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(Write It Up!)
Must have a clearance level that is up to date with current Moffat writing (as dated below) or risk confusion and (slight) spoilers.
Date of report: 31-12-2015
Attending Physician: Jo Sarah Stanford
To: Moffat enthusiasts and critics
URGENT ATTENTION REQUIRED
Steven William Moffat
Case number: 1895-26062010
Date of birth: 18 November 1961
Place of birth: Paisly, Scotland, United Kingdom
Height: 1.73 m (5’ 8”)
Current Occupation: Writer, producer and director
Purpose of evaluation
Steven Moffat, although never properly committed for formal evaluation, has been under the watchful eye of professionals for some time. Moffat displays qualities that are consistent with a high functioning sociopath, and questions have been raised as to whether he poses a risk to the public. Proper assessments have been recommended, however, he has refused voluntary evaluation: and due to his public profile, gaining authority for forcible committal has been difficult. As such, this assessment is considered necessary to warn all interested parties and stakeholders of further possible- and likely- incidents.
Extensive consultation has been undertaken with those who have been following and analysing Moffat’s career. While opinions have been mixed and widely varying, two main schools of thought emerge. Some conclude he is a genius, while others say he is a madman: although it is widely agreed the two are not mutually exclusive. In examination of his creative works and analysis of his characters, while correlating this with a thorough breakdown of fan reviews: an in-depth (though unofficial) profile of Moffat’s psychological state has been obtained.
Stages of Psychological Development
Moffat first became of concern to professionals in 2005, when he began writing for the show Doctor Who. However, a retrospective study into his earlier history clearly shows, even then, there were indicators that were cause for alarm. His sociopathic tendencies have been broken down into the following developmental stages:
In the early years, Moffat discovers his talent for writing and learns that sociopathic outbursts “hidden” within his scripts are generally rewarded with good reviews and accolades.
Moffat “tests the waters” to see the reaction of fans and critics. As the response is generally positive, it gives Moffat a sense of power over those who view his works.
Moffat uses this power to manipulate the emotions of his viewers. Big reactions from his fans, either positive or negative, give him a sense of satisfaction. He becomes addicted to this power which creates feelings of gratification.
While dealing with the personal tragedy of his divorce in 1990, Moffat used his writing as a form of catharsis by reliving actual events through comedy in his first television show Press Gang.
This in itself was not troublesome, as most, if not all writers, use this coping mechanism. What was concerning was that Moffat created a character, who represented his ex-wife’s new lover, simply “so that all sorts of unfortunate things would happen to him, such as having a typewriter dropped on his foot.” (Wikipedia 2015). At the time, these early warning signs were missed, because they were dismissed as the innovation of a fledgling genius. Throughout his first dozen television shows, these praises and accolades encouraged these negative behaviours and caused Moffat to progress into the second stage: exploration.
As Moffat began writing proper for Doctor Who, deeper psychotic behaviours emerged, thus coming to the attention of mental health professionals. However, he had already discovered that his sociopathic behaviours elicited a strong response from his viewers and now began to examine how far he could stretch the boundaries of accepted story telling. Often ground-breaking in his work, this made for a dangerous mix of genius and psychosis. Aware of the power he held, he began to position himself to use it more completely. He finally ousted Russel T. Davies as showrunner of Doctor Who, while simultaneously taking on a modern remake of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock. (The taking on of two such illustrious projects at once, the sure sign of a mad man in itself.)
Now fully comprehending the psychological and emotional impact such writing would have on fans, Moffat used this to his advantage as director and showrunner of Doctor Who. Breaking established norms without explanation; he would tease fans with cliff-hangers, hints of spoilers and red herrings. His trademark move quickly became introducing fans to new characters, causing them to fall in love with their vibrant personalities, only to have them tragically removed from our screens. He justified this behaviour by not actually ever killing these characters off, but rather by sending them to a parallel universe/time, wiping their memories or by making their entire death a false pretence. This can best be seen in Sherlock: the Reichenbach Fall (2012) and in the Doctor Who episodes Doomsday (2006), Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (2008) , The Angels Take Manhattan (2012) and most recently (and controversially) Face the Raven (2015) and Heaven Sent (2015). This however, is by no means a comprehensive list.
Some may point to this “mercy” being a sign of repentance on Moffat’s part. However, the fact that he did not actually kill off these beloved characters did nothing to reduce the effect on his fans. Instead, it only served to heighten viewer anxiety, as the characters’ “banishment” or subsequent return was often more emotional than an actual death itself. Moffat has yet to show remorse for these actions, but rather, appears to revel in the uproar that it causes amongst viewers. This uproar only further encourages him to continue: with fan and hater alike constantly enabling his sociopathic behaviour. This has been happening to the highest level as, earlier this year, Moffat received a Queen’s Honour of OBE for “services” to drama.
Current Mental State
Fewer things can top such an accolade of an OBE, and with such an ingrained and ongoing addiction, grave fears are held for what Moffat might turn to next to satisfy his cravings. The next phase of his sociopathic development is “escalation”. Not being content with the current level of reaction from fans, Moffat will feel he has no choice but to create a more shocking and more outrageous script to get the power and effect he so desires. Considering the levels to which he has already gone, this is a matter of grave concern to those at the highest professional level.
Treatment options are few and are further complicated by the fact that fans, and even critics who have been following Moffat, have themselves, become addicted to the thrills and emotional highs and lows that his writing gives. This immediately dismisses the option of a “cold turkey” detoxification, as it would be impossible to safely monitor on such a large scale. Previous attempts to lessen Moffat destructive behaviours through sanctions and warning from Moffat’s superiors have also failed. As typical of a high functioning sociopath, Moffat believes he is above the reach and concern of the “normal person”. At this stage, all that can be done is to alert all stakeholders, in hope of lessening the surprise and thus the impact of Moffat’s next ingenious move.
In warning: There are no illusions as to why he does what he does. On top of being paid: He likes it. He gets off on it. The weirder the script, the more he gets off. And you know what? One day just pretending to kill a character won't be enough. One day we'll be standing around a body and Steven Moffat will be the one who put it there.
Disclaimer: This psychological report is satirical in nature, and only intended to be taken somewhat seriously. If the aforementioned subject wishes to form a response, it is expected he should do so by creating a character in his next script and cause them to die a most horrible death.
Steven Moffat, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Moffat, accessed 31-12-20015
Steven Moffat (I), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0595590/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm, accessed 31-12-2015
Some Thoughts on the Format for a Psychological Report, http://www.msresource.com/format.html, accessed 31-12-2015