Sunday, June 08, 2008

Good Writing

The annoying thing about Formula One motor-racing is that it's the guy in the best car that wins. The competing format known as A1GP "World Cup of Racing" is more interesting because all teams drive what is basically the same car, so you have a chance to find out who the best driver is.

I still wouldn't watch a race, because I can't get excited about watching people drive quickly and repeatedly round the block.

Anyway, it's "Doctor Who" I want to talk about. Like A1GP, all the writers on the series have basically the same materials at their disposal. Same characters, same special effects department, and the same limited actors. It means it's possible to see just how good a writer Steve Moffat is.

There have been some turgid ho-hum episodes in the last few series. Last year's Christmas Special was a total disgrace, and the recent Big-Wasp-Nearly-Ate-Agatha-Christie episode was too daft even to drop down a division and become a "Torchwood" script.

In the hands of Steve Moffat though, these base materials are spun into gold. Every episode he has written has been nominated for prizes, because he creates unforgettable visuals, amazing dialogue and, most importantly, he enriches the characters, After a Steve Moffat episode, The Doctor has learned, The Doctor is more complex and interesting. You learn more about the man, who in the hands of other writers is just a cipher with a stupid grin and a magic box.

Moffat is obviously a big techie too - in the last series , he used the idea of "Easter Eggs" as a plot device; in the most recent episode he uses the idea of "Spoilers".

Speaking of "Spoilers", I won't spoil the plot if you haven't watched it yet. But there are big ideas, a neat plot twist and it turns out the Doctor enjoys the recreational use of handcuffs, which will no doubt launch a million fan-fiction stories.

Steve Moffat will become the chief writer on Doctor Who in 2010 and he's scripting a TRILOGY of "Tintin" films for Stephen Spielberg and Peter Jackson.

Whoopee !!

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