The Whole Moffat Error up to now

Chase - Posted on 09 August 2011

Let’s recap, shall we…?

The ELEVENTH HOUR 0/10 worst opening story to any new WHO season and all of the classic WHO seasons with the exception of TIME AND THE RANI and even that might beat this mess out. It’s an interesting idea that the Doctor might visit a child and then take them on as a companion when they are an adult but this is so badly done, it’s slow and boring and mostly unfunny straining to be funny. Amy dies for the first time here maybe—I won’t be checking since I don’t ever want to watch this mess. The “monsters” wait around until she recovers and until Rory and the Doctor give a painfully slow rescue and talk and chat. The Doc shows clips of himself to scare about the great big poor special effect eye monster spaceship. Really bad.

THE BEAST BELOW 0/10 this had some promise as it starts well but degenerates quicker than ice in 100 degree weather. The music is really, really good. Logic? Somehow the powers that be erase all knowledge that a giant space whale arrived on Earth to save the remaining, stranded population, especially the children. So everyone’s forgotten, all records erased, and the whale is now taking the children again. Amy is smarter than the Doc who considers killing the whale. Poor. To make matters even worse, the Doc has a phone that anyone in the universe across all time can dampen any hopes for a new fresh adventure next time by…having anyone in the universe and in time actually call him to preview the next terrible adventure.

VICTORY OF THE DALEKS 0/10 I don’t care if the Daleks are remade—frankly they look okay---but this “story” isn’t, and it’s just a bunch of old ideas stuck together: Daleks take over, Daleks act as friends to the current “past” guest stars…and yet they can’t do very much, can they? Oh and there are fighters in space in the past of 1940whatever. The Doc is standing in a room talking to Daleks and they open fire… and completely miss. I guess a refab refurbish makes them even worse shots than they used to be. And just to make me like Amy less, the writer makes Amy try to jump the Doctor to have sex with him, dumping once again on Rory. Realistic? I don’t think so. The Doc? He does nothing…but do what he’s always done: “let’s take a trip!” Pathetic “story”. Poor.

THE TIME OF THE ANGELS 9/10 Okay so the angels are different: they seem scarier this way but I don’t like the changes but whatever, this first part is brilliantly set up. River is sort of superfluous to the story but she’s not too bad here. The visuals are interesting and the scenes are tense and well done. Tightly plotted and interesting and even Amy has come into her own. Not sure what the angels are doing but explanations do come here and I’m sure in the second part things will come together. If not, at least this one is well done. The first Moffat error story that is. Oh but the TARDIS brakes is ridiculous. Moffat does not get DW at all, does he? Once you make a change like that…it’s sort of well part of the show’s history and it’s really dumb but whatever, the rest isn’t so bad. The angels can now rip you apart which makes them like every other monster…but whatever, so it loses one point for all of those reasons above. I DO like that the angels can talk to the Doc via someone they’ve torn apart using the victim’s voice …

FLESH AND STONE: 1/10 Awful finish to a good idea. Amy’s dilemma wasn’t tense or scary nd it made no sense. This must be what is meant by fairy tale Doctor Who, rather than say something good like THE MIND ROBBER or THE CELESTIAL TOYMAKER. Okay to be fair, there is some really good acting here from the entire cast so I gave it the one star but the angels are…weak. The tension is not sustained or believe able and in fact none of this rings true at all. The angels who are “fast very fast” can’t outrun the time crack (what is that crack stuff anyway?) nor hold on when Amy, River, and the Doc can hold on! Makes the angels very pathetic and poor “villains” with almost no personalities. Sad sad sad and a poor let down.

THE VAMPIRES OF VENICE 10/10 Classic Who stuff only with good sets, good plotting, tight plotting, and a fair amount of actually funny lines and situations and some grisly stuff. Smith is magnificent in this as he has been all along. Even Gillian is good (and her acting up to now has been sub standard for the most part except in the angel episodes; she’s usually poor), Rory comes into his own and is likable, even standing up for himself. Good action, good effects, and good aliens if slightly campy a bit. Nice visuals and nice music. Giving credit where credit is due, this one is a keeper.

