On Moffat criticism (or a very specific one, anyway)

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I saw a post earlier, which was a criticism of Steven Moffat. I’m not going to link to it, mainly because I don’t have the link, but it was essentially a comparison between the way the Doctor talks to his companions in RTD stories and in Moffat stories.

The dialogue selected was, basically, paraphrasing of when RTD would give the Doctor speeches about how important his companion was, and examples of the recent snark between 12 and Clara – things like calling her egotistical, bossy, or short and roundish. These quotes were being used to vilify Moffat for… treating fictional characters poorly, probably.

The thing is though, they were absolutely false equivalents.

First of all, there’s the issue that the quotes were entirely devoid of context. The comments selected about Moffat companions are jokes between the characters – snarky banter, nothing more. It’s not intended as an insult or a put down. It’s not the Doctor being emotionally cruel or anything like that.

On top of that, Moffat has got speeches were the Doctor talks about how wonderful his companions are – there’s plenty where Eleven talks about Amy or Clara is, and even a few where he says that Rory is great. Conversely, RTD has had a few where he insults companions – there’s the bit about Jackie in Army of Ghosts, Donna in The Christmas Invasion, and plenty of occasions with Mickey.

Now, I’d never say that Moffat is perfect, because I don’t think he is. Better than people suggest, but not perfect, no. But that? That wasn’t a valid criticism of his writing, or treatment of women, or even his sense of humour. Frankly, it’s just a mistake. More than that, it’s deliberately picking out certain things whilst ignoring others, all devoid of context, to try and make him look as bad as possible.

That doesn’t help. Because it makes you look like a fool, and it means people are just going to switch off from your arguments. There are things that need to be pointed out, yes, but to flat out make things up to demonise someone?

Get out of it, that’s ridiculous.

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