[DOCTOR WHO SPOILERS AHEAD]
Submitted by holycheeseandcrackers
Right, so, anyone who follows me knows that I am Not A Moffat Fan.
I have absolutely no expectations or high-hopes for the new season of Doctor Who, (he’s put me right off Sherlock, I probably won’t even watch the new season of that), and to be honest, I am exhausted with pointing out his poor writing, his use of queers as punch-lines or to ‘sex things up a bit’ and his horrendous portrayal of women. Not to mention the fact that he has utterly destroyed a show that was a part of my childhood, hugely important to me, and influenced my further explorations into fantasy and sci-fi. I have made and reblogged countless posts about how disappointed and angry I am, and at this stage I really just feel like ignoring everything until someone more competent replaces him.
I can remember the exact moment that I realised how bad the writing in Doctor Who had become:
“I don’t get it, one minute she wants to marry you, the next minute she wants to kill you!”
“She’s been brainwashed, it probably makes sense to her. Plus, she’s a woman. Oh, shut up!”
That scene was like two slaps in the face for me. First I am told that the Doctor (my Doctor) now considers my sex to be irrational and over-emotional. Then, after that, I am told that I am not allowed to complain about this. I am not allowed to say anything. I am told “Oh, shut up!” in manner which suggests that if I protest, I clearly just don’t have a sense of humour.
By the Doctor. The Doctor said that. I can’t even imagine 10 or 9 saying anything like that. It was like the Doctor had become Moffat’s mouth-piece.
After that scene, I literally just sat there, practically in shock, going Oh, wow. That one cut deep. Oh wow that was bad.
So when I watched Asylum of The Daleks, I couldn’t even be bothered. I could not. Even. Be. Bothered. I watched as the pointless, nonsensical plot meandered along, not even able to gather the strength to wonder
And to be honest, I wasn’t even going to bother complaining about it. I am just shit sick of Moffat, and his failure to listen to any criticism whatsoever, and his brushing off of the concerns of the show’s fans.
But then something happened that has made me very angry, and I feel the need to share.
My younger sister and I always watch Doctor Who together. It’s Our Thing. She’s 11, ten years younger than me. We used to barricade the living room doors so that we wouldn’t be disturbed during the episode, make popcorn, run around singing the theme tune, and generally geek out.
That no longer happens. We still watch the show, but the element of excitement is gone.
My sister doesn’t like the show as much anymore, because in her own words ‘Everything is too BIG and it happens all at once! It’s all squashed together in one episode. And everything is in space all the time!’
She loved the DW episodes where they travelled back in time, and one of her favourite episodes is Fear Her - an episode which builds slowly and practically takes place in a little girl’s bedroom. I agree with her. In the last two seasons, Moffat has felt the need to make everything Epic all the time, there’s an explosion an episode. All my favourite Doctor Who episodes have been those that occurred in normal, sleepy settings, making the danger feel scarier and more real. BUT I appreciate that that’s just personal taste in that regard. What I really have an issue with is Moffat’s insistence on cramming a season’s worth of plot into one episode, and expecting it to make sense. But I digress.
My sister was also deeply, deeply disappointed with River Song, imagining that she was going to be like a female Doctor as opposed to someone who takes up archaeology just to Find Her Man, and then spends the rest of her life in jail except when the Doctor feels like picking her up. She was also horrified at River Song’s ending – trapped in an eternal simulation looking after two brats that aren’t even real? When she’s used to travelling the stars?? Hellish.
I still remember how, when watching the episode The Wedding of River Song she turned to me and said, looking baffled, “Did he just marry her to shut her up?”. And then at the end of the episode she exclaimed, “Is that all?”
After that, I had to somehow explain that, yes River went to prison for killing the Doctor. Yes, she knows the Doctor isn’t dead. No, I don’t know why she thinks she has to serve the time even though he’s alive and she had no choice. No I don’t know why she just doesn’t escape and stay escaped. No, I don’t know why the Doctor is letting the woman he supposedly loves spend time in jail for something she didn’t do. At least he brings her on trips occasionally? Or something?
I was also put in the uncomfortable position of having to explain to her why the Doctor calls River ‘Mrs. Robinson’, why he calls Amy ‘Legs’, and the infamous “Plus, she’s a woman. Oh shut up!” scene.
