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Moffat on Series 8’s Smaller Story Arc

series-8-filming-finale-cybermenSteven Moffat has spoken a little about the story arc this year stating that it will only take up a small chunk of each episode in the lead up to the finale. Think Series Five, rather than Six.

Responding in EW, Moffat said: “Yes [there are over-arching plotlines], but at the same time 90 percent of every episode is a stand-alone adventure.”

On the overall setting of each episode: “We’ve got quite a lot of Earth stuff this time. But it’s proper variety, and I think i’ll not tell you what’s going to be on the roller coaster in advance.”

Teasing the big two-part finale he says: “It’s not just about the Cybermen. It’s a good, action-packed, mad one.”

Step back in time...

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391 comments
ClaireAbraham
ClaireAbraham

I've always preferred Moffat's stand-alone adventures to the overall arcs - the arcs are sometimes so ambitious they can't follow through completely, but the stand-alone episodes are usually pretty magical. I am loving the direction they are taking this year and I hope they get a lot of positive feedback for the changes.

Maiden_Ty_One
Maiden_Ty_One

I have absolutely nothing against overaching story arcs, even if they take up the bulk of a season - if they're GOOD story arcs....That's really all that's important to me, whether an episode is stand-alone or part of a story-arc - call me crazy, but it's whether it's GOOD or not that concerns me....

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Quite a lot of Earth stuff. ... Sigh. I want to see less Earth stuff, not more. I want to see the universe, you know, what every Doctor promises his companions? To see wondrous things and such? Not hop around in Earth's time line all the time.

HomelessBoxBoy
HomelessBoxBoy

Beautiful! Doctor Who kind of lost a bit of it's magic during Series 6/7, and returning to the old format sounds great.

JamieJones723
JamieJones723

I prefer the more extensive storylines that Moffat has done, but you can't do them every year, or the show will tire itself out. It's good to just have some adventures every now and then, where the point of the adventure IS just the adventure.

Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

I would like the new series to be great to have scary moments and funny ones and sad moments

JJJ567
JJJ567

Am I the only one that enjoyed the season long arc in season 6? 

Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

maybe it will be a good thing to have a shorter arc

Polyphase
Polyphase

Sounds like the same sort of thing as previous years.

“We’ve got quite a lot of Earth stuff this time. But it’s proper variety, and I think i’ll not tell you what’s going to be on the roller coaster in advance.”

I hope this means that every disaster doesn't just happen in Britain, I know it's because of budget but it would be nice see some different scenery :)

Pockydon
Pockydon

Hearing 'More like series 5' was very nice, although it didn't come from Moffat himself. 

However, for some reason I'm not so happy about this line: “It’s not just about the Cybermen. It’s a good, action-packed, mad one.” 

Please god don't let this be another Time of the Doctor, where the Cybermen are in it for a cameo but don't actually do anything. It's cheapening them. 



Liana21
Liana21

I like it, I like the little details that appear here and there and finally lead to the big end.

gameguy523
gameguy523

I heard "More like series 5." That is good enough for me. 

Strontium
Strontium

Not just about the cybermen? Sounds good, but I cannot help but fear that it could be yet another one that has about every alien in it. But I am glad there is an arc that isn't too big.

The Outer Space K9
The Outer Space K9

I really liked the complicated arc in series 6, it made me sit on the edge of my seat waiting for next Saturday's episode and the cliffhangers were great. But I'm not complaining as long as it's more like series 5: a small scene in every episode and  a few episodes (like Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone) foucused on it in the middle.

"Quite a lot of Earth stuff" sounds interesting but I'd have loved it if they travelled to distant planets more often and if the dark forces of the Universe wouldn't descend on Earth at the end of every series.

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

Sounds similar to 7b in terms of arc prominence, then. I prefer a bit more, but as long it's done well, I'm good with anything.

Oodkind is foretold...
Oodkind is foretold...

Sounds promising. I hope the arc is worked into the plot of the episodes, however, instead of stuck in awkwardly at the end like the cracks in Victory of the Daleks or The Beast Below. As long as the arc has a good reason to be in the story, I think this sounds great!

