Doctor Who Boss Blasts Spoiler-Posting Fans

Logan Westbrook

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Feb 21, 2008
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Doctor Who Boss Blasts Spoiler-Posting Fans

Stories depend on surprise, says Doctor Who's head writer, and spoiling those surprises is a terrible thing to do.

Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat hasn't minced his words when it comes to "fans" who post plot spoilers online, saying that he wishes they would go and be fans of something else instead. His comments come after the plot of the first two episodes of the new season found their way online after a press event to promote the premiere.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Moffat said that a handful of fans had been invited along to the event. Despite asking them to keep the details of what they saw to themselves, the details of the episodes, with all their twists and turns, appeared online almost immediately. Moffat said that stories depended on surprise, and that it was heartbreaking when someone - he called them "twits," presumably in place of a stronger word he couldn't say on the radio - ruined it by giving the game away too soon.

"Stories are the moments that you didn't see coming, that are what live in you and burn in you forever. If you are denied those, it's vandalism," he said. "I just hope [the spoiler poster] never watched my show again, because that's a horrific thing to do."

Moffat's frustration is understandable; no one likes having their hard work ruined. Fortunately, many in the geek community are incredibly averse to spoilers. As trite as it might sound, part of the joy in watching shows like Doctor Who isn't in knowing the truth, it's in discovering the truth. Admittedly, it's a subtle distinction, and it doesn't hold true for everyone - if it did, Moffat wouldn't have anything to complain about - but plenty of people, myself included, enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Source: BBC [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-13353367]


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TimeLord

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Aug 15, 2008
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I hate people like this. There is a difference between rumours and guessing but if you actually know what's going to happen then keep it to yourself!

Does nobody take the words of River Song to heart?
 

varulfic

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Jul 12, 2008
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Who cares? Unless you are specifically looking, spoilers are easily avoided. Unless these fans go out of their way to spoil the story to the rest, I say let them have their info. Whatever.
 

Amarok

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If this poster made it clear he was posting spoilers, then I can't see any *real* issue, because the people reading would know what they were getting into.

If he just splashed them all over the place, a la "DUMBLEDORE DIES"*, then burn him, burn him to death.

* It's been six years, inevitable furious poster, if you had any interest in the series you'd know by now
 
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Don't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

It's true though, I've had to gone to great steps to avoid seeing any Dr Who spoilers, including threatening violence. It's a level of oneupmanship I'll never understand.(That's really a word? Wow...)
 

Catchy Slogan

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varulfic said:
Who cares? Unless you are specifically looking, spoilers are easily avoided. Unless these fans go out of their way to spoil the story to the rest, I say let them have their info. Whatever.
Not neccisarily true. A day after Portal 2 came out I was on a completely unrelated thread and then all of a sudden *Portal 2 spoilers!* With a giant picure that slowed down my scrolling speed so I couldn't miss it. Ordinarily, I'm not too fussed about spoilers, but this was the one game I wanted to leave completely untouched, and then that happened. Didn't even put it in a spoiler box. These kinds of people can go burn in hell.

But, if the spoilers are clearly marked so you can avoid them if you wish, those I don't mind.
 

i7omahawki

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I can't help but feel that if a series is ruined by spoilers, then it is trading too heavily on twists.

Like an M Night Shyamalan film, once you know the twist there's little point in watching.

I don't know if that's the case here though. I definately prefer the Moffat/Smith series to the RTD/Tennant series, which I actually couldn't watch, but the newer series seems especially dependant on twists.

Now, something like Fight Club, which to me isn't very dependant on its twist at all, is enjoyable whether you know it or not. Hopefully that'll be the same for these new episodes.

OT: Spoiling it for people is a shitty thing to do, but being too dependant on those twists doesn't seem good either.
 

varulfic

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i7omahawki said:
I can't help but feel that if a series is ruined by spoilers, then it is trading too heavily on twists.
Which is not a bad thing, a lot of the best shows these days are doing this. Lost set the precedent, but it's in pretty much every worthwhile show including Doctor Who. What's the Silence? Who is River Song really? Why did the Tardis explode? These kinds of questions are the things that makes the show stick in your mind after you turn off your television.


Spoiling for people who do not want to know is an asshole thing to do, sure. But those people are in a minority and I certainly don't think it's right to hate on people just because they want some answers.
 

IndianaJonny

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i7omahawki said:
I can't help but feel that if a series is ruined by spoilers, then it is trading too heavily on twists.

Like an M Night Shyamalan film, once you know the twist there's little point in watching.