My sister is eleven, and smart as a whip. I was not uncomfortable explaining these things to her because she is naïve. She knows the implication behind calling Amy ‘Legs’, but because this is the Doctor we’re talking about, she assumed that it was a code, that the Doctor wouldn’t say something like that without a reason. This, unfortunately, was not the case.
My discomfort stemmed from having to explain that sorry, this is the way the Doctor is written now.
We’ve also discussed how Amy has become more and more made-up as the series have progressed, but we agreed that maybe Amy just likes wearing make-up and clothes like that, and she can if she goddamn wants.
She knows that I don’t like the show as much either, and also that I dislike the characterisations, but I’ve told her that it doesn’t matter what I think, that she should enjoy any episode she wants to. Before every episode we sit down and watch, I urge her to keep an open mind, and even ended up convincing her that the new opening sequence wasn’t that bad.
So, we watched Asylum of The Daleks. I didn’t say anything negative about it during, and afterwards just asked her what she thought.
Her first comment was “What was meant to be so bad about the Asylum Daleks? I mean, what made them worse than normal?”
I told her that they were meant to be… insane? I guess?
Her second comment was “Why would the Daleks put their ARMOUR into humans? How does that make sense?”
I don’t know.
“I thought all the Daleks were trapped in the time war, and the ones the Doctor meets have escaped. Where did all these ones come from?”
I don’t know.
“They already made a human Dalek in the New York episode. That didn’t work that time.”
“When did Amy and Rory break up? Why didn’t we see it?”
I don’t know.
“They fixed it pretty fast, didn’t they?”
She also was very confused as to why Amy didn’t seem to think she was good enough for Rory just because she couldn’t have children. We have three adopted cousins, by different aunts and uncles, so she didn’t understand that. I did explain that some people might legitimately feel like that, even though I actually think its raging bullshit on Moffat’s part, as I mentioned above.
“How did Oswin talk in her own voice over the speakers? How did she play the music and hack into the computers?”
I don’t know.
“I thought the Daleks were all like ‘Oooh we are so pure’. I thought that was why they made the teletubby Daleks.” (Neither of us are fans of the new Daleks). “Why would they put a human in a Dalek?”
I don’t know.
“The Doctor said they wanted to use her brain, but what were they using it for if she was just locked up?”
I don’t know.
“How did the crazy Daleks put her into Dalek armour? Did they have machines that did it?”
I don’t know.
“Why don’t the Daleks just release those nano robot things on every planet so that everyone becomes a Dalek?”
I don’t know.
And so on.
There was something else bothering her, I could tell, but she didn’t say anything. Later on in the evening she came back to me and explained what had disappointed her most about Asylum Of The Daleks.
“It’s just that… when I saw the trailer, and Rory was like ‘Who killed the Daleks’ and the Doctor came out carrying Amy and said ‘Who do you think?’ I thought he was talking about Amy. I thought she did it, and it was going to be this big last episode where she sacrificed herself, and the Doctor said ‘Who do you think’ because she killed all the Daleks and he was saying ‘Duh, obviously it was Amy because she’s so awesome’. But instead she just got sick and fainted. And the Doctor was talking about himself. I just… I didn’t think that was very good. I don’t think I like Doctor Who anymore.”
So there you have it. Not only did an eleven year old point out some of the obvious flaws in the writing and the plot, but she sees the sexism in Amy’s character, in River Song’s character, in how they have been portrayed, and it has destroyed her favourite television show for her.
All of this would be forgivable if Moffat was willing to listen to people’s concerns and criticisms about his writing, but he blatantly dismisses all opinions but his own.
I was going to give this a witty, sarcastic, snarky title, but honestly, I am just too sad. And I think that says it all, doesn’t it? Moffat has ruined Doctor Who for my little sister. Moffat ruined Doctor Who for a young, enthusiastic fan who doesn’t ‘over-think’ or ‘over-analyse’ or ‘get easily offended’, and indeed, can’t even properly express what upsets her so much about how the female characters are being treated.
Moffat isn’t interested in writing stories that inspire eleven year old girls.
Moffat isn’t interested in writing this show for anyone but himself.
And it shows.