What Steven Moffat Doesn’t Understand About Grief, And Why It’s Killing Doctor Who

Tea Leaves and Dog Ears


There’s a popular joke I’ve seen floating around on Tumblr for a while now. It goes like this:

“Joss Whedon, Steven Moffat and George R.R. Martin walk into a bar and everyone you’ve ever loved dies.”

Here’s the problem, though: George R. R. Martin and Joss Whedon are, of course, infamous for killing off the characters that they know are almost universally beloved by fans for precisely the reason that they are beloved and Martin and Whedon know it’ll have huge emotional impact. They pick the harmless bunny of the group and then give them some brutal offing — Tara on Buffy, Wash on Serenity, Ned Stark in A Game of Thrones being an easy handful of examples. But who has Steven Moffat actually killed off?

The two-parter that he wrote during the Christopher Eccleston/Russell T. Davies era literally ends with the Doctor blissfully proclaiming that “Just this…

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