AMY’S CHOICE: 10/10 wow! Things just got totally better. Even Gillian is acting up a storm and doing really well. The mystery is really a mystery and when it is resolved, it makes sense and is just brilliant. A good solid villain. A situation that is intense and confusing but in a good way and what seems to be a novel idea: which dream is the dream? Very, well plotted, well done, and well filmed with a good, interesting resolution. Again, the music is pretty good and the acting excellent, far above average. DW should always be like this and VAMPIRES OF VENICE. Moffat has it in him, doesn’t he? (no).

THE HUNGRY EARTH : 9/10. WoW! Another good episode. Everything about this one speaks classic: good guest stars, a mystery of sorts, a nearly abandoned town (not sure why everyone left but…?), monsters unseen for the most part, stunning visuals, good cast interaction, even Amy and Gillian are good mostly, Rory is coming along nicely, there’s action and again, did I mention a great guest cast and characters. Having a little boy in DW seems to be something that should happen more often as it makes the tension rise…okay so I didn’t like the Silurian redesign, it doesn’t really come into play until the next episode but still, the story is good, the execution good, the acting good and the location work stunning. A good build up just like TIME OF THE ANGELS…uhm…uh oh. In any case, the redesign isn’t poor, it’s pretty good but I just don’t like them having being called Silurians…they’re not. I like classic Silurian looks and think that should have stayed, however calling them something else would have worked just as well…but I can tolerate it…Okay so we’re in for another invasion storyline but I can deal with that and tha’ts why it lost one point but still good.

COLD BLOOD 2/10: poor. Poor resolutions all around. The Doctor chastises a mother for protecting her son when he destroyed his entire people? Rory dies for the first time in a badly produced, badly directed finale. In fact, this entire second part is badly directed and produced …and acted. Which makes me go, huh? The first part was SO very good. Amy and the other female, the guest star sit at a table discussing things with a Silurian. You just know things are going to go badly for that but not this badly. Tiresome and predictable, nothing seems to happen that matters or makes sense for the most part. The scientists stay down below with the Silurians? I forgot was one of them dying or wounded? I don’t want to have to watch this poor excuse for a second half again to find out. In any case, the season is NOT shaping up to be any good really. We’ve had three poor episodes to start the season, two poor second halves to good starts or first halves, and two solid good stories. Shaky but perhaps the rest of the season, especially the two part ending will help? Well, to be fair, RTD’s season endings—well to be unfair first—DOOMSDAY IMO is the best DW story ever told----but the other endings---LAST OF THE TIME LORDS and JOURNEY’S END was so poor, I didn’t have much hope that Moffat would change direction and do something smaller and more interesting and that made sense but maybe he would? (no, he wouldn’t and didn’t).

VINCENT AND THE DOCTOR: Not really sure what to give this one. A 6 or a 7/10 really. It’s again well acted, again from Gillian and Smith and the guest star but…it’s really so very sad. AND of course the monster, invisible, presents some actual danger but it’s…not all that good in that department this time. The monster seemed totally evil at first, and then it’s sympathetic which makes the Doctor and Van Gough murdering swine…in fact, the best role writing wise goes to Amy. The entire thing is just so melancholy that it is hard to really like this. I also felt maybe it would have been better as a pure historical but who knows? It’s not terribly written or anything just very glum and sad and I’m sure there’s meaning in there somewhere. The crack stuff is just annoying now (who am I kidding, it was always annoying from day one when it started) and I’m sure it is going to lead to a hugely boring and contrived season finale. So I’m guessing a 6/10 for this one.

