DR.Who


#204

(And Moffat is his Renfield?)


#205

I mean, she had no character. I still thought Coleman did a magnificent job with what she was handed. Made her way, way more of a real person than Amy ever was, even if the script had other ideas.


#206

I really dug Smith but yeah he deserved better scripts.

I might also be a bit biased because he showed up at hotel vegas one time shortly after his tenure and he was a very cool guy and very much like his doctor persona irl.

The Lodger was a really good un. Too bad Gareth Roberts turned out to be a transphobe:(


#207

That’s fucking rad.


#208

Yeah, I realize that all of my problems are related to how she was written, and not the actress herself. I thought she did a good job with what she was given, but the character felt really gross at times.

It also didn’t help that the first time she showed up on the show, all I could think is how they really wanted to write in the girl from Bioshock Infinite.


#209

there is a bit at the end of the second Gaiman ep (which had already been disappointing trash up to this point) where the Doctor makes some skeevy comment about Clara’s skirt being “just a bit too tight”. i vividly recall yelling “FUCK OFF” at the screen when this happened

Clara’s first arc is, like many Moffatt ideas, cool and meta on paper, but totally hamstrung in execution largely because of how perpetually donghanded he is


#210

Further on this point:

I think she raised Smith’s game. As above, he seemed to kind of go into autopilot after his first series, increasingly so through all of 2011 and 2012, up until The Snowmen, as twee and affected as that episode is in many respects.

But then Coleman comes in, and she’s like a more extreme version of Smith in that she’s an even better actor than him, and is even worse-served by the scripts. And so something happens to Smith, when he’s with her. He seems alive again, to be actively trying in a way he hadn’t been since 2010. Two actors, striving to keep up with each other creating a performance out of sawdust.

There’s something so interesting about the actors’ chemistry, that accidentally matches the threadbare story given them. Smith’s Doctor is tired out, but suddenly gets a new kick of life and inspiration from this strange new lady who stepped into his life. Clara is in a sort of limbo with no active life of her own, charged with being the grown-up in someone else’s house while she waits and dreams for her chance to move on.

Series 7b isn’t really any better or worse in terms of scripts (though Neil Cross is a fuck of an improvement over most of the other writers Moffat used through Smith’s run), but it makes a big difference to me when I can look at the central characters and feel all right about what I’m seeing.


#211

Really, there always was something wrong with Roberts. His episodes slowly got better as he went on – yes, starting with The Lodger – but even there… the affect was wrong, you know? Like when you meet someone and they just creep you out, because of when they choose to hesitate, or where their eyes linger, or how they quietly miss certain cues. It was clear to me that there was a repugnant person in there, masking himself behind this borrowed quirk and congeniality.

And, then he got the Twitters.


#212

That is a good adjective for his creative execution, yes.

As evidenced in, what, Monday’s episode. The business with showing how much the Doctor has grown by playing up his first incarnation’s social ills, that sounds good. Really good, actually.

But don’t trust Moffat to actually write the script on a note like that.


#213

Any word yet on who’s writing for the next season?

Pretty stoked that it’s going to be all fresh voices.


#214

is Broadchurch actually any good? I can get down on a crime drama if it’s interesting enough


#215

I rather like Broadchurch, although I can understand why someone might not. It generally has a good mix of high and low intensity, but it stretches out some things unnecessarily and to that end has a fair number of moments where the characters on screen just aren’t doing anything, or aren’t doing the obvious thing. Overall an entertaining watch.

One thing I would like to say is that the three seasons have significant tonal/thematic differences, at least in terms of the actual events happening and how characters are presented reacting to them. It’s not just three different cases with the same cast. Although all of them are generally about ‘small town is rocked by unthinkable crime and many secrets come out in the wake of the investigation’, that tried-and-true-formula, it’s really only the thrust of the first series.

The second series is then split into two stories vaguely orbiting around the aftermath of the original, one about how nasty and divisive a criminal trial can become even/especially on so small a scale, the other about bad decisions and toxic relationships spiraling together into mortifying conspiracy. Things get even more like a tastefully-considered L&O:SVU episodes in the final season, in which a general bittersweet ‘where are they now’ overview is balanced against a closer and difficult look at how hard it is process trauma, both that which you’ve experienced and that which you are observing. I guess I should also add that the content warning severity raises substantially with each season (in my opinion).

(each of the seasons also has some minor subplots, although they largely serve to pace things out and humanize characters who might otherwise be stock tropes)

what I can’t speak to the quality of is Gracepoint, the American remake of the series that has Tennant starring in the same role doing the same things but without any UK accent. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad, maybe it’s utterly unremarkable. But at the time it was way too weird to deal with.


#216

Season 2 of Broadchurch added a… twist to one of the characters’ motivations that I felt severely undercut what the first season built. I haven’t gotten around to season 3 yet.

1’s alright, I guess.

I spotted the dude who played the handy man friend in an American cop show while flipping channels last year. He does a pretty good American accent.


#217

I agree with his take on Moffat reframing everything around the Doctor. I don’t agree that this an inherently negative thing.


#218

No.

But. I asked Joseph Lidster, and he said he’s not involved.

I’d bet on Cath Tregenna, though. I’d be really surprised if she weren’t on the shortlist, given that she worked with Chibnall not just on Torchwood, but on Law & Order. She wrote, like, half the episodes to that thing. As well as, yes, most of the best pre-CoE episodes of Torchwood. And she’s just recently written for the main show. So, it’s not like she has faded into history.

