Dear Steven Moffat: Day of the Moon

Dear Steven,

Many thanks for your parcel. It induced mixed emotions; happiness, as the wrapping promised, “answers to last week’s questions enclosed” and frustration, as it seemed impenetrable. Half the week has been employed in an effort to open it. Knives were broken, drill bits worn down, skulls fractured and cars cleaved. I suppose I should have waited for this week’s episode of Doctor Who, Day of the Moon, as I’d then have known it was made from Dwarf Star Alloy, the hardest substance in the universe after Statham cock.

I’m now onto your dual strategy for the series, the long tease and slight of hand, and I approve. You’ll know not everyone is like me, some prefer to skip dinner and other courting clichés and plunder the wetlands, building friction to expedite satisfaction. In the sexual sphere, where my impatience and selfishness have guaranteed that no encounter lasts longer than a Mayfly’s adolescence, I’d agree with them; sex should be short and devastating, like war, not long, multi-faceted and beautiful, like a metre tube of Jaffa Cakes.

In Television however, I want mystery, surprise, mental disturbance and that slow drip drip of information, which gives us all something to talk about between episodes and rewards attentive viewing. Good television should take its time – it can, after all; time is on its side, as opposed to its rival, the film, and if you can’t take your time in a series about time travel then where can you? That’s not a rhetorical question by the way, I’d like to know.

Back in the days when you held laudanum parties, I told you, though I doubt you remember, that I thought Doctor Who’s return from hiatus was marked by timidity. Do you remember those parties, Steven? No, of course you don’t. They’d play havoc with guest recall and necessitated we make marks on each other’s bodies to “sign” cuts and secretions so that everyone knew who to avoid the following week (something I was pleased to see reworked in tonight’s episode!). Great days.

The emphasis, perhaps understandably, was on making it broad, with each episode self-contained and easy to understand. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it just seems to me, as it evidently does to you, that a show like Doctor Who, with its unique potential to tell stories set anywhere, at anytime and with events unfolding in any order, could and should push itself, both in terms of its ideas and scope.

I don’t think Russell T was interested in the sort of viewers that tune in for long seasons of American sci-fi shows, expecting the writers to use the length of those series to tell epic tales (peppered with self-contained stories, obviously), rather he wanted to snare younger children and use humour to make it less of a chore for their parents.

I’m glad you’ve realised that both the kids and their degenerate forebears want to be wooed and nourished, and crucially this can be accomplished using the same tools. After all Steven, most of us stop growing up sometime in our mid-teens and remain hooked on the same fantastical shaft stroke material forever, you’ve only got to look at conventions to see that. The adults and kids are the same people.

I did enjoy tonight’s episode, I neglected to say it up front because I thought you’d appreciate partial disclosure, but I did have a few qualms, well, one really; must the Doctor resort to macho posturing and being smug during these climatic confrontations? I mean, perhaps I would be, but a little humility and maybe less grandstanding would be a tonic. I know what you’ll say, at least I think I do, maybe something like ‘I try to undercut it by having the companions pull him up on it as proxies for the audience’, but do they really? When Amy says things like ‘you have no idea what’s coming’, I think, oh Amy, how I’d like to sex you to death, but then I think, ‘must she do it?’ I mean, the Doctor’s ego is big enough – when he watches it back he’s only going to get a kick out of lines like that.

As we’re talking about characters, I’d like to compliment you on the lovely moments between them in this instalment. I found the final scene with River very touching, not to mention comforting, in as much as it seems that she too has lost track of where she is on the Doctor’s timeline. I have to confess, I’m lost – any help? A nice scene between the Doctor and Rory too; it added a bit of shading to his wet tosspot exterior and made me feel guilty for cheering twice during the prologue, namely when I thought he’d been shot and seconds later, when I thought he’d been suffocated.

So, before we get to the last scene, which banished me to the land of huh?, some questions if you don’t mind. Was it necessary to dress the Doctor like Charles Manson? What if Roman Polanski had been watching? What? He’s a rapist so who cares? That’s not very charitable, Steven.

Is there any possibility that Rory will really be killed during this series? I mean, really as in finally. You’ve teased us with his death three times now and I’m starting to wonder. Don’t misunderstand me, I like him, but whenever he touches Amy I feel sick. As long as she has a good onscreen relationship, the fragile fantasy that one day it could be me is destroyed. C’mon, give me something.

What would a baby born with “time head” look like? Would it have a round face, like a clock, with features like hands, you know, a long flat nose and a misshapen mouth that pointed down on one side, or would it be born prematurely aged on one side, like the former PM, Gordon Brown?

Right, final question then; the girl – WHHHHAAAAAAT? She’s a Timelord? Now this bothers me for all sorts of reasons. If all the old Timelords are dead then the issue of parentage is a narrow one. As you like to keep it in the TARDIS, are we to assume that the Doctor is the father? If he isn’t the Dad, then should we fear a rape scene between Amy and another, as yet unseen Gallifreyan, in the near future? I hope there is a real conception to be had here, not some cop out involving interstellar IVF or some such. River called the Doctor “my old fella”, which was uncomfortable as that means ‘penis’ to my mind; if she’s the wife, are we talking surrogacy? I tell you Steven, I’m exhausted thinking about all of this.

I’ll be back to discuss next week’s episode, maybe next week, when it’s on? As you won’t be writing them all from now on perhaps I can stop pulling my punches and let you know what I really think.

Yours in time and cyberspace,

Ed

More bollocks from the forth dimension:

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