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Friday, 22 July 2011

Bish - My Executive Summary

So, Steven Moffat's second season (well, half a season) has come and gone. My executive summary, for those that are too busy to read on, is that it's really not that easy to sustain a whole season, or even half of one, unless you write everything yourself! That said, I'll try to explain.

Steven Moffat's a great writer. He's clever, witty, techy and surprising. He's also very different to the previous Head Writer, Russell T Davies. But more about that later... In this season, in particular, and to a lesser extent in the previous season, Moffat's episodes have outshone all others. I know that Neil Gaiman's episode was praised, and although that style of story isn't to my liking, it was a stand-out episode among the non-Moffat episodes. Just like the Richard Curtis episode from the previous series was.

I tend not to watch episodes more than once. I remember watching “The Impossible Astronaut” and feeling quite deflated afterwards. I'd read too much about the episode, and elevated my expectations far too highly from reading all the gushing reviews and tweets from those who had been to the advance screening. However, I watched it again the following day, and it was so much better! I've learnt my lesson. But moving back to season two in general, the acting has really been top notch. Matt Smith, in the title role, continues to impress. And both Karen Gillan's and Arthur Darvill's characters have improved. And Alex Kingston is just as brilliant now as she was when she first appeared.

Generally, though, probably the one thing that's missing for me is the link to Earth. I know we saw Utah in the season opener, but I mean ordinary, council estate or village, type Earth. It makes the the fantastic all that more fantastic when it's contrasted with the normal and mundane. Like when Rose rang her leggings-wearing, kitchen-bound, washing machine-loading mother from a billion years in the future while watching the death of the Earth!

Having said that, however, Davies' series arcs were fairly simple. His episodes were fast and furious. I like Moffat's more involved arcs, and the way they flow. I love River Song's time line slowly unfolding. I had been worried that it was just going to run and run, but it looks as though the pay-off is coming. But there's one element common to both the Davies and Moffat eras that does grate. Davies tried to make the Doctor into a god-like figure. And Moffat seems to be trying to turn him into a warrior to be feared. He's neither. Feared, maybe, because he's clever and can go to any where and to any time. But he's neither a god nor a warrior.

So, in conclusion, the Moffat episodes were by far the best. Both the season opener and mid season finalé were great. I miss Rose and her mum. But I don't miss David Tennant. Oh, and I want Moffat and Davies to co-write an episode. Together. That would be awesome!