things steven moffat loves

anonymous asked:

Moffat has been homophobic in the past, still is, and torturing and potentially killing a lesbian character is nothing new, bury your gays trope is homophobic no matter how hard you try to excuse it. Also racist cause she's been the first black companion since 2008? And how many has there been? Sexism isn't the issues here, it's homophobia and racism

Hi there! 

The issue raised by the post I saw had everything to do with sexism, “Steven Moffat’s desire to torture his female characters” was the wording used. That is specifically what I was responding to, because that claim is simply unfounded (as I…outline in my original post!). But if you want to discuss homophobia:

I want to clarify that I’m gay myself and so I’d like to think my response to homophobia in media is both personal and well tried and tested. With this in mind, I truly struggle to see evidence of homophobia in Steven Moffat’s work… 

Jenny and Vastra’s love is warm, witty and completely celebrated by Doctor Who’s narrative.There’s nothing else to say regarding them, apart from perhaps the fact that they are both exceptionally interesting, lively characters with rich and engaging personalites. (There WAS an awful, awful, awful moment of sexual assualt in “The Crimson Horror” involving Jenny and Eleven, which I absolutely hate and condemn, but this was ultimately an ill-judged moment of improv from Catrin Stewart and Matt Smith, in a Mark Gatiss penned episode, in an era of the show that has been long since moved on from. It should have been cut, but it’s existence has very little to do with Steven Moffat). 

Bill Potts is perhaps the sunniest, most refreshing, and most accuarte depiction of a young gay woman I’ve ever seen. Her sexuality is a beautiful, beautiful part of who she is, and this is something she both acknowledges, embraces (loudly among strangers, quietly among her family), and pokes fun at. That’s as vibrant and genial and natural a piece of Lesbian representation you can find. The way the show has depicted Bill’s sexuality has struck a huge chord with me personally, and it’s something I’m so happy millions of children and adults are also encouraged by. It’s also, yes, something that I, as a gay person, am tremendously thankful to Steven Moffat for. 

As far as Steven Moffat’s character, I of course don’t know him, so can’t totally vouch for him, but if we take him by the things he has said about gay representation, its pretty wonderful, progressive stuff. If we take him by the things profressional colleagues have said about him, it’s pretty wonderful, progressive stuff. He’s a self described “Lefty”! And if you were to ask me for my personal opinion, (having been a huge fan of his for years and years I’d like to think I could make an accurate assessment), he strikes me as a man who has, particularly since c.2012, worked incredibly hard to listen, improve, instruct and educate himself on the many social issues which he now fully and fundamentally embraces and celebrates in his work. That includes LGBT represenetation, representation of people of colour, and representation of women. 

You’re absolutely right, the ‘bury your gays’ trope is homophobic. But at the moment, Bill is not buried - she’s not dead! Suffering, hurting, yes. But alive and kicking, (and blinking and crying too…) That last shot wasn’t for nothing! It tells us that despite everything, underneath a morbid attempt at destruction, she is fighting, surviving. That should give us all a lot of hope. If by the end of next week, Bill ends up dead with her agency torn apart, I will be utterly surprised, but horrified and angry alongside everyone else. But that hasn’t happened yet.

I don’t think the race aspect is unarguable. Although Steven Moffat has said really lovely, (and self critical), things about the representation of people of colour on Doctor Who, there’s certainly something to be said about the fact that Bill is now the second black character to be converted into a cyberman in the show, (the third if we widen the scope to Torchwood, however I’m inclined not to, given this happened in a…well…dreadfully dated and sexist episode penned by Chris Chibnall under Russel T Davies’ showrunning in 2006), and there’s no getting away from the fact that that’s a very uncomfortable figure for the show to hold, however unintentional it is. Beyond that, there’s not much to be said until we see how the story, (bearing in mind we are less than halfway throgh this one given next week’s extended running time), progresses. There’s a very likely chance the events here will be subverted.

TLDR: Basically, I appreciate that people have concerns about how Bill’s story will end next week, but these concerns are driven by prominent misunderstandings of Steven Moffat’s character, and his writing, and until we see otherwise, I’m 100% inclined to put my trust in him, and to wait and see what happens. His track record in giving female characters agency and a triumphant ending following being ‘killed off’ in a finale cliffhanger is second-to-none:

  • Amy killed off in ‘The Pandorica Opens’ only to end ‘The Big Bang’ happily married and travelling
  • Amy commiting suicide along with Rory in ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’ only to end the episode determidly standing by her husband’s side, living a long and happy life with him in New York. 
  • Clara being killed off in ‘Face The Raven’ only to become a time travelling immortal by the end of ‘Hell Bent’

Given this, I’m genuinely confident that Bill’s story will, too, by it’s end, be triumphant.

10

“It’s the oldest story in the universe, this one or any other. Girl and girl fall in love, get separated by events. War, politics, accidents in time. She’s thrown out of the hex, or she’s thrown into it. Since then, they’ve been yearning for each other across time and space, across dimensions.

This isn’t a ghost story, it’s a love story!

The fundamental misunderstanding of the state in which Heather exists in after she becomes ‘the pilot’ is what drives the conflict in this episode, but it’s made abundantly clear that she is not dead.

When they meet in the park outside the Doctor’s study, Bill, seeing her in this new form, mutters “you’re dead!”, which is repeated back to her by Heather’s mimicry - the clear intention here (supported by Lawrence Gough’s brilliant directing style) being to establish the misunderstanding of her being ‘the monster’ while playing it off as a ‘horror’ moment. But, in classic Moffat fashion, the entire point of this episode is to subvert that idea.

