Matt Smith Leaving Is Not Doctor Who's Biggest Problem; Three Things the Show Can Do to Get Back On Track

Matt Smith is my Doctor. I've seen all the important Chris Eccleston and David Tennant episodes of Doctor Who, but I didn't start watching the show on a weekly basis until Matt Smith took over in 2010. Like many of you, I'm pretty broken up about his upcoming departure from the show that made him a star. Yet, while it's difficult for me to fathom a version of the show without Smith in the titular role (despite the number of interesting suggestions for who could replace him), I also think that the current incarnation of Doctor Who has much bigger problems than its upcoming casting change.

Because if you ask me, this last season of Doctor Who was a mess. And while I generally feel that most of the Steven Moffat era has been a mess thanks to his insistence on writing himself into narrative corners and then trying to punch his way out, Season 7 was the most egregious of them all, in that it bungled both the departure of two beloved Companions and the debut of another, all while displaying all the regular Moffat problems. Consequently, I'm concerned that so much attention is being paid to Matt Smith leaving when the fact of the matter is this: If the show doesn't change, it won't really matter who steps into one of television's most famous roles.

At this point, it's a broken-record complaint to discuss how Moffat plans out season- or multi-season-long arcs. He basically prefers to create overly complicated and convoluted storylines with vague questions and designations. He throws as many balls into the air as possible and only barely catches them by the time a finale rolls around. I think of myself as a smart television viewer, but with Moffat's Doctor Who, I often end up consulting Wikipedia or texting more diehard friends to figure out why certain elements matter, and why others don't. After three seasons at the helm of the show, Moffat has yet to deliver a totally satisfying and coherent conclusion to the grand narratives he's started. The end of Season 5 was probably the best of the three, but "The Big Bang" was still a little messy. Moffat's twisty style works for Sherlock because the scope of that series is smaller; there are fewer narrative concerns, characters, and episodes to consider. And while half the fun of Doctor Who is that it gives writers the opportunity to try wild things and then write them off with somewhat silly explanations like Time Travel Did It, Moffat-era Who takes that kind of storytelling to the extreme.

Of course, the nonsensical storytelling wouldn't be as problematic if the show hadn't lost its ability to develop its Companions and their various relationships with the Doctor. Although Moffat has always enjoyed attaching big mysteries to his characters (this goes back to the introduction of River, when Russell T. Davies was still running the show), somewhere along the way, the mysteries and the plot mechanics took over the characters themselves. Over the last two years, River has become a device to raise the stakes in "important" episodes, and the show lost control of Amy and Rory's threads (particularly Amy's) as it grew closer to their departure. "The Angels of Manhattan" is one of my favorite episodes of the series, if only because Amy and Rory were my first Companions. However, the actors' great work in that episode masked a half-season's worth of perfunctory stories that limited the impact of the arc's conclusion. I didn't necessarily need an expansive, three-part story to send the Ponds off, but the show seemed more interested in standalone concepts ("Dinosaurs on a Spaceship," "A Town Called Mercy") than building to a powerful goodbye.

Furthermore, while I love Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara and got a little choked up at the end of "The Name of the Doctor," it doesn't negate the fact that Clara isn't really a character. She's a narrative device, a problem for the Doctor to solve. That's the only reason he went after her, and that's the only real reason he kept her around. Why should we care that Clara sacrificed herself to save the Doctor? The chemistry between Smith and Coleman could only carry that pairing so far, as the writing certainly didn't help it much. And it's not even that the mystery surrounding Clara's multiple versions was boring; on the contrary, it was intriguing. But the mystery can't be everything. We should know more about Clara than we do; okay, she's a nanny and she wanted to travel the world one day, big deal. Even when Moffat was putting Amy in one dangerous situation after another to be saved by the Doctor, I cared about the various circumstances because Amy was a fleshed-out character. When the characters are treated with the kind of respect they deserve, it's much easier to forgive narrative hijinks as part of the show's rhythms. But when they become just another device, a piece of a puzzle where only Moffat has a vague idea of a complete picture in his head, Doctor Who is a much less compelling show.

The way the show is running right now, I can imagine an overly convoluted 50th Anniversary episode where Eleven says goodbye and the show just keep traveling its messy path until Moffat finally decides to step down. But while it would be easy to write all these problems away by saying that Moffat should leave too, riding off into the sunset with the man who played his version of the Doctor, it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. So we need other solutions to get Doctor Who back on track; I have a few.

1. Use Eleven's departure as a way to reset everything, get back to basics, etc.

If there's one thing Moffat's good at, it's beginnings. "The Eleventh Hour" gave us a wonderful origin story for Matt Smith's Doctor and his relationship with Amy, and the two-parter that kicked off Season 6 was one of the more compelling offerings in this era of the show. But most of all, "The Eleventh Hour" showed us that Moffat knows how (or at least used to know how) to reboot a story with a large amount history, as well as how to develop characters from the ground up. There's no reason why he can't use the introduction of the new Doctor to do just that, to scrape away all the timey-wimey stuff and give Twelve a compelling connection to Clara, who is apparently sticking around. The show has done this in the past, when it switched from Tennant to Smith, but in that case, the showrunners also changed. If Moffat sticks around, the 50th Anniversary will be the perfect time to pay homage to the past but also move forward in an interesting way.

2. Get back to two-parters...

One of the biggest problems with the second half of the sixth season and all of the seventh is that the show eschewed the two-part episodes that defined the Davies era and moved toward more standalone stories. Although some of the standalone episodes were quite wonderful (I'm a big fan of "The God Complex"), the two-part structure always gave the show more time to develop its complicated stories and helped make the one-off characters more fascinating. It seems like there was some directive from the BBC to do more standalone, movie-like episodes and it was a fun, sometimes-good, sometimes-bad experiment. But wouldn't something like "The Power of Three" been better with more time? Again, the show has the opportunity to clean the slate, and this is the one thing Moffat should consider bringing back.

3. ...but cut out the grand narratives

I like complex, serialized stories as much as the next guy, but as I alluded to above, they haven't totally worked for Doctor Who. They've been simultaneously too complicated and underdeveloped, to the point that when a season finale rolls around, Moffat and company are stuck shoving 90 minutes of story into a 45-minute package and the payoff simply isn't there. Too often, these conclusions trade on some variation on the Doctor dying, or being erased from time, or both. I understand the desire to want to take full advantage of the show's intergalactic time-travel framework, but sometimes, less is more. And dedicating less time to narrative gymnastics means more time to focus on establishing characters and their relationships. If Doctor Who returned to a more regular two-part structure, it would be able to tell really interesting stories across multiple episodes, but not across all of them.

Of course, these are just a few ideas that could propel Doctor Who back to a higher level of quality. Even if Moffat and company do some of what I've suggested here, I think the show could get back on track. In the meantime, I'd love to hear what YOU think about the current quality of the show.

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After reading this you really should STOP thinking of yourself as a smart television viewer.
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Patrick Troughton was the best Doctor ever...EVER... and his stories were some of the most interesting an inventive of the entire show! That being said if you made a his series today it wouldn't do half as well as the series that's been produced since 2005. People just watch TV differently today. They expect different things from character as well as stories.

