The sexism of Moffat's assumption that viewers don't have an interest in resolving questions about his companions--or at least, the female ones
So I posted this yesterday in a reblog of someone’s post about Moffat and Clara, and how he reportedly said audiences “wouldn’t care” whether or not Clara remembered her alternate selves. Reblogs being what they are tho lol, I figured I should make my own post about it.
This is a pattern with Moffat, and one he has perpetrated on River Song as well, as I posted yesterday:
Here again, Moffat calls some pretty basic arc-writing “stuff of more interest to the dedicated than to the mainstream.” Let’s examine this for a mo: he’s getting a pointed question about sidelining of important moments in the Eleven/River ship–his own ship–and lumping it in with “stuff of more interest to the dedicated than to the mainstream.” In calendar years, Doctor/River has been going on our screens for even longer than Doctor/Rose did–and he still doesn’t consider it worthy of mainstream attention???
Regardless of the fandom: you become invested in something canonical–be it a ship or a storyline–and canon is supposed to respect that. Canon at the very least is supposed to give you an arc of some sort to follow. By seemingly referring to a character arc as something that only the ~dedicated~ (who are able to afford DVDs, of course) would be interested in, it begs the question: why have it in canon at all if he’s not going to respect his own fans and address it? The first tweet is right - it’s two major moments in the relationship that are relegated to one-off mini-eps on a DVD. Given the fact that the Doctor and River’s relationship is non-linear, it would seem to be important to any Doctor/River emotional arc.
But then again … as we well know, Moffat doesn’t write in terms of ~emotional arcs~, now does he? We need look no further than the laughably OOC Girl in the Fireplace and the even more WTF-ly OOC Fun-Adventures-of-Amy-After-She-Was-Kidnapped-And-Her-Baby-Stolen to have that proven beyond any reasonable doubt. To say the least, ~emotional arc~ is not his strong suit (which is probably why he was attracted to the idea of writing Eleven/River in a non-linear fashion to begin with).
And–taking a minute here to speak of poor Amy–Moffat quite neatly avoided having to talk about her alternate memories in her forced pregnancy by writing her as unconscious for nearly the whole thing, and by having her consciousness instead embedded in a ganger. We have no idea if she remembers anything else other than occasionally waking up to see Mme K–because once again, it’s not addressed in canon. As usual – who knows, who cares, right??
There is one exception to this rule though–someone whose memories of being an alternate self are noted in not just one–BUT TWO!!!–actual full-length episodes.
After all, Rory makes mention of the fact that he remembers being plastic in The Big Bang as well as remembering his years guarding the Pandorica per Day of the Moon. That’s two mentions in two separate episodes dedicated to a companion whose tenure on the TARDIS was shorter than both River’s and Amy’s.
Now, if this were anyone else outside Steven Moffat, I would have no problem extending the benefit of the doubt about this. Hey, just because Rory happens to be a white male would not necessarily in and of itself set off any alarm bells if the writer in question were in the habit of treating their characters equally.
But Moffat’s many … many … many … many comments about women, comments about female companions basically just agreeing to travel in order to jump the Doctor, and his overall Moffat-ness in general…. is this a coincidence? Is it just a coincidence that literally *ALL* of Moffat’s female characters get similar important questions shunted because, he thinks “NOBODY WOULD CARE”, while the single male character gets his addressed in not one but two episodes?
The fact that we even have to ask that question and truly pause to wonder about it is damning.