Series 8 has finished with a bang and series 9 is well underway with Moffat still at the helm and both Capaldi and Coleman continuing, despite some cheeky rumours to the contrary. What did you think of the new series?
Not too long ago, around about the time series 6 of new Who was gracing our screens, which isn't long in terms of Doctor Who history, I wrote an article about why Moffat was a better writer than Russell T. Davis on my own site. You can read it here, if you are so inclined. Now, though, I'm here to say that Moffat has overstayed his welcome and never has it been more apparent than in series 8. He can't decide what to do with the Doctor, the companion is a paper cut out and the stories have been rehashed from rehashed scripts.
Think I'm joking? Let's look at the evidence.
Now, this series did something kind of interesting in that it went a lot darker. We have a Doctor who insults everyone on meeting them and isn't going to pause for a moment of apologies when one of his companions gets themselves a bit killed. I like that. The tenth Doctor wore out the word 'sorry'. However, Moffat still insists on throwing in these moments of light hearted happiness that just seems weird with this new Doctor. It was never so apparent as at the end of the Christmas special when, after a particularly grim and terrifying adventure, he's suddenly as delighted as a child to be driving Santa's sleigh. We are supposed to buy that he won't care about someone dying but he will shout "wee! Wee! I'm riding santa's sleigh!" It's also why I didn't like the popular episode 'Listen'. The whole concept hinged on the fact that the Doctor is just a scared little boy on the inside, but the other episodes of the show don't sell me on that at all. Even the opener, Deep Breath, which had 11 call up Clara from the past and tell her how scared 12 is on the inside. No, thank you.
Just to be clear, my problem isn't with Capaldi. I think his acting is brilliant and his delivery of the aforementioned insults are spot on. It's the writing for the new Doctor that is off, and that's down to Moffat.
The Clara we first met in Asylum of the Daleks was fantastic! She was a real breath of fresh air. The one from The Snowmen was great too and started this mystery of who Clara was. However, the modern day Clara, she never got beyond the paper thin companion archetype that comes installed with every copy of Doctor Who scripts CD-ROM. So imagine my delight when in series 8 she suddenly developed a personality. We'll brush aside that nonsense about her not knowing what is going on with the regenerations, because she's technically been with the Doctor throughout his lives. That aside, she became witty, caring and kinda deep. I thought Moffat might be able to write a female character besides Amy and River, who was interesting. Then two things happened. First, she met Danny Pink and her story became all about a guy again, and second, she became Amy Pond.
The one episode I really enjoyed of this series was Flatline, but while watching it I came to the realisation that everything good that Clara does is exactly what Amy would do in the same situation. Conclusion? Moffat can't write more than one female character. Now for some shows that might be ok, but for a show that virtually hinges on an ever changing cast list of female companions it is a fatal flaw.
Before Moffat took over the schedule of the show was predictable as clockwork. It started every Easter and finished one straight run in the summer. Then series 6 had a small split. There was a huge wait for series 7 and a massive split in that series. Then series 8 took almost as long. Fans were angry, y'know, in between bouts of crying in desperation for their favourite show. And why? Moffat!
I deja-vued so many times while watching series 8 that I think my deja vu had deja vu. There were only three strong original stories in the whole series. The others just seemed to be a lottery pick of plot elements used in the existing run.
What happens when you take the lovely monsters of Hide, the lost identity of Midnight, with the disintegrator-is-teleporter twist of Bad Wolf, villainess of Partners in Crime and the time limit of 42? Time Heist!
What story do you get when we cross the star whale dilemma of The Beast Below with the claustrophobia of Waters of Mars, the children of Nightmare in Silver and the annoyingly opposed-for-no-good-reason-other-than-drama middle aged woman from The Almost People? It's Kill the Moon!
So the only episode I really enjoyed all the way through was Flatline. It too has many familiar elements but the novel concept of the monsters held my attention. The only other stand out point was the excellent portray of Missy gone nuts in the finale. How awesome was she?
Maybe I've just got [Doctor Who](series:200668) fatigue from watching all of them, but I feel for a show with such a legendary history and a massively loyal fan base, we deserve better than this. There is an easy solution though. End Doctor Who. No, actually, I don't want to go that far. Even the mean spirited 12th Doctor wouldn't go that far. It needs fresh air, fresh life. It's time Moffat passed the torch. He did what he came to do and he has clearly run out of new ideas. So we need a new head writer.
The only problem with that is who would it be? When RTD was in charge Moffat was a clear choice as he wrote the most popular episodes of the show. However, there is no one like that in Moffat's era.