To that end I think this is a ridiculous article! Why does the series need to go "back on track"? People still watch and love the series! I think what we need to do is get over the past and get on track for the future, cause that's really one of the main things the Doctor has been about !

I liked Matt Smith, he was more like the Doctor than Chris & David were but I had fun watching all three of their stories, just like I'm now enjoying Capaldi. The only thing that NEEDS to happen is that the Doctor, television and viewers all need to evolve... to change with the times and not fear what might happen if something we don't expect or don't think we'll like happens.

After all there wouldn't be a Doctor for all of us if Doctor Who was the same show that premiered on Nov. 23, 1963

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I've watched Who since episode 1 back in the early 60's and for me, David Tennant has been easily the best Doctor of all.

Matt Smith was way too young for this role and I'm happy to see Capaldi as an older generation Doctor.

I don't know why all the bad vibes about Clara as more than one of the prior "companions" have exhibited the same "in your face" attitude without such poor "press".

I like her well enough, although my favourite has to be Freema Agyamon as Martha.

Certainly the last two episodes have been well up to scratch and I for one, am looking forward to the rest of the series.
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All they need to do is to keep making bold decissions as they've always made and not let themselves be influences by the fans.
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And get rid of Clara. Its meant to be about Doctor Who, but this series has been nothing but the Clara show. Its just boring to watch. Not enough Doctor and too much about his bluddy sidekick.

the writers are treating the doctor like he isnt capable of doing anything and its all down to Clara. Give it a fkin rest will ya, before the show disappears up its own ar$e.
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cant say i agree with him, moffat taking lead was the best thing that could happen to the show, though i do feel season 8 so far is lacking the moffat magic of previous seasons, sure it has the promised land mystery but the individual stories of each episode feels somewhat dull, episode 4 "Listen" looked like it was gonna be a true moffat episode in the spirit of blink, the library and the clockbots in france episode etc. but it also turned out to be somewhat dull, though with a nice twist in the end, latest episode, 8 mummy on the orient express felt a bit unimaginative, kinda like "we have done titanic in space so why not do the orient express in space". now that last part is just my personal opinion, but moffat really does need to get his ass in gear and give kids another reason to sleep with their lights on.
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Well I hope he's happy now, because season 8 reset a lot of his gripes. Clara is a fully-formed character in a huge way now, the season's arc looks about on-par with the complexity and intrusiveness of Torchwood or the initial cracks in time, the new Doctor feels as different from 11 as 11 did from 10 (who, in 2006, initially wasn't written very differently from the 9th, so this is doubly impressive), the season started with a 75 minute episode, ends with a two-parter and each story in between has been longer than usual. There's no obvious heir-apparent to Steven Moffat, I rather dread the day he leaves.
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This guy is completely off base. The shows have been nothing short of brilliant, and tie in perfectly with everything that makes the Doctor Who he is and the show what it is! There is no need to dumb down this show for the casual or less intelligent viewer. All the parts fit quite nicely, thank you. I hope they keep Steven Moffat on as long as he cares to stay. I do miss Amy, & I miss Matt, but that is part of the story; dealing with profound loss with new hope!
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couldn't agree with this article more. these are not just the words of an american trying to simplify or dumb down something, seriously people. this is someone's opinion on a show they love.
literally all of this stuff is so true. the show became so convoluted, and the character with the most potential - river - was only in it for a few episodes, such a shame. and as much as i liked the dynamic with both rory and amy, amy in season 5 just pouted ALL THE TIME.
Matt smith was a great actor but the lack of character development and the silly adventure plots without any thought-provoking substance made for less engaging screen time.
the director also had no idea how to pace any of the episodes properly to really bring people in, in my opinion.
so happy capaldi is actually going to make us reflect and think on the doctor himself but also just general moral issues again. hopefully the writing team can change their habit enough as well to deliver us with complex characters and engaging but not over the top plot lines. and i agree, bring back the double episodes. there's a reason why they were the best.

also to the author I would recommend Davies stint as writer, those season finales culminated perfectly.
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Since there isn't anywhere else to put content like this, on TV.com (FOR SHAME!), I thought I'd copy/paste it here, again, BECAUSE THERE IS NOWHERE ELSE ON THIS WEBSITE TO POST REAL NEWS AND CONTENT!!!

Below is a summary of prominent cast and crew members quotes, regarding season 8 of Doctor Who:

Steven Moffat: "There would be little point in making as radical a change as we’ve made unless you’re going to go quite different with the Doctor."
Steven Moffat: "Our vague idea is… the last two Doctors have been brilliant, and have been your ‘good boyfriend’ Doctors. But the Doctor isn’t always like that. There is the sort of Tom Baker, Christopher Eccelston end of the spectrum, where he is mad and dangerous and difficult."
Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning: "Excitement and anticipation fills the air as Peter Capaldi’s Doctor takes control of the TARDIS for the very first time today. It’s going to be one hell of a ride and I can't wait for the journey to start."
Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC One: "A new year, a new face, a new Doctor! 2014 has arrived and it's Peter Capaldi's time so let the adventures begin!"
Steven Moffat: "I think it was time for the show to flip around a bit."
Steven Moffat: "I just felt watching last time around [Series 7] that ‘oh, it’s time we fixed that and changed that and moved that up a bit and changed that tone’. So now we’ve got to actually get a bit raw at it and do it in a different direction."
Jenna Coleman: "It will be a different show next year. Me and Peter [Capaldi] will get together before Christmas to start rehearsing and the scripts will start coming in."
Steven Moffat: "There'll be no split."
Brian Minchin: "[Peter Capaldi begins filming Series 8 in January 2014]."
Neve McIntosh: "It will be sad not to be working with Matt [Smith] again but I’m really looking forward to Peter [Capaldi] taking over and seeing what he does with it. [Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax will] be helping the Doctor more, but I can’t say anything else."
Jenna Coleman: "I don't know what [Clara's relationship with the Doctor] is going to be. You know it's completely open, but in theory it could be a new Clara for the new Doctor even. You know a Clara could pop-up at any time in theory. I don't know if they will or not. It's definitely something that's been set-up, though."
Steven Moffat: "...there’s something about Matt’s Doctor that paves the way for Peter’s Doctor somehow. I can somehow absolutely believe that the strange old/young Matt Smith will turn into the strange young/old Peter Capaldi."
Alex Kingston: "I look forward to sharing more of [River] with you in the future, but… spoilers!"
Steven Moffat: "I’m probably done to be honest on what you can do with the Weeping Angels. But other writers have to have a go."
Armando Iannucci: "I'd love to write [an episode of Doctor Who]! Steven Moffat hasn't asked me, but it would be great because I love sci-fi and I grew up with Doctor Who as well."
Jenna Coleman: "[The 50th anniversary special] changes things. It changes everything. So we're kind of on this blank canvas [for Series 8]. I don't know where Steven [Moffat] is going to take it."
Steven Moffat: "I'd be very surprised if [Peter Capaldi's Doctor] didn't [have a Scottish accent]."
Steven Moffat: "I love the character [of Dorium Maldovar]. We would bring him back if we had a good story for him. But he's just a head in a box, which could make it slightly limiting."
Steven Moffat: "[The Twelfth Doctor is] going to look like an older man. A fiercer man. He won’t be the dashing young man he was a minute ago, and I think that’ll be rather exciting…"
Neil Gaiman: "I would love to write an episode for Season 8; it may well be that I’m over in Season 9, but I promise I haven’t gone away. The idea of writing for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is one that I find so thrilling and exciting."
Neil Cross: "There's a whole bunch of stuff I want to do ... I have to find out from Steven [Moffat] what his intentions for the Doctor are and what sort of stories he wants me to write."
Steven Moffat: "[The return of River Song will] now be story-driven. If we’ve got an idea that she fits perfectly then there’s no reason why we can’t do it, but I quite liked where we got to at the end of 'The Name of the Doctor', with him saying goodbye to her. So we’ll see."
Jenna Coleman: "We couldn't get to know too much about her because she was a mystery [in Series 7]. It's going to be nice just to have her as a human, as a girl. There's quite a lot to explore still, I think."
Jenna Coleman: "I'm so excited Peter Capaldi is the man taking on the challenge of becoming the Twelfth Doctor. With Steven's writing and his talent I know we'll be making an amazing show with an incredible incarnation of number 12. I can't wait to start this new adventure!"
Executive producer Brian Minchin: "My main job now is staring in awe at the 50th Anniversary Special and wondering ‘How the hell do we follow on from that?! Then, when I stop gawping and wondering, ‘How did they do that bit, and that one, and that bit!’ I will start work on the Christmas episode, written by Steven Moffat himself."
Executive producer Brian Minchin: "A whole new series! But we certainly won’t be releasing the details of that series right now in May 2013. Oh dear, that sounds mean! Well, I can tell you that I have just spent a very happy few days meeting some scarily clever writers, and we have an incredible set of stories to work on. More adventures ahead!"
Neil Gaiman: "...I haven’t done an episode set on Earth yet, and I haven’t created a new monster. So there are boxes left to tick. And there’s part of me that feels… I haven’t scared anybody yet. I’d love to do something that sends adults behind the sofa too and makes them wee. Pools of wee."

