Hi there! I was wondering if there was anything on here about Press Gang (I’ve checked the tags & FAQ) - I’ve not watched it in a couple of years, so was wondering if anyone had revisited in light of the multitude valid criticisms of recent work/if you know of anything written about it? I’ve only seen a few people who’ve started watching it now say things like ‘Moffat wrote this show which is awesome in all these ways therefore he is not sexist/misogynist’ (even though it’s 20+ years old).
I don’t think so. I’ve never seen it and I don’t think SH has either. But even if it isn’t sexist, it doesn’t mean that Moffat isn’t sexist now. He might have had a less sexist phase in the past, but that’s obviously over.
Also about Moffat’s attitude towards metal illness, there was Sherlock’s “joke” about Mycroft being “OCD” because he always fixes the 221b door marker, which was disrespectful/played on stereotypes of ocd and also wasn’t funny in the least bit.
You’re right, that was gross. I hate the trivilisation of OCD for humour so much.
um, am I the only one who keeps noticing that Eleven and Sherlock seem to be becoming really similar characters?
No, you aren’t the only one. They even have some of the same lines, as well as the same characteristics (white man who is superior to everyone else comes into a situation, amazes people and tells them how to live their lives, then everyone tells him how awesome he is and all the women swoon over him).
about mycroft’s interpretation of the serbian language: as a turkish and german native speaker, i was also amazed in a negative way. just because i recognised a single word that’s also used in turkish language it doesn’t mean it’s a turkish loanword. like wtf, maybe in turkish it’s a serbian loanword?! so i asked a serbian friend of mine and she also said that’s not quite true. again. i am always amazed in the most negative way. stfu moffat. by the way, thanks for the blog.
It’s so awful that he didn’t bother to research the language.
Although Mark Gatiss was the one who actually wrote the episode so he should be criticised more than Moffat for this.
i’ve heard two interviews with moffat where he confirmed the doctor as asexual. i might be able to find the links. i have them lying around in my email somewhere. i know i kept them somewhere because ace character confirmations are very important to me. he could definitely be biromantic or panrromantic though, i agree.
The impression I’ve had is that Moffat thinks actual asexuality is boring and uses “asexual” to mean “celibate because he’s superior to those flighty women and so is really cool”*, but I haven’t seen these interviews so maybe he’s changed his mind and has done some research.
It would be great if you (or any of our followers, hint hint) shared these links so we can discuss it more specifically.
*Which, given his treatment of John’s “PTSD” vs overuse of the term “sociopath”, is probably his attitude to mental health problems as well.
Silurians shouldn’t have any genus because those classification systems were made up by humans. Unless the Doctor went forward in time to when humans had discovered Silurans and classified them… that just seems awkward.
If humans and/or Time Lords encountered Silurians they’d give them a genus (although the Silurians probably wouldn’t use it for themselves and would have another name for themselves, and possibly for humans too).
I don’t think it’s weird if the Time Lords classified Silurians, and I suppose it’s possible that Time Lords didn’t bother to understand how human scientific names work and just picked something that sounded vaguely similar.
If you haven’t see this yet, I think you’d appreciate the joke :D http://makebreakfastcanon.tumblr.com/post/77257806952/what-if
Hahaha that is the only acceptable ending to that scene.
This is a conversation between two of my friends in which one of them tried to defend Moffat’s latest “gem,” and the other was absolutely on point (posted with permission, of course):
[Greg] I just watched the last Sherlock ep and it didn’t make me want to ragequit the show…?
[Colin] Well. Enjoy, I guess.
[Picc] There were plenty of TWEESTS but they were explained by the end
[Colin] What part did you like best: the part where Sherlock flails around the Mind Palace for 45 minutes, the part where he solves no mysteries whatsoever, the part where a man blackmails the entire world with no proof, or the part where Sherlock gains access to the villain’s headquarters by tricking a girl into thinking he’s going to marry her because all women are desperate husband-hunters according to Steven Moffat?
