Okay, STILL SPOILER FREE if you follow the laws of the read more and Tumblr Saviour, but MY FEELINGS ARE BUSTIN’ AT THE SEAMS, MY FRENS
I was pretty disappointed with that episode. It has, in fact, pushed every button I’d been carefully shielding from the rest of the season, and barrelled into every defence I constructed for flaws and foibles. Natch, you do not have to agree with me at all, but I’m getting frustrated and gotta vent, and where better than Tumblr, eh
SO: stop reading if this is going to cause you to become enraged! I’ve read stuff that’s enraged me and it’s not a fun experience. No one wants to admit that an opinion opposite to theirs is just as valid as their own, including me. So stop reading if displeasure will be your only response. Fair warning? Yes?
It was confusing, and not in a deliberate “HA HA WHAT? COOL” way, in a “no that is not… no” way. And on top of that, it was intentionally confusing. I can only assume that Mr. Moffat actually does want to annoy the viewer at this point. In actuality. Crazy Frog will probably be resurfacing during the Christmas episode.
Also, the Doctor barely knows River, as far as I can see. She’s been in a fair few episodes, but as this enigmatic figure of mystery and spoilers and nice hair. I don’t think I would marry somebody from my future on the basis that I’d been told I’d love them eventually! Unless there have been Untelevised Adventures, which has been hinted at, and is such a cheat. Either don’t make it happen, or tell the viewer when it has, or don’t make it something integral to the plot!
RELATED: We were told repeatedly that the Doctor HAD to die. He HAD to. FIXED EVENT. That is what we were led to believe. For the ENTIRE SEASON. There was a creepy nursery rhyme and everything. Fixed events are SO FIXED that we’ve seen people tearfully BLOW UP ENTIRE CITIES because they had no choice before. ‘Fires of Pompeii’ clearly establishes that fixed events are fixed events even when they suck. Therefore, the Doctor had to die in some way. Maybe he’d do a Harry Potter and walk it off, but he had to die. In actuality. Fixed event. Clear on that? Doctor’s gonna die. Gonna get a Viking funeral in the middle of Utah. Gonna be DEAD AS A DOORKNOB.
Only now it looks like what was actually meant by all of this was “the Doctor’s friends and enemies have to think he’s died” WHICH IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THING. It’s the difference between thrusting a pretend sword through the space between your friend’s arm and their side, and BLOODILY CLUBBING THEM TO DEATH SO THAT THEIR BRAINS ARE ALL OVER THE FLOOR. That’s a bit of a gap! And I don’t like that kind of cheap trick - it’s like in murder mysteries where the author deliberately makes it impossible to work out the killer’s identity by secretly obscuring vital pieces of information, then reveals it like it was SO OBVIOUS when it couldn’t possibly have been. Only some of the secrets ARE obvious secrets because the camera keeps cutting away at opportune moments. There is nothing wrong with that a story-telling technique, as a rule, but I feel it got used to the extent where the whole damn point of the episode was to trick and deceive the viewer for a laugh.
I really like Steven Moffat’s writing style. I like his sense of humour and I like the character interactions! ‘Texting and scones’ was lovely. Live Chess was clever. ‘The skulls eat them’ was brilliantly creepy. If I could have a whole episode written by Steven Moffat that wasn’t about this story arc, that would be the greatest thing. I adored the Christmas episode! I’m looking forward to this year’s because they’re usually standalone!
But I am pretty tired of Mr Moffat constantly and deliberately tricking, lying to, confusing and complicating everything and everyone. I enjoyed S5 because that was a departure from the norm - it was a relatively complex story arc, but I thought it would be self-contained. I was bemused when it carried on, but it’s only got more confusing and there are still unanswered questions and I’ve tutted at a number of people going “BUT IT’S TOO COMPLICATED I WANT MORE SIMPLICITY” so this makes me a hypocrite but
I am a bit tired of this story arc now and would like some simplicity
If I could have a break from it with some standalone episodes that would be super duper and perhaps would recharge my batteries so I’ll be less grumpy about it next time (because there is definitely going to be a next time)
As it is I’m going to re-watch ‘Survival’ so I’ll be grateful for whatever Doctor Who there is again
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