Tag Archives: Steven Moffat

Killing Your Darlings: On Main Character Deaths, Or Not

"People die if they are killed"

Except when they don’t

Hush little audience don’t you cry, you knew your favourite character was going to die…

Well, that’s an unnerving little lullaby isn’t it? The fact is, the author giveth and the author taketh away, and the characters and worlds creative professionals breathe life into are often at risk of having that life sucked right back out of it. Yes, friends and loved ones, I’m talking about character deaths again. An excessive amount, or a lack thereof, both of which seem to be trending across popular TV series at current, and both of which have some iffy implications.

Game of Thrones, for example, has by now a stellar reputation for sticking an axe into everyone you love, or, in less weepy terms, its writer assigning no contractual immortality to the ‘good guys’. One of the most popular anime series at the moment, Attack on Titan, runs a similar operation, as does the Fate franchise which has spent the better part of this year putting my heart through a pepper grinder. Supernatural is not much better. In the sphere of YA The Hunger Games and Harry Potter are well worthy of note, with fans everywhere lamenting the loss of their favourites in whatever context. Suzanne, George, J.K. and their kind have earned their place in the hearts of many as the harbingers of doom.

On the other end of the spectrum we have Steven Moffat, who, as much discussed in the wake of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, has a general aversion to actually killing characters off. Which is fine, on one level, since not every series has to contain a warzone’s worth of death if it’s not actually set in a warzone. But what our champ the Moff does is fake out deaths; kill Rory and bring him back so many times it becomes a running joke, displace people in time so they pass away quietly off-screen, or just smack the literal giant reset button and make everything okay again. As a side note, there is an actual website where you can press a ‘make everything okay’ button, which is really cute, but as a writing technique it’s… rather dicey.

The many deaths of Rory Williams-Pond

There he goes again

At one end of the tightrope, you have Game of Thrones watchers joking that they’re hesitant to get attached to new characters since they’ll probably just get killed off, at the other, all tension and sense of fear for the Doctor and his crew is pretty much evaporated due to their writers’ discomfort with the idea of killing anyone permanently. Neither of these is really a position your show wants to be in. Continue reading


Filed under Things We Need to Stop Doing

Greatest Mystery in the Universe: My Musings on New Who

Let me be completely upfront here: I have no idea what’s going on with the most recent seasons of Doctor Who.

Promo material: The Doctor and Clara riding a motorcycle

Cardgames on motorcycles?

I stopped watching, I have to admit, after the end of season four and the loss of Donna Noble, wherein I decided that things had gotten a little convoluted and epic-scale for my preference. I also had a soft spot for David Tennant that I just didn’t feel rekindled in the new face, but that’s just me being picky.

If I wanted to catch up on New Who, as some people inform me I maybe should, it would be a mammoth task—this is not a series that you can simply dip into anymore, with interconnecting and twisted continuity that makes even my brain hurt. It came on TV the other night (premiere of the new season!) and my family were pondering whether to tune in, and I had to tell them I was pretty sure the time would be wasted as we wouldn’t understand a smidge of what was going on.

And that’s okay; it’s plain to see many other people are still avidly enjoying the series—which, actually, is how I keep a vague track of what is going on. Putting the snippet together from the reactions of the internet is always interesting. For season 7 part 2 (or however things are being organised) what we have so far is a monk outfit, the Doctor having amazing hair, wi-fi is dangerous somehow and the new companion has a book with a leaf in it that features a pair that look like Sherlock and John on the cover. That’s what I know. You see why I might be a bit befuddled?

Anyway, let’s talk about this new girl though, from what little I understand: yet another fresh-faced, plucky young woman who is gearing up for adventures through space fantasy, you may think, but there’s something different about Clara Oswald. She’s appeared in other episodes before, in the special Asylum of the Daleks and the Christmas special, both in entirely unconnected worlds, and it’s also revealed in a prequel short that the Doctor met her when she was a little girl. Trailers have the Doctor informing us that she is “the greatest mystery in the Universe”. It’s certainly a break from the usual formula. Continue reading


Filed under Pop Culture Ponderings

The Game is Afoot: A Sherlock Review

I found this really great fanfic… it’s like a modern AU of Sherlock Holmes? And it’s on TV. And it’s amazing.

Sherlock season 1 cover

As someone mystified by the Holmesian universe but never quite in possession of the mental energy it takes to chew through the stories, Sherlock seemed to be sent from Fiction Heaven itself (though the nature of its creators, Mark Gattiss and Steven Moffatt, also known for tormenting avid watchers of Doctor Who, would be argued by some fans to be less than angelic).

The richness of the original is there and the characters that so many people have known and loved over the century are as fascinating and delicious as they have always been, with the modern day setting only a light, satisfying tang over the top.

Continue reading


Filed under Alex Watches