Rafe (etcet) wrote,

Stephen Moffat's Doctor Daddy Issues

Before we get to the dissection, a horrible punny non-spoiler image of which I am immodestly pleased:

Now, on to yesterday's episode.

There are so many problem with it, I have lost the ability to even can, so I won't. There's the turgid pacing, horrible direction, ganky writing, and the wide swathes of handwavium that are the hallmarks of Moffat's inability to keep more balls in the air than are ensconced in his scrotum. So, instead of discussing the episode itself, I'm going to use its existence, and the end of Matt Smith's tenure as The Doctor, to veer off into some critical analysis of the show's recent trajectory (which ended in the smoking crater of yesterday's episode, from which, the hopeful phoenix of Capaldi's Doctor may rise).

Stephen Moffat needs to go. For the good of the show, and its long-term health, his time needs to end. There have been a lot of justified criticisms of him from a feminist perspective, which I shan't rehash here - they have been made forcefully and well by better critics than I am; that they exist is enough. That hasn't change, and I don't expect it to.

Steven Moffat has, to use the dismissive social shorthand, Daddy Issues, and he's exposing himself (and them) to the world with greater and greater profligacy the longer his hand is on the tiller of the BBC's beloved franchises (he's on record as saying he's doing the same thing to Sherlock as he's begun doing to Doctor Who) - intentionally being stingy with the content (affection), meting it out as he feels is warranted so that the recipients will appreciate it more and be clambering for it.

Steve, that's a dick move. Consensual denial is negotiated play; the very point of regularly-scheduled programming is that IT'S REGULARLY FUCKING SCHEDULED, NOT DOLED OUT AS THE FUCKING PRODUCER'S NEED FOR AFFECTION AND WORSHIP AND NEEDS FOR APPRECIATION DICTATE. Being an erratic font of occasional and increasingly strained enjoyment is not how you build a fanbase, it's how you string along and abuse an existing one. Withholding affection as a means for controlling the relasonship is a shit thing to do.

Between his control issues over when and how much love the fans (children) get, and his problematic views towards characters who are women.... Moffat's pretty much a walking, talking, dick-waving collection of abusive masculine relationship tropes.

There are a lot of people who never warmed up to Smith's Doctor - and for that, I blame Moffat more than Smith (who, while he may not be blameless for some of what took place on screen, is still the actor performing the lines and direction given to him)... with the introduction of the well-loved and established Peter Capaldi into the role, we will have an opportunity to see if the increasing unlikability and laddishness of Smith's Doctor was a byproduct of the actor, or the things behind the actor... and if Moffat fucks up Capaldi's Doctor, there are legions of fans of the actor who will be far less forgiving of that than there were of the relatively unknown Matt Smith upon his introduction and throughout his tenure.
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