Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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Incoming Retrospect

We're really going to miss Steven Moffat when he's gone. I've been watching a few episodes again from the first Peter Capaldi season of Doctor Who this past week and I found myself paying attention to all the things people take for granted about Steven Moffat that almost no-one else can do. Just look at the episode "Listen"--I really don't think I appreciated how many things that episode manages to do at once. There's the genuinely cutely awkward dialogue of a first date, there's Danny being over-sensitive to a believably awkward remark from Clara about how he'd know what it's like to kill someone, the haunted house spookiness of the last human outpost in the universe, the rumination on the usefulness of fear and how friends can give us our own good advice back at us because we really do forget. It's like a symphony, all these elements related to one another in meaningful ways and working on their own, like the clock gears in the opening sequence.

Who the hell is going to replace Steven Moffat one day? Can you think of anyone who could? Certainly no-one else working on the show now. Toby Whithouse is okay, Mark Gatiss is thoroughly wretched. I was impressed by Jamie Mathieson's episodes but, again, they're not nearly as brilliant as Moffat's. Fortunately Moffat really doesn't seem like he wants to stop any time soon, hopefully he'll be around a long time.

I guess if there's any Doctor Who writer who can do anything like what Moffat does I'd say it's Robert Shearman who writes for the audio plays. Or he used to, it looks like he hasn't written one in a very long time. He also wrote the Ninth Doctor episode "Dalek" based on one of his audio plays--the audio play was much better. Mark Gatiss and Gareth Roberts were both recruited from the audio plays, I never understood why them and not some of the better writers.

I only listened to one audio this past week, a 2005 Seventh Doctor story called LIVE 34 presented in the form of a radio news station broadcast. Taking place in a human colony in the future, I thought it rather nicely captured the feel of 24 hour news channel shows, including a sort of Anderson Cooper field special where a reporter goes to meet and interview the "Rebel Queen" who turns out to be Ace. Meanwhile, the Doctor's running for president. It wasn't a great story, the end particularly ties up a little too neatly and quickly, but it was pretty good.
Tags: audio play, doctor who, steven moffat, television, tv show
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