sad animal stuff under the cut
one of the things about Moffat is he’s not a particularly brave writer, is he?
actions have no consequences, nobody dies in a way that’s not gently in their beds unless they come back two minutes later, the Doctor himself can’t get his hands dirty and commit genocide because think of the children.
Moffat wants big, emotional moments and plots, but he’s afraid to commit the Doctor or the companion to real reactions or emotional fallout. Everyone just bounces back in an episode or two. The constant overuse of timeloops removes half the risk from the situation and ensures the Doctor never has to make difficult choices because he’s reading off a script.
There’s barely even write a proper goodbye for a recurring character called River because she dies in her first episode then is a ghost or something(?). And the preference for romance with one-offs doesn’t help - no need for emotional vulnerability when the Doctor only spends 10 minutes screen time with whoever’s into him this week (and he will have forgotten her by next week). The writing skips from scene to scene (particularly between seasons) because the alternative would mean actually putting some work into his job and writing them out of a corner.
and the non-destruction of Gallifrey just seems like more of the same. Heaven forbid the Doctor make the choice to kill his own people because they’re trying to explode the universes. No, that’s upsetting and hard to deal withand doesn’t have a simple one-episode resolution. easier to just wish it away with magic.
I feel like if Moffat would grow a spine and commit the Doctor in particular to some actual emotions or consequences there might actually be something worth watching. maybe.
additionally, i think he’s a very… easily distracted writer.
things happen such as clara’s sacrifice which are genuinely interesting and compelling-
RIVER: But they won’t be you. The real you will die.
we leave clara and eleven in the time stream, but then moffat gets distracted and forgets. the next episode begins years later with clara somehow.. not-dead, out of the timestream and teaching.
now whenever i rewatch NOTD, i’m just going to think ‘well, this doesn’t mean anything. clara can easily somehow just jump right back out when she’s finished. what’s all the fuss about’. there’s no consequences whatsoever, and the failure to deliver what was promised, not even acknowledging the fact that you said she would die, is breaking the contract you have with your audience.
why did it go silent in venice? who the fuck knows. how/why did the TARDIS blow up in S5? pffff idk don’t ask me.
when you rely on mysteries so heavily in your writing, you have to SOLVE those mysteries otherwise you just leave your audience unsatisfied and grumpy. you can’t just move on and hope people forget because you can’t be arsed to remember what you have and haven’t explained.