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Published on September 7th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

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Let Moffat Tweet in Peace

It seems that Steven Moffat is getting a little fed up with fans of Doctor Who that don’t like what he’s doing with the series.

Since taking over the show in 2010, Moffat has been a keen “Tweeter” (that’s a user of social networking site Twitter for all of you that don’t use these new fangled contraptions) who has given regular updates of his Doctor Who exploits as they grow to the general public.

But unfortunately, some of his followers (you can follow a Twitter user if you are a member and receive their updated comments) have chosen to leave a few negative comments of their own and spoil what is generally a great idea for involving fans of the show as it goes through its creative process.

A few bad apples have left threatening comments as well, something which quite rightly leaves the Executive Producer slightly miffed:

“I’m tired of being threatened and sworn at. Behind your back is freedom of speech. To your face is an attack…”

And how right he is. This is a subject that we’ve touched upon in the Kasterborous news feed before but the point is still as valid. If you don’t like what Moffat is doing, you’re under no obligation to watch the show. He and his team work tirelessly to bring us new Doctor Who episodes each year and we’re lucky to get anything at all considering that the show looked like it was permanently dead when the calendar rolled over to the year 2000.

Moffat opens his creative and comical doors to everyone using mediums such as Twitter, something that not a lot of Executive Producers will even bother to do.

Let’s not take advantage of his generosity.

Update: Apology for Moffat

We’ve heard this evening via the Doctor Who News Page that the British Science Fiction Association has issued an apology to Steven Moffat following the conduct of one its committe members:

An apology from the BSFA committee
by Tom Hunter on 05/09/2011 09:28:43

 

A Heartfelt Apology

The BSFA would like to apologise for a tweet made by one of its committee members on Friday 2nd September. As has been stressed from the outset, we do not endorse either the choice of wording or the sentiments expressed in the offending tweet.

The BSFA committee is composed of a group of volunteers, all of whom are passionate about science fiction, all of whom are individuals with their own distinct views. In this regrettable instance a very personal viewpoint was expressed by one such using a personal account, but one still seen as closely linked to the organisation.

This should not have happened and steps have been taken to ensure that it does not happen again. A letter of apology was also sent to Mr Moffat, the victim of the malicious tweet, the same day. Mr Moffat has responded very graciously, assuring us that he understands the circumstances and has taken no offence with the BSFA.

Nonetheless, the BSFA do wish to apologise sincerely to all those who were offended on Mr Moffat’s behalf.

This is an interesting turn of events that reveals a bit more about the identity of said tweeter; however let’s hope that this can be an end to the pointless and unconstructive comments that have been directed at The Grand Moff of late.

After all, a girl is waiting…

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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!




22 Responses to Let Moffat Tweet in Peace

  1. avatar Michael says:

    You have taken Moffat comments about TWO DIFFERENT subjects and put them together as one. ‘Threatened and sworn at’ was about twitter abuse. ‘It’s only fans…’ was about the leaking of spoilers. Has this site become the peddler of tabloid tactics that it so often criticizes itself? Bad show Kasterborous.


    • Well spotted, Michael, and thanks for your feedback.

  2. avatar ChrisL says:

    You say that, “He and his team work effortlessly”…
    Perhaps that is the problem. If he and his team put some effort into the show it would improve.

    I think you might have meant “tirelessly”, which I’m sure is nearer to the truth, but I would hate to put words in your mouth, perhaps you wrote exactly what you meant to write.

    Anyway,Fans have always been critical of television shows, music, films, stage shows, sports teams etc. etc. etc. The only difference these days is the ability for fans to have their views heard by a wider audience than in the past and, while I certainly don’t condone the mindless abuse Mr Moffat seems to be subjected to, he should bear in mind that the silent majority are apparently happy with his output.
    The viewing figures may not be as high as during the Davies/Tennant years but they are more than respectable.