[Greg] A woman also actually pulled the trigger and smacked her blackmailer in the face with that same gun
[Colin] Accomplishing nothing
[Colin] She had to beg Sherlock for help only to have him shoot the guy in the head anyway 40 minutes later
[Colin] Good thing a big powerful man was there to take care of that for her
[Greg] There was some “Namek explodes in five minutes” time there but Sherlock’s mind operates as fast as ten fast men
[Greg] She didn’t know the blackmail was virtual, but Sherlock did, maybe if he hadn’t broken in when he did, he would have confessed that to save his life at gunpoint?
[Colin] But then we’d never have gotten the scene in the hospital where Sherlock gets to call Magnussen’s assistant a whore
[Colin] You can just picture the semi-erection Moffat got as he typed that line into the script
[Colin] Another woman exposed for what they all really are
[Greg] Well what were you more disturbed by, the fact she was easily manipulated, or that it was a Walter White level of emotionless manipulating that Sherlock had to do? John had this look on his face like ‘wow you are the worst human being”
[Greg] He did solve the mystery in that if he hadn’t been involved everyone would still think there was a phsyical place where all this stuff was
[Colin] He didn’t solve shit
[Colin] The dude told him
[Colin] If I’d been standing in the room he would have told me too
[Greg] You mean, if a high ranking member of Her Majesty’s Secret Service was your brother, and you had befriended a druggie who was actually very smart (someone’s been watching breaking bad) to knock him out and borrow his laptop, which Sherlock had done while trying to create false skeletons in his closet to fool this Magnussen
[Colin] What I meant is that Steven Moffat is a legitimately wretched human being and I actually feel dirty watching him play out his creepy awful fantasies over what would otherwise be enjoyable stories
[Greg] Augh XD Well what you can be mad at is how the story would move forward, then lurch backward in time to give everything context, and repeat like three or four times
[Colin] I can be mad at way more than that, sir.
I hope this is the kind of thing you guys would post, but I’ve been thinking about the portrayals of fans in-universe. With regards to Moffat, obviously, but in this case comparing his treatment to Russell T Davis’.
During a recent re-watch of some RTD Doctor Who, I saw Love and Monsters through a new perspective. It was never a favourite of mine at the time, but now I kind of enjoyed it. There’s a refreshingly different portrayal of in-universe fans compared to Moffat’s recent offerings. I will specifically look at his use of ‘fan theories’ in The Empty Hearse.
Love and Monsters presents us with LINDA (London Investigation ‘N’ Detective Agency), which is, to all intents and purposes, a Doctor Who fan club presented in-universe. They are brought together by a mutual interest in the Doctor and his general mysteriousness. It’s a bit of a rag-tag group, but over time they become closer friends, expand their interests and become just really happy together. Having grown up in the 90s with Doctor Who fan clubs very much like this – I do know of some who literally did meet in a basement somewhere to watch old episodes – there is a clear parallel being drawn.
What strikes me about this episode is that the group, their love of the subject, their enthusiasm for it, is never treated as a source of ridicule. It’s a bit silly, and they seem aware of that, but carry on anyway because they enjoy it. Their friendships are taken seriously, their losses are taken seriously, and everything about their group is treated as perfectly acceptable and indeed admirable.
Where it goes wrong, in the story, is when Victor Kennedy / The Abzorbaloff turns up and decides that their group needs to be more active in their stalking of the Doctor. The tone of the episode goes down, the music becomes more intimidating, and we really get the sense that this is not going to end well. They’re being asked to stalk people, to go to their homes, to dig through their personal belongings and generally be a bit creepy and obsessive beyond reasonable levels.
The main character, Elton, realises this and rebels against the creepiness of it all. He had a nice group of friends who have been torn apart, they’re no longer having fun, people have gone missing and he lost an opportunity to make friends with Jackie Tyler because of the creepiness of his ‘mission’.
When Elton finally meets the Doctor, he is a bit upset about the group’s activities, but ultimately he comforts him and consoles him about the death of his mother. The Doctor disapproved of the Abzorbaloff’s perversion of their group, it seems, but does not outwardly show any hostility towards Elton and the others’ other activities. He then restores Ursula’s essence – the most he can do – and hopes that is enough.