So she’s really good, she’s one of his regular creative collaborators, and I have a strong sense he’s gonna want to stock the writer’s room with a more diverse crowd than the show has historically enjoyed.

The second director revealed, she’s a middle-aged lady who has done lots of procedural and domestic, ITV-ish TV drama, and a few indie films. She seems decent, though it’s hard to know what to get from a showreel of people crying in kitchens. I found her Twitter profile, and it’s all stuff retweeted from “Yes, You’re Racist” and collaborating with the people trying to identify the Nazis in Charlottesville and whatnot.


#219

Kinda? I mean, in a sense it’s really fucking on-the-nose, but the first series at least does a good job of telling a single tightly knit drama, with a good sense of pace and suspense. There’s one thing I found kind of awesome, where I was constantly confusing two characters; it took several episodes before it twigged that they were meant to be different people, and then I felt annoyed… until I realized this was actually highly relevant, that I made this mistake.

And it’s gorgeous.

Everyone hates the second series; I watched an episode or two, then put it down and haven’t gotten back to it. It introduces Torchwood Gwen as a new character, which is very distracting considering that half the cast already consists of Doctor Who regulars, yet after ten episodes or whatever one sort of gets used to their new roles. Then the can’s opened all over again.

I hear the third series gets really good again, but you know how people are. I didn’t have a problem with the second series to the point where I stopped. I just… haven’t continued for some reason.


#220

Yeah. I missed this clip until now. It’s right on target. All the business about the show which in other hands is so expansive under Moffat becomes so reductive – all about its main characters, particularly its most central one. A word search of my blog will show that this is my precise grouse with his writing for the last… seven (?) years – though he really, really genuinely has improved since 2014. For the most part.


#221

Oh good lord. I listened a bit to Toby Hadoke’s new podcast with Steven Moffat, and I’m grossed out. He goes on and on about the fascism of “the left” (“And I’m a devout leftie myself!” the New Laborite decrees), until it’s clear how much scorn he has for anyone who gives a shit.

Like, he’s doing that whole thing of comparing people who point out problems and hold others to a high standard to people who want to cause active harm to others. Where either he can’t tell the difference or pretends not to. Likely story is that centrist dad thing of, ah, noise!

Considering (as illustrated in above clip) how much of his writing consists of basically mocking people who give a shit, I’d say this political and social stance fits. He got into it by mocking the people pointing out the potential problems in his explanation for not casting a female Doctor himself in his era.

That being, you know, the “Doctor Who has to appeal to Brexit voters too!” excuse. The world wasn’t ready. Despite the noise, most people weren’t really asking for it, and there was a chance that conservative people would really hate it. So, he had a responsibility not to do it.

So, mocking the people who focused on the fact that he said that, and insisting that’s not what he said, even though it is, and you can listen to the fucking audio to understand that nothing is taken out of context – that’s the wind-up to his rant. Then it continued.

So, yeah. Fuck this motherfucker, seriously.

I’ve been temperate on the issue of his clear problems, though I’ve certainly raged at times on the effect that they’ve had on his work. Now it’s getting that I don’t even want to go near his best work, because I feel so grossed out.

And by extension, I know Hadoke does that expert interviewer thing of mollifying his subjects, but he got way into nodding along with what Moffat was saying here. I couldn’t stand the interview after many many minutes of ranting on this thread, so I don’t know if he went anywhere… so maybe after humoring Moffat for a while he turns it around and asks him some hard questions. I don’t know. I’m not gonna go back and dignify the rest with my ears. But I’m pretty disappointed with what I heard. Afraid I’m now becoming wary of Hadoke’s approach.

[pause]

A little while later, and I’m still bothered by this fucking guy.

When people point out to you problems with your behavior, tell you you’re doing something hurtful, the constructive response is not to jerk away and say, “Why are you picking on me, of all people?! I’m an ally!”

I say this as a dumbass myself, with a defensive response to just about everything.

It’s not a good look.

“Liberalism” (fuck you, by the way, in your centrist dad doughnut) isn’t a badge you wear that shows what faction you belong to. Oh, I’m with the good guys; I’m on your team! I’m not racist! Rah, us!

When someone shows you what you’re doing is a problem, what you need to do isn’t to defend yourself against a perceived attack. It’s to listen. Ask questions, so you understand why they made the possibly futile effort to explain their world to you.

Try to understand the ways in which your words and your actions are actually, genuinely affecting other people, and then figure out how you want to play this. Whether you want to mock them for being too sensitive or crazy or violent, or whether you want to do better.

Even after a period of a few years where I thought he’d learned a few things, it’s clear what decisions he’s made.

We’ve all got a ton to learn. I sure as hell do. But he’s had every opportunity to listen and get the fuck over himself. And if anything, he’s angrier today.

So again, fuck this guy.

We’ll see what Chibnall has to say. On this count alone, he’s already off to a better start.


#222

I mean, people are what they are. There’s a chance that in any discussion you may run into people with a bee in their bonnet, who just want to fight for whatever reason.

But if you’re a powerful white man walking into a discussion on diversity, chances are you’re not the victim.


#223

Incidentally, if, like me, your only prior reference for Whittaker is Broadchurch, this seems like it may lend a little more to chew on.