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 Moffat says "The companion is the main character"

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SeaDevil
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PostSubject: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:29 am

I just read this on the Doctor Who News site:

The companion, not the Doctor, is the main character in Doctor Who, according to Steven Moffat. With Amy and Rory about to leave the show and a new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, arriving in this year's Christmas special, Moffat told BBC America: "The story begins again, not so much with the new Doctor, but with the new companion. It is their story. The Doctor's the hero, but they're the main character." He added: "I thought about the Doctor travelling on his own and it always faintly depresses me." [Radio Times, 19 April 2012]

I cannot disagree more regarding the companion's role.

The companion traditionally is considered to be "us" in the storytelling, but should not be the focus of the program, in my opinion. The Doctor should be the "star" of the show. There have always been exceptions on a story-to-story basis where the companion is the "main character," but I don't believe, in principle, week in and week out, that he/she should be the lead character and the focus of the show like Moffat implies. The show is called Doctor Who, and it's the Doctor I tune in to see. Companions come and go, but the Doctor is constant no matter who plays him.

I'm worried.

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Cruel Angel
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:28 am

Yeah, I read that this morning too.

WRONG

Like you said, there should be some variety where you can have episodes that are very Doctor-lite (like Blink) and can serve to spotlight the companions, but the Doctor IS the main character.

Might as well change the show title to Companion Who .

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SeaDevil
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:53 am

I like to call series 6 "Amy and Pals."

This mentality from the Grand Moff does explain the shift in focus these past couple of years. I suppose we can expect more of the same as long as he's the show runner.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:59 am

"Amy and Rory" occasionally staring her mom and a goofy alien in a bow tie.

It really does sound like the premise of a sit com.

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Ronpur
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:24 pm

There is no way Jon Pertwee would have ever been anything less than the star of the show. Companions are companions,to the Doctor, as their name implies.

But, when I think of Ian and Barbara,they were the focus of the original episodes, as the Doctor was introduced to us. Same may be said of Rose in her first story. But the Doctor should still be the focus, once we get to know him. That is why I like new Doctor stories with carry over companions.


Last edited by Ronpur on Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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squishy
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:27 pm

Sounds like Moffat has been watching too much Season 1 of Doctor Who where the focus is on Ian and Barbara. Susan and her grandfather spend whole episodes MIA while Ian is the group leader and often saves the day. We don't know much about this grandfather, other than he calles himself Doctor. Don't know where he's from or what his agenda is. Far, far too mysterious. They need to bring in Eric Seward to explain the Doctor's backstory and totally focus on the Doctor to the expense of fleshing out any companions. Seasons 19-24 just keep on getting better.
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squishy
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:31 pm

Ronpur wrote:
There is no way Jon Pertwee would have ever been anything less than the star of the show. Companions are companions,to the Doctor, as their name implies.

But, when I think of Ian and Barbara,they were the focus of the original episodes, as the Doctor was introduced to us. Same may be said of Rose in her first story. But the Doctor should still be the focus, once we get to know him. That is why I like new Doctor stories with carry over companions.

Posted at the same time. I'm not sure if 9th ever became the sole focus of the story as so much time was spent on Rose. And Billy would have been fine if she hadn't kept on coming back after leaving the show.

Weak companions don't help the show. The Doctor doesn't need a bunch of explanation. He needs to save the day, but we can see him save the day from the companion's perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:34 pm

squishy wrote:
Ronpur wrote:
There is no way Jon Pertwee would have ever been anything less than the star of the show. Companions are companions,to the Doctor, as their name implies.

But, when I think of Ian and Barbara,they were the focus of the original episodes, as the Doctor was introduced to us. Same may be said of Rose in her first story. But the Doctor should still be the focus, once we get to know him. That is why I like new Doctor stories with carry over companions.

Posted at the same time. I'm not sure if 9th ever became the sole focus of the story as so much time was spent on Rose. And Billy would have been fine if she hadn't kept on coming back after leaving the show.

Weak companions don't help the show. The Doctor doesn't need a bunch of explanation. He needs to save the day, but we can see him save the day from the companion's perspective.

Rose had a decent exit that was ruined by her return!

But episodes like Robot,when the Doctor had not recovered,the story was carried by Sarah Jane, but these are exceptions, not the rule......seriously, imagine Adric as the main character.......WOW!
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:45 pm

Ronpur wrote:

But episodes like Robot,when the Doctor had not recovered,the story was carried by Sarah Jane, but these are exceptions, not the rule......seriously, imagine Adric as the main character.......WOW!

Actors have said that the Doctor has no ability to develop as a character. This is probably true as we don't really want the Doctor to always be falling in love or have life changing experiences. Character development is what the companions do best. We watch Donna mature over her series
Spoiler:
 
. This is where the writers and directors can flex their creativity. That is "the head writer's focus". Episode writers can focus on whoever, but Moffat needs to keep the big picture in mind and make sure we're not stuck with another Nyssa doing nothing for two series.

The Doctor shouldn't be sidelined. Amy got to save the day too many times her first series. But after that it settled down to focus the emotion on Amy (rarely Rory) and the saving on the Doctor.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:47 pm

The thing to remember about early Doctor Who, particularly with William Hartnell starring, is that they were in production nearly all year with allowances for each of the stars to have holidays occasionally. So, at times the Doctor must be absent, allowing Ian or Steven or whomever to be the focus occasionally. This is why there were usually 2-3 companions.
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squishy
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:50 pm

SeaDevil wrote:
The thing to remember about early Doctor Who, particularly with William Hartnell starring, is that they were in production nearly all year with allowances for each of the stars to have holidays occasionally. So, at times the Doctor must be absent, allowing Ian or Steven or whomever to be the focus occasionally. This is why there were usually 2-3 companions.

