Saturday, April 17, 2010

RTD vs. Moffat? - Thoughts

Okay, so because I've been home due to some rather unpleasant sinus attacks, I got the opportunity to really dig deep into this whole RTD vs. Moffat situation. Before I say anything, I just want to mention the fact that I don't agree with such comparison and I am certainly not taking sides! They're both brilliant and unique, and that's my point.
Basically, and talking about S5, in which Moffat debuted as headwriter of the show, the show has seen his direction shifted a tiny bit, which is no stranger to Doctor Who, as the whole point of the show has been changed quite a few times in the past. Now, some people are not getting 'used to' the new Series, because they feel it is too different from RTD's era - not suprisingly, I find that happens mostly to NewWho lovers, who are not acquainted with Classic Who - I guess it is only normal, there is a big change, specially when it comes to special effects and even plots. We had so much time to develop a plot, thanks to 4-parter episodes, or even more, like 'Inferno' had. 45 minutes is said to not to be enough to develop a story properly. Well, I believe good writers can make it work, and RTD and Moffat were able to do it, such as all the other writers, like Gatiss or Cornell. I understand it's not very much time and that the pace has to get a bit frenetic at times, but that's how it goes. And I have no issues with it, to be honest.
Anyway, Moffat did change the direction of the show a bit, and I have to say that so far, I'm coping well. I like his stories, I think he delivers a great humour/drama balance and he certainly knows how to give character's depth, which I appreciate greatly. We've had 2 episode up till now and we're all in love with Amy. That's remarkable.
Now to talk about Russell, the man who brought Doctor Who back - thank you, Russell, THANK YOU! His writing is completely different to Moffat's, it is more fast-paced and more humourous - well, more light-hearted, that's where I was trying to go with the word 'humourous' - the Eleventh Doctor is incredibly funny, so I should pick my adjectives more carefully. Anyway, he did bring back our favourite Timelord and managed to do it in style - 21st Century style. Russell arrived with a new concept, whilst remaining true to the classic episodes. I like his episodes just as I like Moffat's, but I guess I like them better when I'm tired or so - Moffat's episodes require more of me mentally, if you know what I mean. They make me think, and want to dig it all up. That's not a bad thing, that is balance!, something every TV show needs, and that's why we don't have the same writer writing all episodes.
Anyway, I must confess that RTD's episodes are probably more likeable when you watch them for the first time, whereas Moffat's are deeper and require a second watch for you to appreciate them as much as you appreciate RTD's just by watching the episode once. Furthermore, Russell's plots have some holes, something that has always bothered reviewers, but which don't upset me greatly. Moffat's are more precise and consistent, but again, both are fine by me.
Now, you may ask my favourite episodes in order to have concrete evidence that I enjoy one's episodes better than the other's. Well, here comes the tricky part - I don't think you can judge whether you like one better just because his presence isn't as repeated in a list of favourite episodes - sometimes, you don't like an episode just because you don't. It may be brilliant, but you just don't like it. Well, that's life for you. I do agree that I have a tendency towards Moffat's in the first and second series.

The 'Favourite Characters' topic does not include the Doctor and his companions. // The 'Least Favourite Characters' category is optional. 
Anyway, let's focus on Series 1:

Favourite Episodes: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
Least Favourite Episode: The Long Game
Favourite Characters: Charles Dickens, Gwyneth, Lynda
Least Favourite Characters: Slitheen, The Reapers

--> I didn't like Series 1 that much, particularly but I wasn't really into Eccleston, once the current Doctor then was already David whom swept me away,

Series 2

Favourite Episode: The Girl in the Fireplace

Least Favourite Episode: Love and Monsters
Favourite Characters: Reinette Poisson, Cassandra, Ida Scott
Least Favourite Characters: Victor Kennedy

--> 'The Girl in the Fireplace' is, easily, one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes ever . Ever. Finish. Kaput.

Series 3

Favourite Episode: Human Nature/Family of Blood

Least Favourite Episode: 42
Favourite Characters: John Smith, Joan Redfern, the Master
Least Favourite Characters: --

Series 4

Favourite Episode: The End of Time Part 1 & 2

Least Favourite Episode: The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky
Favourite Characters: The Ood, Jenny, Wilfred, Rassilon, the Master, Vashta Nerada, Professor River Song
Least Favourite Characters: --

--> Again, no conclusions. RTD's final episodes are stellar.

What's the conclusion, then? They're different, they're unique, they're the stuff of legend. RTD appeals more to some people, Moffat appeals to other equally great people. So what's the big deal? Stop bashing RTD and stop saying Moffat turned DW into something it isn't, because that is simply not true. The comparison mentioned is outrageous, and I only posted my views on the Seasons because I wanted to show you that you can't conclude much just from reading it. I like RTD's characters and Moffat's, RTD's episodes and Moffat's, EQUALLY. And that was the whole point of this post - there is no Team Moffat or Team RTD, there's Team Doctor Who and that's the end of it.

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