Perhaps you can criticise RTD of being over-reverent and fawning of fans, here. But to me it comes across as very loving and almost nostalgic. And Ursula’s fate is somewhat sketchy and problematic.
Now, let’s look at how Moffat treats ‘fans’ in-universe. Because it is, as far as I can tell, vastly different to how RTD treated them. Even in the mini-episode, Time Crash, where the Fifth Doctor meets the Tenth (spoilers!), we have a throw away line that represents a very different attitude.
DOCTOR 5: Oh. Oh, no.
DOCTOR 10: Oh yes.
DOCTOR 5: You’re. Oh, no.
DOCTOR 10: Here it comes. Yeah, I am.
DOCTOR 5: A fan.
DOCTOR: 10 Yeah. What?
DOCTOR 5: This is bad. Two minutes to Belgium.
DOCTOR 10: What do you mean, a fan? I’m not just a fan, I’m you.
DOCTOR 5: Okay, you’re my biggest fan. Look, its perfectly understandable. I go zooming around space and time, saving planets, fighting monsters and being well, let’s be honest, pretty sort of marvellous, so naturally now and then people notice me. Start up their little groups. That LINDA lot. Are you one of them? How did you get in here? Can’t have you lot knowing where I live.
In this short exchange we have a more negative attitude towards the fans. ‘That LINDA lot’. He thinks it’s a bad thing that someone would be a fan – while at the same time saying how marvellous he is.
While I’m sure there are other instances of fandom dismissal and ridicule, I’d like to focus on one from Sherlock. In The Empty Hearse we have Anderson’s group (The Empty Hearse), who are presented as almost entirely negative. Anderson himself is portrayed as borderline unstable, laughing and giggling as he tears his room apart. His fellow members don’t have any lines, other than a single, unnamed woman who presents a theory of Sherlock and Moriarty working together on the death-fake-fiasco. Her theory is dismissed and Anderson is presented as unlikable, and ultimately unworthy of Sherlock, who – it appears, though it could have been a hallucination – gives him an explanation, grudgingly and with an air of dismissivness.
Perhaps I am reading into this too much, but I have always found Moffat’s attitude towards the fandom a little bit troubling. When referencing the War-Doctor he said “The numbering system is just for you fans who make your little lists”. Although he claims to have his own lists, he does it in a self-deprecating manner. As if being an enthusiastic fan that cares about continuity and consistency is something a bit weird. Something to be ashamed of.
RTD wasn’t without his flaws, obviously, but I find this treatment of the fandom in-universe much more friendly and loving. While Moffat seems to be, in some sense, laughing at the very people who support his shows. Love and Monsters seems to say, “Aren’t fan clubs fun!!” while The Empty Hearse seems to say, “Aren’t fan clubs weird, haha, look at the weirdos!”
Then there is Osgood in the 50th Anniversary. She is presented in a somewhat stereotypical way - asthmatic, sporting the scarf wherever she goes, wearing thick glasses, and it is suggested that she has some deep seated jealousy of a ‘more attractive sister’. I am reminded somewhat of the 7th Doctor Story, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, which has a very stereotypical ‘nerd’ character presented as an obsessive who collects ALL THE THINGS about the psychic circus. Interestingly, the Doctor never chastises or berates him. Still, the portrayal is somewhat upsetting and in the DVD extras we get a sense that the producers were wanting to get away from the idea that all Doctor Who viewers were these nerdy-kids in glasses with pocket protectors. There was this over-reaction of ‘no, we’re not like that! See, we’ll make fun of those people!’ in a desperate attempt to not be associated with that image.
I get something of that impression from the way Moffat treats the fans and the show. He has turned the Doctor into a ‘laddish bloke’ who fancies all the girls and doesn’t care about personal boundaries and would probably drink larger down the pub while having a dick-measuring contest.
I shall end this with a somewhat encouraging quote from Mr Twelve, Peter Capaldi, and his more positive outlook on fans and fandom…
“…[the reason] that Doctor Who is still with us, the big reason is every single viewer who switched on to this show, at any age, at any time in its history and took it into their heart. Doctor Who belongs to all of us. Everyone makes Doctor Who.”