Confession #44: I Can Forgive Moffat Most Anything Now

I'm going to say right off the bat that this post is full of spoilers if you haven't seen "Night of the Doctor," so if you haven't watched it yet (and if not, why not?), go watch it right now. Or watch it again. Seriously. I'll wait.

~whistles~ ~twiddles thumbs~

Back now? Right. Off we go, then.

AAAAH! McGAAAAAANN! ~hyperventilates~

Although Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor was the last one to which I was introduced on screen (at least before Tennant's regeneration into Smith), over the past couple of years, he has become my favorite. Part of it, of course, is due to the fact that he was the first Doctor I ever got to see in person (at Gally 2012). He's a really great, down-to-earth kind of bloke, and that doesn't hurt my opinion of his Doctor at all.

Then there are the Big Finish audios. Although I've not had the opportunity to go very far into the back catalog (keeping up with all the DVD releases has been hard enough on my budget without adding in bunches of audios, too), I've heard about half to three-quarters of the first three seasons of The Eighth Doctor Adventures (thanks to BBC Radio 7, now BBC Radio 4 Extra) and all of season four and Dark Eyes (for which I shelled out). All of these have raised my estimation of McGann's Doctor, as I got to experience the character's evolution and the actor's brilliant talent.

Needless to say, I was over the moon to hear "I'm a Doctor..." come out of my screen in those familiar tones. I'm certain I squealed. I spent a great deal of the following six minutes bouncing a little in my chair. Thanks to this surprise from Moffat, I have now received the one "must have" on my Fiftieth Anniversary Wish List: McGann's on-screen return to the role. Everything else is gravy.

Regular readers may remember that I've been wary of the upcoming special for over a year. I'm still wary, especially given reports from other Doctor actors (e.g., this tweet quoting Davison) that it doesn't really speak to the show's entire run. I expect that to be a disappointment to me. I've also got an unpleasant feeling about how the actual story may play out. I find the implication of the trailer released last month that all fifty years of the program's history have been leading up to some big, new thing of which Moffat has conceived to be... distasteful.

But you know what? I don't even care any more (sure, Neowhovian, say that again in another three days or so...). I can forgive Moffat almost anything that comes up in the special because I've already been given the greatest gift my little fan heart desired. Whatever else may come, McGann has been made canon (along with his Big Finish Companions!), and a new crop of fans have been introduced to my favorite Doctor.

Everything is Eight, and nothing hurts.



PaulGreaves's picture

but I'm not sure I can forgive Moffat 'anything'. That's giving the man carte blanche to do even more ridiculous things. If that's even possible. I share your concerns about the special - but I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

By PaulGreaves --


mrfranklin's picture

No, obviously there are some things that would really upset or disappoint me. I'm just saying that, having gotten the single biggest item on my wish list, I'll be more willing to overlook the lack of other items.

I have, on occasion, been given to use hyperbole. ;)

By mrfranklin

I personally far prefer Classic Who to Nu Who. However having said, I feel this special should concentrate on the Moffat Era. Remember that back in The Three Doctors(only the tenth anniversary!) the show was all about the Pertwee Era. While it was wonderful to see Troughton and (such as it was)Hartnell, neither really were playing the Doctors of their eras, but rather their Doctors adapted for the Pertwee Era. Now, I would love to see Tom, Peter, Colin, Sylvester and Paul in the 50th. But being realistic, it would probably be better if they weren't in it. Tom Baker's Doctor was a thin, brown-haired 40-something who prevented bubble wrap and cotton wool taking over the world in gravel pits and wobbly sets. While the show is still called "Doctor Who", it really was another era. Same with the 80's Doctors. The only Classic Doctor who wouldn't seem awkward would have been Mcgann, but after Night of the Doctor, that may have changed. If you want a 50th Anniversary with Classic Doctors, check out the Big Finish Audio "Light at the End". This special needs to be about Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor and the Moffat Era.

By John Miller (not verified)
mrfranklin's picture

I agree that as none of the actors really look like their Doctors anymore (barring McGann), we can't realistically expect them to appear as their regenerations. The Five Doctors did a better job of giving a nod to the previous eras than The Three Doctors did, but was, analogously, still a Fifth Doctor story.

I can still hope for acknowledgement of the show's history—like cameos from the others in new roles—even if it's not a full-on multi-Doctor story, but if we don't get that, I won't be crushed thanks to "Night of the Doctor." I guess we'll know in a couple more days! :)

By mrfranklin

Just because the 50th is happening during the Smith and Moffat Era doesn't mean is has to be all about them. I think a good story could have been integrated with the still living Doctors (not with them at the crux of the story) and the current people.

I think it is unfortunate Paul McGann never really got to play the Doctor onscreen and although this would probably horrify most, I would love a spin-off in which he could have some 8th Doctor adventures. I, too, have spent a fortune on DVDs and continue to do so, although I am going to try to buy some of the Big Finish 8th Adventures - agreeing that he is far too underrated.

I, though, still have too much baggage about some of the things Moffat has done. He has done some good things, though, I will acknowledge. Matt Smith has been a brilliant Doctor. Tennant is still my favorite, and whatever tomorrow's special brings, I will relish just seeing those 2 Doctors together. That will be a huge treat! But I will miss Amy and Rory.

By Tree (not verified)
Real Time Analytics