Just a few random thoughts and pictures

So what IS an anniversary?

As most of you will already be aware, I’ve gradually reduced the amount of posts I do regarding Doctor Who since Steven Moffat took over the helm, mainly because I became more and more disillusioned with the direction it seemed to be taking, to the point where I felt I had nothing positive to say most weeks. (Warning – Moffat makes me rant a bit at times, so if you’re a huge fan of his you might want to walk away now…)

I’ve tried before to explain what it is that bothers me so much about it, but for some reason I can’t quite put it into words that make sense to other people, and sometimes even to myself. I can’t help that of course, because I’ve been a fan for so many years I’ve become very invested in the show and feel a certain “ownership” of all things DW, in the way only a long term fan can, and tend to simply have a gut reaction when plots holes appear, or canon is apparently tossed aside etc

My attempts have also occasionally led to me having disagreements with other fans, although for the most part the ones who seem the most offended by my comments are those with little to no knowledge of DW prior to Nine’s appearance on our TV screens, and in some cases no knowledge of anything pre-Eleven. I realise now that those were pointless arguments, as we’re coming at the discussion from what are often vastly differing viewpoints to start with, so it’s almost guaranteed we’re going to disagree about it.

I did however read a well worded post by someone else recently that covers many of my own issues with the show, and while I might not agree with all the points made I’d certainly suggest other fans read it too, no matter how long you’ve been watching.

Okay, that’s enough of me being polite and sensible, because by now you have to be wondering how any of the above relates to the title of this post, right? Well, I made a comment to someone yesterday, and decided I’d covert that comment into a post and spare no-one, lol.

As you’ve no doubt guessed, my current ire is in relation to the 50th Anniversary ep, more specifically to a quote attributed to Steven Moffat that’s been everywhere recently. As far as I can tell, the original quote appeared first in an article in Entertainment Weekly back in March. At least that’s the earliest instance I can find of it being mentioned.

“It is important you don’t turn it into a fanfest. We can’t make this all about looking backwards. It’s actually got to be the start of a new story.”

So okay, am I the only one wondering what on Earth (or any other planet) he means by this? Given it’s also been confirmed by the DW Magazine that only Ten is returning, so unless they use flashbacks in the form of clips of some sort no other Doctors will feature at all, this sounds like he’s planning for the anniversary ep to simply be yet another part of one of his ongoing story arcs.

My own issues with his “arcs” aside, to me this means he clearly has not only no understanding of what the majority of fans want to see, but also has no idea about what an anniversary ep should actually BE.

While it’s not always the case I’m sure, in the majority of instances an anniversary celebration episode of a show is something that is a one-off, stand alone story. Something that sits outside of plot arcs and is used to celebrate the show AS A WHOLE ENTITY, taking account of all it’s history and back story, while also looking to the future, but without generally advancing the plot in any specific way.

Consider this………if your husband turned to you on your golden wedding anniversary and said “lets forget about the first 40 years or so, those were a bit crap, but the last few were okay and the future will be brilliant…………’d probably kick the crap out of them, lol

This is clearly what he plans to say to the fans though, if the reports are to be believed. There is in fact even speculation that the anniversary ep will be used to completely rewrite canon pre-Eleven, change the Ninth doctor to someone totally different, and even make it so that Rose never even travelled with Ten at all. While much of that is of course speculation, the fact that Moffat has already pushed his big reset button so many times makes it entirely believable, which is why so many fans are already gearing up to watch the anniversary ep with the expectation that it will be dreadful, and just hoping to be proved wrong.

Sadly, just as I was actually starting to LIKE Eleven, and Clara, and actively looking forward to watching the show again each week for the first time in a long time, given what I’m hearing I will be one of those fans.

Thanks Moffat.


EDIT – While I knew there were others who felt as I do, (and clearly many of you do) it’s always nice to find even more examples. Especially well written and well thought out articles such as this one over at hypable; ‘Doctor Who’: 6 reasons Steven Moffat is a better writer than showrunner

(cross-posted to LiveJournal and Dreamwidth)

May 3, 2013 - Posted by | A Bit Of A Rant, Random Thoughts |


  1. Hi, thanks for the namecheck. You wouldn’t happen to be captainish on LJ, would you?

    Speculation always gets a bit crazy before a big finale like this, so I’d take all the amateur pundits, myself included, with a pinch of salt. More thoughts on my blog, if you’re interested. Cheers!

    Comment by mefinx | May 3, 2013

    • you’re welcome, and no that’s not me, I actually use the same name over there as I do here

      Comment by develish1 | May 3, 2013

      • Well, there’s someone out there on LJ that agrees with you about the 50th at least!

        Comment by mefinx | May 3, 2013

        • I don’t think they’re on my friends list over there, but the name sounds familiar, so it’s likely we’ve bumped into each other at one of the lj communities I visit. i’ll have to look them up when I have more time

          Comment by develish1 | May 3, 2013

  2. Hi! Rabid1st here. My, we do have people in common! LOL

    Anywho, I am leaning more toward most of this season being a sort of tribute to the past that is simply leading up to one of Moff’s general resets. I think he is generally on a very simple story structure, despite his amazing other viewers. He leaves broad clues throughout his work, explaining his finale. And here his clues have been about the Doctor’s name (nothing new in the show, once RTD started the running joke of Doctor Who?)…and Clara resetting, being unreal and yet real. All of this leads me to think this season is some sort of mental game that the Doctor is playing. And the Eleven we are seeing might not be the real Eleven at all. That is what I believed the moment I saw him in his changed TARDIS with his changed attitude. He seems like a constructed, past-oriented, Doctor to me. That is, he is the Doctor that is looking backward. And I can fully see Moff simply wrapping it all up at the anniversary as That Was The Old Him…and this is the new him. That is, looking backward, but moving forward, into a story that puts all of our beloved Doctor’s quirks in a shoe box as…Memories of Old Who.

    I know that we all hope for something truly grand and show shaking. And I would be thrilled to be wrong this one time, but I don’t see anything in the show so far to convince me that Moff can pull off anything that changes the nature of Doctor Who on a grand scale, nor will his finale or anniversary do anything more than disappoint us with…to use your analogy, a vacuum cleaner for an anniversary present.

    Comment by raealaine | May 3, 2013

    • Hi Rae, you know I bump into the oddest people over here at times, lol

      Seriously though, if you want to add me at lj please feel free. I don’t mind where you read my ramblings of course, but I tend to post there more frequently than here, and just do the odd cross-post here as I did with this.

      As for the 50th, and all the random rumours and such going around, I frankly don’t know what to think, aside from the fact that, like you I’m expected something less than amazing, and probably fairly disappointing.

      I think for the time being I’ll go to the happy place in my head, where it all makes sense, and Ten never even regenerated. I much prefer it there in any case 🙂

      Comment by develish1 | May 3, 2013

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