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When did Doctor Who go off the rails? It probably happened when you turned seventeen or so. Suddenly the world was about dating and drinking and independence, and this magically coincided with the show you loved as a kid descending into nonsense.
Maybe it wasn’t precisely seventeen, but for most Doctor Who fans, there generally comes a point at which the show they love simply stops being the show they love. “Back in my day, it never did that!” we exclaim.
What’s strange is that absolutely every era has provoked this reaction. For some, it happened when Steven Moffat took over, and for others the new series was a write-off from the get-go. For some, the 1996 telemovie ruined the whole thing, and for others it was the Seventh Doctor’s era. One person I know says they fell out of love with it when Patrick Troughton took over. Troughton. The Second Doctor. 1966. The show’s just never recovered since then, apparently.
Consequently, I am firmly of the belief that there is someone out there who thinks Doctor Who is fundamentally a show about two teachers hanging out in a junk yard, and that it all fell apart when they introduced that time travel guff.
“This junk yard sure is great, Barbara.” “Call me a purist, but I preferred the classroom from scene one.”
Forget the ever-changing tone and the subjective perceptions of undulating quality: for a lot of fans, Doctor Who fails when it messes with what’s been established. Steven Moffat has been accused of doing this a lot — of screwing around with the show’s history — but isn’t that what Doctor Who has always done?
The mistake fans so often make is in viewing the Classic Series as a uniform whole. Remember, his is a show that ran for 26 years from 1963 to 1989, had dozens of producers, numerous script writers, and absolutely no series bible. Seriously. There was no document ever produced for writers to refer to. That’s why they featured the origins of the Loch Ness Monster on two separate occasions, and why they explained the destruction of Atlantis no fewer than three times. They simply made it up as they went along, often contradicting much of the stuff that came beforehand.
When we, with the benefit of hindsight and familiarity, homogenise all of that into the “Classic Series”, it implies a consistent overview that the show simply never had.
So if you’re freaking out about Listen, the most recent episode by showrunner Steven Moffat, and think that Moffat has taken an outrageous liberty with the show’s text, take a moment to think about how it must have felt when they suddenly introduced the idea that the Doctor could change his appearance. (It took them two more goes before they called it “regeneration”, and made it a proper thing in 1974.) Or how about when the Second Doctor revealed he was a Time Lord, and was put on trial for stealing the TARDIS? That nugget was revealed at the end of the show’s sixth season. We think of it as something that’s always been — but imagine if Buffy had suddenly revealed at the end of season six that she was from the planet Slayos, or if Lost’s final season had suddenly introduced time travel elements that had nothing to do with what had come befo— oh.
TARDIS surfing is very dangerous, and should not be emulated.
Barely a season of Doctor Who has gone by without the show’s head writer drastically reinventing some major piece of canon. Once you tally up all the liberties the show has taken, the idea of Clara meeting the Doctor as a child on a pre-exploded Gallifrey really isn’t much at all.
And this is the fundamental truth of the show: it is only ever Doctor Who when it evolves. The times in its history when it’s consciously tried to be “classic” are the times when it’s stagnated and failed. Only when it stops trying to be Doctor Who does it truly become Doctor Who. That’s some zen-like shit right there — much like that brief period in the early 1970s, in which many of the plots suddenly had a Buddhist undercurrent. See?
It’s odd that Listen should inspire such discussion about canon (he says, as if someone is forcing him to write about it under threat of a mind probe), because it’s Steven Moffat’s first real standalone work since he took over. As showrunner, he writes the season openers, the season finales, the Christmas specials, the anniversary extravaganzas. It’s like writing for an orchestra all the time, he says, and doing this episode was a chance to flex his writing muscles and write a chamber piece. Something smaller, more self-contained.
Teaching children and adults alike about the importance of buying action figures.
It’s a good instinct given his most notorious insta-classic Blink was the very definition of a standalone chamber piece. Or maybe it’s that both episodes focused on something deeper and more relatable: Blink introduced monsters that can only be defeated when you look at them, and Listen has creatures that are always hiding, listening to you when you think you’re talking only to yourself.
Reducing the threat down to a key sense makes these stories so much more empathetic and terrifying. He’s clearly on to a winning formula, which logically leads me to the following viewing suggestions: Touch, in which the asexual Doctor must overcome his fears and defeat the fearsome Buxomians by repeatedly groping their hindquarters; Taste, in which the Doctor is challenged to tongue-to-tongue combat with the slime monsters of the planet Halitosis 8; and Smelly, in which the Doctor battles farting aliens in… oh, hang on, that was 2005’s World War Three. Okay, forget that last one. Cheque please, Mr Moffat.
“Fear makes companions of us all,” says the First Doctor in the very first story, 1963’s An Unearthly Child – word-for-word what Clara says to the young Doctor in this episode. Maybe Moffat’s being truer to the show’s roots than he’s getting credit for.”
I have nothing further to say.
