By Ricky Young.
The Ponds throw themselves off a building, and appear alive in a familiar graveyard. For some reason.
Amy Pond: “Why always here?”
The Doctor: “Does it matter?”
Alright, I’m through with playing nice.
Here at Europe’s Best Website, our journey talking about Doctor Who began at a fortuitous moment – the Russell T. Davies era had wheezed its last and every fanboi’s wish had somehow come true; Steven Flippin’ Moffat had taken over as Executive Producer! In a genre far more inured to disappointment and mediocrity, here was an aligning of planets that just didn’t seem real – the writer of some of NuWho’s best-regarded moments being handed the reins of the BBC’s flagship show, to bend to his considerable will.
We tracked the first two of Moffat’s series; celebrated the highs, tutted at the lows, and ended last year with the hope that, having got a few issues with self-importance out of his system, the newly low-key Doctor could return to being quirky and fun and serious and clever and scary and exciting i.e why we still love it, 49 years after it began.
If you happened to see Moffat being presented with a Special Achievement Award at this year’s BAFTA’s (where it was abundantly clear that if he were in fact made out of delicious chocolate, the entire audience was going home hungry), or touched upon his now-infamous ‘The Tweeter’ presence (Sample tweet: “Thanks for saying nice things about me! If you said a bad thing about me, I’m calling the police!”), you could be forgiven for pondering quite how much of his not-inconsiderable talent is in thrall to his not-inconsiderable ego.
Three months after the announcement of Moffat taking over Doctor Who, it was announced that he would also be acting as Co-Executive Producer and sometime writer on the BBC’s new version of Sherlock, in which the classic Victorian detective would be reincarnated for our times as a boring, bug-eyed bell-end. Cleverly, each broadcast of the second series seemed to hit the airwaves with a new and rediffusable form of Holmes’ beloved cocaine, such was the rapture that greeted the three episodes of arch, incoherent filler – indeed, discussing on the internet how Sherlock survived his final plunge became one of this year’s most short-lived sensations, up there with ‘caring about sport’, and that Korean man who thinks he’s a horse.
Perhaps it’s unfair to suggest that Moffat could be spreading himself too thin – I do not, after all, know the man and the demands of his work-life in the slightest – but since the first five episodes of Series 7 represent the weakest gruel since the show came back in 2005, am I mad to ask for fewer damn ‘tease-words’ about next year’s Sherlock, and more of the juice that made Series 5 such a pleasure?
So, let the half-hearted, whey-faced griping begin!