THE LODGER—OMG a 10/10. Right in the middle of a mundane season of brooding and mooding and a poor companion who grates, comes this masterpiece. Like DALEK, WATERS OF MARS, Pompeii, and others, we’ve seen this before in spin off media (comics and audios) but just like those three mentioned, this one betters the source material. There is actual humor in the characters and situations and menace in the villain. Not sure the villain makes sense but it makes more sense than anything from the first three stories and the angel second half. A great guest star, good dialog, good lines well delivered, and character interplay makes this a true highlight of this middling season. After this one I had hope the rest would be great but was totally let down. THE LODGER is the best ep of this season and has some genuine people doing genuine things. AND the best thing about it is it sidelines the totally horrid Karen Gillian as the totally horrible companion Amy. Away from her Smith is even better than he’s ever been. 10/10 for this entertaining storyline.

THE PANDORICA OPENS 0/10. This and the following should probably get a negative number. I find it difficult to believe any one, fan or casual watcher would like this garbage. It comes off cheap by having old foes. What a mess: River is Cleopatra and it’s not pretty. She and everyone else travel all over and do nothing that I care about—in fact this is all about silence falling and the cracks again, which I can’t care a fig about. I know the universe is not going to end or if it does, they will have to reboot it so there is no tension, no amazing rescues or action, nothing. The Cyberman vs Amy stuff was actually pretty good and interesting but that’s it. Everything else really stinks. Rory: nice to see him alive but uhm, he’s a Roman soldier AND an Auton? I guess it makes more sense and fitting if he’s an Auton but would you use this man as a Roman soldier? I do admit to some nice funny dialog about all this crap BUT to be honest, here, Matt Smith DOES NOT impress. He’s terrible in this and the next episode on top of River killing mercilessly and on top of the very poorly acted Amy. With River trapped in the TARDIS, I really hoped she’s be dead, killed off and explained away as the Doc’s past lover and that was that. No such luck. SO I guess there is some tension there that River could be killed off and the show wouldn’t be hurt in any way or changed beyond recognition (which it already has been if you really are watching): they could actually do that but they don’t. Then to add insult to injury, the Doctor does a threatening speech to all his overhead flying enemies and it’s so bad and so badly acted, poor poor poor. And who cares about Amy as a little girl again? And her possessions and how they link to the cracks? Not me. Amy dies for the second or the first time. YAY! Hopefully she won’t be back. No such luck. Then all the Batman villains…uh, DW villains (cause they’re no longer races of aliens with important reasons of their own any longer that we can decipher from this poor role playing game script) lock the Doc in the box. As if he can’t get out. Ever. Oh my dreadful. Negative numbers cannot express how awful this and the BIG BANG are…

THE BIG BANG 0/10 Dreadful and dire, this one falls under TIME AND THE RANI, PARADISE TOWERS, and the TRIAL season as worst DW. The Doc’s foes are stone now thanks to the TARDIS blowing up? Everything else but the moon, the sun, and earth have been destroyed? Rory follows the Doc’s instructions (wait a minute, isn’t he supposed to not change time and history? Oh right, the cracks did that so he has to get it back? Does he? Does that make sense?) and puts Amy’s dead body in the box and that will uhm, make her live again after a lot of time. Rory has to stand watch over her all that time. Wow. People made a lot about him loving her so much that he did that. Big whoop. After how she treated him this entire season, he’s just a great big sap. The Fez stuff: not funny or interesting. The run around in the museum: not exciting at all. The Doc gets killed again. He dies. He comes back. River goes ape s*^) on the Dalek that killed him. Oh my this is getting terribly boring and silly and illogical. The Doc goes back in time and saves himself…something a story should almost never do unless it has something to say and this one doesn’t. I believe this is the one where the Doc makes a big speech about why he chose Amy as a companion after the second Big Bang. And the Doc is dead again…or something. Amy is rude to her parents, who are boring non characters with no personalities and she wishes the Doctor alive again. Wishes him alive again. So bad it is beyond bad. I’m still not sure how Rory came back again and how he’s no longer an Auton Roman but I didn’t care at that point so I wasn’t really…I was really numb in disbelief at how bad it all was that at the point they explained about Rory, if they ever did, I was not listening. I was just numb at this junk. Needless to say see my review and the reviews of others who show how many holes there are in this story and how thematically it is just so poor. Negative 3000. The worst.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL 9/10 a story at last. To be told and enjoyed. AND the best thing about it all NO Amy and Rory in it for a great deal of the time. Unburdened by Amy and Rory and their respective actors and terrible confusing and complicated and boring back stories, Smith, who was so bad in PANDORICA and BIG BANG, once more shines. Give him this boy and girl as companions and all will be half way back to better. A good solid story and entertaining if at times a little slow and taking things from other stories including the fish aliens or whatever they were. Still, a big improvement over the awful two part season ending.

