So about Doctor Who.
(Yes, this really is what I'm using my first LJ post in months to say. It's what like 98% of this site is for already, and given that nobody is actually interested in listening to my thoughts on this subject, this seems as good a place as any to dump them.)
First of all, Steven Moffat is clearly better at writing this show than anyone else is. I mean, obviously. He's also better at writing this show than most other people are at writing anything else.
But there's one thing in particular I noticed him doing well last night, and one thing that really bothered me.
In last week's show - the first half of the double-episode series climax - we spent about 45 minutes seeing this thing called The Pandorica built up as being of vast and cataclysmic importance. It's a large box which constitutes the most secure prison or containment vessel in the history of the universe. Whatever is locked inside must be of immense, cosmos-shattering power - and it seems to be in the process of escaping.
What we learn, however, is that the Pandorica is really a holding cell, designed by most of the Doctor's enemies - Daleks, Sontarans, and a bunch of others - who had to work together to create a device that could contain the Doctor and stop him from inadvertently destroying the entire Universe. The nearly final shot of that penultimate episode shows the Pandorica's doors closing on the Doctor, as he screams desperately at them that they've got it wrong.
This cliffhanger is resolved at the start of yesterday's episode, when Rory breaks the Doctor out of the Pandorica by pointing the sonic screwdriver at it. Which the Doctor then goes back in time to give to him, so that he can do it.
Does anyone else think you might have noticed this slightly bothersome loophole in your "most impenetrable prison cell EVAR"? I understand that it's primarily for preventing people breaking out, rather than in, but wouldn't it be worth chucking an extra padlock on there just in case, say, some future treasure-hunter finds this large ornate box and wonders what's inside? Especially given the universe-destroying nature of its cargo?
And even more so given that obviously he can get out using time travel. Come on, even fucking Bill and Ted figured out this trick years ago, and he still pulled one over on every genius supervillain in the galaxy? They may not have known about the vortex manipulator thingy he used to do it, but doesn't the name "time lord" - and the fact that he's constantly travelling through time - give some kind of hint that this might be worth thinking about?
It wasn't the only plot point that irritated me, but it's the one on which I haz the most opinionz.
But there was good stuff.
Amy Pond has spent this series in a state of quantum engagement to Rory. Amy is a bold, feisty, energetic, adventurous, confident woman. Rory, although capable of great passion and acts of considerable courage when it comes to the push, is for the most part a rather meek, timid, nervous, trepidatious, shy fellow.
Steven Moffat is the only writer on the Doctor Who staff with any idea how to write a relationship between these two characters.
Rory often feels insecure in the relationship, and Amy is often more eager to go adventuring in the new and exciting times and places the Doctor's taken them to than to gush over her fiancé. But I can't remember a Moff-less episode in which this didn't translate to a boringly flat character dynamic between them, in which Amy scampers off having fun and squeeing about stuff with the Doctor, and Rory runs along behind them pathetically vying for some scrap of her attention.
In the Moff-less episodes, I was never convinced that Amy really cared about Rory all that much - not enough to marry the guy, anyway - and he rarely had much to do except be the comical lapdog hopelessly trying to hold onto a girl he knows is way out of his league and who obviously doesn't really give a shit about them when it comes down to it.
Steven Moffat is the only one who seems able to fathom a relationship in which the woman wears the trousers... and yet somehow they both actually like each other, and it's a real relationship, and there's a dynamic between them a bit more complicated than "She's feisty and domineering, he's wimpy and browbeaten". I don't want to draw any sweeping conclusions about the other writers' unflattering concepts of strong women, but there was a noticeable distinction.
In case of tl;dr: I think the main point of my thesis is that head Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat is impressive in his near-unique ability to write convincing relationships between characters well, and yet I'm sure he used to be able to do plot too.
So. How's everyone?