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Chibnall's Poor Writing

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1 Chibnall's Poor Writing on Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:44 pm

He's a bad writer, and it would be hard to deny it.

Even the most extreme NuWho fans are going to list at least one of his stories in their least favourites. Pretty much everything he's written aside from the massively overrated Broadchurch have been ridiculed by the majority.

He also has a particular way of writing - 'Women crying, children dying,' I call it. Cheap appeals to our emotional biases. Helps to hide bad dialogue and otherwise shitty writing, making it seem 'deep'. That said - aside from Broadchurch where it managed to trick people into giving it good reviews - it isn't usually effective.

He also has some deplorable political biases shining through his works.

For Doctor Who he's done:

42 - The least memorable Doctor Who serial of all time.

The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood - A laughable story. The only 'good' parts were torn directly from Classic stories - Inferno, and the Silurians, Frontios etc.

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship - Poor character writing. Straw misogynist. Shit story.

The Power of Three - Moffat-esque in its intriguing premise and utter failure to make anything of it. Ignores the premise to focus on Amy being emotional.

- Possibly the worst writer for that sample size. Consistently sub-par even for NuWho –


For Torchwood:

Day One. Awful, incredibly immature story. 'Adult' Doctor Who? It's sex monster time, boys! Possibly the best example of his bias, too:
Female sex monster goes around raping and killing innocent men - played for laughs. Said sex monster is sad? Oof, apparently it's time to feel sorry for her. 'Women crying.'

Cyberwoman. Often considered the worst story in the series. 'Women crying.'

Countrycide. I liked this when it first aired because I love cannibal stories. Rewatching it - it's pretty shit.

End of Days. Some interesting ideas - poor execution.

- These are there stories that killed Torchwood's first Season. I never saw Season 2. Apparently, some of his stories there are good - I doubt it. -


This is the guy who's writing Season 11.

And some people are looking forward to it.

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2 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:57 pm

I think Torchwood picked up immeasurably when they stopped (or at least sharply moved away from) equating 'adult' with 'sex stuff' and did stories with serious issues and implications (or at least tried).

I thought "Out of Time" was great (with slight adjustments, it could have worked in Doctor Who) and that cold open was an excellent way to begin it and that the entire Torchwood run justified itself with "Children of Earth". I thought that was great.

In terms of Chris Chibnall, I believe he was assigned the particular stories he got, some of those were probably not the easiest for anyone to really make shine. It'll be interesting to see what happens when he can pick and choose whichever ones he wanted.

From what I remember, his Torchwood Season 2 stuff was better than Season 1 and probably his Doctor Who stuff as well. 'Adrift' was particularly harrowing relative to the rest of the show.

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3 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:18 pm

He's fucking terrible, and managed to outdo Mofftwat by killing his era before a single frame had been shot. That's some serious "Talent" right there. LOL

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4 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:22 pm

Agree with Shan about Torchwood improving when it eased back a bit on having everyone behave like sex-mad, ambiguous teenagers. It never quite got rid of it though, not least because Captain Jack's private life became too big a focus, particularly in the dreadful 4th season. Typical that Chibbers has nothing to do with s3, by a mile the show's finest hour.

Broadchurch ranged from s1 which was atmospheric but hardly plotted to Agatha Christie standards, s2 was an implausible mess (with Tennant's character the least effective TV detective in history), to s3 which dealt with the potential rape of the transsexual from Corrie by suspects including Swiss Toni from The Fast Show and Lenny Henry. I'd forgotten whodunit by the time the credits rolled. And it had Nurse Who in it, who was just as forgettable. Almost as bad as Marcella!

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5 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:09 pm

Actually, Chibnall is highly-regarded within the industry as one of the greatest writers and showrunners around. Doctor Who is extremely lucky to have him.

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6 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:01 pm

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7 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:46 pm

@Dalekbuster523 wrote:Actually, Chibnall is highly-regarded within the industry as one of the greatest writers and showrunners around. Doctor Who is extremely lucky to have him.



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8 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:30 pm

If that doesn't demonstrate the state of Brit TV these days I don't know what does! LOL

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9 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:35 pm

He's yet to write a good story for Doctor Who. Hell, he's yet to write an OK story for Doctor Who. His attempts have been piss poor so far and they're probably going to get worse with this upcoming series. We need you Andrew Cartmel Sad


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10 Re: Chibnall's Poor Writing on Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:33 pm

@Dalekbuster523 wrote:Actually, Chibnall is highly-regarded within the industry as one of the greatest writers and showrunners around. Doctor Who is extremely lucky to have him.

I wouldn't be surprised if this was actually true. I get the feeling he is an incredible schmoozer, net-worker and brown noser to execs and being clueless bullshitters themselves, they believe this to show evidence of his writing abililty. Rather than the absolute kack he delivers. Which they don't actually watch as most TV execs don't watch TV. They judge success by ratings and column inches. Broadchurch delivered that in spades, even if it was implausible bollocks with thinly written cardboard cliche characters.

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