    Moffat is obviously aware of this and I find his occasional bleating about the criticism he receives to be rather disingenuous. The abuse and threats are obviously not acceptable but, surely, genuine criticism coupled with the opinions of his viewers are a valuable resource to be embraced and employed in a positive manner. Any artist worth his salt, in whatever medium he operates, would take heed of the opinions of his audience. He doesn’t have to agree with them but surely their opinions are worth listening to.

  3. avatar Ian O'Brien says:

    As he is on twitter he must expect not everyone will like what he does. Freedom of speech, but no need to be abusive. The only thing that annoys me is the reuse of the same villains, Sontarans, Cybermen, Angles & Silurians. Lots of other classic monsters he could use. And they could make some new Cybermen.

  4. avatar ChrisL says:

    The thing that really surprises me is how the production team obviously notice that the fans are expressing their opinions but they don’t take any notice of them.
    I’m not suggesting that the fans should be the ones driving the show’s content or direction, but the way certain episodes are received by the fans should be acknowledged.

    For example,
    In recent years, one of the writers whose scripts have been less well received has been Mark Gatiss. Also, one of the less well received episodes was “Fear Her”.
    Bearing this in mind, it mystifies me as to why they give us “Night Terrors”, which was nothing more than “Fear Her 2″ and was written of course by Gatiss!

    This shows the scant regard they appear to give to the opinions of the viewers.
    But, as was pointed out above, if we don’t like it we don’t have to watch it, which is a staggering thing to suggest. It’s almost an insult to us loyal viewers – loyal viewers who will still be here long after the current crop of show runners have long gone.


    • hi chrisl or shall i call you the messiah, obviously you can tell you a massive dr who fan but i need correct you because its winding me write up. and tell you that mark gatiss for example did not write fear me in series 2. who wrote the idots latern it was matthew graham the writer of life of mars i think so there.

      p.s. i know need to get out more.

      • avatar ChrisL says:

        Hi Eugene,
        I must apologise for my poor writing in my comment above. You have misunderstood what I was trying to say but that is surely down to how I expressed myself and not to any fault on your part.

        What I was trying to say was that “Night Terrors” had combined two of the weaker elements of the recent past, namely an episode such as “Fear Her” and the writing of Mark Gatiss, which resulted (IMHO) in an episode that could easily have been called “Fear Her 2″.
        I wasn’t saying, or even implying, that Gatiss had written “Fear Her” but I can see how you might have thought I was.

        Once again I apologise for writing so poorly, and will endeavour to express my opinions more clearly, should I decide to comment here in the future.

  5. avatar Stephen says:

    People can have an opinion but when it is expressed in such insulting, threatening terms it is no longer valid.

    The Moff’s responses to this are justified or at the very least understandable.

    I personally don’t agree with the crit and judging by how rejuvenated my children are about the show, neither are they.

  6. avatar vaguely says:

    ***He and his team work effortlessly***

    I think you might have meant “tirelessly”.

    • avatar ChrisL says:

      Yeah, that’s what I thought.

      Could be wrong though!

  7. avatar Meredith Burdett says:

    To all reading this article:

    Where it says effortlessly, it should indeed say tirlessly.

    The rest of the article still stands!

    • avatar ChrisL says:

      Or even “tirelessly” – sorry, couldn’t resist :-)

      So you stand by your assertion that if I don’t like it I shouldn’t watch?
      Please explain how that works exactly. How do I know which episode I may not like before i’ve seen it. Or are you, as I suspect, suggesting that I should stop watching the whole series just because there is an occasional episode that I don’t particularly enjoy?

      If I had taken that advice I would have missed out on some incredible episodes. “The Impossible Astronaut”, “Day of The Moon”, “The Doctor’s Wife” and “When A Good Man Goes To War” (just to stick to Series 6) have all been exceptional episodes and it would have been absolute madness to deny myself the pleasure of watching these simply because of the danger of coming across turkeys such as “Let’s Kill Hitler” and “Night Terrors”.