But the series can survive with the Doctor sharing the focus? It did in the 1960's and can in the future?
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:54 pm

Yes it can, on occasion. If the companion takes too central a role on a regular basis, particularly now where there has been primarily one companion at a time, then I believe the show will suffer from lack of focus on it's star - The Doctor.

In the 60's an occasional episode in a serial didn't have the same impact on the overall story in that at the end of the serial, it was still the Doctor who was the star.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:34 pm

You can still have a companion's story evolve without them becoming the main character. Donna is a good example,but she did not become the focus of the show. And I always say Jo Grant was an early example of a companion who grew and matured because of the Doctor. A bumbling goof ball at first to a bumbling reliable member of the team by the end. Easily hypnotized by the Master the first time they met, she was able to resist him in their final meeting.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:35 pm

I don't get the big deal. What he's saying there makes sense: every time a new companion enters, there's a new set of supporting characters, setting, backstory... it's exactly what the new series has done all along. Their own story arc extends through the entire time they appear on the series, and they are developed more than the Doctor is. Then once someone else enters the picture, there's a shift in focus and all of that is done over again. It's exactly what they've done for seven years now....it's not any new discovery to be upset about.
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The 2nd Doctor Roberts
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:17 pm

SeaDevil wrote:
I just read this on the Doctor Who News site:

The companion, not the Doctor, is the main character in Doctor Who, according to Steven Moffat. With Amy and Rory about to leave the show and a new companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, arriving in this year's Christmas special, Moffat told BBC America: "The story begins again, not so much with the new Doctor, but with the new companion. It is their story. The Doctor's the hero, but they're the main character." He added: "I thought about the Doctor travelling on his own and it always faintly depresses me." [Radio Times, 19 April 2012]

He purportedly said this to BBC America...the network that gave us Amy's "imaginary friend" intros last season. These comments could just be part of the American marketing strategy...?
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:04 pm

bear with me, typing on my phone. If he really said this it explains exactly why i cant stand the moffat era. Seris 5 was the amy pond show (barring the few good episodes that were not written by moffat) and series 6 was the river song show. People can complain about rose and rtd,
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squishy
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:06 pm

[quote]The Doctor's the hero, but they're (the companion is) the main character.[quote]

We may all agree more than we think. Everyone here seems to agree that the Doctor is the hero. I think the only difference is what we think consitutes "the main character". Ian arguably was both the hero and main character in season 1. And as a 1960's serial drama I believe it works.

These days I think the Doctor is the hero and we all get a bit annoyed when the companion gets to be "the hero" too often. I certainly didn't like Amy saving the day multiple stories in a row. I also think Jo saving the day in Daemons is a bit silly and lets down an otherwise fantastic tale. Maybe if it had all made a bit more sense... And Rose keeps on coming back to be the "hero" again and again really, really gets on my nerves. But is the "main character" the one with the most lines? The best lines? The one with the most screen time? The one who other characters discuss the most? The one who's point of view is followed?

Where do you (anyone) think 11 has been let down and Amy has been too dominant?

I like Amy on the whole these days, but think she's staying too long. 2+ seasons is getting to be too long without a change.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:14 pm

I feel Moffat is wrong because, The Doctor is the main attraction of the show. Alot of people would not watch it if it was called "Rose Who" for instance. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:19 pm

Meow wrote:
I feel Moffat is wrong because, The Doctor is the main attraction of the show. Alot of people would not watch it if it was called "Rose Who" for instance. Razz

Definitely.

Now Donna on the other hand... cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:24 pm

Well, I can actually see where he's coming from. The Doctor is the central character, but they can't do too much with him without destroying the character or complicating him for future writers. The Doctor is the Doctor. Mess with that and you might as well count down how long until the BBC axes the show.

So, this means the companions—the audience surrogate—are the main characters you need to develop to for the audience to follow. Remember, Moffat's the writer, we're the viewers.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:12 pm

Moffet, this is all I can say about you.


Transformers fans get enough of this already with the human characters getting all the attention, and the giant robots being only a secondary issue, it seems, been like this for about 10 years, ever since Transformers Armada. Moffet's really in a world of his own, it seems. Him, Brannon Braga, Rick Berman, JJ Abrams, and George Lucas seem to be in this ever growing club on where they must all sit down and go, "Say, let's find a way to really annoy and piss off the fans who have been ever so loyal for years!"
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:08 am

I didn't think there were any humans at all in either of the two Transformers comics currently published.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:22 pm

I still say: Moffat is a writer. He is more concerned with developing new characters than maintaining the Doctor's character.
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:32 pm

Cruel Angel wrote:
"Amy and Rory" occasionally staring her mom and a goofy alien in a bow tie.

It really does sound like the premise of a sit com.


sounds like a alien version of Three's company. Razz Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Moffat says "The companion is the main character"   Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:39 pm

jaredofmo wrote:
I still say: Moffat is a writer. He is more concerned with developing new characters than maintaining the Doctor's character.

That's what I'm saying too. There's only so much development to give the Doctor, and he hasn't gotten as much as any companion character in the series at all.
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