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ok,so i loe doctor who i live on that show and the new doctor that is coming in is creepy!!!!
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I am so glad that you americans are OUT of Doctor Who's creative process, now, again and hopefully forever... You're so unwittingly simplistic that you could be able to transform Doctor Who into any broadcast tv serials which would ultimately bore and despise the audience, as it was happening with Smith's first season. Doctor Who is more than that, and most of all it is uncathegorizable, and that's what we like: that nothing is set, nothing is fixed, and, yes, first and foremost, that authors RULE over their material. The SUPPOSEDLY BETTER "two-parter narrative without grand schemes" that you would sew on Doctor Who would deprive it of its uniqueness: this is not a serial for romances, or intensely psychological description of characters: it is a serial about an incredibly powerful time bending alien deciding to get involved with leaves falling from trees. The mind bending scripts that Doctor Who's authors have provided us with are some of the best pieces of sci-fi television that have EVER aired in the world, scientifically and historically tight, complex, and incredibly well written at the same time; and this even if it was all for a children serial (because Doctor Who IS STILL BBC top children broadcast, since 1976). There's nothing you could ever compare to that, and, to my knowledge the only piece of sci-fi you americans produced that is worth the comparison is Battlestar Galactica. Let's not even talk about Hollywood, where it seems like you decided to keep the writers uneducated on purpose, for some reason. Let's not talk about J. J. Abrams and his factory of uncomplete, approximated, borrowed ideas. You cannot try to standardize what you see if you don't like it; if you're not confortable with the format, just stop watching it, ok? Wattch Once Upon A Time (you should like that) or Devious Maids, or Person of Interest, all very carefully preordinated and predictable. But please, don't say stupid things about what is clearly above your sensibility, especially when you're getting paid for it.
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I'm sorry LaTriplette but lets just remember that this show is famous for its cliffhangers and therefore stories spread over more than just one episode. Most of the stories are extremely poorly written and can not be explained to anybody and are far from 'the best pieces of sci-fi television that has ever been written'. And there's also no need for the racism towards Americans, nobody was criticizing the British television industry.
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supernatural is a million times better than what this show has become then you have true blood another show miles ahead of this junk but then again British TV is pathetic just look at coronation or what ever that boring show is called and one word tea , lol grow a set or keep your shit shows away from the rest of the world because season 6 was ok season 7 was a piece of s^$% and I know 8 will be a train wreck. And I am not even American but I can tell you most people in europe and Canada like American shows over British shows.
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Well someone found poop in her Cheerios...
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Oh, i also forgot to mention that um.. we made star-trek and batman/superman. oh look? star-trek was made in games and moves other than countless shows. so before you go off and talk about bad shows like Battlestar Galactica make sure you know exactly what you're talking about.
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Us Americans? Wow, how stupid are you? you can't blame all Americans for stupid decisions/ thoughts. secondly it's just that guys opinion and you don't have to make a big deal about it. As long as almost everyone else knows he is wrong/ stupid you don't need to even type. In fact that is the whole reason why i didn't even want to reply (Until) you added the american part. To be honest American's are people from Britain/ England meaning that if you think we have bad taste in story writing/ creativeness then you have a problem with their type of writing and creativity because we originated there. So before you go and criticize our taste in stories or how we do things keep in mind who and what you're talking about.

P.S - before you go out and write replies like these make sure you proof read it and make sure it wont offend any reader(s) that just happends to look at this page.
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First of all, don't lump us all in together when taking credit for Star Trek and Superman, and then saying we can't ALL be held accountable for bad programming. Secondly, if you're going to tell someone to proofread their comment before they post it, you should really...REALLY do the same thing.
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My first Doctor was Tom Baker, so I've been around the show for a while. Can't say the show is losing track, only that it's skewing its focus slightly and sometimes it loses what's important. But it's always been like that more or less, so it's not something that has been introduced recently.
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My first doctor was ecceleston, but I didn't really like him that much. He was a great doctor, and I loved rose. I loved david tennant as the doctor ever since is watched the sycorax episode that began season 2. He was amazing and fun in season 2 and 3, but he started to become mr. Lonely doctor in season 4. Matt Smith was funny and happy and stuff, but by the end of season 6, he started to become more serious and lonely and boring. That never happened to Eccleston. David tennant is definitely my favorite doctor, but I feel like the writer in season 4 was trying to make everyone feel sorry for the doctor because he is lonely, which is stupid because he has soo many friends.
I think that the show is wonderful, but it's changed a lot. I've watched every episode of new who (except for the Cold War episode) and I understood everything. It seems like the show is becoming too much of a story. In the 5th - 7th season, all the episodes seemed to be leading up to the last episodes, where the mystery is solved, with a few 'important' episodes that give you clues to help solve the mystery. In the earlier seasons of newho, every episode is exciting and important. In season seven there are a few good episodes, some boring episodes, and a few annoying characters. Commander strax, the lizard lady(i Forget her name), and her wife appear in almost every episode in the 7th season and I just dislike them as characters. What the author said about bad characters was kinda true, but Clara, the doctor, and Amy are wonderful characters that are fun and lovable. I love Amy. She is my favorite companion, and the eleventh hour episode introduces her in a fun way. She is a great companion, so she should've left in another way. She didn't need to die, people shouldn't blame Moffat. It's not his fault that Karen Gillan had to leave. The episode was very good though. There were a lot of good episodes in season seven, but there were bad characters that made the other episodes kinda bad. Asylum of the daleks was absolutely amazing. I loved it.
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While number 11 is also my Doctor...Clara is my Companion. I followed a little with Rose and the Ponds of the day but it wasn't till Clara came abou that I started watching on a regular basis. I like her and it may seem silly but Smith and Coleman are so adorable together. The comics even plays up on this.
When it comes to Clara, I hope they really work in the relationship between her and the two new Doctors. One little theory I have is that she won't know which is the "new" Doctor at first. Or perhaps more precisly...which to trust. That, and going from Matt Smith who she looks cute with to Doctors that are much older than she is, I can't wait to see how that plays off.
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Back on track? What are you on about? I suggest you go find something you actually know something about and write about that instead.
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Well Said!

