These are some of the things I did today, in non-chronological order.
1. Tried and failed to write something about the differences between Moffat’s and Davies’ Daleks, and why the latter are obviously better.
Resulting emotional state: Tired and slightly irritated.
2. Discussed and started to sort out a lot of upsetting personal stuff.
Resulting emotional state: Quite upset
3. Became aware of Spies With Badges. Read through the entirety of Volume One.
Resulting emotional state: Utterly delighted.
Amazing! (Not ‘2’ obviously. Sorry to hear about ‘2’)
I can’t think of anything more brilliantly unexpected and appropriate than Faction Paradox fandom discovering Spies with Badges.
Answer to #1 is obvious: Moffat doesn’t seem to give the slightest fig about the Daleks (even coming up with the appropriately loony “Dalek Parliament” for Asylum felt half-hearted, while the attempt to introduce the new paradigm was misguided in the extreme and has resulted in an embarrassing climbdown), whereas Rusty loves them to bits (he owns a full-size one, for a kickoff) and is basically the only person ever to write Proper Dalek Dialogue (“THIS IS PEST CONTROL!”)
I don’t usually like direct RTD-v-Moff comparisons (they both have their strengths and weaknesses), but if you’re a Dalek fan, Russell’s the one you want in charge.
Really, though? I mean yes, RTD did a fantastic job of setting up the Daleks in series 1 and transforming them from the camp icon they’d become into something genuinely scary again, but with each appearance their menace was weakened. The lone Dalek in “Dalek” is a hundred-thousand times scarier than the Dalek Empire seen in “The Stolen Earth”/”Journey’s End”.
Maybe the Daleks aren’t supposed to be scary, but personally it felt very much like Davies worked hard to build something that he then knocked down by casually flinging his own shit at it.
This is not to excuse Moffat’s treatment of the Daleks, of course - the New Paradigm was change for change’s sake, not to mention they were a bit crap - but “Asylum of the Daleks” is the closest they’ve been since “The Parting of the Ways” to being actually, properly menacing.
We spend the last two decades lauding Moffat for everything he writes - Press Gang, Coupling, his episodes of Murder Most Horrid and Doctor Who, all of it. The man is showered with awards, lovebombed by Steven Spielberg to write the Tintin movies, then chosen to run one of his all-time favourite TV shows based on his three Hugo award-winning stories, all while he co-creates and showruns another immensely successful TV series for the BBC.
Then, haha, then we act surprised and offended when it turns out he’s got a bit of an ego.
We’re alright with creating the monster, but we get a bit huffy when he breaks lose and tramples a small city.
Last night’s episode was perfect. I couldn’t have hoped for a better departure for Amy and Rory. It really was the best way for them to go.
Of course, there are people who hated it solely because it wasn’t the 20-minute cry-fest that Russell T Davies gave us when the Tenth Doctor’s companions would leave. “Doomsday” was nice, but Davies hit that same note again when Donna left, then again, at preposterous length, as the Doctor was preparing to regenerate. Personally, I prefer what Moffat gave us. Short, simple, with just the right amount of sentiment.
Some people think it didn’t give the Ponds closure. I disagree. It gave Amy and Rory a life together, and it separated them from the Doctor in the only way that would ever really work. It wasn’t a perfect episode, but it was a perfect farewell.
BenPaddon.NET: “The Writer’s Tale”
In which I vomit, in words, my desire to write.
If you’re a writer and you haven’t read The Writer’s Tale yet, The Book Depository has it for $23 with free international shipping. It’s an incredibly frank, candid, sometimes scary look into the writing process. Whether you’re a Doctor Who fan or not, if you’re even the slightest bit interested in writing as a career you owe it to yourself to read this book.
So, what’s the logical middle-ground? A Doctor Who movie would need to be big bold, brash and every bit the spectacle of the television series, existing within the continuity of the television series but not necessarily drawing heavily from it so as to serve as a jumping-on point for potential newcomers. It would need to stand alone as a story, basically, complete with a unique villain or threat that hadn’t been seen in the television series before.
Basically, it would need the same approach that Moffat takes to writing his Christmas specials.