The Incredible Shrinking Doctor Who

Doctor Who feels small, and it’s Steven Moffat’s fault. The man who’s written some of the show’s best episodes is, as show runner, stripping the doctor and his universe of wonder.

Moffat’s mistake is in giving the Doctor too many connections. He runs into the same characters over and over, and so many people new he encounters already know of him. Moffat’s building the Doctor into a universal myth, but that means making the universe small enough to be evenly infused with his legend.

The result is a fettered Doctor in a universe that feels discovered and so without the wonder of discovery so central to the show. Episodes hinge on choices the Doctor can’t avoid instead of choices he gets to make.

Moffat needs to give the character room to breathe and then room to explore. He needs to abandon his desire for season-long plots and countless recurring secondary characters. He needs to make the show about to Doctor and his adventures.

He needs to make the Doctor big again.