Series 4 of Doctor Who was a watershed moment for Steven Moffat. Just as he was manoeuvering into position to succeed Russel T. Davies as showrunner, his winning formula first began to look a bit, well… formulaic.
His first two-parter since Series 1, ‘Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead’ promised to build on the mainstream critical plaudits of ‘Blink’ whilst continuing his reputation as fandom’s favourite writer. A glance at the synopsis was enough to whet the appetite – a creepy library, a dark secret, killer shadows… Ingredients for a guaranteed hit.
So it was a little disappointing to discover that, while the ingredients weren’t exactly stale, we’d certainly tasted them all before. ‘Silence/Forest’ is a solid story in its own right but it highlights the use of Moffat’s tropes in his earlier, better stories, automatically forcing an element of spot-the-trope onto any repeat viewings. It’s also made everything that’s come since feel like a variation on a theme.
It probably didn’t help that, during my tenure at Impossible Podcasts, my friend Swithun and I were forced to re-watch ‘Forest of the Dead‘ four times in one afternoon, as a string of technical glitches and human errors meant our first three audio commentaries were unusable. We knew that story inside out by teatime.
And so, Moffat Bingo was born. The first edition was released in 2011 and became one of the podcast’s most consistently popular posts. I’ve re-vamped things for this new edition, removing (almost) all references to the Ponds and updating the look to better match the Series 7 titles.
These are the last two cards of a total set of four. The first two are available at the Impossible Podcasts website.
To print the cards out, just right click on them and select ‘Save Link/Target As…’ to save the full size JPEG to your desktop. Then sit down with a pen, a few friends, a bottle of whatever you fancy and the latest episode of Doctor Who. As each trope appears on screen, cross it off your card. The first person to complete a line of five squares (including diagonals), wins. Happy gaming!