Look, you can argue all you want about the creative decline of Doctor Who (or lack thereof—whatever floats your boat), but there’s no denying that the show’s still a ratings juggernaut. Only The Moff’s come across some headlines that do deny it, claiming the show’s in steady decline. And that set off his narcissism alarm. Said the showrunner to Doctor Who Magazine:
“’Doctor Who continues to be a massive hit’ is not a headline. ‘Doctor Who in ratings crisis’ is. Perversely, so long as Doctor Who is huge, those newspaper stories will continue. I’ll start worrying that there’s a problem when people stop trying to pretend that there’s a problem. So long as we’re click-bait for the papers and bloggers, we’re just fine. Highest rated drama of the year – highest rated drama on Christmas Day. Only the insane would quote that as evidence for decline.”
I… I agree with Steven Moffat here. Unreservedly. Holy crap. Claiming Doctor Who is in trouble from a business standpoint is bogus. Now, a decline in quality is a different issue. It’s no secret that we here at The Mary Sue aren’t exactly enamored of the lazy, muddled, shine-over-substance storytelling arcs (not to mention the sexism) that have ruled during Moffat’s tenure. When he gets to Moffatsplaining, we have something to say about it. But here… no, Moff. I have your back.
Someone whose back we always have is Matt Smith. It’s not his fault he was saddled with a crap showrunner, after all. The actor recently spoke up at Wizard World Comic Con about which of the three seasons in his era is his favorite:
“For me, the best storytelling was in series five. It had great adventure and great clarity and I loved that whole idea about the Pandorica and the Big Bang. It was the one I connected with most… Looking back I think some of my best work was in my first series because I was actually taking real risks and that was a real moment.”
Do you agree? Was five Eleven’s (and Moffat’s) best season?