Why RTD’s Doctor Who Era has aged so well (and better than Moffat’s
Russell T. Davies Doctor Who The era has aged more gracefully than any other modern showrunner behind the TARDIS console – here’s why. When Russell T. Davies finally landed his coveted relaunch gig Doctor Who in 2005, he may not have imagined starting all over again 16 years later. Running Doctor Who chef Chris Chibnall announced her departure alongside the Thirteenth Doctor herself in July, but while Jodie Whittaker’s successor remains in the ether Davies’ big comeback is confirmed, starting with the 60th special anniversary and moving closer to the following season.
RTD orchestrated the relaunch of Doctor Who starring Christopher Eccleston in the title role, and built on that first success with David Tennant before handing over the reins to Steven Moffat, who had impressed with a string of acclaimed episodes during the RTD era. Moffat took charge of Matt Smith’s eleventh doctor and Peter Capaldi’s twelfth, before handing over control to Chibnall. Although Doctor WhoThe last 2 seasons of ‘s have received mixed reactions, with RTD and Moffat both having huge success leading Britain’s biggest sci-fi export.
Nevertheless, it is the original seasons of Russell T. Davies that many Doctor Who fans might admit they remember more fondly (if they are forced to choose with a sonic screwdriver on their heads), and RTD’s popularity with viewers no doubt contributed to its return in 2023. But why the 2005-2009 period Doctor Who aged so well, even compared to the time of Steven Moffat?
Russell T. Davies defined the Modern Doctor Who model (and did it best)
A big piece of modernity Doctor Who recipe was established by Russell T. Davies, and that’s part of why his time has aged like a fine Traken wine. Indeed, it’s easy to underestimate how groundbreaking RTD’s debut Doctor Who the season was. Single episode stories, long-range arcs, awe-inspiring season finals, near-romantic TARDIS pairings, catchphrases, constant sonic screwdriver pointing – all of the above and more have been introduced by Davies and his team before Doctor Whothe 2005 relaunch. Although Steven Moffat added his own quirks and qualities in taking charge Doctor Who season 5, its era was largely a continuation of the foundations left by RTD.
The two showrunners peddled quite close to the same tonal balance of alien comedy and swashbuckling adventure, while the early interactions between the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond mimicked RTD’s controversial “snogging” craze. Moffat would also pursue threads of RTD history such as Time War, Dalek’s Rebirth, Gallifrey’s Destruction, and The Master. And, like most things in life, whoever did it first did the best. Steven Moffat builds on the creation of RTD in a new and exciting way but, in the end, it’s the initial cooking of Doctor Whomodern ingredients that taste the best here and now.
The romantic companion gadget hasn’t been improved since Rose and Ten, with Karen Gillan only becoming self-sufficient after Amy stopped moving on her “Raggedy Man.” No final blowout of the season has ever come close to matching “The End of Time” for the scale, and the lonely doctor gripped by memories of Gallifrey’s destruction was much simpler before Moffat began to foreshadow the rebirth of the planet. Steven Moffat added a lot to Doctor Who, but he was playing on the set of Russell T. Davies, and those original, undiluted ideas have, as you might expect, aged better. Maybe if Moffat had cracked first, the situation would be turned around.
The RTD doctor who is easier to see again than Moffat’s
The most essential factor in how a television series ages over time is the value of rewatch, and Russell T. Davies’ Doctor Who easily surpasses the era of Steven Moffat in terms of longevity. Both showrunners spoke openly about aspects of their Doctor Who races, they would change if a trip to the TARDIS were possible, but Moffat’s seasons have suffered from convoluted storytelling that makes replay sessions (of Matt Smith’s reign in particular) more taxing than they should be. .
