Hello, crackers! Shocka here. I'm doing the shitty little plastic man from Doctor Who today, the Auton. And though it has nothing (directly) to do with that review, I've got a piece to say about the direction of the show. TAKE IT!
From the first episode of the newly revived series of Doctor Who it was clear that freshly-minted showrunner Russell T. Davies was a cancer upon the great British science fiction franchise. It took only minutes of pilot episode "Rose" for Davies to show his true colors, in which new companion Rose had her interracial boyfriend Mickey eaten by a mailbox. Somehow, it was all downhill from there - Davies' five-year run on the series resulted in overweight farting aliens, girlfriend's faces in concrete to be used for oral sex, an abundance of horrible unconvincing CG, frequent mythology retcons (usually nonsensical and offensive to anyone invested in the franchise), pathetic scenes of forced emotion (oh, the Doctor is dying! That's sad, even though he just regenerates!), finales outdoing finales with more gigantic and stupid armies of aliens (all taken down in the most contrived way possible - hey, I regenerated another Doctor using my severed hand!! BULLSHIT!!), several crappier spin-offs (try watching The Sarah Jane Adventures - no, really, I dare you), killer coloring books, and unimaginable popularity from the country that has decided that execrable Misfits is the high bar for television.
Somehow in amongst all of this several episodes shined, and these episodes were all written by amazing British writer/producer Steven Moffat. His "Girl in the Fireplace" and "Blink" are two of the best episodes of Doctor Who ever made, using the established franchise to explore different sides to the Doctor as well as the nature of time travel and cause and effect. ("Blink" also led to the creation of one of the scariest Doctor Who villains ever, the Weeping Angels - compare them to Davies' farting aliens to get an idea of the vast difference between the two writers.) Even his weaker episodes introduced great characters and ideas (time traveler River Song was established with the fascinating idea of knowing the Doctor's life in reverse, dying after his first meeting but knowing him later in his timeline - a concept which I'm sure kills Davies' tiny tiny brain - whereas the popular Moffat creation Captain Jack was taken by Davies and overused in a move that Moffat is on record as being displeased with). After five years of Davies' childish take on the beloved franchise, it was announced that Steven Moffat was to take over as showrunner, and what followed was the best season of Doctor Who ever.
The announcement that Moffat was to replace Davies was met with some controversy, as was every (successful) step taken by Moffat to distance his season from Davies'. (My personal favourite scene: Moffat's new Daleks, based around the original series Daleks, declaring the Davies Daleks "inferior" and blowing them up. Bwahahahaha!) Think of Moffat as the anti-Davies: Davies has never had any idea how to create a compelling or clever story (consider his blatant and frequently nonsensical reliance on deus ex machinas to get his wafer-thin characters out of poorly crafted situations - oh yes, we're stuck in a house with a werewolf, why not stop to read a book!), has never been able to plot an interesting arc where events impact upon other events (having a catchphrase word graffitied on various props across a season doesn't count except in the Filmmaking School of "Duuhhh"), has never had any sense of how time travel works or how to build episodes around it (count how many times Davies' episodes went to "the end of the Earth/universe/whatever" and then see anything ever done by Moffat to see how effectively time travel can be utilised to create tense and nerve-wracking episodes), and has never been able to resist inserting gay and bisexual characters (and suggestions) pointlessly into his episodes. (Davies is homosexual himself, which is fine, however it makes no sense to imply that nearly every male character in his show is potentially gay, or potentially gay for the Doctor, or to frequently force sex into plotlines in which it is completely out of place - the worst example in this regard is the frequent graphic sex that interrupts terrible-spin-off Torchwood, which is otherwise a show for children except for all the boning.*)