      Sorry, the oft used riposte of “if you don’t like it, don’t watch” just doesn’t work.

      I actually did try that particular option in the mid-eighties when Colin Baker waddled into the TARDIS in that ludicrous coat.
      I chose to stop watching!
      Not immediately of course, Nicola Bryant’s penchent for wearing fewer and fewer clothes kept me interested for a while but eventually I quit watching Dr Who.

      I shan’t however make the same mistake again. I shall continue watching Dr Who, thank you very much, and I shall reserve the right to find the occasional episode not to my taste (for whatever reason). When I do, I shall also reserve the right to say what I consider to have been wrong with any particular episode.
      Kasterborous, or any other outlet for fan’s comments, are obviously under no obligation to publish my opinions but to be told to stop watching my favourite science fiction show just doesn’t wash, i’m sorry.

      • avatar Charlie says:

        You’re really missing the point and taking a figure of speech literally. Of course you’re not the one messaging the Moff on Twitter and calling him a c*** and threatening him with violence, but you get the point. If you do have a negative opinion of an episode of course you are free to shout it loudly into the vastness of the internet, just as we are free to ignore it. However if it’s something that you’ve personally created for all the indifference in the world it’s hard not to take it personally. And frankly people should have better manners. I think that is the subtext of the article and I imagine you might agree with that.

  8. avatar Meredith Burdett says:

    Hi Chris,

    We’re all under no obligation to watch Doctor Who.

    I do indeed stand by that. It’s a statement of fact.

    I believe your comments are valid and correct and it’s all down to what you like and what you do not like. If you feel that a certain episode or story was not to your liking then of course you should be able to have your say. The spirit of this article was intended as a “stop the needless abuse” piece and that is all. However you do indeed raise some excellent points. Well, apart from calling Let’s Kill Hitler a turkey!

    The only thing I would have to call you up on is that there is no television show called Dr Who.

    Oh, and the typo-spot on with that as well.

  9. avatar Mike M says:

    Whilst I love Moffat’s work overall and think he’s been absolutely at the heart of Doctor Who’s phenomenal success in it’s modern incarnation, the man himself does come across as thin-skinned and snippy. A lot of the abuse he receives is most certainly uncalled for, but he should do what RTD did and shrug it off with grace. He’ll look the better man for it– let the haters just hang themselves.

    • avatar Stephen says:

      Mike I admire your inner strength choosing to use the word ‘hang’ and not another. 100% agree with your comment.

  10. avatar PH says:

    I heard that Mr Moffat is somewhat fed up with fan sites. I can see why, reading this. ‘Thin skinned and snippy’ – and why is that a criticism of someone? ‘if you don’t like it don’t watch it just won’t work’ – sorry, it works fine whether you like it or not. ‘shrug abuse off with grace’ – is that with the same grace with which the abuse was delivered? ‘scant regard given to the opinions of viewers’ – please! Why should anyone be interested?

    Isn’t it about time people stopped taking themselves so seriously? Artists are not obliged to take a blind bit of notice of anyones opinion, nor are they especially required to suffer abuse for it either.


    • I heard that Mr Moffat is somewhat fed up with fan sites. I can see why, reading this

      PH – Whether SM is fed up with fansites (a place where you will find lots of people with differing opinions) or not Mike M’s comment isn’t representative of anyone’s opinion other than his own, on an open and free to use commenting system. Labelling Kasterborous as a “fan site” (we’re a webzine) and thereby tying us up with sites that HAVE been critical of the Grand Moff is distracting and completely unhelpful.

      We’ve been massive supporters of Steven Moffat since day one (meaning 2005) and implying by association that we haven’t is completely unnecessary.

  11. avatar ChrisM says:

    I like Kasterborous – think it’s a great site – and I think abuse and threats of Steven Moffat are just plain silly. After all, as much as I love Doctor Who, it is just a TV show.

    However, SM needs to recognise that he is making a consumer product and the opinions of those who consume it are important especially when the product he produces and no doubt pays him a large salary for doing so, is a public service broadcaster.

