Published on October 31st, 2013 | by Christian Cawley
Moffat Doesn’t “Get” Doctor Who Fans’ Comic Con Trailer Woes
The last thing Doctor Who needed in its 50th anniversary year was division. Thanks to the reduced episode count and the infamous San Diego Comic Con exclusive trailer for The Day of the Doctor, however, division is what we’ve had.
While the rediscovery of The Enemy of the World and most of The Web of Fear has helped to placate some frustrations (along with the perpetually awesome BBC trailer for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary) the SDCC affair – nay, debacle – has continued to bubble under the surface, along with disappointment that Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston won’t be appearing in The Day of the Doctor (not that we’d actually know at this point…)
So, surely Steven Moffat has some wise words of empathy for disappointed fans? Well, to be honest he’s largely been silent about these things, other than cryptically clueing us to keep the guesses coming until November 23d. For this, he is greatly respected; The Moff is doing his job in keeping us talking about the show.
However, a new interview in Broadcast magazine – out Friday, industry types – reveals that perhaps Steven Moffat doesn’t get it.
Comic Con has a history of screening exclusive material. I understand if people are feeling eager – but don’t you think it would have been a little bit early for everyone to see it? We were creating a buzz about it among the people who’d slept out all night for it.
This is going to get out, so let’s consider how fans dying to see the trailer are going to take these words.
Moffat considers SDCC “a little bit early,” but how many times have trailers for Christmas episodes aired at the end of a run, or coming series at the end of Christmas episodes during the RTD and early Moffat era?
The view from K Towers is that the now not-so grand Moff is making a rod for his own back in trying to justify the SDCC screening. With further analysis (and we’re Doctor Who fans – it’s what we do, right?!), it gets worse.
Take “the people who’d slept our all night for it.” Does a Doctor Who fan, writer and showrunner really intend to say to you Kasterborite, dear Doctor Who fan, new and old, that the trailer was not for you unless you were one of an extremely select bunch of fans. An elite, if you will.
Surely not?! Surely over his youthful and adult years, Steven Moffat has experienced the same dismissal of his fandom as many other fans, has seen unpleasant cliques and groups develop and attempt to hijack the show’s fallow period as their own little kingdoms.
What would the Doctor say? What would Davros say?
If you were a fan particularly unhappy about the SDCC trailer, expected the lack of Paul McGann and other classic Doctors in the 50th anniversary, how might you feel about a statement that seems to say “Deal with it, Whovian. It’s not your trailer - it’s someone else’s.”
Now, this isn’t our opinion. We’re extremely happy that Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary trailer was used to create a buzz; we’re delighted that a small group of people – many of which weren’t even hardcore fans (due to the location, career of many attendees and the amount of time it takes to enthuse passionately about multiple shows) – were able to see something that the rest of us weren’t.
But I’m pretty certain a lot of fans aren’t too pleased, and that these new comments by Steven Moffat are going to be taken very badly in some circles.
Doctor Who has long had a culture of the people in charge being forthcoming in their relationship with the fans, going back to the John Nathan-Turner era, and to some extent beyond. Perhaps it’s time to bring this to an end, in the name of peace and sanity of fans and showrunner alike?