Cory Barker go back to articles on Homeland & Scandal as that seems more your speed!
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Seeing as you have only watched the series with Amy and Rory don't think you are qualified to say the show is being ruined. Watch the show when Eccleston or David Tenant was the doctor. they only had 1 companion. Show is still great
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Ten had multiple companions. Rose and Mickey; Martha; Donna; jack; Rose's mum at points; Sarah Jane; and then a whole host of smaller characters that had one or more episodes.
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I have been watching DW from 1980 to present and have seen just about every episode, even some of the rare one's from season one. I loved watching the fourth doctor on PBS and I even liked the Fifth but by time it got to the sixth the show became too kiddy for me and I just started watching because nothing else was on TV. Oh yes remember those days..

The same problem today, Moffat has absolutely ruined the show, he inherited a great show and ran it into the ground with his silly childish stories. I cringed during half of the episodes of season 6 and seven watching Matt trying to polish a a Turd script. My hat goes off to Matt, if he had been given real scripts and proper stories he would have been one of the greatest Doctors but it's pretty hard to make a bad script look good.

I really wish they would find some way to just make season 5-7 become some sort of penance for David Tenants Doctor and somehow bring him and Russel back. The BBC has got to realize that the viewing audience of DW is not just 10 year olds! In truth my own son who is now 11 found the show to be totally childish and stopped watching it when he was 10. So maybe I should say 7 year old's. Matt was great, Moffat is the problem and until BBC fixes that the show is doomed!

BTW IMO the the best episode of the Moffat era was the Doctors Wife and as expected Moffat had nothing to do with it.

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I don't think companions are supposed to be Romantic. Now Rose is the only exception because the Doctor knows she has felt what he does on a daily basis. When she momentarily became the Bad Wolf entity.

To me companions are supposed to intrigue the Doctor in some way. Which in Clara's case is perfect. was a puzzle for him to solve. Be it persistence (Ian and Barbara), curiosity (Sarah Jane and Rose) or simply a fixed universal point or Paradox involving them (Donna, Amelia, and Clara) everyone in their own way is a puzzle for him to solve, because to me the thing that interests the Doctor most about humans is that given our limited life spans we still want to see and do everything.
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When Russell was running the show there were always complaints about how bad a writer he was and how he was ruining the show. Many people were begging Russell to step down and let Steven take over the show.

Now he's there there are complaints too.

I am thrilled that people care so much about the show that they are very passionate about the show.

Both Russell and Steven are huge fans of the show and would never do anything to spoil it. It is great writing and it will continue to be a great show because the people who work on the show love it more than anything else in the world. Steven gave up writing Tin Tin for Steven Spielberg to do Doctor Who. That's how much Steven Moffatt loves the show. Steven Moffatt could have been the number one call script writer in Hollywood after his run on Tin Tin but he gave it up for Doctor Who.

I started watching Doctor Who with Jon Pertwee and my fav doctors are Peter Davidson and David Tennant. I think they were the best because they were and continue to be huge fans of the show.

Steven and Russell were amazing with the show because the love the show and get that it is a show for children. Doctor Who runs into problems when it starts thinking that it is a show for adults. Steven and Russell get that and the show will continue to be great.

You love the show, great. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. It will continue to pick up fans and continue to be amazing.

When Steven picked Matt as the Doctor people were worried. I never worried for a second because Steven would never do anything to ruin the show. I trusted Steven then and I trust him now. Show him faith. He's done a bang up job with the show and he should run it until he feels he can't do a great job anymore. Great show runners know when to step down. Steven will go when he is ready to go.
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Been watching The Doctor since I was four (and since Four)... always found a way to love the character (regardless the actor). I mean, it's the Doctor, for crying out loud.
That said, Four, Nine (yeah, he was a bit of a thug), and Ten were my personal favorites.
...and I believe that the writing is why. There were some great details played out in Eleven's story line. I loved Rory and Amelia. And the whole bit about River.
(Some may point to the companion story lines, but I loved Tennant. And while many of us just wanted to see more of Rose, we all knew that story line could not last... Martha was rather tedious... But Donna was brilliant! Loved her. And she was not a romantic interest, which I think worked out spectacularly. The Doctor and Donna were a good balance. So we cannot blame the flatness of Eleven's story on the lack of romance between he and his companion.)
But I there *was* a certain depth lacking. So much going on, so little to feel.
And I don't believe it was Matt Smith's fault... Because in the well written episodes, he was brilliant! But the rest of them, though they had their moments, fell flat. The moments of awesome felt few and far between.
I sincerely hope that they don't kill my love for the Doctor with Twelve. I rather hope for a new writer. If not, though, new inspiration for Moffat and new life to the journeys that Twelve takes.
...then again, perhaps that's just me.
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Okay I am going to open up right now I hope matt smith reads this !!!

All my family and I have always watch doctor who our favourite was David tenant when we heard matt smith (who we had no had no clue of who he was) where so upset a specially my 4 year old brother!!! But when we started watching matt smith we forgot all about David tenant ( no offence David) we would record every episode old or new !! We where absolutely well just exited all the time !! Epic just about it we would get so exited just over one episode wether it was with the darleks the Siber men the dolls anything at all honestly it wouldnt matter as long as we saw matt smith act I mean he is amazing !! The point is if this is how 1 family feels imagine how many other family's feel !! I know that he can't do it forever but it has only been 1 year why not make it 2 I mean it can't hurt but if he doesn't do another year then it will hurt not you maybe but us !! A specially my just turned 6 year old brother he loves matt to pieces so please just a little longer cause its worth it I promise xx I want to be an actor but only cause u inspired me so please please I am just one girl imagine how many other girls feel the same !!!
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I think the trouble you're having, is that it's not Moffat's inability to develop companions; but rather, the Davies era gave you the wrong idea of what a companion is supposed to be.

