Stephen Moffat‘s War On
Tonight the Christmas special of Doctor Who aired on BBC America at 9pm EST/8pm CST. While all Doctor Who Christmas specials are meant nowadays to be memorable, this one will be remembered as Matt Smith‘s last episode as the Doctor. The episode starts off with of course the unrequitted love between the Doctor and his companion, Clara. Clara invites the Doctor to Christmas dinner because she has made up an imaginary boyfriend. The Doctor of course obliges, and Clara chooses to cook the turkey on the TARDIS. While on the TARDIS, the Doctor runs into Tasha Lem, the Mother Superior and chief religious figure of the Church of Papal Mainframe.
Tasha Lem allows Clara and the Doctor to pass through her force field while they investigate a planet with possible Gallifreyan connections. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers but I will say this, that like last year’s Christmas special, I could understand what was going on, unlike many other times during the Moffatt Era. I remain a fan of Clara and I hope they make her character stronger. I liked the way that the 11th Doctor died of old age before his regeneration, and there seem to be some real Star Trek like speculations when it comes to religion such as “everyone enters the church naked.” My biggest frustration with the Moffatt Era continues to be his inability to write women, and much of the time, his portrayals are sexist. At one point, there’s a disturbing scene where the Doctor kisses Tasha Lem without her consent, and when she confronts him about that fact, the Doctor dismisses her concerns with “humor.”
Much like Moffatt’s dismissal of having a woman Doctor Who (comparing a woman Doctor to a man “playing” the Queen), the Doctor seems not to care for the free will of women like Tasha Lem. Rape culture dismisses arguments for consent with “she was asking for it.” I can only hope , that with the new batch of regenerations, Moffatt will choose to make wiser writing choices, and take the sexism out of his story-telling. As for Capaldi’s 12th/13th Doctor, I wish that they can go back to the Untamed Storm/ angry professor style of Christopher Eccleston’s 9th Doctor. We shall see.