As for the Cybermen, I'm not quite sure yet. I am fine if the Cybers are involved with a bigger plot, but I'm getting a bit sick of the "alliance of enemies" plot line that Moffat has used in Pandorica and Time of the Doctor. The Cybermen are in need of a good reboot story, and I hope this episode does that instead of having them be one part of a larger enemy force that takes attention away from them.

MJJ
MJJ

I want Capaldi's coat.

A Friend of the Ood
A Friend of the Ood

@Pockydon They've been filming too many Cybermen and too many important looking scenes for it to just be a cameo. I think "It's not just about the Cybermen" is referring to the Gatekeeper/Missy.

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

@Pockydon We've seen at least three parts with Cybermen on location so I don't think they will be cameoing. Chances are the Cybermen are the main villains but there is more to the story than just the Cybermen doing whatever they're doing.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

I honestly don't care if there's another all-aliens armada, even though I don't think that there will be. I just don't see what the big deal is. It's only happened twice (with a three-year gap in between those instances), and in both cases, there was an in-story reason for doing it. It wasn't just done to be gratuitous.


Malohkeh
Malohkeh

@Oodkind The Time of the Doctor wasn't an alliance. It was individual factions fighting independently.

The Outer Space K9
The Outer Space K9

I thought the cracks appearing in every episode was intriguing, a nice subtle way to keep the main story arc going.

They're all my favorite ...Moonkiller?
They're all my favorite ...Moonkiller?

@Amy is Hannibal In Pandorica it was interesting. I sort of felt like TOTD was just an attempt to make it more "epic." There didn't seem to be much of a reason story-wise for anyone except the daleks and the Silence to be there, but they wanted to do the wooden Cyberman and the "Mirror on the Angels" trick.  I mean, I sort of get having a bunch of people there for the mystery of the message, but all those other baddies getting one scene a piece seemed sort of pointless.

Liana21
Liana21

I don't want Gallifrey on Series 8, I want it at least on Series 9. Maybe at the end of Series 8, after clean up whatever the mess the Cybermen are going to do in London, a cliffhanger with a important trace/ message about where is it and leading to Series 9.

Blake Jamieson
Blake Jamieson

@Liana21 i would personally like something like that in the xmas special, as soon as we think the Doctor has saved the day and about to have xmas dinner or something and it ends on a cliffhanger like you mentioned. then we would be in a long wait for answers (assuming series 9 will broadcast around this time next year)

They're all my favorite ...Moonkiller?
They're all my favorite ...Moonkiller?

@Amy is Hannibal But still, I don't think three years is a long enough gap for something like that. All I could think was "Pandorica" the first time I watched TOTD.   Though I do find it to be an episode that gets better every time I see it.


MaraBackman
MaraBackman

I hate the concept because it goes against these creatures' natures to work well with others, even if the entire universe would be at stake. That's also the same reason why I dislike Trenzalore and most other things that were a huge waste of time to those of us who don't care for Moffat's signature style or the Eleventh Doctor's story or character. The one part I do agree to be epic about TPO is the actual cliff-hanger, but otherwise the idea of the Alliance is cringeworthy.

The Outer Space K9
The Outer Space K9

Yeah, I was like "How the hell is he going to get out of this one"? And the scene when they lock him in the Pandorica was so wonderfully writen, acted and directed it's my favourite S5 moment.

MetamorphmagusWho
MetamorphmagusWho

@MaraBackman  If the whole universe was at stake I, personally, feel the idea makes sense. I would have thought that it would have been the last resort for each of the aliens present (especially the Daleks) and I like to think that had the plan worked they would go back to despising each other again. Besides, any method that gets the Doctor out of the way will probably be considered by the Daleks since without him it'd be a lot easier to exterminate everything that wasn't Dalek.

supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!
supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!

@MaraBackman Mavic Chen had an alliance with the Daleks. They're fully capable of working well with others, and I'm 100% sure if the universe hadn't ended after the Pandorica was sealed, the whole alliance would have turned on each other. These are not one dimenionsal enemies, they will naturally turn to an alliance if they believe it will help them. 

