bonny_kate: (doctor and rose)
I rarely engage in controversial topics. But I've decided to state my opinion on the raging debate of Steven Moffat vs Russell T. Davies (that is, which one writes better Dr. Who, I have no opinion on who would win in a lightsaber duel). 

(spoiler warning)

The Steven Moffat seasons have some major flaws, two of which I will address. But they also have some strengths that were lacking in the Russell T. Davies seasons. 

There are two flaws in Steven Moffat's writing that seem to be mentioned frequently, and that I agree with.The first is his treatment of women in his writing. Much virtual ink has been spent on this topic. This is something of a subtle flaw, at least to me. I do love River Song, and I am also fond of Amy (although I don't care for Clara). But overall, Clara and Amy seem less well rounded than Rose or Donna. Rose and Donna are extraordinary because they are ordinary, and while the Doctor is very important to them, their lives don't revolve around him in the same way as that of Amy and Clara. Second, Moffat doesn't seem as good at plotting out season long story arcs. He throws in occasional moments (the Doctor telling Amy to remember in the forest among the Weeping Angels), but I don't think we see anything that packs as much of a punch as Bad Wolf, for instance. 

But Steven Moffat has two great strengths that I think the Russell T. Davies seasons were, for the most part, lacking. First, Moffat writes really good season finales. Since Moffat took over, I have started looking forward to the season finales. With Davies, I mostly dreaded the finales, because they seemed to be a generally weak ending to a lot of buildup (for the best example, look at the three part season finale with the Master, which started out great but turned into a horrible train wreck of a finale). Second, Moffat writes amazing villains. With Davies, I'd grown tired of the over-liberal use of villains from original Who. I would wonder, will this season contain Cybermen, Daleks, or both? They generally weren't scary. But Moffat has given us thrilling villains, like the Silence and the Weeping Angels. 

I suspect that some of my gentle readers will disagree, but I think that the Rusell T. Davies seasons were *not* some golden age of Dr. Who. But I also don't think that Steven Moffat ushered in a golden age, either. I don't like Clara, but I also didn't like Martha. I think Vampires of Venice is a weak episode, but I also wince at Love and Monsters (featuring the Abzorbalorf) and the aforementioned finale with the Master. Dr. Who has always had its flaws, and will continue to have its flaws, and I still love it. 

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Kate Saunders Britton

April 2017

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