He already did the damage with Rose, so when Martha had to leave, because she expected a relationship, it just added to the mess, and reinforced the expectations of new-Who viewers, that companions are supposed to go hand in hand with romantic interests.

But there's a reason why companions were called assistants back then, and why a male companion was a fairly common sight. While there was certainly a degree of mutual caring, that caring was more along the lines of a friendship, than an actual romantic one.

So, when Moffat went back to that classic formula, those who have only seen Davies' work, now start accusing Moffat of somehow "under-developing" companions. The simple truth is, that saying Moffat's companions are underdeveloped because there's no love story, is like saying a car is underdeveloped because it doesn't do the Tango.
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Good point, but imho, the aforementioned "underdevelopment" of Clara does not only revolve around the presence of a romance/relationship between her and the doctor. If that were the criticism, then yes, i would completely agree, but it's not.
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Well, it's a bit tough to take any other "underdevelopment" criticism seriously as well - romantic interest or not. After all, she's only been a companion for a little more than half of a season. And of those, every single one of them was based on her being a mystery - to both us, and The Doctor.

Now that this mystery has been solved, she can now become more of a "normal" companion. Thankfully, Moffat's idea of development is much more interesting than the "development" Rose got after her "mystery" was solved. Rose was quite enjoyable (series 1) until Davies turned her into a whiny love interest.
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Sorry had to add this. Matt Smith did totally exceed my expectations in filling Tennants shoes as the doctor! I will miss him!!!!
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David Tennant was and always will be my doctor.
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Can anyone tell me when the new season will start?
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I completely agree with you JessicaBallJ. I'm sorry but I never cared for Matt smith David Tennant will always be the doctor to me.
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The only salvation for this show at this point is if they can come up with some brilliant way to bring David Tennant back as the Doctor.
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Since you are just starting out on this ima let you slide though some of your points are valid you have not watched the previous doctors Tennant and Ecclestone they were very strong doctors and amazing actors matt smith did not live up to the amazing reputation of the previous doctors watch previous episodes and youll see whats up
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All due respect; admitting rory and Amy were your first companions and you've only watched the "important" 9 & 10 episodes which admits you've never watched 1-8 kind of disqualifies you from writing such critique.

"Get back to two companions?" What about the decades of 1 companion?? Let's just talk about the modern episodes... Rose? Martha? Donna? Please, go back and watch the show and gain perspective.
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Matt Smith is my favorite Doctor out of all them. He was the reason I was waiting for every single new episode. I was heart-broken when I heard he was leaving. I mean, I LOVE tennant and Ecclestone, but Matt Smith just made me laugh. The others were just so serious and dramatic, but I like dramatic. I agree with what you said and I really like Coleman as an actor but her character is a little bland. Is she leaving already? We barely got to know her. Still, in her little time so far, she's sparked my interest.
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I'll start by saying that I didn't like Matt Smith as the Doctor, I'm quite happy to see him go.

While I agree with most of the things you've said, I feel you're not completely qualified to as you have only watched Matt Smith's tenure. Don't get me wrong, Matt Smith is a brilliant actor. But I don't think he was right for the part of the Doctor. If you had watched the Classic series or Season 1 to 4 you would see how he falls compared to the rest. In Ecclestone's time, the Doctor was strong and calm; and in Tennant's hands he became this wonderful mysterious man who was so kind and warm yet was capable of so much harm. They were fully fleshed out characters. But Matt Smith has reduced him to a childish acrobat, flailing his arms about and using the Sonic screwdrivers as a cure-all. He doesn't have a personal connection with the companions. When Rose had to leave the Doctor, I probably cried more than she did. The relationship between them was lovely and realistic, they were real people to me. And as for Donna, let's not even get started there......the bond and chemistry between them was incredibly well developed. But as for the Ponds; yes, I was sad to see them go but I quickly forgot about them, they never made a lasting impression.

Not all of this is Matt Smith's fault. Perhaps my undying love for Ten has made me biased but it really can't be denied that he really contributed to the demise of the show
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Bah.

First, the author SAYS they saw the other New Who seasons, so you're wrong on that.

Second, I started with Tennant's run, the Tenth Doctor (had seen Nine, but not gotten attached). I really loved Tennant, and was anxious about his replacement...

...and then I saw "The Eleventh Hour" and was relieved. Because the new Doctor was fun, vivacious, charismatic, and weird. Which I liked. I love Matt Smith as the Doctor and am going to miss him when he's gone.

However, seeing as you liked Nine a lot, this attitude makes sense.

I have noticed a weird pattern: a lot of people will like Nine and Ten, but then not like Eleven... whereas people like me who favor Ten and Eleven, often don't like Nine as much (he's okay, but I'm not overly attached). It's like Ten popular with almost everybody (though, yes, there are some who don't like him either), but if you like Nine, who was very serious, you probably don't like the goofier Eleventh, and vice versa.

I have a feeling you never gave Eleven a chance though, because some of your assertions are rather silly. He doesn't have a connection with his companions!? Are you kidding me? He might not with Clara very much, but he certainly does with Amy and even Rory - you have to have missed pretty much the bulk of his episodes so think otherwise. Additionally, the idea that he can't do dark or serious... bah! Watch "The God Complex" when he communicates with the dying beast, watch "The Big Bang" as he thinks he's being unwritten with a strong possibility of not coming back, watch "The Name of the Doctor", as he realizes he has to go to Trenzalore, as he looks at his own grave, as he says goodbye to River, look at "Amy's Choice" where the villain was basically his own dark side, and where he has to watch Amy seem to kill herself... no, he's not "calm", but the idea that he can't do "serious" is ridiculous.


And as for not enough time to develop him or the companions - that's not the actor! That's the writing! Yet you are blaming Smith for a thing you disliked about MOFFAT's work! Basically what you're saying, is you didn't Smith... because Smith didn't get a chance to shine due to the writing.

You just don't like the actor is all. Which is fine! Completely, totally fine and actually quite common and normal. But don't come up with fake reasons for what is in the end a completely subjective and possibly not even conscious opinion. That's just silly.

Just admit that you don't like him. That's enough.
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No, the author SAYS that he only saw the "important" episodes for Nine and Ten. Important? Who deemed which ones "important"?

Second, you are commenting as if you have not watched the earlier Doctors... Have you?

Because the Classic Doctor Who (available on Netflix) is what sets the tone for many of us. And Eleven, though he was oddball enough to play the Doctor was not written with enough depth...

I believe that is the issue.

So many new viewers only seeing a romance developing between Rose and Nine/Ten and missing that from Eleven. Or concentrating on how serious Nine was and how deep Ten was, but somehow preferring the madcap antics of Eleven. There needs to be a balance between the mad Doctor and the deep and serious Doctor. He is, after all, over 900 years old.

