I am writing today to pose a question to myself. “Is Moffat still the Golden child I had hoped he would be?” Now that the honey moon period with Moffat is over What do I think about his tenure as producer so far?
Moffat has an incredible resume (in Doctor who alone). He does fantastic work. that resume got me thinking back RTD’s day that Moffat would be a perfect person to replace RTD. For the most part I was not alone in this thought process. Many fans championed the cause of Moffat as show runner. All of the stories he had written were so original, and well done. Most of them won awards and those were the stories that were putting Doctor who on the map like it had never been before. I was firmly on “Team Moffat” I championed the cause. Moffat took over.
Now its been two years and while I still agree that Moffat was the obvious choice and still was the best option (especially for taking doctor who to new audiences) I have to say he has taken the show in a direction that was unexpected.
In season 5 he introduced a whole new way of looking at the show. He made it clear that the past still happened and he wasn’t trying to supersede any of that. However, the look changed immediately. Even the promotional material changed to a kind of floating, spacey feeling. replacing dark shadows with purples and stars. Immediately, I really liked this! It felt classic, some how.
It took me a few episodes for it to really jive with me. Moffat put his new direction in from the very start, but it wasn't until we hit “Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone” that it really jived with me. Those stories introduced space in a way that the new series hadn’t done. It DID feel like classic who. Lots of little references for the old school fans but not so much to really turn off new viewers. At the same time though, Moffat was putting his mark on his tenure, and that mark was River Song. He started throwing in long term story goals. Some of which we still don’t know the answers to! This is Moffat’s style. Toying with the audience.
Season five went on with some very good episodes, some of them may be some of the better in doctor who history. Others of the season could be some of the worst! It was a mixed bag but still good and for the most part on par with the RTD era.
Moffat, at least for me seemed that he was doing a good job, but I decided to reserve judgement for the next season.
Season 6 has now come and gone, and I have a better idea of what Moffat is doing. If I were basing my opinion of where he is going on season 6 alone I would be a little worried. He has continued threads from season 5, some of which he still hasn’t finished, and I have to say I am becoming bored with the River Song story. There is a silver lining however, He is bringing back some very good episodic stories that are good for what they are. A fantastic plus. I thrive on these episodic stories. the arc was still there (and often very present) but the episodes have been good.
If all indications of where season 7 is going is accurate, I am excited for season 7 and of course season 8 will be a 50th anniversary extravaganza. So at the moment I am excited as to where Moffat is taking us, but I have to say it is not the way I would have expected him to do it. And I’m not sure it is the way I would have asked for it to be done.
I’m not sure if Moffat is the the golden boy we thought he was going to be. If you look at his person he is much more of an ego than RTD was, this is not necessarily a bad thing. He does have a precise image of where he sees Doctor who going, so in that respect I think we are in good hands. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for our show and it’s show runner.