Blink and you'll miss your chance to get a man

(4 comments)

Someone I respect a lot has recently said that Moffat's Who stories don't really display much in the way of viewpoints.  With all due respect to Gallibase forum poster Affirmation (and that's one heck of a lot of respect), I actually think Moffat's stories do tell us a lot about what he thinks. I think they tell us quite a bit about what he thinks about women, for instance.

'Blink', for example, tells us that following a woman you've just met is an acceptable (even whimsically amusing) way of wooing her. It tells us that geeky internety guys are amusingly tragic pratts... but that women exist to redeem them by accepting them. Ultimately, the gorgeous young girl misses her opportunity to 'get' the hot cool copper (she automatically imagines marrying him once she's automatically attracted to him) and has to settle for the nerd. Settling for the nerd (i.e. finally getting herself a man of some description) is the sign that she's grown up, settled her issues, is ready to move on with life, etc. Living with her mate and having a laugh were the preludes to Real Life, the start of which (for both female characters) is naturally signfied by becoming a wife or permanent girlfriend to the nearest man ready to accept her.

And 'Blink', I should add, is one of Moffat's better stories (in my 'umble). Compared to other of his episodes, 'Blink' actually does seem (to me) to have some things to say. It rather amusingly takes bad sitcom characters and subjects then to a very non-sitcom plot (which is more than Gareth Roberts could manage). Of course, they're still just bad sitcom characters... but the episode does say something about the passing of time and the achievement of emotional maturity.

Of course, the sentiments expressed are somewhat sexist (see above) and are not particularly original or shattering. Life passes quicker than you think it will, you don't always get what you want or expect in life... well, unless you're the steadfastly and creepily loyal nerd who eventually 'wins' his 'out-of-his-league' girlfriend once she realises what a loyal puppydog he is.

One doesn't have to be Freud, does one?

Comments

Richard Pilbeam 5 years, 6 months ago

And don't forget "Forest of the Dead", in which fulfillment = motherhood = dying.

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Affirmation 5 years, 6 months ago

I think we can take as read Moffat's distasteful opinions about women, since that's been the one constant throughout all his work and can be best summarized as the Gina Bellman syndrome (Dennis Potter, anyone?).

The point I was trying to make is that Moffat doesn't have any interest in anything other than his old ideas and obsessions. So when something genuinely fascinating (like Nixon) is dropped into a Moffat script, there's no chemical reaction. The Moffat style, self-interested and narrow-focussed on narrative trickery and sitcom characterization, absorbs anything and everything. This is the opposite way to how a dramatist works.

Should Moffat (who is now at his most productive and at the height of his award-winning esteem) ever challenge himself to look at things properly, to engage, to dump his style in favour of the subject, then he will be for once asking the viewer questions beyond the superficial.

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Jack Graham 5 years, 6 months ago

Affirmation -

Thanks for contributing here, much appreciated. And thanks for the clarification (not that you were unclear before).

I will say a couple of things in response.

Firsly, lots of viewers/fans *don't* take it "as read" that Moffat has a distasteful view of women and are surprised and irritated by the assertion, as you know. To the extent that any of this is important at all, getting this point across is important (I think).

Secondly, to his credit, Dennis Potter did sometimes at least seem to be *trying* to analyse his own issues with women.

But, these tiny points aside, I agree with your broader point entirely.

The sheer lack of interest in Nixon is a case in point, as you say. Of course, such a lack of interest allows an entirely ironical and complacent approach to heavily politically freighted subject matter... hence the sydrome where the apolitical treatment of the intensely political ends up being its own kind of highly political statement, which is not recognised as such because it is within the boundaries of mainstream orthodoxy.

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Affirmation 5 years, 6 months ago

Glad to be here! The walls look pretty. Has Banksy been around?

I'm trying to classify the type of writer Moffat is. He's never created an original drama series, and I simply couldn't see him thinking, "the UK riots... gotta say something about that in a drama". Whereas you could easily imagine Davies or Abbot or McGovern doing so because they like using drama as a vehicle for their concerns.

Moffat hasn't contributed episodes to serial dramas, either. "The Street", or "Clocking Off" or things like that. Could you picture a Moffat episode of "Cracker"?

Is Moffat interested in people? I don't think he is. And that's why he's not a dramatist. He has nothing to say about anyone, no burning interest in exploring why a kid in Manchester might burn down a police station, no questions he himself would like to raise within a dramatic framework.

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