Doctor Who/Sherlock: Steven Moffat No "Insane, Rightwing Misogynist"

Now that we've gotten over the mind-month hump and find ourselves inching closer to October, it's hard for Doctor Who fans not to get excited. First, we have the final special from current Doctor Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall before they wrap up their run, "The Power of the Doctor." Stemming from that, fans are hoping to get some clues as to what incoming-returning showrunner Russell T. Davies has in store with his 60th-anniversary specials (featuring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, and more). Of course, the expectation would be that from those, we would get a better sense of what Davies and incoming Doctor Ncuti Gatwa have in store for Series 14. Whew! See? We told you that there was a lot to start getting excited about. And yet, even though he has no intentions of returning to the series (though offering his good friend Davies tons of support for what's in store), we can't help but think of Steven Moffat whenever buzz about the BBC series grows. So it was perfect timing that The Guardian had a chance to speak with Moffat on a number of topics during an interview in support of his Tennant-starring series, Inside Man. Here are some of the highlights:

doctor who
Image: BBC

Moffat on "Sherlock": What's Wrong with Being Smart & Clever? – "We don't think of shows like 'Sherlock' as dramas. We think of them as entertainment, as puzzle boxes. Nothing wrong with that, or at least I don't think so. But a lot of people do. They see what I do as merely 'clever.' My favourite review was one of 'Sherlock' that went: 'As ever, regrettably, it falls back on cleverness.' Falls back on? That was just my default position. Being smarter than you. The other one was: 'Why can't Sherlock just be ordinary?' Why? Maybe because ordinary wouldn't have made 'Sherlock' an international success."

Moffat on "A Scandal in Belgravia" Being More Sexist Than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia": In response to Jane Clare Jones's original thoughts on the episode from The Guardian ("[She is] remade by Moffat [into a] high-class dominatrix saved only from certain death by the dramatic intervention of our hero. While Conan Doyle's original is hardly an exemplar of gender evolution, you've got to worry when a woman comes off worse in 2012 than in 1891."): "In the original, Irene Adler's victory over Sherlock Holmes was to move house and run away with her husband. That's not a feminist victory."

Moffat on His Female "Doctor Who" Characters Being Taken "From a Box Marked 'Tired Old Tropes'": Another response to Clare Jones's original opinion in The Guardian ("His [Moffat's] consequent failure to sketch a compelling central dynamic between the lead and his companion has seriously affected the show's dramatic power."): "River Song? Amy Pond? Hardly weak women. It's the exact opposite. You could accuse me of having a fetish for powerful, sexy women who like cheating people. That would be fair."

Moffat on How He Seems Himself Looking Back on Those Accusations: Seeing some coverage as pegging him as "an insane, rightwing misogynist," Moffat looked to set the record straight for his critics. "I'm really none of those things. And I'm certainly no proselytizer for docile women, this heavily subscribed-to myth. I don't know where it came from. I have never known a docile woman. You step through the front door, and you accept your junior status. You think: 'I can still beat the dog.'"

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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