I would love to see some better writing. (NOT that *I* could ever do it...)
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I don't hate Stephen Moffat, but I am definitely not excited about the series anymore. I just finished season 6, yeah I am behind, but started watching via netflix. I think that season 6 was pretty weak. The whole River/Doctor story arc has a ton of plot holes, while I really like River's character, it is just WAY to unbelievable. The emotion factor with the Doctor, River, Rory and Amy was completely off given the "situation" written in the plot. I am a parent, and to me, it just seemed so shallow. I think some things were clever, but also very far fetched and not put together as cohesively as I think that it could have been. The problem is comparing it to the Tennant years. I absolutely loved his Doctor, as well as his story lines. They were so brilliantly weaved together. The 10th doctors relationships with his companions really made it feel like they were his family. This however does give some explanation as to WHY the current Doctor seems so callous and apathetic. He doesn't have the heart to care like he used to. He has shut a part of himself off because of everything that 10 went through. However, I have not bonded with the characters the way that I did with 10's characters. I like Rory, Amy, and really like River, but I LOVED Donna and Rose. I loved Rose and the Doctor's chemistry, and I felt my heart rip out of my chest and my guts twisted up in knots when I watched Doomsday, and the End of Time. It was almost too much to handle, which is ironic because it is just a TV show. When this happens, you know that the writer accomplished the goal. I still wanted to punch RTD in the eye, but I admired his brilliance at the same time.
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I'm inclined to agree with this assessment. What I enjoyed about the Russell Davies era, was that the episodes were mostly stand-alone stories, and the elements that built up to the season finales were much more subtle. Consider Season Three, when there were references to Harold Saxon sprinkled into various episodes but very little revealed about him or his motives, other than his interest in the Doctor, up until the finale. Or Season Four, where they have throwaway references to things like the Lost Moon of Poosh, which seems like just one more random name to expand the Doctor's adventures beyond what's shown on screen. And then in the finale they bring it back around.

These season-arcs were intriguing and had some very satisfying pay-offs, but in none of these cases was the mystery driving the show. But Season 5 was just crack in time, crack in time, crack in time, crack in time, and Season 6 was silence must fall, silence must fall, silence must fall, silence must fall. A bit heavy handed imo.
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Moffat is definitely more serial than Davies was. I don't think it's an automatic flaw - I LIKED it in Series 5, because it was quiet, subtle - but Series 6 was a bit disjointed, and Series 7, despite liking Clara and being intrigued by the mystery of the multiple Clara/Oswins, I did finally start to think that the verbal obsessing over how "impossible" she was, was over the top, and kind of undercut the nice chemistry they got going, because it made it feel like the only reason at all he was dragging Clara around was because of her mystery. Despite the fact that the other two Clara/Oswins he met, he totally would have invited on the TARDIS - and did, in the second case - I just keep getting the vibe that the main reason modern Clara was with him was because she was a giant, timey-wimey Rubik's Cube for him, and that... is just off to me.

I still enjoyed the series, but Season 5 (and I say this despite the fact that The Doctor's Wife was in Series 6 and is my favorite New Who episode so far) was definitely Moffat's best.

I get the feeling maybe he is overwhelmed as a showrunner. I keep hearing rumors that the Beeb keeps cutting their budget and placing weird demands on them, which wouldn't help, but simply being a showrunner for two things at once is probably enough to overwhelm.
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Truth be told, The Doctor's Wife wasn't Moffat's episode. Maybe it was his concept, but the credit for the episode goes to Neil Gaiman, and has his fingerprints all over it. Gaiman loves to bring concepts and/or objects to life- Stardust is probably the most widely known name because of the movie, although I really like American Gods myself. That's exactly what happened in that episode- he brought the TARDIS, a previously mostly inanimate object, to life.
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While there are some good observations and suggestions here, you lack the ability and credibility, in my humble opinion, to comment on "Doctor Who" as a whole (Since the reboot at least) since you admittedly only jumped aboard the Who bandwagon at the beginning of the Matt Smith era and just familiarized yourself with the rest of the show by taking in only the "important episodes" of the Tennent and Eccelstein eras. You need to get a better perspective of the "Whoniverse" by watching all of seasons 1-4 because they were splendid. Messy at times? Yes, but splendid. There really are no "important episodes", in that certain episodes are more important to the season than others, because even in the "one-offs" there are always Easter Eggs and clues that further inform the season-long arcs and the arc of the Who franchise as a 50-year-old whole, and when you miss those episodes, you miss a lot. When you catch up on the entire program (and I recommend watching Torchwood and some Classic Doctor Who as well, for a more complete "Whoniverse" experience) When you've enjoyed what you've been missing out on, you will find that in fact, Moffat's writing is indeed consistent with Russle Davies' previous seasons.
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On the other hand, they aren't talking about producing a show only for people who've been there for 50 years.

MOST of the viewers today didn't watch Classic, and probably started with New Who - and with casual viewers being a big part of the UK audience, not just hardcore fans, these are reasonable suggestions.

Weirdly, I don't even completely agree with all of them, but from a practical perspective, of trying to successfully gain viewers that have been lost over the last season, they're reasonable.

So can we stop whining about "credibility", when most of the viewers the Beeb needs to worry about are new fans or casual ones?
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I really agree that Doctor Who's big problem right now is not Smith leaving, but the writing! This last season was a mess! I loved Amy and Rory's sendoff, but I can't understand what's been going on since then. I think the problem is that the first two times we met Clara, she and the Doctor developed great chemistry. The third time, they didn't feel like they needed to develop it again. So here he was traveling with a gal we didn't know. And now we discover that she's the "real" Clara, the original, and I still know way more about those other versions! This was the first season since the 2005 beginning with Chris Eccleston that I just had trouble getting excited about. I actually like Moffat's style most of the time, but you hit the nail on the head with this: "I like complex, serialized stories as much as the next guy, but as I alluded to above, they haven't totally worked for Doctor Who. They've been simultaneously too complicated and underdeveloped." That's exactly it. I don't know how he makes such complicated plots so unsatisfying when resolved. . . but he does!
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WRONG.WRONG.WRONG.WRONG. IF by important you mean EVERY EPISODE. Then you aren't a complete loss, and can still be saved. If however you are saying that you skipped the entirety of the show and think season 5 is the best....then you don't even have the right to make this post ffs. Go away...just leave. Watch season 1-4, get a better opinion of the show, realize amy and rory were annoying as all He11 and then come back with a JL Coleman teeshirt and I might listen. ~keh
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Completely agree with practically everything you've said. The annoying thing is Moffat is a more than capable Doctor Who writer. Going back to the RDT era, the episodes Moff use to write before he was head writer were brilliant ( Blink, The Empty Child, The Girl in the fireplace, Silence in the library etc) All of them were really good episodes. But arguably they were so good because they were one off. Obviously Moffat isn't silly enough to try and fit an entire over complicated story arc in a single or double episode. 'Blink' was a brilliant episode, definitely one of the best New Who episodes. The funny thing is when Moffat was interviewed about 'Blink' he said he had no idea it would become so successful. As it was an episode with little of The Doctor in it he just wrote enough to get a way with it, not intending it to become such a hit. So maybe a little bit of Moff is enough?

Initially when he took over as a head writer; everyone (including me) was over the moon. Knowing that we had more Moffat brilliance to come through out the upcoming series. Now, believe it or not my favorite series of New Who is Series 5. I thought it was brilliant, The new Doctor was introduced well, the whole story arc with the 'Cracks in the walls' was so simple but yet so clever (and not overly complicated). He also concluded the series well. We found out how the cracks were caused and how the Doctor fixed them. And not only that but it made sense and was easy to follow. Unfortunately I think that's the only story arc he's ever finished properly while being head writer.

