Russell T. Davies, the executive producer of Doctor Who, is stepping down at the end of this series. Steven Moffat, my favourite TV writer after Aaron Sorkin, will take over.
He’s a brave guy. And brilliant. His four DW episodes have been, in my opinion, stunning, and Blink was a nigh-on perfect piece of television. So good, in fact, that I can’t imagine an entire series keeping it up – it’s not that I doubt the guy’s ability, it’s that most episodes of everything are worse than Blink. Which is why he’s brave, because the loudest of the Doctor Who online fans are savage to the point of insanity, and they’ll turn on you in an instant.
Spend more than a few minutes investigating Doctor Who online and you’ll find many people trying to make scriptwriters cry. You know, in the name of criticism. They’re fans who deserve high quality entertainment, and will throw around the strongest of adjectives if you don’t meet their standards. Honestly, you’d think the world was at stake: throwaway lines are ‘unforgivable’, scripts are turgid or (horror of horrors) sentimental and writers have agendas and are worthless. I read these people for a while, before realising they don’t, in point of fact, know shit. But they’re loud and, when eloquent, very good at inducing deference.
Some can enter the fray with a wry smile and a kevlar sensibility, but I lack the self-confidence to be a part of an online community with critical bully-boys at its centre – it wears me down, and I start to doubt myself. I don’t bother any more; I simply watch and enjoy. I’m sure Mr Moffat doesn’t have this problem, and is more than capable of dealing with rabid ‘fans’, but he’ll inevitably come in for a large amount of abuse, and that’s nobody’s idea of a good time.
Doctor Who is taking a break next year, so Steven Moffat’s series won’t begin until 2010. I’m looking forward to it already.