The Moffat Legacy

Steven Moffat

That faint brogue. That kinky hair. That incredible knowledge of Whovian trivia. That uncanny ability to divide a fan base with a single line of dialogue. Oh, Mister Moffat, no matter what the world thinks of you in five, fifteen, or fifty years’ time, your contributions to Doctor Who will never be forgotten. One may love or loathe his writing. One may commend or condemn his executive decisions. But he is unquestionably a devoted and dedicated fan of the show, and has done what he firmly believes to be a fan’s service to that universe.

As we watch our calendars to away the approach of his final episode as showrunner, we reflect this week on the overall impact of Steven Moffat’s tenure. From the characters he has brought into existence, to the villains created, to the story arcs that moved the program forward (and yes, as positivists, we do believe the direction was forward), and finally, to the opportunities or hindrances that he may be presenting to his successor, Chris Chibnall, we examine the Moffat era in all its global impact.

BONUS: We ask for your feedback in planning panel submissions for LI Who 5!

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World Enough and Time

World Enough and Time

We could not count the times over the course of the past five-plus years on GPR that we have come to the defense of Steven Moffat. His writing, his style of production, his casting choices, his vision for the series, his whimsical-bordering-upon-maddening way of talking about the program through vague words and red herrings. Through it all, we recognized that he is a consummate fan, like us in many ways, and he revels in putting forth stories and ideas that delight and astonish him — in hopes that we will share in that delight and astonishment.

With this most recent episode, he must be grinning like the cat who ate the canary at what he has accomplished…and he’s not quite finished with us yet.

This week, we release our grip on the edges of our seats long enough to reflect on “World Enough and Time”, the penultimate episode of Series 10, and the first of an unofficial trilogy leading up to the end of Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, and the close of Peter Capaldi’s time as the Twelfth Doctor. Given the perfect storm of a solid TARDIS team, the fascinating return of Mondasian Cybermen, and the baffling duo of Missy and the Harold Saxon Master, we had high expectations. We were not wrong. In fact, we were unprepared for how intense it would be. We discuss the emotions (many), the tone of Rachel Talalay’s direction (chilling), the complexity yet plausibility of the script (wonderful), and the questions left to be answered…or so we hope…with the series finale episode to come, and yet a regeneration that is reported to occur months later, but yet…BUT YET.

Oh, Steven; you brilliant, maddening, magnificent bastard, you.

BONUS: We announce the winner of our latest listener contribution contest, where we discussed the DW contributions of Mark Gatiss!

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Extremis

Extremis

When we learned just before the start of Series 10 that Steven Moffat opted to begin and end the season with his own penned episodes, it came as no surprise. After all, it was becoming the expected fashion for the showrunner, and none would have expected anything less in his final tenured season. Upon hearing that he would check in mid-series with the start of a three-part arc, however, our collective ears stood up. Something complex and fascinating was in the works, and the maestro himself wanted to be the hand that set the gears in motion. Now here we are, at the very midpoint, with a Doctor in distress, a companion unaware, a revelation in a vault…and the head of the Catholic Church in the bedroom.

It must be Saturday, because things have just waterski-ed past “isn’t that odd?” and propelled headlong into “what in the heck does this all mean?”.

We hit the fulcrum of Series 10 with Moffat’s organized-religion-and-virtual-reality mindbender, “Extremis”. With the expected tilted ratio of questions raised to questions answered, we grapple with the newly discovered but highly formidable Monks of Veritas, Bill’s increasing exasperation with the inability to balance adventure with a stable life, Nardole’s apparent (albeit limited) bad-assery, and another fascinating wrinkle in the greatest frenemy relationship to ever emerge from the Prydonian chapter. No fewer than three rewatches were necessary to try and feel we were in any way prepared to unpack this complicated episode — and darned if it’s not just the start to a three-part story.

(And yes, we end up at some point merging “monks” and “mummies” to refer to them as “mum-keys”, and we’re not sorry.)

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Series 10 Wishes

It’s nearly here…that wonderful, horrible moment where we realize that we are FINALLY getting new Doctor Who content…but at such a price. Steven Moffat has us teased and tempted for what could be an exceptional final series in his hands, and Peter Capaldi shows absolutely no signs of letting off the accelerator for his final season as the Doctor. Bill and Nardole are ready to (basically) run, and the cavalcade of monsters waiting in the wings are both impressive and formidable. What could we possibly want? Well, funny you should ask…

This week, we look at all we know about the upcoming season, and lay out some of our wishes for the Series 10 episodes to come. These aren’t the if-it-were-up-to-me or if-continuity-didn’t-matter or other “pipe dream” wishes; these are realistic, achievable (at least in our estimation) goals for what could be presented in the next 12 episodes…and Christmas special. From character progression, to utilization of classic foes, to that (ahem) recent news about a certain evil Time Lord, we really hope some of these boxes get ticked by the close of the Moffat era.

BONUS: “This Day in Doctor Who”, where we haunt Jay’s sanity for a few moments regarding ‘The Unquiet Dead’.

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Series 10 Preview

Doctor Who Series 10

Every break between seasons feels like an eternity…some more so than others. When we are given the news that this will be the final season with the glorious Peter Capaldi as our Doctor, and moreover, the final season with Steven Moffat at the program’s helm, our eagerness to see what the “swan song” consists of reaches a fever pitch.

This week, we take stock of what we know, what we *think* we know, and what are still scandalous rumours, and lay the cards out for Doctor Who Series 10. From Mondasian Cybermen to Emojibots, from Bill to Nardole, from Mars to Missy, it’s hard to believe that all will be contained — and revealed! — in twelve episodes and a bittersweet holiday special. But we are Whovians. WE BELIEVE.

Bonus: We play a fast round of “Fire, Hire, Admire”, as featured in our ReGeneration Who 3 game panel, “Oh No, Who DIdn’t!”

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