In the most-recent post on LOST, I brought up the idea of arc-storytelling and “season one” questions.
“In pondering this first season of LOST, I have come to the conclusion that any show that deals with arc-based storytelling succeeds or fails based primarily on one qualification. Any questions raised in the first season MUST be answered by the end of the series. Therefore, any show that deliberately raises multiple questions and messes with the heads of the audience with cliffhangers and outrageous revelations must answer in a satisfying way the mysteries that drew people to the show.”
I looked at how this rule was addressed, most-likely unconsciously, in Babylon 5, The X-Files and Battlestar Galactica.
After the series six premiere, Trevor Gensch from The Doctor Who Podcast made the statement that Steven Moffat is supposed to be writing Doctor Who, not LOST. Indeed, this most-recent series has seen deliberately obscure and occasionally misleading questions. The Silence turned out to be a play on words, being an actual race rather than the result of an event. Steven Moffat is a careful plotter and has been with Doctor Who since the show returned, so in a way it is difficult to evaluate his “first season” questions. Here is what I propose: Steven Moffat’s “first season” starts with Silence in The Library/Forest of the Dead, then continues with series five. Thus, the questions become Who is River Song, what is The Silence, what caused The Cracks, and finally, why did The TARDIS explode. We have been given partial answers to some of these questions. We now know that River Song is Amy and Rory’s daughter, but we don’t know any significance apart from this. Who is the “good man” she killed and is this the bad day she has coming? What is the exact nature of her relationship with The Doctor? Likewise, we now know that The Silence is an alien race, but we don’t know why they were on Earth and why they were manipulating humanity. The cracks in the universe were caused by The TARDIS exploding, but we don’t know why The TARDIS exploded to begin with. Thus, we are getting partial answers, and these lead to more questions. At this point, it is hard to tell if Steven Moffat is slowly giving us pieces so the answers will make sense or if he is being deliberately obscure. So, a question to any Doctor Who fans who are still reading . . . what do you think are the “season one” questions for the Moffat era?