Russell T. Davies has mastered storytelling a season in Doctor Who. He would drop a line like “Bad Wolf” or “Saxon” from the start, and the meaning would inevitably be revealed in the season finale. This cycle of accumulation and repayment may seem a little simplistic compared to Doctor Whomore recent and ambitious seasons, but the RTD method was both economical and efficient. In contrast, Steven Moffat expanded ideas such as Trenzalore, The Silence, The Doctor’s Name, and the story of River Song over several seasons, interweaving all of Matt Smith’s regeneration with narratives that are best described as wibbley-wobbley. Maybe even timey-wimey.
In “The Doctor’s Name”, for example, Matt Smith learns that Trenzalore is his future resting place, with the TARDIS his grave, but after the siege of Trenzalore in “The Doctor’s Time” he safely regenerates in Peter Capaldi. A season earlier, The Doctor was reportedly killed by an astronaut in front of a shocked River Song. The astronaut was River Song which was only claim be shocked, but River was acting under the compulsion of Silence, which wanted the Doctor to be dead, even though they ended up working with him in the final battle anyway … and mental exhaustion set in. Back in the days of RTD, a bunch of the characters would say “Saxon” a lot, and then The Master appeared.
Sometimes there is beauty in simplicity. Watch Steven Moffat Doctor Who in hindsight, it is easy to spot where certain clues or details do not correspond to the final answer. Revisiting the era of Russell T. Davies, Doctor Who fans are less likely to drop their Jelly Babies out of frustration.
Moffat’s clever sound clips didn’t age well
There is a general feeling among Doctor Who fans that while Russell T. Davies was the top showrunner, Steven Moffat was the top writer. Of course, this is an easy case to defend. To contrast RTD’s scripts with those of Moffat is a non-competition in favor of the latter. On the other hand, the most popular modern Doctor Who the episodes come mostly from RTD’s time as a showrunner.
While Steven Moffat will be one of the Doctor Whothe best scribes of all time, his penchant for concise and quotable sound clips comes with diminishing returns. Clever lines like: “never trust a hug … it’s just a way to hide your face” Where “run smart boy… and remember“are thought-provoking and poetic at first, but there is a fine line between genius and exhibition. A speech that seems very clever when the episode first airs becomes more and more contrived as it goes. is heard. Before long, the quote sounds less like The Doctor and more like Steven Moffat himself – especially to those who know Sherlock and other projects from his pen.
Russell T. Davies Doctor Who the writing is less visibly identifiable. The monologues might not be as wordy or eloquent, but the dialogue doesn’t feel like RTD writing, either. through his characters.
RTD’s Doctor Who Themes Are Even More Relevant Now
Doctor Who has always championed a liberal social and political perspective, and while the world has changed dramatically since Russell T. Davies left the TARDIS team, the values and messages woven throughout his time are more relevant than ever. Both Amy Pond and Clara Oswald were presented as “destined” companions, intrinsically linked to the Doctor’s story. The RTD trio of Rose, Martha and Donna were ordinary women thrown into extraordinary situations. Although Moffat would later explore this path himself with Bill Potts, RTD’s ethics of proving that seemingly insignificant Earthlings are capable of changing the universe carries more weight than ever.
The numerous invasions of Downing St. which have taken place under the watchful eye of Eccleston and Tennant (as well as Harriet Jones, Prime Minister) give Doctor WhoThe era of Russell T. Davies is a subtle political subtext that plays out even better after Britain’s confusing brush with Brexit. The same goes for RTD’s reality TV parodies, the subjugation of Oods, human dependence on technology, and environmental disasters – all of which were fit for a 2005 audience and only became more appropriate than in 2021.
Family was the dominant theme for Russell T. Davies’ Doctor Who. Whether Rose’s parallel father, abusive father figures (The idiot’s lantern, Fear her), the companion coalition, or the Doctor’s lack of Time Lords companions, the RTD era revolved around family ties, blood or whatever. It is the most eternal of subjects that helps Doctor WhoThe first seasons of under new management look just as fresh and vital today as they did when they aired.
More: How Doctor Who Can Reinvent Himself In The Age Of Disney +
Marvel is finally making the Ultron story that Avengers 2 failed to make
About the Author