Saturday, 1 September 2012

Spoilers

I know I've talked about this subject before, using the same show as an example in fact, but I feel the need to mention it again.

At the time of writing, it is 11.55am. This means that the new series of Doctor Who doesn't start for 7 hours and 25 minutes. And I've already had to "unfollow" Steven Moffatt on Twitter because he's gone and spoilt the very first episode for me.

I won't repeat his tweet, out of respect for those of you who haven't seen it and don't want to have the episode ruined, though here is a link for those of you would like to see it. (I knew about the first two things he mentioned, but I didn't know about the third, and frankly didn't need to know it prior to seeing the episode).

For a more publicised example of people involved in a television show damaging it for viewers, take the fact that a new companion to the Doctor has been announced. This suggested that Amy and Rory would be leaving, which was then confirmed and widely publicised. They even announced which episode would be their last one. Why? We're all going to watch the show anyway, why take away that tension? I don't agree with them announcing their departure, but I understand the actors need other people within the industry to know they are available for work and that therefore this is a necessary evil, but why on earth would you tell people exactly which episode will be the characters' last? I don't understand why it was announced, but more than that, I don't understand why any fan would want to know? This is akin to people who buy those magazines that detail exactly what is going to happen in the soaps that week (with a day-by-day guide, no less) and then watch the show anyway. Why watch something if you know exactly what is going to happen and when? Can you actually enjoy it? I know I can't.

It seems to me that a lot of television industry types are confusing the act of drawing viewers with tantalising hints and the act of providing us with a list that makes watching the programme unnecessary. E4 are particularly bad at this, but it's not exclusive to television. How many films have you watched recently where everything was spelt out in the trailer and you felt like you'd been cheated out of the money you paid to see the rest?

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it can be. How can you possibly enjoy something if you know exactly what's going to happen on your first viewing? There's no tension, you can't become truly engaged, because you're just waiting for the next plot point. I just don't get it.

It's now 12.06pm and several other people I follow on Twitter have retweeted Steven Moffatt's original tweet. Looks like Twitter and I might be parting ways for a few weeks.



2 comments:

  1. I didn't find that particular tweet very spoilersome to be honest, but I can relate to your frustration for spoilers! I've had plenty TV shows and books spoilt for me because of others and it's always annoying, and, unfortunately, sometimes unavoidable. :(

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    1. Honestly, in retrospect, I don't think it was that big a spoiler either. It's just that in the past I've found Doctor Who to be one of the most difficult programmes to watch without being subject to spoilers. And it bothers me that Steven Moffatt said this after his complaining last year - I think - about people who saw the episodes early and put spoilers over the internet.

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