Sherlock manages to keep himself alive by falling the right way and keeping himself from going into shock using logic with in three seconds
Yet when he gets a nose bleed he holds his head back
House Week - Day 2: Favorite Female Character
"I would have preferred this writer explore these ideas" is an opinion.
"This writer has trouble with certain aspects of story-telling" is a criticism.
"This writer sucks and is talentless" is a mean-spirited insult.
"This writer should die" is a vile, shitty thing for which there is no excuse for saying.
Please learn the difference and please don’t pretend you’re doing one of the two former when you’re doing one of the two latter.
I could kiss you right now
things that make me want to set myself on fire:
- the belief that canonically rose tyler is the be-all end-all of all companions in the 50+ year history of doctor who
- the belief that ten was the most doctory, in-character regeneration of the doctor
- adding to that, the belief that the doctor is a character that should be seen as a constant, trusted hero, someone to blindly follow in faith
- the belief that river song’s purpose was to be the doctor’s love interest, and she had no life without him
- the belief that rose tyler’s life did not revolve around the doctor, and that she wouldn’t give up everything (her family, the safety of the universe) to be with him
- the denial that a significant point of the impossible girl arc was to show that, in the end, clara was just clara and not a mystery to be solved
- the denial that moffat showed eleven’s view of clara as being a puzzle as a negative thing
- the extremely subjective belief that amy pond and other female characters in moffat’s era are unrelatable and two-dimensional, and because it applies to a group of people on tumblr, it applies to everyone
- the belief that signing a shitty petition to get a man fired, and the belief that it would actually work
- the phrase “don’t you think he looks tired?” being used as an actual means of putting down moffat and being seen as an intellectual, clever and legitimate piece in an argument
- the belief that russell t. davies had a better understanding of the ideology of doctor who and the character of the doctor than any previous or current writer
- the belief that moffat took a shit on the rtd era and retconned the show, when in fact rtd that ignored and change a good chunk of classic who history, and it’s been happening since the show began, and shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing
- the belief that russell t. davies’ doctor who is the highest, original standard way of writing doctor who
- the denial that moffat has paid tribute and included more references and ideas from classic who than rtd ever did
- the belief that a small group of users of a blogging website with senses of superiority, misinformed articles/quotes/metas, and borderline social justice blogger-like agendas, hold the majority of beliefs and facts of doctor who fans and fandom
- the fact that the same people who preach independent thinking, strong mentalities, and fairness, are the same people who don’t check the facts of an article, bully and degrade others for liking something they don’t, and are EXTREMELY easily influenced by a majority mob mentality, and a popular tumblr post.
- the fact that some people out-right avoid acknowledging or reblogging posts (e.g. karen gillan’s opinion on moffat/amy pond crit, actual accurate moffat quotes on feminism and sexism, the correction of facts on a countless number of misinformed doctor who posts about the moffat era) for the sake of living in the delusional state of the views of the “majority” of the dw fandom on tumblr
- that fact that i have such a ridiculous list of things that people actually do, and think they’re in the right of, that make me want to set myself on fire
- ffs people
cute lolita Slytherins being quietly manipulative because you catch more flies with honey than vinegar
muggleborn/half blood Slytherins selling ball point pens for a galleon each because pure bloods are so fucking sick of quills and never heard of biros before
Slytherins telling everyone their biggest perceived weaknesses so no one can use it against them in a fight
Slytherins learning to fight without wands because you’ve got to be ready for anything
Slytherins viscously defending emotional first years against anyone who dared try to fuck with them and making sure no one saw them upset
Slytherins being horrified and fascinated to hear about muggle weaponry and highly efficient warfare without magic
Slytherin friends joining up like a pack to attack anyone who dares to fuck with their friends
Slytherins having mental occlomency/legilimency duels as a sport
Slytherins studying as hard as they can for a test because information is useful
Slytherins resigning themselves to the fact that they are never going to learn what they need to and finding awesome new ways to cheat instead
"I am Groot!" <:
Prints on my Society 6! c:
729. Muggleborns in 1973 holding little book clubs and crying in groups because they’ve heard of JRR Tolkien’s death and the purebloods are confused about who ‘Aragorn’, ‘Legolas’, ‘Bilbo’, ‘Thorin’, and ‘Frodo’ are and why the muggleborns are crying about them. The professors let it go on for about a week before they stop the students.
Don’t get me started on how important this movie is. I won’t stop.
Repeat after me…
STEVEN MOFFAT HAD NO PART IN CHOOSING COSTUMES FOR AMY POND AND CLARA OSWALD. KAREN GILLAN AND JENNA COLEMAN HAVE BOTH STATED THAT THE COSTUMES WERE A COLLABORATION BETWEEN THEMSELVES AND HOWARD BURDEN, THE COSTUME DESIGNER.
STEVEN MOFFAT DID NOT CHOOSE COSTUMES FOR AMY AND CLARA. STOP SHAMING THEM BOTH WEARING THOSE COSTUMES. THANK YOU.