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A Good Man Goes to War | www.ed-rex.com


A Good Man Goes to War

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Trial of the show-runners

It's the story, not the outline

Teenage Mutant Time Lord Goofballs

Despite the existence of masterpieces like the Alice books, there remains a strong prejudice against any entertainment meant for children; add such labels as science fiction or fantasy and there can be little wonder that even those lucky enough to grow up to take over a childhood favourite like Doctor Who often suffer from a powerful urge to dress it up in more "sophisticated" clothing.

Take Russell T Davies, whose first two series were remarkably true to the spirit of the classic program. Nevertheless, he followed that up by making Doctor Who more "adult", bringing to it more overt and intense violence and by switching the focus from the Doctor's companions to the Doctor himself.

And so, in Davies' third series, the Doctor — that "amazing man" — became a "lonely god" and the fragile silliness inherent in the program's premises — the effortless travel through time and space, the life of adventure in which brains and a screw-driver conquer armies, and the miracle of physical regeneration — began to crumble beneath the weight of arm-chair psychology and a desperation to Be Meaningful.

When that sort of revisionism works, as it did with Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, the results can be stunning, but they are seldom remotely suitable for children, nor do they encourage sequels (as Miller himself recognized; his own follow-up made central the satire that had been a sort of chorus in the original) a corporate franchise requires.

More often, we suffer variations on what we have had from Doctor Who since Davies' third series. Weak stories framed by grand concepts, histrionics in place of character development, and frantic promises that each edition will be even louder and more monumental than the last. (Never mind that fans and critics alike prefer those episodes in which story takes precedence over concept, as with "The Doctor's Wife" this series or "Vincent and the Doctor" last year.)

The Doctor is a physical and psychological impossibility. If we accept the premise of the ever-regenerating, 900 year-old Time Lord (and we do!), to ask us to take him as only a man — one whom we can understand as we might old man Johnson up the street — is to ask too much. The key thing about 900 year-old aliens who travel anywhere in time and space is that we cannot understand them. (In truth, most of us don't really understand old man Johnson, either.)

So, when Russell T Davies or Steven Moffat take on that task (one which would have pushed the imagination even of Shakespeare to its limit), the result is (almost always) pretentious or silly, or both.

And thus we get television that is neither good children's fiction nor good adult drama, but only a mess that must loudly keep telling us how important everything is. Which brings us to the 50 minutes of frankly awful story-telling that is "A Good Man Goes to War", which displays everything that is wrong with Steven Moffat's Doctor Who save the moral idiocy that so blighted "A Christmas Carol" and "Day of the Moon").

Over-ripe with portentous dialogue, with frenetic calls to action that never occurs and exposition, exposition, exposition, nothing much actually happens in "A Good Man Goes to War"; and what does happen, doesn't make sense.

A bit of a synopsis is in order. (I've struggled to keep this manageable; for the full 1,300 word version, complete with snark (but not with pictures or much in the way of formatting, click here), or visit Livejournal's Eviltigerlily for a more concise and probably funnier summary.

During the first fifteen minutes, Amy conducts a monologue to her baby in full view of Eye-Patch Lady and her heavily-armed minions; Rory (somehow) destroys a Cyberman base on behalf of the Doctor; we learn Eye-Patch Lady controls a base (Demon's Run) guarded by a large contingent of soldiers whose mission is to battle the Doctor, and that the Doctor, in turn, is raising an army of his own.

(It's worth noting that Moffat continues to counter the perception that his Who is anti-gay, both well and badly. On the positive side is the introduction of the intriguing Victorian human/Silurian lesbian couple; on the negative, the gay marines who don't need names. "We're the thin, fat, gay married Anglican marines. Why would we need names as well?" The joke might be funny in 2011, but in the context of the story it makes no sense, which is a recurring problem.

(On the subject of bad jokes, River tells of being serenaded by Stevie Wonder under London Bridge in 1814. "But you must never tell him!" she admonishes Rory. Why? Because ... Stevie Wonder is blind, of course! Ha ha ha.

