I have a confession to make: I hate Doctor Who as it is being run by Steven Moffat. I have loved it in the past, and because of the nature of the show, I'm sure I will love it again some day. But when Moffat became showrunner, Doctor Who lost not only the heart of what made it an interesting show, it forgot how to simply tell a good story at all.
Let me give some background for the uninformed: Doctor Who is a BBC scifi show with a long history. It's a show about an alien called the Doctor, and a human companion or two, who travel in his ship called the TARDIS, a British police call box which can disappear and reappear at any point in time and space. It first aired in 1963 and ran continuously until 1989. In 2005 it was rebooted. The reason for its longevity is simple: there is a canonical reason to replace the actor who plays the Doctor whenever the current one retires. He dies, then regenerates. He is immortal, ever-changing, ever gaining new energy. And if the show stagnates, it has the potential to regenerate as well.
Ever since its reboot, it has gained an ever-growing, rabid fanbase in the States. I counted myself one of its fans during New Who's first four seasons, while Russel T. Davies was its showrunner. The show was endlessly engaging and dynamic. Time, place, and genre could be different episode to episode. One week it could be a murder mystery, the next, a horror story set on another planet, and the next a historical drama. At the heart of the show's interest was the Doctor, with a little Sherlock Holmes, a little James Bond, and a little of his own idiosyncratic quirks – the most important of those being his love for humans and his abhorrence of violence. One of the main themes of New Who was the idea that the Doctor was a being with the power of a god and who sometimes let that get to his head – and that, in the end, it was always his human companions who kept him in check, who brought him down to earth. Both the Doctor and his companions were always better off with each other. They brought out the best in each other. And when the companions inevitably left him, the Doctor always lost something.
It seems to me that the Doctor's most valuable companion was Russel T. Davies himself, because he certainly lost something after Davies' departure. Unlike previous Doctors, the eleventh Doctor is never challenged. His genius, his ego, and most importantly, his moral superiority, are never questioned – they're taken for granted both by his companions and, by extension, the audience itself. It is telling that, for instance, the eleventh Doctor is far more violent than his predecessors, who were pacifist to a fault. Steven Moffat's run seems to have forgotten the themes of the past show and abandoned them for hero worship. So, pretty much the opposite of what the show was before.
But I actually think this is a symptom of a larger problem, which is Steven Moffat's and his current writing team's poor understanding of what makes for an interesting story. They rely far too heavily on the Doctor's quirkiness and wittiness. Granted, he is witty, and it's fun to watch him run around the TARDIS and manically explain his solutions to various problems in time and space – so that makes for an effective crutch, at least for a while. But this doesn't make for interesting stories. Nor does throwing together a bunch of random, disconnected, "cool" ideas into one episode. The season 6 finale features a universe where all of time has collapsed into a single moment, so cars fly attached to helium balloons, Winston Churchill is Holy Roman Emperor, and a high-tech lab of sorts called Area 52 is housed inside a pyramid, where everybody wears eye patches. The episode certainly pretends to have a plot, but feels more like an excuse to have all of these things at once because it would be cool. None of it means anything. The emotion is completely unearned and all consequences are completely abstract and impersonal, or rest on clichés.
After the second season under Moffat's helm, I'd had enough. Doctor Who is currently mid-Season 7, but I haven't seen any of it.