[NetBehaviour] The New Who vs Oldskool Timey-Wimey Whovians

mez breeze netwurker at gmail.com
Fri Jan 3 11:55:12 CET 2014

On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 9:48 PM, mark.r.hancock <mark.r.hancock at gmail.com>wrote:

> I just kept thinking that maybe Moffat's time bad been taken  up with
> working on the new Sherlock series and he had no free time to develop
> decent material for Dr Who. then I remembered,  unlike the rest of us poor
> writer schmucks who have to find the time between paying the rent and going
> to the day job, most likely late in the evening,  he gets a handsome reward
> for this shizzle!

So true. Plus with Sherlock he is free to re-imagine and adapt to his
creative hearts content, whereas with Dr Who the weight of the Dr Who
Canon/thread completion/dealing with the Regeneration retcon makes him

> great review.


> poor series ending.

I was disappointed with it after the dangling potentials offered in the
50th Anniversary special, but can also see the complexities involved.

Thanks for taking the time to read it,

> m
> Sent from my Simian monkey butler
> -------- Original message --------
> From: mez breeze
> Date:03/01/2014 03:05 (GMT+00:00)
> To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity
> Subject: [NetBehaviour] The New Who vs Oldskool Timey-Wimey Whovians
> —–[“The Time of The Doctor” SPOILERS (Sweetie) Alert]—–
> On the 25th December 2013, Doctor Who received 12 new lives. In the
> episode “The Time of The Doctor”, the current series showrunner, producer
> and lead writer Stephen Moffat imbued the once-labelled as 11th [and now
> redubbed the 12th, or even 13th<http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/25/doctor-who-review-matt-smith_n_4501917.html>]
> Doctor a new regeneration cycle. In this episode filled with heavy-duty
> retconned <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retcon> plot threads, we see the
> New [old] Who emerge.
> From a traditional Whovian perspective, there’s been substantial trouble
> with Moffat’s version of a character who, like his regenerations, has
> undergone substantial re-jigging as part of the entire franchise reboot,
> many of which have been largely controversial. When Moffat plucked the Who
> writing mantle from Russell T Davis, there was substantial concern that his
> [then] largely episodic inflected story style wouldn’t be able to
> adequately extend beyond flashy emotion-inducing viewer bait, complete with
> thrill laden plot segments and incomplete long arc shifts where
> foregrounding, consistent character development and plots worthy of the
> previous writers were/are [mostly] abandoned.
> In this pivotal episode, Moffat attempts to disassemble and reassemble
> elements of the Who Canon in an effort to extend the longevity of the
> franchise beyond the Doctor’s accepted and restricted Regeneration cycle.
> The episode contains all the benchmarks we've come to expect from Moffat:
> companions posited as disposable tools or eye-candy mannequins, story gaps
> you could drive a TARDIS through and plot-hole-construction-gloss thrown
> about almost randomly by the shiny bucketful. The result creates a type of
> standard willing Suspension of Disbelief<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_of_disbelief>that only just lightly grips the edges of believability. Emotional key
> points fall cheaply and wantonly [like the death of his handy
> Cyberman-head-pal “Handles”, or the Doctor's promise to Clara that he'll
> never abandon her again]. The rushed passage-of-time markers rub the viewer
> in any manner of annoying ways, and flimsy self-referential exposition
> becomes paramount when the contrived CGI effects fail to impress.
> And yet, given all of the failings of this crucial episode, the emotional
> reefing that Moffat does best still manages to evoke a type of stretched
> wonder-thrall. Moffat discards [and has now for many, many episodes]
> conventions that traditional Dr Who fans hold dear: Joseph Campbellesque
> hero variables<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hero_with_a_Thousand_Faces>and crucial sci-fi story elements are bypassed in order to cater for more
> incrementally-oriented audience members used to absorbing their story
> snippets through 2 minute YouTube blipverts or Tumblr-emulated focals.
> Moffat knits together these contemporary absorption points via a method
> that, instead of catering for narratives comprising sequential beginning,
> middle and ends, seeks to harness the power of discrete narrative units.
> These units merge techniques drawn from graphic novel variable truncation
> to story-board framing, resulting in staggered story-time acceleration and
> retconned plot explosions designed for nonlinear attention spans.
> Moffat may not be the great grand hope for old-timey-whiney Whovians
> [ahem] who yearn for believable extensions to Who chronology beyond an
> established and pre-mapped regenerative timeline. But through the New Who
> incarnation, Moffat instead offers us an extension of a well-worn and
> much-loved character, one that at least utilises the very methods that a
> contemporary audience regularly deploys to maintain a narratives beyond
> standard story knitting.
> --
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