(One more example of the terrible writing that blights this episode. After River Song makes fun of blind people, Rory tells her, "I've come from the Doctor too." "Yes," says River, "but at a different point in time." Because we (and Rory) have no doubt forgotten that time travel is one of the Doctor's major party tricks. Thanks River! And thanks, Steven.)

Speaking of terrible writing, back at Demon's Run, the Serious Colonel rallies his troops. "The Doctor is a living, breathing man. And ... we're sure as hell going to fix that!" But not with much discipline, as the Knitting Marine has skipped out on the rally and somehow got past Amy's guards to bring her a "prayer leaf". The women bond, since they have both met the Doctor.

At the rally, there is a Big Reveal. The Headless Monks (didn't I mention the Headless Monks? Well, no loss; they don't actually matter to speak of) are ... headless! But wait! One of them is really the Doctor in disguise!

Music swells, lights go out and, though the Serious Colonel shouts "Nooooo!" the Doctor and his friends are soon in command. Even the Silurian lesbian thinks he's hot. "My friend, you have never risen higher."

Baby back in Amy's arms, enemies captured by Judoon and Silurian soldiers, there are hugs all around, and even one (count it, one!) funny joke (that would be the Sontaran nurse's "magnificent quantities of lactic fluid"). Then more exposition, and the Doctor finally wonders, Why do they want Amy's baby, anyway? The Silurian (through some inexplicable Lesbian Silurian Intuition, presumably) wonders if the baby is really human. And guess what? The baby has Time Lord genes!

35 minutes into the 50-minute episode, the Sontaran and the Knitting Marine realize there might be someone else on the base. "The Headless Monks ... don't register as life-forms." Yes, the Judoon really are that dumb; but the plot requires somebody to mess up, so it might as well be the Judoon.

Speaking of dumb, more or less while a Silurian redshirt is dispatched by the returning Monks, Eye-Patch Lady makes a video-call to gloat — and to explain her plans. The baby in Amy's arms is actually a Flesh avatar!

While the Doctor runs to Amy and dissolves the Flesh baby, the Monks attack and River Song narrates a bad poem in voice-over, for that subtle touch.

The battle over, the Doctor returns to the dramatically pointless field. We share a moment with the dying Knitting Marine, and the survivors wander around emoting, even the Doctor, who asks the Silurian if she doesn't sometimes wish he gave up more often.

Then River Song drops in for the Grand Reveal: River is Amy's baby! Doctor is energized, rushes to TARDIS, tells River to get everyone home and ... th-th-th-that's all, folks!

Baffling episode is baffling.

Bad writing is bad writing.

Disappointed fan is grumpy critic.

A good writer goes to pot

As I think the over-long synopsis above goes to show, there is no there there in "A Good Man Goes to War". No narrative flow, no tension, no story.

The action is static when it doesn't occur off-stage and the jokes aren't funny. The emotional scenes leave the viewer cold because they are so obviously manipulative; I didn't believe in Amy's maternal agonies and a week after watching the Knitting Marine die for a third time I don't remember her name any more than the Doctor did — compare that to Ida Scott and Mrs. Muir, both of whose names and characters remain with me to this day!

"A Good Man Goes To War", is less a story than it is a demented 50 minute promo, referencing stories yesterday and stories tomorrow, but never telling a story today.

In his desperate desire to wow us with his double-series arc about the Doctor, Moffat has forgotten the cardinal rule of serialized fiction: by all means keep the big picture in mind, but make sure the chapters be entertaining in and of themselves! An especially popular writer or a corporate franchise with a large and loyal fan-base can get away with a few confusing or unsatisfying (or even downright bad) instalments, but the goodwill will only last so long.

'Jam to-morrow and jam yesterday — but never jam to-day'

So why has this program been going from wrong to wronger since the end of 2006? And how is it that the man who wrote episodes as nearly sublime as "The Doctor Dances" has been responsible for 21 episodes of a program of which arguably only two have been memorable?

As I said at the outset, the problem began not with Moffat but with his predecessor's decision that the Doctor be the emotional core of the program's stories, rather than the catalyst for them.

