A Few Thoughts Before The Name of the Doctor. (Or, why I don’t like Stephen Moffat’s Doctor Who.)

Christopher Eccleston posing as the Ninth Doctor
He isn’t returning for the 50th Anniversary so I’m putting him here to remind everyone that he’s still the finest Doctor since 2005.

Doctor Who Season 7 comes to a close on Saturday with an episode titled The Name of the Doctor.

This really bugs me. Firstly, we all know it’s going to be a cop out. People seem to have forgotten the beginning of Season 6 (I don’t blame you, I’ve spent a long time trying to forget Season 6 too, but it just won’t go.) Remember Moffat telling us all that the Doctor’s death absolutely wasn’t a cop-out or a cheat? We even had old Canton at the scene to tell us that it was definitely the Doctor and he was definitely dead?

And he wasn’t.

It was a cop-out.

Which is exactly what The Name of the Doctor will be.

Secondly, it’s a totally contrived mystery. Moffat did this  with River Song too. When the character is introduced in Silence in the Library, it’s actually perfectly clear who she is. She is a significant love interest of the Doctor’s that he has yet to meet. I don’t remember anyone ever asking who she was until Moffat started the question in interviews. It’s exactly the same with the Doctor’s name. Yes, we don’t know what it is. Yes, this was supposed to be mysterious back in the sixties, but this whole “Oooh, what could the Doctor’s name be?” is totally irrelevant because, just as with River Song, we might not know the details, but we know who the character is. Or not, since Moffat thinks the sole purpose of the show is to provide surprise. Unfortunately I’m tired of plot arcs and contrived suspense over minor details that have no bearing on the plot or characters.

Thirdly, it’s yet another of Moffat’s ridiculous story twists that attempts to make the Doctor iconic and important. I wouldn’t mind, but Moffat’s arcs have completely overtaken the show now. Standalone episodes are meaningless, every scene is The Doctor’s Final Hour and every cliffhanger is supposed to further illustrate just how significant The Doctor is. Without any good, well written episodes, I feel like I’m constantly hearing just how great the Doctor is but never getting to see it for myself.  To make matters worse, Moffat thinks this whole “The Doctor’s all big headed and fallible” thing is hilarious, so the character is just rude, incompetent and unbelievably selfish now.

The longer Moffat holds the reins of this series, the more obvious it becomes that he just doesn’t understand why it is so loved. He’s taken a show that three years ago had an unbelievably wide audience and made it cheap, sleazy and niche.

(Personally, I’m betting the Doctor’s name is Thedoc Tor.)