MetamorphmagusWho
MetamorphmagusWho

@MaraBackman  Ah... a lot of the comments hadn't come up onto my laptop when I wrote the comment above. "I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry" if it seems like I'm repeating things already said.

MaraBackman
MaraBackman

Even though that does make some measure of sense, at least with older generations of Daleks that were less powerful, I still won't start liking the concept or the storyline just because of that. The biggest misconception fans of the past three years have is that they would be able make everybody love the whole arc if they can get others to understand it better, which is not the issue. The Alliance feels more like a shallow attempt at winning over fans unsure of the new showrunner's abilities, by throwing everybody's favourite monsters at the screen as quick cameos. The story of the Eleventh Doctor is something I will never grow to like, simply because I didn't enjoy much of it and there was virtually nothing else going on in the show for three seasons and the show should also be able to cater to those who don't want to watch that particular story. That's why all of the news bits about the story and structure of Series 8 tell me that they are backtracking now, because they have heard our complaints and still want to keep us around by avoiding things that people like myself disliked about Matt's entire tenure.

supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!
supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!

@MaraBackman Well understanding it would have been a good start for most fans. If more people paid more attention, and hence understood it more, I think they'd appreciate it more. Not love, as understanding is not equal to loving, but it would have diminished the endless slagging-off the Moffat era got from latent RTD fans who didn't even give it a chance. 

And "backtracking" is not the word I'd use, because the arc was enormously successful, it truly was. They're simply staying true to the nature of the show and changing it to something different, as the show relies on change. 

Angie Whodini just bought a star system
Angie Whodini just bought a star system

@MaraBackman Doctor Who is one of the few shows, if not only, where you can just sit one plotline out and know that it will eventually change into something different, where if you don't like a character it will eventually go away. But to expect it to have two different stories at the same time just to please everyone is a little too much imo. 

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

"The Alliance feels more like a shallow attempt at winning over fans unsure of the new showrunner's abilities, by throwing everybody's favourite monsters at the screen as quick cameos." -Could it not just be an attempt at a surprising twist? Nobody would really expect those races to be working together, so there's some shock value. What you're describing sounds like an awfully tedious and roundabout way of "proving" something that that... just doesn't really prove at all. o.o


MaraBackman
MaraBackman

Well, as far as I remember it, it was just as bad with the other side being intolerably obnoxious about it as well. But there is no real point in discussing which side had the bigger jerks, because the whole process will still be repeated for decades to come, with each new passing of a torch. It's also no real point in justifying opinions about something one way or other. because we'd just be repeating the age-old hipster expression "You just don't get it" and getting sick of each other's holier-than-thou attitude.

MaraBackman
MaraBackman

@Angie Whodini @MaraBackman That is not what I'm saying. What I am saying is that there were too few one-shot stories that were truly independent during Series 6 and 7, even if they claimed to go for a blockbuster-format.

supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!
supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!

@MaraBackman Indeed. It will always continue like this. Just as a lot of latent RTD fans didn't give Moffat a fair chance, probably quite a few Moffat fans wont give Showrunner 3 a fair chance. Though good advice would be to stay completely away from all DW places on the internet aside maybe here, as then one keeps away from all of the attitude and angry sentiment :)

supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!
supermoff is on the Orient Express...in space!

@ Notsosmartguy is superior again!!!!!!!!! @supermoff  @MaraBackman Quite. The show has got to continuously evolve, and the statement "because they have heard our complaints and still want to keep us around" is a bit of a ridiculous assertion to make. They know that with every change they make to the show, there will be a similar change to the constituency of the fanbase. They probably couldn't care less about appeasing old fans, but should be far more interested in attaining new ones. They're not doing it for you, they're doing it for them. 




MaraBackman
MaraBackman

@supermoff  @MaraBackman The best thing to do would be to avoid all internet-based interaction with other fans, regardless of fandom, and stick to face-to-face meetings with people you know well and can have arguments with about something and still remain as friends.

nielzabub
nielzabub

@MaraBackman 

I don't agree with all your comments, but I think this one is absolutely true.