What did Davies initially do right? Let's take a look at his first two series, which I'll refer to collectively as Rose.

The key to Rose was Rose herself. The Doctor was a mysterious and charismatic figure — both Eccleston and Tennant hinted at tragic depths behind the character's peripatetic existence — but the story belonged to Rose Tyler. (When it strayed, as with the Moffat-penned "The Girl In the Fireplace", the Doctor was portrayed not as a mystery, but, for example, as a 900 year-old horn-dog with the emotional integrity of an immature teenage boy.)

Though evident during those first two years, Davies' weaknesses as a story-teller — his disregard for internatl logic, his urge to humanize the inhuman Doctor, his love of melodrama — were kept largely in check by the correct choice he made at the outset. The story was a classic bildungsroman, but one that Davies managed to dress up in a fresh suit of clothes and to deliver with an honest emotional wallop — twice.

Over two years we had the pleasure of seeing Rose Tyler grow from bored teenager into the hero of "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit" diptych. (It's worth noting that Rose took command not because Acting Captain Cross Flame was incompetent or evil, but because he was simply out of his depths; Rose was used to the impossible and he was not. She had learned from the Doctor that it is not specific knowledge that saves the day, but imaginative intelligence, the ability to learn. Rose's leadership made full in-story sense.)

Davies cast that wise choice by the wayside in Series Three, making the Doctor himself the star of the program, rather than the companion. Davies was determined to humanize the alien, or rather, to psychologize him. Leaving behind the successful use of hints and suggestion that allowed the viewers to envision our own Doctor, Davies instead forced on us a supra-human neurotic who ended up as less than either god or man, rather than more.

A bildungsroman about a young girl is one thing; the coming-of-age story of a superman is something else entirely, a project nearly impossible, the failure of which can only turn the subject into a cartoonish caricature. No matter his undeniable qualities, this wasn't a story Russell T Davies had the chops to successfully tell.

The third and fourth series of Davies' Doctor Who were uneven in their parts, and ludicrous and dishonestly manipulative at their climaxes, respectively. The widely-derided 'Tinker Bell' solution to Series Three was laughable — or would have been, had Davies not subjected us to so much graphic violence and brutality to ensure we understood the High Stakes involved. Thus Martha Jones' heroics had the second-banana impact that characterized Freema Agyeman's entire run as the Doctor's companion.

(Yes, the story in outline seems to place Martha in a central role but, Martha's unrequited infatuation aside, from episode to episode the Doctor's companion in Davies' Series Three could have been anybody, no matter how many Martha fans may wish it were otherwise.)

Davies' fourth series restored the balance somewhat, though the strength of Catherine Tate's performance may have had as much to do with it as the scripts themselves. Regardless, Davies was still fascinated with the Lonely God motif (artist identification much?) and he milked shamelessly.

Nor did he hesitate to undermine the tragedy he had made of Rose's fate at the end of Series Three, by bringing her back for one more (repetitive) go-round. I admit, I too thrilled to the sight of the fully-manned TARDIS console and shed a tear at Rose's (second) exile, the blatantly manipulative finale left me feeling a little used once I'd had the time to think it over. Only the 'death' of Donna Noble, the shallow woman whose depths had been revealed through proximity to the Doctor, was genuinely moving, but that would be horribly undermined by the Farewell Tour of the Lonely God that was to come.

Of those specials, "The Next Doctor" and "The Planet of the Dead" were passable entertainments, pleasant but unremarkable. "The Waters of Mars" was truly powerful, so much so it was possible to believe that Davies would manage against all odds to make good on his decision to make the Doctor's inner life his theme, even while plausibly handing off to Steven Moffat a Doctor changed, but still the infinitely maleable itinerant adventurer and cosmic vagabond lurching from one adventure to the next.

We all know how it turned out. Davies' finale was not profound or moving, but ludicrous. A cliched battle of Good vs. Evil, with the Master literally leaping tall buildings and hurling energy bolts from his palms like a comic book super-villain. Following the pointless sacrifice of Wilf, intended to wring more tears from his audience, Davies indulged nearly every one of his weaknesses as a story-teller, sublimating his pomposity, sentimentality and enormous self-regard into the Doctor's half-hour farewell tour of former companions.

