“Day of the Doctor”—Will Someone PLEASE Stop Steven Moffat!

This is another of those posts that I probably would’ve written for submission to “Nuclear Winter Entertainment”. This is a scaled-down, more spontaneous version of such a thing, at least.

As anyone who knows me even in the least is aware, I am a long-time, hardcore Whovian. I’ve been an avid fan of “Doctor Who” since the early 1980s, when my all-time favorite incarnation of the Doctor was on the air. That would be the Fourth, as embodied by the esteemed Mr. Tom Baker.

This past weekend, the 50th anniversary episode of “Doctor Who” aired. It seems like only a year or two ago that I was watching the 25th anniversary episode, “The Five Doctors”, for the first time. That was a fantastic story! “Day of the Doctor”? Not so much. I don’t want to give spoilers here in case anyone reading this hasn’t yet seen “Day of the Doctor”, but plans to watch it. Suffice to say that I was, overall, less than thrilled.

As is so typical of Steven Moffat’s work on “Doctor Who”, “Day of the Doctor” was a hyper-active jumble of so many elements and storylines that it came off feeling incomplete in a lot of ways. Too many elements were crammed into the episode. It felt as if many of the plotlines were wrapped up too quickly, or left unfinished.  As is usually the case with the current series, there was too much comic relief, too. As well as big-budget eye-candy special effects that really serve no purpose other than to wow tiny minds.

A few of the things worked into “Day of the Doctor” were very welcomed by me. A cameo appearance from the classic series made me tear up with joy. Seeing the Zygons brought back at long last was great, too. Sadly, though, overall, “Day of the Doctor” was typical of Steven Moffat’s work on the show—all style and flash, with no real substance.

For those deprived souls reading this who have never watched the classic “Doctor Who” series, those of you who only know “Doctor Who” from the current series—shame on you!—do yourself a favor. Go watch the classic series. Netflix has a small selection of stories from that series. Some can be found other places on-line, too, as well as on DVD. The classic series lacked the funding and technology to fill the television screen with high-tech CGI effects. Yes, it had wobbly sets and bad alien costumes most of the time. But that show was far, far, far more intelligent than what we’re seeing now. It also had solid, developed plotlines and characters who were far more likeable and memorable. I can still vividly recall events from classic “Doctor Who” episodes that I haven’t seen in well over a decade. Yet, I forget most of the details from an episode of the current series with a couple of days of watching it. Why? Because the classic series was that much better! The current show simply doesn’t stick with me. It had no real impact. Will someone please, please, please stop Steven Moffat so we can return to better “Doctor Who”?

Scott Harper


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