An unapologetic Steven Moffat told BAFTA Guru that disgruntled viewers of Doctor Who should ‘pay attention’ and ‘think about’ his dramas:
“There’s been a weird backlash among, I presume, fairly stupid people about the fact the shows are complicated and clever, but they’re both huge international hits.”
Forget doing the ironing; there will be no passive viewing. Moffat wants open mindedness and not, reductive views of sci-fi and genre fiction:
“They follow intricately plotted soap operas all the time. It depresses me when people say, ‘It’s all far too clever’.”
Being ambitious and promoting intelligent engagement shouldn’t be seen as a fault; Doctor Who invites viewers to believe they are above average and vicariously rewards fans curiosity with rich, complicated stories; Sherlock fetishizes intelligence. Both should be spoken of as the best television this country produces.
While it isn’t particularly productive to label the minority of viewers left cold by Moffat’s clinical plots ‘fairly stupid’ it’s easy to empathise with his frustrations.
That doesn’t always mean his plots fit together well, or that all the ideas come off with the right balance of emotional heft and intelligent dexterity but as long as he keeps producing drama with that aim – they’ll always be an audience willing to engage with them.
But how long will he stay?
“The moment it’s time to stop on a show is not an ambiguous feeling – you just suddenly think, ‘I can’t do it anymore; I’ve had enough’.”