I don't know if that's the case here though. I definately prefer the Moffat/Smith series to the RTD/Tennant series, which I actually couldn't watch, but the newer series seems especially dependant on twists...
Yes, it does seem to rely on them an awful lot, not to mention that the ongoing themes in the Smith series (The Pandorica, The Silence, The Woman invading Amy's dreams) haven't exactly been subtle in their appearance/reference. Mind you, I admit this perspective is heavily influenced by how thrilling I found the 'Bad Wolf' reveal to be.
 

Sixcess

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He's got a point I suppose, but there's an undeniable hunger for spoilers among some fandoms, and Doctor Who's is one of them.

Personally I avoid Who related forums like the plague in the run up to a season, and during it, if I care enough. Sometimes it pays off. I think I was the only Who fan in the world who didn't know that the cliffhanger reveal of Army of Ghosts was going to be...

DALEKS!

...and it was surprisingly effective and memorable, even though that particular cliffhanger...

OMG! It's the DALEKS!

...has been used about a million times in the show's history.

Albeit usually in serials titled (Something) of the Daleks, which kind of gave the game away...
 

i7omahawki

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varulfic said:
i7omahawki said:
I can't help but feel that if a series is ruined by spoilers, then it is trading too heavily on twists.
Which is not a bad thing, a lot of the best shows these days are doing this. Lost set the precedent, but it's in pretty much every worthwhile show including Doctor Who. What's the Silence? Who is River Song really? Why did the Tardis explode? These kinds of questions are the things that makes the show stick in your mind after you turn off your television.

Spoiling for people who do not want to know is an asshole thing to do, sure. But those people are in a minority and I certainly don't think it's right to hate on people just because they want some answers.
But, spoilers or not, that then kills the replay value of the series doesn't it?

Like I said, if the series is ruined by spoilers, then its using too many twists and not enough characterization/depth/narrative/memorable lines, and so on.

Not to say that spoilers wouldn't diminish your experience, but if the series is no longer enjoyable because of the spoilers, then its too depedant on twists.

Again, I'm not even sure that's true for Who, maybe we'll see.
 

Andronicus

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Logan Westbrook said:
Doctor Who Boss Blasts Spoiler-Posting Fans Moffat said that stories depended on surprise, and that it was heartbreaking when someone - he called them "twits," presumably in place of a stronger word he couldn't say on the radio - ruined it by giving the game away too soon.
Twit [plural: twits]
- Person who intentionally and maliciously ruins one or more episodes of Doctor Who by giving away crucial plot details; a spoil-sport.

Yeah, I hate spoilers too. It doesn't help that one of my housemates is constantly looking up whatever new tidbit of information on the next episode is available. Blech.
 

tahrey

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Sep 18, 2009
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Huh, somehow I've been watching the series but avoiding the spoilers...

Your choice to read such posts, after all. Unless some dick throws it into the middle of a sentence or posts it in the title of a thread in big unignorable capital letters, SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE! style.

...but that type of cretin is everywhere :-/
 

JonnWood

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i7omahawki said:
But, spoilers or not, that then kills the replay value of the series doesn't it?

Like I said, if the series is ruined by spoilers, then its using too many twists and not enough characterization/depth/narrative/memorable lines, and so on.
Or it means that the person for whom it was ruined likes suspense.

Not to say that spoilers wouldn't diminish your experience, but if the series is no longer enjoyable because of the spoilers, then its too depedant on twists.
I was spoiled for a major plot point in Gurren Lagann, and I spent the entire first half of the series thinking Lordgenome was "AS". (No, I'm not going to elaborate, 'cause spoilers.) Basically, because of information I wasn't supposed to have, I was watching the series in the wrong way. You generally aren't supposed to know the ending ahead of time, and just about any series with twists will be structured for one to watch once, reach the end, and then think about the clues. Maybe you'll rewatch, and go "oh!"
 

varulfic

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THE DOCTOR IS ROSEBUD!


i7omahawki said:
But, spoilers or not, that then kills the replay value of the series doesn't it?

Like I said, if the series is ruined by spoilers, then its using too many twists and not enough characterization/depth/narrative/memorable lines, and so on.

Not to say that spoilers wouldn't diminish your experience, but if the series is no longer enjoyable because of the spoilers, then its too depedant on twists.

Again, I'm not even sure that's true for Who, maybe we'll see.
I think you have nothing to worry about. No show is sustained solely on twists, not even Lost which I can tell you does stand up to repeated viewings. And certainly not Doctor Who, which focuses on the exploits of the worlds most awesome alien being awesome. The twists are icing on the cake, and it's a great cake but it's damn good icing too.