SPACE and TIME: 0/10. Less said the better. Two Amys. Nuff said. Terrible.

THE IMPOSSIBLE ASTRONAUT: in hindsight, I forgot what I gave this but I think it was pretty high. It looks good. It sounded good. It made more sense than other stories from Moffat’s error but now that I know what River is and now that I know how the rest of the season was going to turn out: I’d probably give this untrad story a lower rating, say 5/10. It’s not bad but Moffat and his fans say you have to wait to see how it all turns out to give it a rating and it all turned out TERRIBLE…truly terrible so to be fair, I think I’d give it a 7/10 for itself and a 5/10 linked with the rest of this impossible, entertainment deprived season. Not told in a linear fashion and not thought out enough..other fans who posted questions about the plot made me realize that…this was not as good as I previously thought. Still I’ll try to be kind to it. Oh and the Doc dies…again. In what could be interesting but ultimately isn’t, the future of this Doctor version comes to the trio after the Doc is killed. The Silence could be almost too powerful an enemy. Lots of X FILES type stuff going on but without that show’s style and mystique.

DAY OF THE MOON: these kind of get worse after time goes by. I think I gave this one a high rating too, maybe even a 10/10. But to be honest, it’s unmemorable. Canton makes for a good companion but the feeling one gets from everyone involved is that they know they are acting in Just Doctor Who and the writing is such that they are straining for big moments or clever lines and they really don’t quite make it. The plot: strained already. The Silence can kill a woman in a bathroom but can’t stop River when she’s spinning and shooting. I guess that’s because the Doc already scrambled them? It doesn’t quite hold together but the ending is interesting but again in hindsight, NOT. Still after the crap of the last season’s ending, this is practically a masterpiece. River is annoying still. I guess I’d give it a 6/10 in hindsight. And a 7/10 on it’s own. Thing is while this and THE IMPOSSIBLE PLANET were enjoyable when first viewed, knowing again what happens later on in this again terrible season…it dilutes it when reviewing or rethinking about it.

CURSE OF THE BLACK SPOT 2/10: this one has a two parter written all over it in that in Moffat two parters, the start is really atmospheric, there are really interesting visuals and situations and there are some very good characters and actors, and lots of good acting. Then the second half comes and we get things that don’t make sense, changing plotlines that don’t make sense, and poor campy dialog and poorly delivered AND the Doc acting goofy and alternately defeatist and cold…some nice potential but just…too poor in the climax. Really badly handled endings and there seems to be more than one. Oh and I don’t give a rat’s *&^ about Amy’s vision of a patch eyed wearing lady or the badly Moffat standard arc storyline: Amy’s baby or pregnancy. I knew all of these would end up in a mess of a season or rather a half season this time finale. Oh yeah, we get a half season and we’re supposed to be happy about that. 2/10 for that idea.