    As consumers, should Doctor Who not satiate a need it will start to fail. SM is far too thin skinned for a TV producer and needs to bear consumers – fans and casual viewers – in mind. Otherwise, we will have a dead show as in the JNT years. Perhaps sometimes he should take some of the criticisms on board. For example, while RTD would rely too much upon the dues ex machina SM keeps replaying the same tricksy writing he has done for years – “timey wimey” tricksy plotting was a staple of Coupling.

    I also find that while some areas of fandom are far too critical, other areas are too slavish with their praise. What we need is good honest critical appraisal of the show to highlight the strengths but also point out the weaknesses. Most magazines and webzines are far too accommodating of any weaknesses in story telling or execution and I include Kasterborous in this (though nowhere near as bad as the terrible Doctor Who Magazine, which I have stopped buying).

    For example, Night Terrors was okay – creepy and intriguing and beautiful to look at…but just a tad boring and very, very Mark Gatiss containing his typical obsessions evident in most of the fiction – both TV and novels – of what he found scary when he was a child in the seventies.

    Like a lot of SM’s Doctor Who it was strangely unengaging.

    I hope my opinions don’t enrage anyone, but if they do then it’s too bad really…

  12. avatar Andy says:

    PH- I think you have hit the nail on the head. Artists are NOT expected to bear criticism like that. It was a cowardly and callous abuse of a rare open window into the mind of someone very talented who deserves more respect than he was given. ‘Fans’ need to realize a few things: 1. Nobody owes you anything for watching the show. You are not doing SM a favour and your ‘loyal’ following is because of what the show gives you, not because you’re a ‘nice person.’
    2. Abusing the fact that we have an internet that connects us is far too commonplace in sci-fi fandom. By that, I mean if an interesting discourse breaks out among the fans, thats one thing but when fans start fancying themselves as ‘bettter equipped’ to run the show and are in a position to vent their spleen at its creators, then something has gone terribly wrong.

    I often hear people ask, ‘why don’t the showrunners ever see these threads and listen to them? its really valuable stuff we’re saying here”

    There aren’t hours in the day for me to explain what a nightmare that would be. Would you want to do that after a 14 hour day juggling script, budget, BBC politics, actor’s egos, writer’s neurosis and production limitations? To go to a little message board where ppl who never worked in TV tell you how to run the show? Where 17 ‘die hard’ fans vent their spleen about an episode. Where nobody seems able to agree so you couldn’t even get a consensus of opinion on it in the first place. Seen any great films lately where the story was decided by a committee of ‘fans’? What are the chances you’ll end up with anything other than drivel?

    Its managed to retain 30% of the TV viewing public of Britain for five years without the advise of ‘die hards.’ SM has even done us the courtesy of explaining why he doesn’t listen to fans at ComicCon in 2008 if you want to YouTube it. And nor should he. Fans will be there, fans will watch, fans will buy the DVD. He is rightly focusing on the many others who wont yet buy the DVD, who aren’t fans. That’s how it works.

  13. avatar L-Mac says:

    All of you who think that the “abusive fans” Moffat dislikes are just harsh critics are so small-minded. Yes, all writers care when vocal fans don’t like what they write, but they can deal with it. He’s been a writer for long enough to have thick skin about that stuff.

    THIS:https://twitter.com/#!/evilmoffat
    AND THIS: https://twitter.com/#!/StevenMoffat

    Should give any of you calling him whiny or whatever a pause in your criticism of him as a person. What the hell is that? There’s no excuse for that. Ever. Some people go beyond petty and nasty.

    • avatar Cosmic Hobo says:

      For me, Doctor Who under Moffat is the same show as it’s always been,in one specific way ie.there are some episodes I think are brilliant,some that are okay,and some I’m not wild about.Since the beginning Who has produced not just different stories but different kinds of stories.Some people like some,some people like others.It’s one of the strengths of the show.

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