More girls are killed in this routine gendercide in any ONE decade, than people were slaughtered in ALL the genocides of the 20th century."
Read that AGAIN.
After seasons 6 and 7 of Doctor Who left me mourning the show I once loved, courtesy of Moffat, I only reluctantly watched the premiere of Season 8. Although I can say I’m glad I did, my feelings are definitely mixed. (Here there be spoilers!).
Yeah, this pretty much covers it. I have a slightly higher regard for the overall episode than the OP, though I agree on all these points. Perhaps it’s just because my expectations of Moffat are so rock-bottom, but I was so pleased to have an episode with a fairly consistent pace and a coherent story that I forgave the other stuff.
Reading this over does remind me how disappointed I was by all the stuff around Clara, though. Her being better written in this episode than previously only made all the other stuff (her sexualised framing, the frequent belittling comments) all the harder to deal with. He made me like her heroism and humanity only to have both attacked constantly throughout.
The phone call from Eleven was so gratuitous I’d actually managed to forget it even happened. And it was stupid. Complete self-indulgence. Cheating. All of that other stuff Moffat does that’s so annoying. It’s like the trick he pulled before with Eleven crossing back into his own time stream to talk to Amy. You can just about get away with that trick once (though it already leaves a bad taste in the mouth and all sorts of questions - if can go back and talk to past Amy in that instance, why not after she’s zapped by the Angels etc). But Moffat always goes overboard with this kind of thing.If it worked once, why not beat us all over the head with it until we’re sick of it? When the Doctor had one ‘everybody lives’ moment it was heartwarming because it was a rare instance. Then it became the pattern of how Who stories went and lost all impact. In the same way, the Doctor fucking with the narrative rules of the show to communicate with his companion works once but once you’ve broken convention once you can’t expect for it to be meaningful a second time.
And yes, that conversation would have earned its place if it had been there to have Eleven find out his next regeneration was female. In fact, the whole episode would have been amazing with a Female Doctor. Clara’s uncertainty that this can still be the person she knows, the Doctor’s displacement in her new body…