231 – Doctor Who – The Girl Who Died

Ben and Eugene discuss this surprise 1-part episode.

Considering how awesome it is, the conversation does take a surprising turn.  Maybe.


5 thoughts on “231 – Doctor Who – The Girl Who Died”

  1. “England is a small island?” Oh dear!

    “There are some Moffat fans out there…” Hello, yes. And I may have said this before, but the argument “You can tell Moffat is a bad writer because his bits are bad, and you tell which are his bits because they are the bad bits” still seems quite circular to me, even after hearing it expounded for 25 minutes! Also, I’m not convinced he’d get a co-writer credit just for giving a brief (which he does for every episode) or writing a couple of arc-related scenes (which we know he’s done before without a credit).

    When I watch an episode and think it’s “one of the best I’ve seen” I’m inclined to give everyone involved full credit for that – even the person who did the insignificant little jobs of commissioning, co-writing and executive producing it!

    I’m going to agree in giving Mathieson credit too, though; he hasn’t disappointed yet, so hoping he’s back for season 36.

    1. I’m just going to clarify, that my position was not that “…Moffat is a bad writer because his bits are bad, and you tell which are his bits because they are the bad bits.”

      My position is that there was a disparity to the scenes. Some involved in the actual story, and others related to the “themes” of the Ninth series, specifically, “Clara is gonna die,” “I’ll be depressed when she dies,” “I really shouldn’t get involved,” “Hybrid, hybrid, hybrid,” “why have I got this face?” and just scenes of general wordiness related to the Doctor’s emotional state.

      I attribute the later to Moffat because they are so “out-of-place” and superfluous to the story at hand. It is not logical that the staff writer would bring the arc-heavy elements to the script and that the show-runner would bring to non-arc elements to the story, hence my conclusion.

      Separate from that, those parts detracted from the story, leading to the conclusion that Moffat’s contributions detracted from the overall project. That which detracts from the whole can be, I suppose, characterized as “bad.”

      The word I used at the outset was, “baggage,” and I think that sums it up almost perfectly.

      For all I know, Moffat and Mathieson, sat at a single typewriter, side-by-side, perhaps in a loving embrace, and with preternatural powers on display, Moffat with his left hand and Mathieson with his right hand typed out the story without even having to speak to one another as if they were a single, functioning creative gestalt.

      However, it feels more like a heavy hand upon Mathieson’s shoulder to me.

      1. Okay, but “Moffat writes scenes that are out of place – you can tell which are his because they’re out of place” still seems, to me, to have something of a circularity to it.

        I’d also guess that for a co-writer credit, Moffat would have to have much more input than the bits you are talking about. If so, he may well have written lots of the bits you commented on positively – in which case, he’d deserve credit.

        Finally, Moffat is the ‘showrunner’. He doesn’t just bring what you term ‘baggage’, he creates the whole arena in which his fellow creatives toil alongside him to bring us what we see on screen. Another showrunner might not bring the same ‘baggage’ but they might not be able to achieve a fraction of what Moffat has achieved in creating the conditions for such wonderful stories to be told. Small example: he commissioned Mathieson. Another showrunner (eg. RTD, for all his other strengths) we know would not have done that. There’s a raft of other creative choices which, when successful, simply get taken for granted. I just think they’re worth acknowledging.

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