Paraphrasing Harvey Dent

Joss Whedon’s old Wonder Woman script finally saw the light of day… Well, in wide release anyway. It’s been floating about for some time now. It isn’t up to code, to be mild. That becomes especially clear after viewing the Wonder Woman film now in theatres, which was scripted by Allan Heinberg.

Whedon created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who is one of the greatest fictional characters of the past quarter century. The series (more so than the movie) inspired a plethora of writers, directors, show runners, and pretty much anyone who is a fan. Russell T. Davies cites the program as an influence during his tenure on Doctor Who; and it’s hard to imagine Rob Thomas getting a green light for Veronica Mars in a pre-Buffy universe.

Many hailed Whedon as an example of a male writer who “gets it,” and by that I mean one who is actually capable of writing female characters without being a sexist jerk. Some went so far as to label him a capital F Feminist. I often ponder if that designation can be applied to a male. Some prefer the term “feminist ally,” but who am I to say?

That all changed after Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Whedon was taken to task for Black Widow’s back story. I thought it was an odd choice, and I don’t need to say more for fear of putting my foot in my mouth and my head up my rectum. The backlash from this and Tony Stark’s throwaway line about prima nocta forced Whedon to abandon Twitter for a time, and I cannot blame him.

Someone else who has left social media is current Doctor Who show runner Steven Moffat. During the RTD era, Moffat was hailed as the best and cleverest member of the writing staff. “Blink” is one of the most amazing Doctor Who stories of all time and space, and one of the greatest hours of television–full stop. Then there’s “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances,” “The Girl in the Fireplace,” and “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead,” each of which were highlights of their respective seasons.

Everything changed when Moffat took the reins from Davies. He was the logical choice, and I was excited by the ideas he could bring to Doctor Who. I thought things got off to a rousing start with “The Eleventh Hour,” but others disagreed. The closing credits had barely finished scrolling before a few viewers decried Moffat as a sexist. I read some of the stuff posted online, but thought it all a tad premature.

One person in particular was furious that Amy wasn’t given a “moment” (my term) in the same way previous companions had during their respective debut stories. By “moment” I mean the point in which the character proves why they are worthy of traveling in the TARDIS. I understand the concern, but Amy more than shows her intelligence in the next episode: “The Beast Below.” I’m not saying this makes up for anything, or that the person who crafted the post had jumped the gun, I’m stating that we should apply the “Give it three episodes” rule a bit more often.

On the other hand, maybe their decision to jump start the bandwagon wasn’t a bad call. I don’t want to get into Moffat’s alleged sexism, but there are aspects of Doctor Who the past few years that could be deemed “problematic.” I like Amy and Rory’s relationship; it’s nice to see a married couple in the TARDIS. It’s just that I felt their story didn’t end as well as it could have. But what do I know?

As for Clara? Her story was half baked from the get go. Once the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who had passed, things got better, but I’ll never understand why she had to be “The Impossible Girl” in the first place. The idea of Jenna Coleman appearing in “Asylum of the Daleks” and “The Snowmen” was clever enough without all the extracurriculars.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the title of this post is a reference to a quote from The Dark Knight. It’s the one in which Harvey Dent says, “Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” or something to that effect. The point being, maybe we should think long and hard before installing someone on a pedestal, for there may come a time when we must admit we were wrong and start proceedings to knock them off. Or maybe that’s why we do it in the first place. Everyone needs a hobby.


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