Then Series 6 came along. The whole story arc is just a mess. Maybe it makes sense in Moffs head? Maybe if he had more episodes to finish the arc, it wouldn't have been so bad? Maybe its down to the directors or the rest of the crew? I don't know to be honest. The potential is definitely there. I could go through all of the faults that i had with it but i'm not going to. The thing that annoyed me most about that series was how unclear it was. If he had some sort of clever and brilliant conclusion that actually made sense and drew everything together, i wouldn't have had a problem with it. I would have walked away after watching episode 13 feeling that Doctor Who was still at it's strongest. But i didn't. I just remember thinking to myself "What? that's it?" Its just the way he concluded it and the way he tried to tie up the lose ends, it just felt really, well, crap to be honest.

He's got to understand that it's meant to be a family show and there's going to be 8 year olds watching. Theres nothing wrong with a few twists and turns, if it was all simple one off easy going episodes, the fanbase would just be for kids and it would probably be broadcast on CBBC or something. But you need to be able to have a good understanding of whats going on even if you don't watch it regularly. If i wasn't 100% sure of what happened after watching, how is a 8 year old going to? Admittedly Series 6 wasn't all bad, I just felt it didn't live up to expectations when it ended.

I would have forgiven the Series 6 complications if Series 7 went down the more original route. And at first I thought it had. Part 1 was really enjoyable. All the episodes gave me the feeling that Doctor Who was back again, there was no overly complicated twist (seeing as there were only 5 episodes i'm not surprised.) I like the way it didn't lead up to the Ponds departure, it came as a sort of shock. Especially after that lovely scene at the end of 'The Power of Three' when Brian says Amy and Rory shouldn't give up The Doctor. Although i still think the ending to 'The Angels take Manhattan' could have been more thought through.

Then Series 7 Part 2 came. Apart from a few exceptions. The episodes actually felt quite boring. I have never ever felt bored whilst watching Doctor Who. Of course Moffat doesn't write every single episode. And I thought his 2 episodes were some of the best of the 8. It's just the weak story arc that annoys me. The mystery of Clara was great. (Even though I did find her slightly annoying) I really hope she doesn't stay on, as I think the mystery of how she had so many lives was the only interesting thing about her. 'The Doctors Name' was a good finale, a lot better than the series 6 finale. But I don't go much on the great intelligence to be honest.

Another thing, has anyone else noticed that Moffats finales are all about The Doctor? I know that probably doesn't make much sense. But all of RTDs were about The Doctor stopping The Daleks or stopping The Master etc. Whereas Moffats are about The Doctor surviving his death or visiting his tomb etc. I mean arguably that was one of RTDs weaknesses, always having to bring back a classic monster or villain for a finale. But I always enjoyed those finales, I think a finale should be a 2 parter. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang (Moffats first finale) were great episodes, they were different to RTDs finales but equally as good. 'The Wedding of River Song' and 'The Doctors Name' didn't have the same feeling as a finale should. They weren't awful episodes, but they just didn't feel like a finale. I think Moffat sees finales as a way of tying up lose ends rather than an epic final battle.

Moffat is not all bad at all. But he's just got a few noticeable problems. If he gave his arcs and enemies more structure I wouldn't have many problems with him.

Wow. I only intended on writing a few lines haha. I probably could have wrote even more if I didn't stop myself, I just get a bit carried away when it comes to Doctor Who. Hopefully what I wrote makes some sort of sence haha.

Peace out fellow Whovians.
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Brilliant.
I think you hit on every point.
(and yes, the Doctor-centric finales of Moffat's are great (or would be if he developed them a bit more - so much potential)... though I rather miss RTD's calamity-filled finales... just a bit.)
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Awesome comment! Read and agree with the whole thing! :)
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Agree. The only thing that is saving Who is that the actors have all done a great job with what they have been given. Lesser actors and Who would not have made it to 50.
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Wrong wrong wrong. The show characters are beloved BECAUSE of Moffat, not despite him and I contest that Amy and Rory's departure was not a mess. It was BRILLIANT. What is a mess are the fans who insist on saying things that are completely wrong. Like the fallacy that Moffat supposedly killed them and all the other companions. PLEASE. Name me ONE companion in Who that was killed? The only one who came close was Wilfred and 10 gave his incarnation in order to save him. The reason people are upset is because they are having difficulty with the whole premise of the show and that is that the companions and Doctor change every few seasons. They just need to get over it. This whole Moffat hate is completely unreasonable and has no basis in fact what-so-ever. Just based in mild hallucinations.
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"Name me ONE companion in Who that was killed?"

Adric was killed in a Doctor Who episode (Tom Baker, DW #4). And when I say killed, I mean dead as a door nail killed...he's gone and he can never come back. He was my favorite Companion out of all of the Companions the Doctor has ever had.
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Katarina. Killed on the show.

* Sara Kingdom. Killed on the show.

* Adric. Killed on the show.

* Kamelion. Destroyed on the show.

* Astrid. Killed on the show.

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Oops, Adric died during DW #5, but he was mostly in DW #4.
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Rory got killed! xD
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Which time are you talking about? Rory is the Kenny of DW lol
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Doctor 4 & 5's companion Adric was the only companion that died. Technically, Rory and Amy didn't die but went off to live their lives out during an earlier time (although in essence, the Doctor--and fans--experiend a "death").

I am a "new" era DW fan and only just recently saw the episode with Peter Davison's Doctor where Adric died. I hadn't seen any others, so I had no time to form any emotional attachment to the character. Yet, I still got a little choked up seeing this scene. I'm sure the fans watching back then were shocked by it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idEcvdL_zHA
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There has been 3. Along with Adric you had two die in The Dalek's Master Plan (1st Doctor) Katarina and Sara Kingdom. Dalek's Master Plan is part of the Lost TV Episodes audio sets. Either set 1 or 2 of 5 sets.
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My mistake there has been 4 Kamelion was died with he asked the Doctor to kill him after the Master had took control of him.See Planet of Fire.
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I forgot about Kamelion; he was kinda' freaky as a Companion.
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In the original series the companion Adric died.
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Season 5 was by far the best year of the new series. I also really loved season 6 (We are hating the season with Impossible Astronaut, The Doctors Wife, Let's Kill Hitler and The God Complex?) but I can see how it tricky time travel plot isn't for everyone, although compared to many similar shows (like Angel or Fringe) this is all pretty tame. Season 7 was still pretty enjoyable despite some obvious over reaction to criticism and ratings. Angels Take Manhattan/Snowmen were seriously emotional for me. The only major complaint I have against this year has been Clara who was an awesome idea for a character that just didn't pan out. That said Moffats extreme haters seem really unreasonable when he did Asylum, Angels, Bells of St. John and Name of the Doctor. These episodes were bad? Too each his own.
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Series 6 was pretty uneven. But I still enjoyed it. "Let's Kill Hitler" was messy, but has some great bits in it. "Wedding of River Song" largely made no logical sense, but the wacky all-history-happens-at-once bits were still fun enough I forgave it, "God Complex" and "Doctor's Wife" were awesome episodes, but the one with the little kid and the dollhouse where people got turned into living dolls? Eh, take or leave it. I still enjoyed it, but it felt... like a filler episode, if that makes any sense. I think it didn't help that it was intended (written) for the first half, but then got shoved to the second half, because it felt like they ignored the fact that Amy and Rory's baby was MISSING. Though knowing that that was why it was ignored - that it basically hadn't been a plot point at the time the episode was written - makes it a bit easier to swallow, and in my headcanon, that episode takes place before the whole "Good Man Goes to War" business. despite the air date.

