Doctor Who Analysis

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The BBC’s Doctor Who initially aired in 1963, until it was canceled in 1989 (IMDb). In 2005, the show was rebooted under the direction of Russell T. Davies; in 2008, the role of show runner was passed on to Steven Moffat (Martin). Doctor Who has always been an episodic serial, following the adventures of a “time lord”—simply called “the Doctor”—and his companion. The Doctor can regenerate into a new body instead of dying—allowing the character to be portrayed by successive actors—and has a vessel known as the TARDIS that can take him anywhere in space and time. Under the direction of Steven Moffat, the plot of Doctor Who displayed more intricacy and narrative complexity, developing plot lines and character arcs that stretched across one or …show more content…
However, writing for Forbes, Neil Midgley gave a differing opinion as to why Doctor Who had lost viewers. He wrote: “The problem is the show. People don’t like it, they can’t understand it, their kids can’t understand it” (forbes.com). Moffat’s affinity for narratively complex plotlines thus seems to have alienated some viewers who prefer a simpler, easier to follow show. Sophie Hall, a Doctor Who fan writing for the online entertainment news site Beamly, affirmed this as she summed up how she thought fans felt about Moffat and his narratively complex storytelling style: “So the basic consensus is that, yes, Moffat is definitely good at writing powerful Doctor Who episodes – but…Moffat 's complex plots have often been criticised for being too alienating for a show that 's supposed to be for children.” The use of plot-based narrative complexity thus divides fans. Based on ratings and reviews, it appears that while some viewers enjoy narrative complexity, others are left …show more content…
For Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, Moffat wrote a 75-minute film-length episode, which had a limited run in theaters. Told in his typical plot-based narratively complex style, critics’ divisive reactions to the episode illustrate their general sentiments towards Moffat. Entertainment site Digital Spy compiled several critics’ reactions. Liane Starr from HitFix said, “Steven Moffat’s… epic…is pretty much everything you could wish for” (qtd. in “ 'Doctor Who ' 50th anniversary reviews: What the critics say”). John Rentoul from The Independent had more mixed feelings: “…[it is] typical of the way Doctor Who has regenerated during Moffat 's time: a clever, chaotic, infuriating combination of nifty, knowing tiny detail and big, hollow, pompous bluster…the plot Moffat came up with was fantastically audacious/ingenious/ridiculous, or possibly all three” (ibid). Critics do not always agree about how successful Moffat has been in bringing a narrative complex style to Doctor Who, but most at least admire his

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