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The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

Steven Moffat: The Doctor Who Finale Will “Change the Course of Who Forever”

Hey everyone, let’s play a game of “How much can we take statements made by Steven Moffat at face value?” Featuring cameo appearances by the Doctor, Clara, and a brand new Doctor Who villain.

First off, the finale villain is an addition to the franchise called the Whispermen. Said Moffat of the ominous-sounding baddies: “The thought of stylish, whispering, almost faceless creatures was an idea that firstly scared me and that I thought would work well in an episode that looks forward and back.”

That does sound scary, if somewhat similar to The Silence. But I’ll give Moffat the benefit of the doubt on that one. And hey, in an episode titled The Name of the Doctor, the villain isn’t what people are looking forward to anyway. So what can we expect about the reveal of certain big secrets, Moffat?

“['The Name of the Doctor' will] change the course of Who forever… It’s full of surprises and questions that have never been answered in the history of Who, including the Doctor’s greatest secret.”

Note he never actually says his name will be revealed, though who knows whether that’s intentional phrasing on his part.

And what about Clara, the Impossible Girl? We’ll apparently find out what makes her so impossible in the finale, “and there’s a surprise that no-one has got right so far.” Hinting at said surprise, Moffat dropped the intriguing tidbit that “Clara hasn’t just met the Doctor three times before.” Hmmmmm.

Those are some intriguing statements, if vague ones, which makes absolute sense because if you want to drum up interest in your show “intriguing plus vague” is the way to do it. I’m not hating on Moffat for that. Still, I wonder if the episode will be as game-changing as he says. And, if it is game-changing, will the game be changed for better or for worse? I’m a bit hesitant to buy into Moffat’s hype after season six’s disappointing finale. That whole season for me can be expressed thusly: “EPIC EPIC EPIC Epic epic ep….ic?” It was so clumsy that I’ve been not-really-into Who since as a result.

I find myself in an odd position: I don’t want the Doctor’s name to be revealed, and I don’t think it will be, so everything’s great! Except that, assuming I’m correct that Moffat won’t reveal this big seret (which I very well may not be), how much it’s being focused on in the run-up to the finale is kind of annoying.

Prove me wrong, Moffat. Make the finale awesome.

(Digital Spy)

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  • Anonymous

    Season six kind of killed a lot of my interest precisely because of the whole emphasis on “EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG THIS WILL CHANGE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WHONIVERSE FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Just try to focus on decent writing and not trying to shock us and blow our minds every episode. At this point, I’m just ready for Moffat to leave.

  • Abel Undercity

    I don’t know if I trust Moffat enough to let him change the show forever…

  • Robin

    I don’t really feel he has the right to “change things forever”. If he actually tries to name the doctor I will have conniptions. I haven’t trusted Moffat in a while, and most of the good episodes from this season have come from writers who aren’t him. He’s gotten stale as anything and can’t seem to do subtlety anymore. Thus: shock value and eternal companion-girl-mysteries

  • Robin S

    At least we can take comfort in the fact that if Moffat changes things for the worse, a new showrunner could change it again? The Whoniverse is quite flexible. If he can undo RTD’s canon, someone can undo his. Fair play.

  • Anonymous

    Funny. Once upon a time, Moffat’s name attached to something related to Doctor Who would get me excited. Now I’m almost in the same place I was when RTD was in command. Maybe the job just really drains you?

  • GeekWithATude

    Moffat’s tenure on Who has me longing for the worst days of John Nathan Turner. I decided I would give it through the end of this season to get to the anniversary, but I have nothing but low expectations and a sense this will be the end of Who for me. He’s just screwing it up too much with his crappy egocentric approach.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve noticed that there is absolutely no kind of consensus among Whovians. Every new episode is wither the ‘best one ever’ or the ‘worst one ever’ there are people that hate Moffat, people that hate RTD and a devoted hatedom for every single character interesting enough to have a fandom.

    Just about the only thing a member of the Who fandom can agree on is that everyone else is wrong. So really, if you think you’ll find someone that everyone ‘trusts’ enough to change Doctor Who for ever, you are going to be waiting a very long time. And in the meantime the show will stagnate.

    Plus also, it’s Doctor Who. It’s literally impossible to screw up the writing so bad that it can’t be retconned out of existence.

  • Anonymous

    Way to give those guys the benefit of the doubt there. Maybe they’re just tired? Kinda warmed my wee heart.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    It’s time travel, ANYTHING can happen.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    What did he undo that RTD established?