All of which led me to write, "Dear god, may the coming of Steven Moffat not be delayed another second!"

Be careful what you wish for, someone smarter than I once said, you just might get it.

After 21 episodes, it is now clear that Steven Moffat has absorbed many of Davies' worst habits, added a few of his own and shed all of his good instincts.

Living in reverse like some writerly River Song, the man who did so much right in his first outing — who among us can remember, "Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once, everybody lives!" without a thrill? — no longer seems able to even structure a story. "A Good Man Goes to War" is just another promissory note in what has become a very long chain of references to the past and teasers for a future that never arrives.

Fan-fiction aside, what we have now, and mostly have had since Rose's first exile to another universe, are attempts to marry a children's adventure fantasy with the psychological novel, resulting in a concoction that delivers neither the fun of the former nor the insight of the latter.

Thus the viewer is left with the option of foregoing secondary belief in favour of puzzle-solving, or of taking the post-modern path of doing the writer's job for him.

In Doctor Who according to Steven Moffat, fannish in-jokes replace contextual humour and matters of world-building, plot and character are only conveniences for the Next Big, Cool Concept.

Bow ties, Mr. Moffat, are only cool if you don't need to tell us that they are. And the Doctor is the Doctor only when he remains beyond (if not necessarily above) our easy comprehension.

Spread the word!

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I happen to agree with almost

I happen to agree with almost everything in the article. I've been posting similar things and I'm tired of being told that I should stop watching or not give my honest opinion.

I loved Moffat's first few eps and Sherlock, but his take on DW just isn't doing it for me. However, this is not a personal attack on those who do like Moffat's version of Who.

Thanks. I think it's worth

Thanks. I think it's worth noting that it's not even a personal attack on Moffat (well, not in my case, and I presume, not in yours), but only on the work he's been doing lately.

Incidentally, I have no objection at all to (limited but blatant) self-promotion here. If you've been writing about Who or anything else relevant to what you're replying to, please feel free to include a link.

YES! Thanks for getting it

YES! Thanks for getting it right -- saying what I've been thinking all season. You hit it on the head, which is what a critic should do -- putting words to the vague feelings of dissatisfaction I've had. Here are just a few of my thoughts, too.

The Dr. is supposed to be moral center of the show, but he's become a loose cannon that the others are constantly reigning in. The scene where he jeered at the leader as Commander Run-Away made me sick to my stomach. He sounded like a plain old school yard bully. And what's with all the shooting? He used to be against weapons, using cleverness and humanity instead. Now he feels more like an inter-galactic John Wayne. Violence is becoming the default too often.

Who are these folks who have gone to such lengths to try and defeat the Dr? How can he really be so ignorant of their feelings for him? Somehow I missed the background, and spent the episode wondering where they came from.

I hope we've seen the last of gangers for a while. It's beginning to feel like a particularly badly scripted soap opera. He's dead -- no he's alive -- no, that's his identical twin -- she's real, he's not real -- if I can't tell who's real I begin to stop identifying and caring. That card has been played more than enough, thanks very much.

All in all, I think this season has had some good highs, great acting, and some super cool ideas, but the writing just isn't up to the best. The only episode that didn't leave me feeling disappointed was The Dr's Wife, and there wonderful dialogue tipped the scale. The cast is great, but the writer needs help. So far I've not been impressed with Moffat on his own. He keeps forgetting to tell me a good story.

What He Said

Fan-fiction aside, what we have now, and mostly have had since Rose's first exile to another universe, are attempts to marry a children's adventure fantasy with the psychological novel, resulting in a concoction that delivers neither the fun of the former nor the insight of the latter.

Thus the viewer is left with the option of foregoing secondary belief in favour of puzzle-solving, or of taking the post-modern path of doing the writer's job for him.

In Doctor Who according to Steven Moffat, fannish in-jokes replace contextual humour and matters of world-building, plot and character are only conveniences for the Next Big, Cool Concept.