THE DOCTOR’S WIFE 10/10 and the highlight of this season or rather half season. Complex and unconventional but with some good dialog and acting from everyone including Gillian. Sort of a trad and untrad story in a way with many ideas from past media DW but well made and well put together and Smith does a great job in the emotional stuff because this time the script rings true and that’s the important thing. He can do wonders with a good story and script and dialog. Well done and it all fits together really. Amy’s pregnant, blah blah blah. That didn’t ruin this story but it might have done. Love the illusions in the TARDIS and seeing the older Tardis console room. Very well done stuff here, all over.

THE REBEL FLESH: I think I would rate this first part as a 7/10 or so. It is a trad story but that’s okay and rather than wait for the truly awful second half, I think I gave it a high rating. I liked it. Attached to the poor second part, I’d probably give it a 6/10. Some quirky things going on, some mystery, some rebellion type things going on. A lot of stuff going on and a minimum of action but that’s okay, it seemed to be heading for a spectacular finale but to be honest, we’ve seen a ton of these type of things go down in DW and elsewhere so…I wasn’t expecting a great second half that was new and fresh but something somewhat exciting and action filled and boy was I let down…

THE ALMOST PEOPLE: 1/10: monsters that could have changed earlier and attacked, eyes in walls, a Doc who changes his mind and morality at will, things that don’t make sense, limited action, sacrifices of two who do not have to die, more about Amy’s pregnancy, testing Amy, a double Doctor, an Amy that not Amy…all cliché and none of them done in an interesting or smart way. Oh, for sure the show thinks it is smart but it’s not. It’s really sunk so low I doubt it can recover.

A GOOD MAN GOES TO WAR: 0/10 or negative infinity out of ten. The worst DW story since THE BIG BANG. Awful. Awful in premise, awful in script, dialog, situation, settings, villains, motivations, emotionality is forced, the revelation of who River is is very bad and makes little sense, poor acting. Smith’s dialog is so bad and his delivery so awful and his hand clapping and fake gun shooting is so bad, you want to smack him! Or the horrid writer. So we get stuff from the other stories that don’t work: pirates in space, space planes in space like dog fighters, the “heroes” slaying villains, Long winded Doctor Speeches that mock his enemies, enemies that don’t just shoot the Doctor but we get even worse stuff: Doc plans that don’t make sense, him recruiting people that “owe” him (for what?), a Sontaran nurse (that isn’t given a good background), a Silurian female lesbian (again, little background given), an army of Silurians in space, headless monks (how do they survive or live?), an army that runs away after having their target in sight talking for 15 minutes, the Doc wins…but oh no, he doesn’t. Amy spread legged or was that in THE ALMOST PEOPLE? A lady with a patch who…although cliché is captured but gets away (FLASH GORDON did this better in the 30s and 40s!) and so much more that makes this the worst DW story ever for the new show and possibly worse than TIME AND THE RANI and PARADISE TOWERS and TRIAL OF A TIME LORD. Just dire on every level. The Doc smiles, gurns, gets sad, smiles again and leaves his companions and their daughter to go find her. What a mess.

Moffat’s era is truly an error. Despite that, even some good stories seeped through as will happen with such a good/great premise as Doctor Who, mind you the original premise was ripped off from at least three other tv shows and stories at that time but at least it sustained itself longer, far longer than those original sources. It will probably even survive the horror of Moffat, ratings are apparently good…apparently against all reason, there are those who like this or say they like it and watch it after it airs. IMO this is the worst DW era since the renewal of the show in 2005 and I find it hard to believe it has not received poor ratings. There are loyal fans out there and as many of you say, others do like it. I just find it difficult to understand how. It’s THAT bad.

so I liked 9/21 stories, a little less than half...not great IMO

So now it's 9/22 stories I like. LE'TS KILL HITLER gets a 0/10. And I think I'm done with DW until Moffat leaves. Hopefully the next person will have some idea of what to do with DW and make it good again. Hopefully the next showrunner won't be conceited and literally hate the show and think he knows it all. I can't believe how upset I am that a great show has been run into the ground into one of the worst sci fic shows on tv right now. How'd it happen? Moffat, tha'ts how. 

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