  • Ranie Michele Carver

    Most of the anger towards Moffat I feel is because people are actually stumped on what he is doing and that makes people mad. I do have to say I don’t care for this half of the season as much as the first and that’s not Post – Pond depression, I just haven’t connected with Clara. I feel as though when we get to know her better the quality of the episodes will improve – personally, at least. :)

  • Eztrenk

    His name only needs to be revealed to River, as she is shown to know it in the future. And the 10th doctor confirmed there’s only 1 moment he could. And then in Angels Take Manhattan the Doctor confirmed that if something is foretold from a future source, it must happen.

    So, he technically only needs to tell River.

  • Eddie Vroom
  • Michelle Mista

    In general, I’m a fan of Moffat but the whole “game changer” thing is OLD. The end of Season 6 was supposedly a game changer but really, plotty-wotty Oswin things in the first episode basically made it a non-issue. And Moffat teasing us now with “The Doctor’s Name” is more of the same. I don’t think that his name is really going to be revealed but we may get the reason as to WHY he won’t tell anyone his name.

  • Michelle Mista

    The cracks in time from S5 sort of wiped certain incidents. Remember that when 11 and Amy traveled to WWII Britain in S5, Amy didn’t remember the Dalek invasion of Earth (S4 Stolen Earth). Same thing with the Cybermen incident in The Next Doctor, no one remembered that either, according to the 11th Doctor.

  • Michelle Mista

    Creative burnout, maybe? Or he’s playing the long plot game, in which we’re in the middle and it’s dragging.

  • Michelle Mista

    Agreed with why people seem mad at Moffat. He does a longer plot and I think for some people, it drives them to distraction. In some ways, I think it’s better to wait for the entirety of the season before making a judgement call, see how the episodes fit together.

    I also agree on your sentiments about Clara. She has yet to win me over, though Oswin and Victorian!Clara won me over instantly.

  • Anonymous

    Clara is the Doctor, the Doctor’s real name is Clara.

    Boom. Two mysteries, one stone.

  • Anonymous

    This couldn’t be more true. I read a lot of Who episode reviews for every episode, including the ones posted here at The Mary Sue I read Io9, Nerd Bastards, Anglophenia, Anglotopia, Badass Digest, Tor, and … there are a few I know I’m forgetting. Whatever, the point you’re making here perfectly illustrated by the disparate views you’ll find on all of these sites and in their comments sections.

  • Timothy Settle

    Either Clara is the the soul of the tardis. Or she is somehow tied to the beginning of the time lords.

  • Sidney Tucker

    If Clara is the new Doctor I swear I’ll stop watching. So much of the new seasons have been just retarded. I hope it gets better. Its so difficult to keep up with any continuity anymore anyway.

  • Sophie

    Honestly I think a certain amount of change up is necessary for Doctor Who in order to keep it fresh, so if Moffat does make some changes to the status quo I don’t have any qualms. RTD did this as well; remember the time war is a new who addition. However I’m more interested in getting a good story than anything else.

  • Mina

    I thought the same thing.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s like I was telling a friend of mine at work: slowly weaving together the pieces of a larger arc is great, but it doesn’t absolve one of the responsibility of making the individual episodes strong as stand-alone stories. *shrug* We’ll see. I absolutely love Clara, and of course, Matt Smith is great. I’m just picky and want the best for our favorite show. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Well, it’s like I was telling a friend of mine at work: slowly weaving together the pieces of a larger arc is great, but it doesn’t absolve one of the responsibility of making the individual episodes strong as stand-alone stories. *shrug* We’ll see. I absolutely love Clara, and of course, Matt Smith is great. I’m just picky and want the best for our favorite show. ;)

  • Anonymous

    I know it’s hard to tell over the internet, so I want to preface this by saying I’m not being sarcastic in any way. I think this comment might be the most reasonably stated critique of the show, and Moffat I’ve ever seen in a comments section. I wish everyone could express their disappointment as reasonably as you have; it would make talking about the show so much less of a headache.

  • Nelly Dreadful

    Please don’t use the r-word as an insult. It’s a slur.

  • realinvalidname

    They’ve openly toyed with finally having a female Doctor (even if that makes a lot of continuity not make much sense anymore), so sure, maybe Clara is to be revealed as the 12th Doctor, who’s met him/herself out of order.

