Chib Takes Moff
Hello followers (both of you!) it’s great to be back!
So what has made me wake up from my great sleep? It is the news that Stephen Moffat is finally leaving Doctor Who. In just over a year.
So what are my feelings on this? Well simply that it’s about time, the bloke has been there for far too long. Russel T. Davies did four years, which seemed like a sensible amount of time, and the show never totally lost it’s way under him. Moffat has helmed five (it will be six before he leaves) of the most variable quality in the history of the show. (Yes, even more variable than under Graham Williams or JN-T!)
Of course, rewinding back several years, when as fans we all discovered that Moffat was taking over we were thrilled. Had he not written some of the very best episodes under the previous regime? The Empty Child? Blink? Silence In The Library? That shit one with the timey wimey fireplaces and mechanical men that everyone else loved for no good reason? Yup, the appointment seemed to be good news.
Then something happened. We discovered that The Moff could not structure a season very well, and was obsessed with a character that he created to the exclusion of all else, sometimes including The Doc himself. Did we need to see as much of River Song as we did? Of course not but The Moff loved her so she had to be forced down our throats.
I’m not saying it has all been bad. I quite liked series five (Smith’s first) and the latest season was actually the best one since the show came back (apart the end when it copped out). The Moff has one series left to impress us – series ten, which for some reason is going out in 2017 meaning there is no new series this year. If he keeps the longer stories (which truly worked) then that will mean I will (probably) have liked half of his seasons, so in retrospect maybe he wasn’t such a disaster for the show after all.
It is reassuring to know that the show still has some life in it. The series will continue for at least two more series, as The Moffs successor has been appointed, who takes over for series eleven. Chris Chibnall is the man who has the future of the show in his hands. So how do I feel about this?
Personally, when I first heard his name I was disappointed because I could not readily name any episodes that he had written (in fact he has written some of the better stuff for the first two series of Torchwood, but I had to look that up!) But actually on reflection this is a good thing, we all knew who The Moff was when he took over, and because of the quality of the scripts that he had written under RTD there was a weight of expectation that he never actually managed to deliver. I am hoping that this means that I won’t be disappointed with Chibnall as my expectations will be lower.
On the plus side Chibnall (from here on known as The Chib) has much more experience as an executive producer before he starts on Doctor Who (Torchwood, Camelot and Broadchurch, the last of which has been massively well received although it’s not my kind of show, all Moffat did before Who was a crappy sitcom and Jekyll).
The other thing hanging over the show is the future of Peter Capaldi. There is a lot of speculation that he will go at the same time as Moffat although this has not been confirmed. I would love to see Capaldi working for a different producer so I am praying that he does that extra year, but my gut feeling is that he will go with Moffat, that seems to be the pattern that has developed.
It’s quite an exciting time. Two more series, definitely a new companion to be announced soon (they start filling in May at which point it will become impossible to keep her identity under lock and key). And possibly a new Doctor, though personally I hope Capaldi sticks around as he’s awesome, just imagine how good he could be under a decent producer? The Chib has his work cut out for him, but I think I am looking forward to series 11 in 2018 more than 10 in 2017.