part and main driver of the story.

However, my view of this episode is different to a number of fans and I know Steven Moffat cannot please everyone with his writing. With the rise of Social Media sites such as Twitter, it is becoming a tool for fans of the show to be heard and get their opinions across.

There was a time when Mr. Moffat was on Twitter and interacting with the fans. This was a double edged sword for him because he was a target for Internet Trolls and fans who wanted him to not just leave the show but also off Twitter. I personally enjoyed seeing him active and his funny tweets. He did leave Twitter eventually and still receives death threats for DW. For his other show called Sherlock (another popular show on the BBC) he is also receiving death threats (according to The List).

A small number of my friends and family who watch the show have told me about why they don’t like Steven Moffat’s writing. For example, they have said that he uses the companions who are Women just as a plot device and not as developed characters. Another reason is that the stories are too complicated and hard to follow. I have also seen the same opinions across the internet whilst looking on websites such as Reddit and Tumblr including death threats.

I feel pity for him to receive such threats but the audience numbers for this recent episode were according to Den of Geek the second lowest since 2005. This is worrying for the show but by the time the numbers come from across the globe and catch-up services I’m sure it will double. Even though that it may double it still makes me worry about the remainder of episodes of the series whether numbers will increase or not.

It does make me wonder whether he should leave the show or not and who would replace him. There are a number of people who I personally feel who could take over as head writer and executive producer of DW. One person I would like to see is Mark Gatiss who has written a number of episodes for DW. One of my favourite episodes for him was called “The Crimson Horror” and involved the actor Matt Smith’s Incarnation of the Time Lord.

However, Mark Gatiss has been busy with co-writing with Steven Moffat on Sherlock and that has been a huge balancing act for them both. I just have to wait and see when the time does come to an end for Steven Moffat at DW.

This leads to me to asking who would you like to see as the next person to take the helm at Doctor Who and why?

___________________________________________________________________________

Since I wrote this I have enjoyed the current series a lot and will be doing a review blog on here once the last two episodes have aired in the UK.

 

 

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