  • Totz_the_Plaid

    I’ve been ready for Moffat to leave since “The Pandorica Opens” for precisely that type of nonsense bullshit reason. Not that there hasn’t been the occasional great episode since, but overall… blech.

  • Anonymous

    The past few episodes make me think “yay! I just have to get through this to get to Orphan Black and the Nerdist!” :(

  • Craig Pay

    My guess… Clara is the Doctor’s mother.

  • Stephen del Mar

    They really need to bring Russell T Davies back. I can hardly watch it any more and Matt Smith has got to go. We don’t need to know his name, we need a new Doctor and better writing.

  • Anonymous

    His name is Throatwarbler Mangrove.

  • Flitzy

    I looveeeee Orphan Black (and I love finding someone else who does; I love gabbing about it but it seems like I can never find anyone else!) but I think that the past few episodes this half of the season for DW have been wonderful!

    I just love Clara and the Doctor, so much. This Saturdays episode was so wonderful! ^_^

  • Flitzy

    I’d love a female doctor, as long as she stayed as strong as the male counterparts (and I think Clara would be just that).

  • TodSoldat

    Clara will be revealed to be an incarnation of The Doctor

  • Anonymous

    NO ONE I know watches it!!! we love it! I am being a little harsh about Doctor Who – I do still look forward to it and I did like the last episode :)

  • Flitzy

    I’m so sad that it’s almost over too – I hope that we get another season! I love Cosima and Felix, they’re so perfect!

    And maybe I’m just way too crazy but when I was watching DW, I just got so many Potter moments while I was watching with the library and the rest of the ship – especially the spoken books, I thought so much about the Hall of Prophecies.

    And let’s not even begin to start with the perfect Doctor/Clara moments all throughout the episode. <3

  • Anonymous

    yep! you crazy! ;) I didn’t get any Potter vibes :/ but maybe I will watch again and try to see where you are coming from!!!

  • Flitzy

    I’m just obsessed so I see it everywhere ;P

    But regardless, I think we can ALL agreeeee…. Give me that library!! ;)

  • Anonymous

    I am obsessed with Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Star Wars :) my living room reflects that (TARDIS Tv cabinet, Star Wars mirror over my mantle and an INCENDIO fire in my non-working fireplace) :)

  • Flitzy

    Ok, now I’m jealous! :D I want a fireplace just for that! :)

  • Adrienne Reynolds

    Killer_Tapir speaks the truth here – I’m fine with Who being up and down and all over the map – but I’ve had to swear off reading/listening to the fandom. Some otherwise rational people suddenly become major bullies to real live actors and crew involved with the show and defend it as ‘critique”.

  • Adrienne Reynolds

    That would honestly make me love the whole thing massively.

  • Adrienne Reynolds

    If anyone really researches the conditions of working for the Dr. Who franchise and the BBC in general and remember that Eccleston hasn’t named names, but has still refused to work with Dr. Who the issues he had weren’t the show-runner when he called the environment inhumane. Is it better than in 1970-80 yes – does it sound like they have the kind of creative control, budget, support and timelines that American TV does – no not at all. Moffat only writes about 2-3 episodes per season but he hires 100% of the writers and show running isn’t the same there as here. I think the job and the scope of the story do wear down teams and it seems like a whole lot of that is the BBC culture.

  • Adam ‘Duffles’ Duffield

    Oh god no, get someone new
    Youre looking at T Davis with rose tinted glasses. Remember The master being turned into a genie and then into a skeleton cannibal with lightining powers? Remember the human clone of the Doctor who Rose immediatly goes for? Remember the entire last two seasons of Tennants run?

  • Doctor Mew (Ensign)

    This theory would make the 50th Anniversary bits that we’ve seen so far** have a lot of validity and continuity if correct, though I know a lot of rumors about the 50th can’t yet be trusted… (**the bring-back of Tennant’s Tenth, the offer to Eccleston’s Nine even though it was declined, the rumors about John Hunt’s character being either an older Eight or some offshoot of Nine…)

  • Paul Phoenixnova

    Change, or ruin?

    When it comes to Moff, that sounds more like it, tbh. Bad news is, he is here for another season after this one.

  • Paul Phoenixnova

    Well said

  • Paul Phoenixnova

    Same here. That would be the ultimate insult, but we all now Moff is under instruction to kill off Who.

  • Paul Phoenixnova

    So you completely missed all the wand waving screwdriver resolutions?