We’re halfway through Doctor Who Series 10, and are thoroughly enjoying the exciting and original adventures it’s taken us on so far – which is surprising, as it’s difficult for a fifty-three-year-old show to keep coming up with new ideas.
For that, we have to applaud Steven Moffat, who’s coming to the end of his term as showrunner after overseeing six whole series of Who. With that time comes familiarity however; sometimes you watch one of his episodes and think “hang on, I’m sure I’ve seen this before...”
And that’s not just the ones with the Silence in. Every writer has their own recurring tropes, and from types of monsters to ways the Doctor gets rid of them, Steven Moffat’s can be all too noticeable. These ideas may have been brilliant at first, but is there a point where they become passé?
Let’s look at the most common features of Moffat Who, and work out just how brilliant, or irritating - or maybe both - they can be...
10. No One Can Die Properly
Throughout the first few years with Matt Smith’s Doctor, it became a running gag among fandom that Rory just kept on dying. First, he’s turned to dust, but that turned out to be a dream, then he was erased from time, then caught in an exploding universe, then... there’s at least three more.
A similar thing happened with Clara. We saw her die twice, but these were just splinter selves, and then the real Clara left the show about five times, the second to last of which was presented as an actual serious death... until the Doctor undid it. Osgood, Missy, and even the Brigadier have also come back from the grave.
It’s all exhausting, really. We know this is an age-old sci-fi trope, but it takes away from the drama of the show if whenever someone dies you expect to see them alive and well in a couple of episodes’ time. It would restore some stakes if a major character would die and then stay dead. Or they could, you know, not die at all. That would be nice too.