I really have to praise Stephanie Hyam’s performance here because it’s key to understanding that Heather’s pursuit of Bill across time and space was something that she was directing. Notice how much emotion appears on Heather’s face whenever she catches up to Bill - she looks extremely sad when she appears in the Doctor’s study (see the fourth image above) and Bill gets in the TARDIS because that’s exactly why she’s here… to fulfill her promise to Bill that she won’t leave without her.

She appears positively elated to see Bill when they travel several million years into the future and cross to the other side of the universe, as her face emerges out of the water. There’s multiple occasions where Bill has a flashback to their time together earlier in the episode and we’re meant to think that it’s her remembering the girl that was before she became this creature, playing to a rather typical trope in how horror films are directed. But it’s actually establishing the opposite, as Bill slowly pieces together the reason why this is happening and realises that this has been Heather all along.

Perhaps the most obvious clue is given to us in how Heather assumes the form of a Dalek that’s trying to kill the Doctor. A Dalek! The Doctor wonders why she didn’t fire on them. She had a gun, after all - “the deadliest fire in the universe”, a Dalek’s weapon.

But she doesn’t use it…

Face-to-face, at last, she affirms her feelings towards Bill when she’s told “I really liked you”. Hyam’s performance here is just brilliant because she’s obviously having to mimic what Bill says, but you can distinctly hear the tone of sadness in her voice as she says the line back to her because this is where they part ways.

And she extends another offer to Bill, showing her what she’s become - how she sees the universe differently now, and all of time and space. And Bill is enraptured with it, but releases Heather from her promise because she’s (naturally) scared. Things still aren’t totally clear: she doesn’t know or understand what she’ll become if she accepts this offer because Heather isn’t totally human any more, but, as we’ve seen time and time again throughout the episode, right up to this moment, she’s still Heather.

The end of The Pilot has two rather important moments regarding the episode’s narrative arc with Heather. Back in the Doctor’s study, Bill asks if she’ll ever see Heather again, to which the Doctor rather cynically responds “I don’t see how”.

But, after Bill calls him out on the mind wipe situation and he’s reminded of Clara - who he’s very clearly still yearning to find - he shows up outside the university in the TARDIS and tells Bill:

“It’s a big universe. Perhaps, one day, we’ll find her…”

I can’t for the life of me find the quote, but, some months ago, Moffat said that there’s a very particular story they have in-mind to tell with Bill. I definitely don’t want Pearl to leave after one series, but it seems like a distinct possibility with the handover to Chibnall ushering in the next era of the show…

As such, I can sort of see how Bill’s story could potentially end if she’s only going to be in Series 10 and won’t carry over into the Chibnall era.

Similar to how Clara and Ashildr ended up with their own TARDIS and went off together to travel in time and space, Heather has her own time travel capabilities and Bill is clearly hoping that, in travelling with the Doctor, they will find each other again.

Naturally, that sets the stage nicely for Bill to continue travelling after her time as the companion is done with her new cosmic girlfriend.

no more bad timing
  • (Deep Breath)
  • Doctor: Clara, I'm not your boyfriend.
  • Clara: I never thought you were.
  • Doctor: I never said it was your mistake.
  • (Hell Bent)
  • Clara: People like me and you. We should say things to one another. And we should say them now.

anonymous asked:

i never understood why people hate the idea that Eleven lies. He's definitely not the first, and i think it makes his character more unpredictable and interesting. Thoughts?

I think it’s a creative choice which people can rightfully dislike - there are plenty of reasons why having an untrustworthy protagonist might make someone uncomfortable, especially one in a show aimed at children. As such, I can understand why people might not be fond of that development (or regression) of the Doctor’s character, especially since most would have come to love the Doctor during the RTD era where the Doctor was a lot less prone to dishonesty. Moreover, the role this plays in the narrative might not appeal to anyone and what you find unpredictable and interesting others might consider tedious and plain cheating. That’s normal - we all have different preferences.

That being said, there are a couple of things which I think people should keep in mind when outright condemning this, rather than merely voicing their feelings on the matter.

1.) The Doctor isn’t an inherently trustworthy character. Moffat’s choice to portray the Doctor in that manner is build on plenty of previous material in which the Doctor can be manipulative and/or a liar. The First Doctor certainly fits that bill and from what I’ve heard the Seventh Doctor was quite notorious. Moffat is not twisting the Doctor into something he isn’t.

2.) Portraying the Doctor in this manner does not go against Russell T. Davies’ approach to writing the Doctor. It’s not disrespectful to his understanding of the character, he was quite enthusiastic about pushing the Doctor into different directions. (With this I don’t mean to imply that every RTD fan should agree with him, just that this might be something to keep in mind.)

3.) The Eleventh Doctor hasn’t truly been rewarded for keeping the truth from his companions since the end of series 5… and even there the rewards were slim - namely possibly sparing more pain and suffering from Amy by not telling her about her parents’ and Rory’s fate and implementing the plan to fly the Pandorica into the TARDIS without giving much time to Amy and River to object. Both of these events happen in The Big Bang, notable the episode in which “the Doctor lies” was first established. And with it established, the choice to lie is repeatedly shown to be harmful and/or pointless:

Keep reading

This show, which we all thought would be our vanity project destined for 3 million in the ratings and possibly an award from an obscure European festival, has become a barnstorming international phenomenon.
— 

Steven Moffat on the success of Sherlock

Here’s a thing I think a lot of people don’t realize. Gatiss and Moffat really didn’t create Sherlock for the fans, or for the ratings, or for the money. They created it as a labor of love, something they did for their own enjoyment. A lot of fans approach the show with a sense of entitlement, demanding that things should be done differently (in terms of ships, or writing, or frequency of episodes), but the simple fact is this isn’t our show. It’s really just a celebration of the things the showrunners love about Sherlock Holmes. They are free to do things their own way, and we should respect that.