ep: the girl in the fireplace

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.

theamazingcat  asked:

I just heard that the Clockwork men are suppose to be in series 8, and I remember a while back Sophie Myles said sent out some tweets about talking with Moffat and getting out of the fireplace. I'm scared legitimately scared....

I actually think this is a completely amazing idea (for all the wrong reasons) and I legit hope this happens. I particularly hope Sophia Myles comes back as Reinette. Hear me out.

We’ve seen Moffat shoot himself in the foot repeatedly by overplaying his hand, amirite? The Weeping Angels used to be the most acclaimed monsters he’d ever created—people loved them. Then he overused them, nerfed them, ruined them. Now people—even Blink fans—roll their eyes, as the Angels have completely lost their mystique. The return of the Angels removed a lot of the uniqueness of Blink (that was a complaint even the FIRST time they came back, in s5), and that’s a big reason fans give for disliking the Angels now. Similarly, although the River/Doctor ship was always problematic for a lot of reasons addressed elsewhere—Moffat overplayed his hand here too—a hand that had never been completely in hand in the first place, undoing River’s sacrifice in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead by inexplicably bringing her back in Name of the Doctor. This had the added effect of making the problematic Whouffle ship additionally problematic by adding in the implication that River (debatably his ‘wife’ to some folks) might not really be truly dead, or a part of his past. So the return of the Clockwork Droids could have a similar effect to the return of the Weeping Angels and remove their mystique. But even better would be the return of Reinette. So… what would the return of Reinette give us?
  • It would completely ruin the emo ending of GITF - that ep would lose like 75% of the reason people like it. Much in the same way that there was a fandom backlash after Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone because the Weeping Angels were ~ruined~ from the epic monsters they had been in Blink
  • This would make canon that the Doctor always WAS in fact able to see her again after Girl in the Fireplace in his timeline. This would mean that he could have seen her again, and just chose not to. This is potentially the biggest gift of all lol. The canonical implications of this, particularly for characterization and s2 continuity, are immense. And I’m in favor of each and every one of them.
  • If Reinette came back, it would make her look awful for still letting Ten get that horrid letter if she in fact did see him again before her death (a letter which was always problematic as I describe here)
  • It could potentially make Twelve look like a dick because of River and/or Clara and/or Tasha Lem and/or whoever the flavor of the week is this time around—subverting ALL of those ships.

Moffat would be continuing to ruin even more of his own canon, and continuing to blithely eat away at the few things he’s done that people consider “special” in terms of monster creation, plot, and ship. This is a classic “give him enough rope to hang himself, and he will do so.” I truly fail to see the downside. For folks who are not Moffat fans and want to see him continue to be discredited…. guys, we should be praying for this, not hoping against it.