Bow ties, Mr. Moffat, are only cool if you don't need to tell us that they are. And the Doctor is the Doctor only when he remains beyond (if not necessarily above) our easy comprehension.

This sums it all up perfectly for me. Thank you for writing that. It is eloquent and intelligent, and despite length, is actually quite concise.

COULDN'T AGREE WITH YOU MORE

I've read your reviews with a certain relief, since I sometimes felt over the last few weeks that I'd wandered into a movie of "The Emperor's New Clothes" as I read supposedly profound and lengthy analyses of Moffat's genius. Was I really the only person not getting it? And then along you came, the little boy who cried, "Look, the King is in the altogether!"

I don't feel you're negative, because your criticism stems from a genuine love of the show and a desire to see it return to its roots. It's refreshing to come across someone with a good word to say for the first and second series, where RTD's excesses were generally reined in by a strong and trustworthy production team. I've little to add to your analysis of GMGTW except my almost unreserved agreement. The sad thing is I think Matt Smith could probably equal Tennant if only he was given the right material - TDW showed what he was capable of achieving.

I think that "The Christmas Invasion" got so much right - great fun, a joy to watch, emotionally convincing, funny and also just a little bit chilling, hinting at a Doctor that wasn't quite as pretty as he looked. It hasn't quite been all downhill since, there have been some gems, but the overall trend has been a lot of sound and fury signifying very little.

Re Couldn't Agree With You More

Thanks for the kind words. I do disagree with you on Series Two, though. As the second half of Rose's story, I thought it was often very good indeed, and the finale (which, really, should have stayed the last of Rose) ripped my heart out, just the way Davies meant for it to do.

That said, there were hints of the Bad Davies coming to the fore, and maybe visible in that oh-so-heart-breaking final scene on the beach.

But yeah, "The Christmas Invasion" was a marvellous segue from one Doctor to the next.

I sort of agree, also they

I sort of agree, also they feel the need to give the Doctor some romance, why? I mean in Nu Who they've written Rose who he fell in love with, then the girl in the fire place with Renette, then Martha who fell in love with him but he was still in love with Rose (dear..) and now we have River Song... where we all know she will die anyway (or maybe moffat will dismiss that too). I really don't see the point in this at all. Classic Who never had this kind of romance and it did brilliantly ^^
Sorry about this rant but it has to be said!
Since Steven took over he has done lots of bad writing, I honestly think that the only thing keeping the show afloat is the acting of Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and all the others.
A bit I really, really hate is when River is better at flying the TARDIS than the Doctor himself and correcting him but the worst part for me was when she said that the lovely TARDIS noise is because the Doctor is stupid and leaves the brakes on, but every single TARDIS in the whole series (new and classic) has always made that noise, the Masters, the Rani's etc So is Moffat implying that the Time Lords who created the TARDISes can't fly their own ships properly and that a part Time Lord who has never set foot on Gallifrey can fly them better (and the doctor threw the manual into a supernova so how did she learn that if the Doctor didn't know either?) -_-
and How come in 'the Time of Angels' and 'Flesh and Stone' the Weeping Angels don't send people back in time? they just kill people! But sending people back in time is what made them scary, How can Moffat dismiss such a brilliant thing which HE created.
and another bit that I thought was shoddy writing is the fact that River/Melody is part Time Lord because she was conceived on the TARDIS, that doesn't even make sense, I thought we where given the impression that creating a Time Lord is very hard, even original Time Lords where created on looms not born. and there has got to be others that conceived on the TARDIS. So my conclusion is that Moffat needed to think of a cheap and easy way to keep River with the Doctor for longer ¬_¬

I agree with your overall

I agree with your overall critique of Nu Who (though I quite liked A Good Man Goes To War; it seems to have released the audience from some of the utter bollocks of the last half-season, while being silly and campy even with the awful gravitas.

The season before, though, was actually pretty good. It didn't reach the heights that Moffat did when he wasn't showrunner, but at least it had some fresh blood and a Doctor who wasn't all wangst all the time. So I still live in hope.