Series 5 is still my favorite out of all of Moffat's runs, but individual episodes from Series 6 are indeed pretty awesome, with "The Doctor's Wife" being possibly my favorite New Who episode of all.

Series 7... was also a bit uneven. But weirdly, I stop to think of individual episodes that I felt were weak, like "Power of Three", and I end up saying, "but, there was that one cool thing I liked about it... and I still enjoyed watching..." (the cool thing being Kate Stewart, an awesome character that I hope we see again).

So... I dunno. I see the flaws, but in the end, I still love the show so it's hard for me to criticize TOO much.

I do think splitting seasons is a terrible idea though and hope they don' do that with Series 8 :\
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I'd say
1. Fire Moffat
and that's about it. DW was pretty amazing (or at least, strong) before he was in charge (and the few episodes he wrote were great)
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This season was definitely the weakest of the show, and if they don't change things, it could be very bad, your review is wonderful, and you voice my exact thoughts, my thanks.
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I absolutely preferred Steven Moffat's writing when he was writing one or two episodes per season, and your description of his writing style perfectly described my feelings. :D Thank you.
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I agree that the last half of season 7 was a mess but there were some damn good episodes tho. I loved Matt as the doctor, Tennant is still my fave, but i'm exited to see a new face.
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I agree with most of this. Except the spelling, but eh, typos happen.
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Did you ever think about that I could live in a not English speaking country and that it might not be my native language? Because I don't and it isn't.
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dudeeeeeee wtf...ok so yea what's the deal with changing up the cast in British shows...They pulled this same shit in Misfits. bad bad idea. I know this show often changes its doctor but now I'm not even interested in watching. So sad but MAtt Smith rocks !!
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Hi Mate, changing up the cast is part of what "Doctor Who" is. That's why the story keeps going. But, even that looks likely to end with John Hurt.
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I do not understand how you come to the conclusion of how John Hurt, playing most likely the real 9th doctor, stops the story from going on...

If it's the regen thing you should really look at some discussions on that on doctor who fansites.
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Sorry about the John Hurt bit - got that wrong! But the regen thing was just a cheep way of keeping the show going, back in the 60's. If/when it ends they really need to clear up the daughter issue first!
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All right people, you all say that you've watched since it started - bull s**t! I started watching the show in about 1968-9 & even then I didn't get to see all of them, but I watched it every week - it was the only show that was on after school. To really get to know the series, you have to start right at the beginning or as dam close as possible.

So far the New Doctor Who was pretty good & seemed to follow well with the original, but someone dropped the batten & went off to the left, when they should have turned right. Losing the character's - Amy & Rory - midway through the season was a big mistake, they really should have been made to finish it - sorry! - most of the Doctor's new companions seem turn up one or two episodes before the end of the season. If any thing, River should have been used & Clara as the ? for the season. Or, if necessary, drop in Jenny - the Doctor's Daughter, totally new possibilities there, why create & leave it open, if you're not going to use it (really love the irony of the Doctor marring his Daughter, who is also a Doctor's Daughter - talk about keeping it in the family!!!!!).
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As someone who just watched season 1 - 7 for the first time this past month, I feel like I saw what was good and bad all at once and it's still fresh in my mind. I felt that out of all the seasons, season 5 was the most solid. It had a great overall story arc with Amy that wrapped up nicely at the end of the season, and had enough fleshed out stories in its standalone episodes. It wasn't too busy or too simple; it was just right. That's what the show needs to try to get back to. The reason the season 5 story arc worked so well is because it was all based on a character. And while Moffat tried to revisit that with Clara, it didn't work for the reasons stated by Cory Barker. Jenna Coleman isn't a bad actress and her character isn't bad either, but there are several cues missed in season 7 that season 5 had. The reason Doctor Who has always held up so well as a show is because it has intriguing characters, and for the first time, it fell a bit flat. However, I also think Clara is one of those characters in which the audience needs a little extra time to get acquainted with; especially after Amy leaving. I know a decent amount of people that are Who fans, and it's not so much that they don't like Clara as it is they're still recovering from Amy and Rory leaving the show.
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Look, if this stuff makes Doctor Who a mess, I'm not sure what kind of primordial goo most shows are. Nonetheless, I'll agree with the issues regarding Clara; she was essentially BILLED as a problem-to-solve, but to my mind, somehow morphed into a companion because Jenna-Louise Coleman is so doggone smart that Moffat couldn't let her go. There is, of course, still time to let her ride off into the sunset with Matt Smith a la Rose and Tenth-clone, but I doubt that's going to happen.
Your assertion that Amy-Rory's departure was "bungled," however, seems forced. The episode arc that led to it, starting and ending with two of the series' very best episodes, had them acting perfectly in character, and in grand romantic style, right to the end. If you go back to past history, most companions have not fared nearly as well in their departures. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Moffat loves his companions more than he loves the Doctor, especially if you count River as a companion (she's probably more Captain Jack Harkness than, say, Donna Noble, but she was a superb foil nonetheless). Frankly, that played well into Smith's strengths, as he seems to be more cooperative in an ensemble environment than the take-charge Ninth and Tenth Doctors did.
Now, as to the Grand Narratives - Doctor Who IS grand narrative, with the exception of the Pertwee years; if anything, Moffat's major problem has been in breaking, and sometimes exploding, the Grand Narrative to indulge his fascination with the characters themselves; but let's be fair: Davies pulled the same stunt at the end of his tenure and even brought back all the companions he'd created to make that happen!
And in that sense, I might be a little too much like Moffat. I'm way more broken up by the departures of Gillan, Darvill, and Kingston than I am about Matt Smith's. And I like Smith very much.
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Good points, but Davies not only pulled that same stunt at the end of his run (which was too cheesy even for a guy like myself who cries at the end of A Tale of Two Cities every damn time) but I dare say he Pertwee-ed it in every episode with his neat little everything's-fixed-in-an-inexplicable-second endings à la 'reverse the polarities'. I like seeing Moffat's darker and less 'happy-happy joy' endings.
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When number eleven regenerates, you will experience 'Doctor Remorse'. You will crab about the whole next season and whine about losing Matt Smith. And then, when it is announced that number 12 is leaving, you'll get defensive again about No. 12's departure and melancholy over the Ponds and Clara and even reflect warmly on Cold War. That's how Moffat hooks you. Very sneaky. He's Vashta Nerada hiding in our thoughts.
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