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I hope that isn't true. Despite my mixed feelings on Series 8, I still think Moffat has done a terrific job. At the very least, I hope he gets to wrap up whatever loose ends he's sewn before he leaves.
It's from Twittter, there was an exchange between Ford and a very consistent spoiler hound called trackerboy, who let it slip he had contacts who had told him Ford was showrunner. Phil did'nt confirm or deny anything.
Phil Ford seems like an unusual choice. He's only (co-)written for the series itself on two occasions, and while "Into the Dalek" was good, I didn't hear anyone saying that it was a game-changer in the way that Moffat's scripts were during RTD's run.

Don't get me wrong, I think he's a terrific writer. I just finished my first-ever run-through of The Sarah Jane Adventures (which Ford was for the showrunner for during most of its existence) and I loved it. But it seems to me like Moffat and the BBC would pick someone more directly involved in regular production of the current series.

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Phil_Ford

I've assumed that Moffat and the Beeb have been grooming Mark Gatiss for the position. Gatiss has written for every season of the new series; he's even appeared as a number of different characters; plus he has experience with Moffat co-producing Sherlock.

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Mark_Gatiss

Looking at the respective resumes of each, Gatiss' is the longer and more impressive.

However, also looking at their resumes, I like Ford's work a lot more. As previously mentioned, SJA was great, with strong characters as well as a tone and feel that more closely resembles the family-friendly spirit of the original series than the modern show. I really do like Moffat's work overall, but it feels like there's a lot of sexual humor and references.

Ford is also the only one to have written for all four series (DW, SJA, Torchwood and even one of the animated specials). So he really gets the Whoniverse.

Meanwhile, 2005's "The Unquiet Dead" is one of the only Gatiss scripts that I've enjoyed, and I outright dislike a number of his episodes.

And who knows? Maybe Gatiss is more interested in pursuing other projects. For all we know, all of this is a rumor, and Moffat intends to stay around for a number of years (which is fine with me).

So even though it doesn't seem like it's true that Ford would take over, I actually hope that he does.
LastSurvivor Wrote:For the new series, I don't suppose we can have a season which doesn't rely on a story arc? Can we? Pretty please. Wink

To me, it's crazy to hear people suggest that the show should be less sophisticated and intelligent. Sure, not all of the story arcs have worked equally well, but I don't want a season of just random stand-alone episodes. I think that the ability to tell a story over a long period of time is something that TV can do much better than film, and the move towards more story arcs over the last 15 years has been one of the greatest improvements in television.

Yeah, Doctor Who usually didn't have story arcs back in the day, but they did have cliffhangers for stories that could run on for weeks and weeks with tons of padding, and to me that's not as good as what we get now.

Of course not every episode has to play into some burning question for the season finale, but I don't see it as a flaw or mistake that the writers are taking advantage of the ability to do long-form storytelling.

Just my 2 cents. Smile
To my mind, the best season arc to date has been Series 5, the first Matt Smith season, because of the way it negotiated the stand alone vs. story arc integration of the various episodes. The season finale took elements from what had seemed purely stand alone episodes and brought them together into a compelling finale.

However, the very next season, Series 6, was worse than a collection of stand alone episodes would have been, because the story arc was so self-defeating. Character development is all over the place. Moffatt went up against Aristotle and lost. What was the start of the season? "Oh noes, the Doctor is dead" and the big thing it builds to is "Surprise! He didn't die." Along the way, nearly every episode has at least one intrusive interruption where the story arc forces itself on the otherwise stand alone episode, just as a "By the way, the doctor's still giving Amy a pregnancy test. In case you have a memory span less than one week long."

Series 7 didn't have an arc, and that was preferable to the dumb Series 6 arc with its clunky integration. A TV series has potential in (at least) two directions that can set it apart from film: the ability to do long-form storytelling with more detail and nuance, and the ability to tell wildly different stories each week. Doctor Who has done both--together and separately--at various times, to its advantage and otherwise. Just because there is a story arc doesn't mean the show will be more sophisticated and intelligent. There are plenty of examples in both directions, and if Moffatt has trouble making the story arcs work, then he should take a break from them. (as he did in Series 7A/B.) If he has worked out what went wrong in Series 6 and wants to have another go at season arcs, then by all means, go for it. (as he did in Series 8.)

I'm willing to see either, when done well.
I agree with you that the Season 5 arc was the best; that the Season 6 arc didn't work; and that a story arc doesn't necessarily make the series better. (I think that there's greater potential to do a more intelligent storyline when every episode isn't forced into standalone status, as TV used to be. IMO, the solution to weak story arcs is to try to write a better one next time, not to abandon the concept altogether.)

I don't agree that Season 7 was nothing but standalone episodes, though. Season 7 was all about the mystery of Clara. And in fact, I felt that the second half of Season 7 was the weakest that the new series has been to date.

I think Moffat finally got back on track in Season 8. We saw a darker side of the Doctor that we hadn't seen in a while (hardly at all in the modern series), and we saw Clara challenging him constantly on his questionable choices. There was a strong character arc for both of them this season, and it dovetailed nicely into the Missy finale.

That's my opinion, fwiw. You certainly had a lot of good points, too, though!
I agree on Series Six, and yet that series is still quite enjoyable despite it's convoluted storytelling which seemed to be doodles of a proper design rather than a really detailed one. The dangers of "first draft storytelling" as Mr. Christopher HJ. Bidmead would have you believe
TomH1138 Wrote:To me, it's crazy to hear people suggest that the show should be less sophisticated and intelligent. Smile

I think you may have misunderstood me somewhat... I certainly didn't mean that the show should be less sophisticated and intelligent. Sure, if Moffatt was able to come up with a truly excellent story arc, I'd be more than happy to go along with it. However, I just don't truly see that there has been a particularly good one. What's more, I really don't think most of the pay-offs have been that good or satisfying.

The classic series had its fair share of padded-out stories, but I for one would prefer for the current series to have more 2 parters, allowing a cliff hanger every other week, which in my eyes would negate the need for a prolonged, messy, unintelligible story arc which upon resolution has you going "ummm, well.. right.. okay, that actually wasn't clever at all or intelligent!" - just my $10 worth Wink
OK, fair enough.

I realize that you hadn't outright said that you didn't want sophisticated TV. But I felt like you were saying, "Story arcs are a flawed way of doing TV," to which my response was, "I think that story arcs are a more sophisticated way of doing TV."

But you were simply saying, "The story arcs haven't been very good," to which I can agree with you on a number of occasions, at least. Smile
Reading Doctor Who Magazine, and Moffat has hinted Bernice Summerfield and River Song were married at one point and had adventures together:o