The NASA dudes give the Doctor all kinds of shit, and then Nixon comes in -- every time he appears, the show starts playing "Hail To The Chief" as some sort of Frau Blucher-type "humor" -- and the same thing as usual happens, with Nixon having taken over from Canton as far as intervening on the Doctor's behalf. He says a lot of Presidential stuff to everybody, and Rory (cute in this episode, as in, he's attractive finally in this episode) bumbles around, and I suppose the whole point was the Doctor putting this transceiver thing in the moon shuttle for later. It's kind of fun watching the plan come together, don't get me wrong, but then when he explains it all as it's going down there's something very familiar about it.
I feel like there's this responsibility to show the Doctor as being ahead of everybody else that is probably a major theme for this show. Problem is -- and I am positive that 99% of the things I bitch about now fall under this category -- I don't know anything about this show. The hardest thing about the Moffat era has been realizing and incorporating the fact that Russell Davies was the exception, not the rule. RTD writes stories I understand and care about. Not faultless, obviously, not by a long shot, but: Things I actually enjoy.
And it's hard to get into the -- totally correct -- mindset in which Moffat is a more representative writer for the franchise as a whole. I get it, intellectually, but looking at the episodes critically it's hard to strip out expectations of quality and see the bigger picture, in which Moffat is giving the people what they want and what they're used to. Regardless of the many ways in which TV itself has moved on, regardless of what constitutes "quality" in the strictest storytelling sense, it's hard to get the tabula completely rasa and see what we're actually watching, because it could be so much better. Not invoking Davies, not bringing up Donna Noble: Just better.
"Classic Who," as people are always saying, is just not something I would ever enjoy, now or as a child. And I came to this show originally with the expectation that I would hate it, only to fall in love with it, because I thought, This is what this show is actually like? But this is brilliant! I could have been watching it the whole time, my whole life, and I missed out. And it turns out that in fact, this show is what I always thought it was -- which is fine, just not for me -- and I got fooled, and now I don't know how to get back.