BEDA 20 – Davies Vs Moffat


So one of the subjects I discussed last Sunday was Doctor Who and how the head writers since the 2005 series ran things. So with today airing another episode of Doctor Who I figured why not discuss what I like about them and what I dislike.

First, endings. Neither of them are good at this. They’re both great at building up and telling a story, but with the big story arcs that cover a series they end poorly.

With Davies the problem tends to be he pushes the characters into a corner with seemingly no escape then everything is solved with the solution being

In no series was this more obvious than series 3 with Last of the Time Lords. My friend Sam pretty much points out the various times Davies will use Deus Ex Machina in this video and was present for the discussion that inspired this blog post.

But with Moffat we have another issue. He can’t help setting up mysteries. He’ll answer about two questions and leave five new ones in their place. Davies’ endings feel rushed while Moffat’s keep getting postponed another series.

Sometimes this works but we get left with too many questions. And with Moffat considering leaving soon there runs the risk of him leaving too many of these questions unanswered or having a rushed answer that makes no sense.

One problem I had with the Russell T Davies era was that each of the Tenth Doctor’s companions would stay for one series and then leave at the end of it. The closest Ten got to a long time companion was Rose who traveled with the Ninth Doctor first. It was annoying because Martha and Donna were both great but didn’t get as much time as Rose had. And lets not forget the one episode companions.

But weirdly enough with Moffat the problem was that his stuck around too long. I’d gotten bored of Amy and as much as I liked Rory he did seem like he was just there to die all the time. And when they did finally leave, it didn’t feel right. Mostly because we’d had a few better potential endings for them before (including the episode right before their departure) which were better.

And then there’s River, I can’t stand River. She was interesting at first but then she just kept showing up and each time she just had to show off that she was “little miss perfect” that could do everything better than The Doctor with no effort at all. She’s not just a Mary Sue, she’s a God Mode Sue and I’m sick of her. But we still seem to have some of Moffat’s unanswered questions about her so I know I’ll have to suffer another appearance soon.

But despite these problems I think they’ve proven to be great writers. Moffat wrote many of the best episodes during the Davies era as well as other great shows like Coupling and Sherlock. Davies would write great stand alone episodes too such as Midnight. Plus both did a great job telling their story even if I have issues with how they end or how long they last.

So why am I so critical? Well because once you get used to a writer on a show like this their flaws stand out more than their strengths. While Russell T Davies was running the show everyone was critical of him and praised Moffat’s episodes looking forward to seeing him run the show, now I see people just as critical of Steven Moffat while wishing Davies would come back.

Now as critical as I am I still love Doctor Who and most of the problems I have only really bother me when I look back. Sometimes we’re more critical of the things we like than the things we hate.


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