Living in hope

So I still live in hope.

As do I, else I'd probably give it up (as some folks seem to wish I would).

Sharks, jumping, etc.

Alright, since I got shut down in the Doctor Who LJ community, I'll re-post here so you have an opportunity to reply (in your own backyard, so to speak) if you so choose:

Honestly, could you just stop watching the show? I couldn't get a quarter of the way through your diatribe to even get to your point. It's obvious the show has completely jumped the shark for you, so just give up (and, too, spare us your pontification, because some of us do actually still enjoy it).

(I know, I know, I don't HAVE to read it, but you post it in many places I read, so I can't help but not at least read your snarky titles, and, frankly, they're just getting tedious.)

Re: Sharks, jumping, etc.

Thehornedgod runs a pretty tight ship, doesn't he/she? There have been times I've thought too tight, but mostly I think they strike a pretty good balance.

But onwards.

Honestly, could you just stop watching the show? I couldn't get a quarter of the way through your diatribe to even get to your point.

In a word, "no", I won't stop watching the show; and if I write about it again I'll at least show it sufficient respect to watch more than "a quarter of the way through" it before bouncing over to Steven Moffat's Twitter account and telling him that he's doing it all wrong.

Meanwhile, if you really don't like my snark or my tediousness, visiting me in my own bailliwick is a weird way of avoiding them.

Speaking for myself, it's not

Speaking for myself, it's not your snark or your tediousness that bothers me, it's that 1) You miss some pretty simple logical bits that make me wonder how closely you're watching, and 2) You're so utterly impressed with your own opinion and too easily discount that of others.

I have no problems with them

I have no problems with them running the comm as they see fit, of course, but I didn't want to give criticism without giving you an opportunity to reply - that's not fair, which is why I decided to come here.

This is hardly the first time you've written long screeds about how horrible the show has become, which is why I'm expressing my opinion that it's getting tedious (and borderline insulting) to those of us who don't think so at all. I'm not saying you don't have your points - in fact, you have lots of good ones - but the tone and the constant berating is just getting pointless and grating.

I also note others have taken exception to your tone and to your constant negativity. Do they not also have a point?

Honestly, I get this show means (or, perhaps, meant) a lot to you - it does to me, too. But I've given up on more important shows once I realized that watching them caused me more stress over what they WEREN'T rather than enjoyment over what they WERE. Perhaps you need some outsiders pointing this out to you to give you the push off the ledge you can't seem to bring yourself to do?

Yes, I know, I could ignore your posts, but it is true you post in at least 2 communities I watch, so it's kind of hard not to see them, or at least, like I said, the titles. And, I was trying to give your reviews a chance because you had some points, but now...

Inconstant, not constant

I also note others have taken exception to your tone and to your constant negativity. Do they not also have a point?

Well no. Leaving aside my belief that criticism is not only permissible but valuable — the goal is not just to say "I like this" and "I don't like that" but to explore why something does or doesn't succeed as a work of art or craft — you and "they" don't have a point because what you are saying simply isn't true. My reviews are not "constant negativity".

I commend your attention to my review of "The Doctor's Wife" a few short weeks ago, to fannish (and arguably mistaken, but nevermind that) gush "The Stolen Earth", or my contented look at "Planet of the Dead". I could go on, but I think the point is clear: my negativity is not constant, but rather quite specific.

Your negativity may be

Your negativity may be specific, but it is overwhelming to your readers.

I hope the critic can take some criticism as well.

"You should not decide until you have heard what both...

have to say."- Aristophanes

He posts his opinion in Doctor Who areas, but never makes you come over to his site to read it all. I enjoy reading both sides of the spectrum, but honestly, it strikes me as inexorably rude to tell someone to quit watching or quit posting opinions. Should Goldenmoonrose stop posting her reviews each week because they're overwhelming positive and could make people who do not see the show as that brilliant feel like they're 'idiots' for it? I certainly hope she doesn't stop. Even if I think she gives Moffat far too much credit, her analysis is brilliant and interesting to read.

