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Doctor Who Thread of Space and Time: Discussing New Year's Special "Resolution"


I didn’t notice a Doctor Who thread in the new forum, so I figured I should remedy that by starting one. Not because I had any news or anything to post, but because Doctor Who is awesome.


Good idea.

Apparently Moffat has said he’s going to experiment more with story length in the upcoming season - more two-parters and stories that bleed into each other without the audience necessarily knowing when they’re going to end.

I think it’s a good move - I liked the last series but definitely felt like some episodes were a bit cramped by the time limit, and a bit of variety will be nice. Also, multi-part stories means more cliffhangers, which are always welcome.


I was just reading an interview Moffat about why he wasn’t keen to do a spin off with the Paternoster gang. He said that you had to be careful with side characters so that they didn’t wear out their welcome. Unfortunately, he then used River Song as an example of how to do it properly, seemingly completely unaware that River had totally worn out her welcome by the time he finished with her.

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That sounds good. I liked lots of the last series (Listen and Time Heist particularly), but the writing suffered a bit from “We’re not quite sure what the new Doctor is like yet” syndrome. Hopefully there will be a change for them to cut loose a bit more now that Mr. Capaldi has settled into the part.

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I’m not sure River had worn out her welcome. I’ve appreciated her being rested, but she never got to Rose levels of annoyance for me.

I’m just hoping for better endings to stories in the next series.


I think the difference there is twofold: one, Rose wasn’t a side character like River or the Paternoster gang and two, Moffat wasn’t in charge during her run.


I think that the BBC need to think laterally about this. How about replacing Clarkson, The Hamster and Captain Slow with a Silurian, her wife and their Sontaran butler for Paternoster Top Gear…It would forever banish any accusations of laddishness and Strax’s introduction each week of “Greetings Human Scum and Welcome to Top Gear” would be just Clarksonesque enough to keep the existing fans on side.


I’m fine with both Rose and River. Lots of people are. I was delighted to see Billie Piper back in ‘Day of the Doctor’.

The show has become more of an effort for me to watch over the last few years, but I’m a glutton for punishment/dedicated fan (delete as applicable) and it’s always been the writing that’s made the big difference for me, from week to week.

The cast are (nearly always) very good.

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I just rewatched The Girl In The Fireplace for the first time in years. It’s still one of my favourites. A lovely little self-contained episode that’s brimming with great ideas but still puts the emotional heart of its story first.

It’s also interesting to see how many little ideas that appear here (that are almost tossed-off in this episode) ended up being reworked and reused as more central ideas in later Moffat stories.

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Yeah. That is a great episode. I haven’t watched it in a bit but it is one of my favourites if only for The Doctor’s response to Mickey about the horse on a spaceship…And the ending is a tearjerker, and one of the few really downbeat endings that I can think of in the revived series.

The idea of the Doctor as an imaginary friend obviously has cropped up more times since.

On a separate note, I got this month’s Doctor Who Magazine over the weekend. Mr. Moffat had some interesting things to say about the idea of The Doctor as a hero (in summary, he doesn’t think he is one).


Well, what that means is that the version of the Doctor he’s interested in bringing to viewers isn’t a hero.

So, I’d like Moffat to quit. Now.

I grew up with a more heroic Doctor, it one of the things that makes the show appeal to me and if it’s not what the guy running the show is going to give me then I’d prefer he go off and do something else.


I don’t have it front of me here, but he basically says something like “The Doctor isn’t a hero. He’s just a guy. He didn’t set out from Gallifrey to be hero. He just wanted to bum around a bit and see the universe. If something happens and he is called upon to be heroic, he will rise to the occassion, but he didn’t set out to be one.” Apologies to Moffat if I am misrepresenting him here.

I don’t know whether I agree either, but I’m not an expert by any means. I think that the very nature of Doctor Who and regeneration means that every couple of years you get a new Doctor with a new set of values and a new idea of what is acceptable. It is pretty hard to make a grand sweeping statement like that about how the Doctor sees himself.

Not saying that he should go though.


That’s ok SImon, I’M saying he should go. :smiley:

There are lots of great anti heroes and flawed, struggling, almost-but-not-quite heroes. Wonderful characters.

But that’s not my Doctor and as long as Moffat is pushing the character in that direction my enjoyment is going to be severely limited.


Steve has taken a far bigger dislike to the Moffat reign than most, which is his right of course.

Personally I don’t have any issue with what he’s said. Many times before Moffat started in the show he’s been shown to be a bit selfish or bumbling and go to some pretty dark places that are not necessarily your traditional all action hero. Even when Pertwee pushed for a more heroic role in the sense of leading the action he was a tetchy git who was very rude and dismissive about humans but does the right thing in the end. I don’t really see any change in that with the Smith and Capaldi incarnations, in style they are but not at the heart of it all.


I think Moffat is interested in taking it further though, all this, “Am I a good man?” and, “She cares, so I don’t have to.” stuff.

Moffat is going for more than just tetchy.

Moral complexity has it’s place in drama, but I think Moffat wants to make it too complex for this place.


I find that a totally empty statement. Moffat is basically saying “The Doctor is a hero exactly like every other hero in fiction”. Because “didn’t set out to be one but rose to the occasion” is the heroic story; the exceptions are very rare.


To be fair, I think he was also using that as a way to build up a bit of controversy and a bit of comment among fans.

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Exactly. I don’t think that the Doctor is ever the square-jawed hero riding in on a white charger. He’s not the guy with all the answers.He’s the other guy who turns up unannounced and starts asking questions that people would rather that he didn’t ask.

And eats Jelly Babies. Or Jammy Dodgers.


New info about the new season:

Maisie Williams will guest star, and two episode titles/writers:

2 more Doctor Who episode titles: ‘The Girl Who Died’ by Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat, and ‘The Woman Who Lived’ by Catherine Tregenna.

I liked Mathieson’s episodes last year. Treganna will be the first female writer since Helen Raynor wrote the Sontaran two-parter in 2008.

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Williams should be a great fit for the series.