The new girl

OK, so….

The Guardian has revealed that the new companion will be <spoiler> and that <spoiler>. And also <spoiler>. And, in episode <spoiler>, we’ll see <spoiler>.

Oh, what’s the point? I don’t want to tell you about it because I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did, which is to read the damned thing and encounter a WHOPPING GREAT REVELATION by the writer-in-chief. The Guardian didn’t really signpost this effectively – there was a little information at the top, but far more was revealed therein than I’d have liked to know. At the same time, the real focus of my ire is Moffat himself, because he’s really starting to piss me off these days. The writing style is brilliant, I’m not going to deny it, although I take issue with some of his plot arcs (more on that below). There are some fantastic one liners and some genuinely moving moments (the ghosting in ‘Silence in the Library’ still gives me the shivers), and the way he weaves technology and emotional involvement into a cohesive whole is reminiscent of 1980s anime.

At the same time, he annoys me, because he’ll rant about spoilers on TV A.M. (or whatever it is they call it now; ye gods I’m showing my age) and then tell us everything himself. And if he must insist on courting the press, he has to accept the consequences. Unless you want to make it illegal to disclose such information, you have to deal with the fact that people are going to tell all, and not get cross when it leaks out, and taking to the internet to complain with his customary self-righteous arrogance.

I am aware that I am ranting a bit. Because I don’t want to depress you, and because I don’t want to include anything of the new companion just yet, here’s a picture of a hamster.

And I am calm.

Joshua and I were watching ‘Blink’ last night – as you probably gathered from my previous entry – and I was reflecting this morning what a tightly focussed, brilliant little episode it is. The Weeping Angels, back when they were fresh and innovative and when they actually worked, because as interesting as ‘The Time of Angels’ was, it showed up the inadequacies of the Angels when you put them in an inappropriate setting, multiply them tenfold and then, unforgivably, have them move. Moffat can write good, continuous drama – Press Gang, Jekyll – but as a Who writer his best work has been standalone (and if River Song’s involvement with the show had ended with ‘Forest of the Dead’, I’d have liked her a lot more).

The central problem with the way the show is constructed these days that the ontological Ouroboros paradoxes work well in the context of single episodes, but break down when Moffat tries to make them fit over entire seasons, or even half seasons. The big bang / universe reboot that closed season five was an absurd piece of handwavium, the River story has devolved into mind-numbing tedium, and the charade that was the Doctor’s ‘death’ and the mirror universe built around it was so badly constructed it almost made ‘Last of the Time Lords’ work in comparison. I thus equate Moffat with Kate Bush during recording of The Dreaming. She’d just got a Fairlight, and she completely saturated the album with it. The result is a very full texture crammed with different ideas and innovations and experiments. And not all of it works. There’s some whopping clangers on there and a few moments of beauty. It’s a better album than it’s given credit for, because it tends to live in the shadow of Hounds of Love (which follows it and which she never bettered).

But it was basically a kid who was given complete control and who went a bit wild. And that’s how I see Moffat. Just a big kid who’s been given charge of something and wants to bring his standalone technique to a show that really doesn’t suit it. This isn’t the Black Guardian trilogy. It’s a mess.

I have, in any event, figured out what that crack in the universe actually was. It isn’t the TARDIS exploding. It’s the chief writer, stretching a literary conceit to fracturing point.

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