I DON'T agree with everything said here, I didn't see a downfall in the new Doctor Who that early. I loved all of season 4. And I expected to love Moffat because I thought Sherlock is GENIUS and I loved several of the episodes he did (I'm in a severe minority by not loving Girl in the Fireplace. But only because I felt the Doctor was out of character in it. Leaving the TARDIS behind? Leaving his companions to die on a spaceship alone, thinking he may never get back? That struck me as completely wrong. The episode itself was an interesting concept and I did like the IDEA, but I would have accepted it more easily if leaving friends in mortal peril alone wasn't part of it.) I did not like Season 5 of Doctor Who as a whole, however, and I have only liked a few episodes of this season so far. I'm realizing my PERSONAL issue with it is that it feels like if you miss a single episode, Moffat could pull the rug out from under you and make you go "...wait, what?" later, and not in a good way. The arc is basically the entire season rather than a few episodes. Instead of merely having hints or tie ins (Torchwood, Saxon, Bad Wolf) that you could still understand at the end of the season, miss an episode of this season and more than ever in Doctor Who, you're left baffled as to why something happens later. If you miss a River Song episode it's "Wait, what? Why are you saying that?" later. All seasons have done this to a lesser amount, but it's much bigger since Moffat.

It's funny that I mind this, because I don't miss episodes and I have a very good memory as to things that have happened. I like theorizing. But something about it has lessened the 'fun' of it all for me. Instead of being taken on a new adventure each week, for the most part it's like I'm watching a mini-series. Which don't get me wrong, I love mini-series. I'll sit and watch them all at once even though it takes up all day. But Doctor Who just feels wrong to me like that. To others, it's a brilliant move and they adore him for doing it. To each his/her own. As long as the show doesn't get cancelled, the next showrunner may go back to a format I like better. Or they may not. We never know. :)

Ehh I think you're probably

Ehh I think you're probably in the minority of not "loving" Girl in the Fireplace among Moffat fans, Rose-haters, and perhaps, portions of Internet megafandom. But it you look at the normal!person fan rankings of episodes, Girl in the Fireplace is nowhere near the top. (It's also not at the top of the Gallifrey Base rankings either, although it is higher there than among the other fan rankings. I forget the magazine that did the fan rankings ... maybe Radio Times?)

Anyway, you're not necessarily in the minority. It seems a lot of people feel that way because it's so OOC. Frankly, I dislike that episode very much.

If you find his....

If you feel that his "negativity" is overwhelming, why are you reading it? He isn't the only one that feels the last two seasons have been bad deals - there are a LOT OF US. Most of us have just stopped writing about it in Doctor Who forums because we're tired of being called names, made out to be stupid and told to go away by people who don't realize some of us have a long-term investment in Doctor Who that go back decades prior to the rebooted series.

Honestly, the gushing waves of justification and sugar over the falling overnight ratings for Series 6 often send me into fits of jaw-gnashing, so I just stop reading people inventing reasons and justifications for falling ratings that suddenly improve by ITunes download for my favourite show rather than make myself suffer the indignity of it.

Doctor Who is a cash-crop for the BBC. The bottom line is the ratings and the sales of toys and merchandise. If the BBC sees flagging ratings in overnights and then also sees flagging toy and merchandise sales because kids and youth and some adults cannot relate to the characters and therefore don't want to collect the icons of the characters then we're going to have a problem with the longevity of the series. People who don't watch the series, don't spend money on the merchandise. The last time the ratings and equally so the sales figures started to fall like that we got an 18 month hiatus, Sylvester McCoy and then oblivion for over a decade.

I am NOT bashing you, but I have to tell you that I really feel like you're bashing Geoff, especially coming to his own page to attack him on a personal level.

Point taken. I do, however,

Point taken. I do, however, find it inexcusable that he's in the Doctor Who LJ community calling people "wrong-headed," and when told this is out of line, is spending pages and pages defending insulting someone. I'm glad he's being taken to task for that.

But, that's enough of that. I'm out, and I'm certainly done reading any of his "reviews" anymore. I just wish he'd find peace with the show or give it up, as it seems to be giving him serious ulcers.

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