Steven Moffatt, current show runner for Doctor Who, has put himself in the news again, by declaring all fans are wrong. Yeah, this is coming from the guy that decided he had to rewrite canon history to put his own fannish imprint on the series. This time, he is ranting about fans still debating over the numbering of the Doctors.
In an article in the Radio Times, Moffatt is quoted as saying the Doctor has never referred to his regenerations by number. In show that is partially true. Starting with the Three Doctors, the 1st Doctor gives nicknames to his other regenerations of “Dandy” and “Clown.” In the Five Doctors this continues with the 4th Doctor getting the nickname “Teeth and Curls”. This is all fine and dandy, the nicknames are cute, funny and appropriate. Okay, so what? Who cares if the Doctor doesn’t often refer to the numbers “in-show.” That doesn’t change the fact that fans still want and need a way to differentiate between the many actors that have played the part. Not every one can remember names, but numbers and features are easy. Saying “Number 4, the one with the scarf” will get faster recognition than Tom Baker. Moffatt’s sad attempt to put down a fan convention that has been in use since I became a fan in the early 1980s just shows the man’s character. And I call shenanigans on his claim that he doesn’t generally think of them in terms of their number. I’ll bet if you went and looked at old interviews before this whole numbering kerfuffle started, you’d see him doing just that.
Moffatt is really getting on my nerves with his desire to wipe out all established fan convention and replace it with his own. Of course, I blame Russell T. Davies for encouraging him. I had completely forgotten this, and with good reason, but the 10th Doctor does regenerate, but keeps his Tenth face and personality. Okay. We know Time Lords can control their regeneration. It was established back with the 4th Doctor and Romana regenerating with a rotating changing of her appearance. So, since the 10th was able to control this “10th regeneration”, why did he have to get all whiny and emo about the change when it came again? Why couldn’t he just control it again? It’s not like it was a surprise like most of the other regenereations. He knew he was dying and even went on a romp to see his old companions. Why couldn’t he just keep this precious face and personality and just keep on going? This is really weak writing on Davies’ part. I hated the super emo-ness of Tennant at the end of his run as it was. Add this to it and it just comes off as sloppy.
Now, throw in Moffatt, who takes the opportunity that Davies threw out to completely mess up the regeneration structure by adding not just the silly scene with the Sisters of Karn and their personality potions, but throwing in another Doctor as well. A “warrior” Doctor. Guess what Moffatt, the Doctor didn’t need a potion to become the “War Doctor”, he just needed the determination. If you had said the potion was a placebo and that it was the Doctor’s will, I would have found it easier to swallow. The Doctor has always been a warrior, just not with weapons of mass destruction.
Moffatt’s whiny little rant just shows he’s been doing the show for too long, pushing his own agenda too much. Doctor Who is not his own personal plaything that he can bend and twist to his will. It is a show that has grown and changed, and doesn’t need his revisionist history to continue down that path. He messed with the regenerations just so he could be the one to write what technically should have been the final incarnation of the Doctor and then give him the new set. He was selfish and greedy with the Doctor, and that’s something I find very hard to accept or forgive.