BBC Sherlock Fan Forum - Serving Sherlockians since February 2012.


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



January 18, 2014 8:27 pm  #1


[spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Steven Moffat fires back at complaints over 'plot holes' in Doctor Who + Sherlock

One of the biggest complaints about Steven Moffat’s tenure at the helm of Doctor Who has revolved around perceived plot holes, and now the man himself has fired back at those allegations.

The Who and Sherlock showrunner told BBC Radio 2 that most of the complaints about “plot holes” in his work are fairly unwarranted, as any point that isn’t completely explained onscreen can sometimes be pigeonholed into the term.

According to Moffat, he expects the audience to be smart, and any “plot holes” are actually just threads he believes the viewers should be wise enough to connect on their own:

“I think people have come to think a plot hole is something which isn’t explained on screen. A plot hole is actually something that can’t be explained. Sometimes you expect the audience to put two and two together for themselves. For Sherlock, and indeed Doctor Who, I’ve always made the assumption that the audience is clever.”

There’s no denying that Moffat is clever, but as some of his Who season finales and the season-two ending of Sherlock can attest, he’s been known to occasionally bite off more than he can chew along the way. His take on “plot holes” is definitely a unique one, and makes a lot of sense, but it's hard to say if every instance over the past few years can be explained with his reasoning here.

What do you think? Are Moffat’s plot holes really “holes,” or have we just not figured it all out ourselves?

http://www.blastr.com/2014-1-14/steven-moffat-fires-back-complaints-over-plot-holes-doctor-who-sherlock

I don't agree, Steve. I'm quite clever, an avid fan, and always happy to bind less likely plot lines together with possible explanations, but some of your holes are too big even for me. This is even more grating in Sherlock, a show based on logic, than in Dr Who, where we can explain away things we don't understand by "magic" elements - time travel, aliens, TARDIS, who knows what they will do.

I think the above states Moffat is being a bit too big for his own boots. A good writer, as I'll be the first to acknowledge he is, should always look to better his work, not dismiss criticism as "people not being clever enough to understand". That's your target audience you're insulting there, not a smart move.

Last edited by Cat of Ulthar (January 19, 2014 4:25 pm)

 

January 18, 2014 8:38 pm  #2


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

He's not saying people aren't clever...he's saying that most of the things that people describe as 'plotholes' are simply things that have been explained off-screen.

It's not the same thing and he wasn't deriding people.  And it's true...many people are claiming things are plotholes which have perfectly reasonable explainations, but they weren't explained step-by-step by the characters onscreen.  In any case, the writers never purported that Sherlock was based on 'logic'...the idea of a man who can look at you and immediately tell everything about you is inherently illogical, yet we go with the idea of it because it makes a great story.

Last edited by sj4iy (January 18, 2014 8:40 pm)


__________________________________________________________________Bigby: Will you shut up?
Colin: Well, maybe if my throat wasn’t so parched, I wouldn’t have to keep talking.
Bigby: Wait, that doesn’t make se-
Coline: Just give me a drink, please.
 

January 18, 2014 9:09 pm  #3


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Swanpride wrote:

He is right though...not that his work is free of plot holes, but way too often people just don't pay attention properly or are too lazy to think for themselves. For example after TEH there was one (professional!) review in which the reviewer complained that he doesn't understand why Moran ordered to stick John into the fire, despite the fact that Sherlock even states in the episode that he still had to figure out the reason for the attack.

I've read quite a few reviews of both Sherlock and Doctor Who where the reviewers missed a critical piece of information and then blasted it as a plot hole.


__________________________________________________________________Bigby: Will you shut up?
Colin: Well, maybe if my throat wasn’t so parched, I wouldn’t have to keep talking.
Bigby: Wait, that doesn’t make se-
Coline: Just give me a drink, please.
 

January 19, 2014 12:26 am  #4


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

I agree with Moffat and I love him for saying that. The term is commonly misused, also on this forum. It is quite a clever show and it's entirely plausible that some people don't get it. That's not his mistake, he writes complex storylines sometimes and if you don't pay attention you'll miss something. 

I've read opinions of people who didn't understand which scenes were flashbacks or dream sequences, people who missed subtext because actors didn't spell out their characters' emotions, people who were so obsessed with their own headcanon that they completely missed that the show was telling another story. Yeah, I agree with the Moff, some people... really not smart. 

 

January 19, 2014 1:13 am  #5


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Ok, I'll grant you that a lot of people see plot holes where there are none, and sometimes you just want to grab a reviewer and shout in their face "Did you even *watch* the show!?". However, there are plot holes in both Sherlock and Dr Who that even after long pondering with some of the finest minds in the Geekyverse we haven't been able to solve. Lacking an entry in the ODE, see Wikipedia's definition of plot holes (which differs from Mr Moffat's one): A plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot, sometimes even contradicting itself. These include such things as unlikely behaviour or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, events happening for no apparent reason, or, statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.
 

     Thread Starter
 

January 19, 2014 1:27 am  #6


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Cat of Ulthar wrote:

Ok, I'll grant you that a lot of people see plot holes where there are none, and sometimes you just want to grab a reviewer and shout in their face "Did you even *watch* the show!?". However, there are plot holes in both Sherlock and Dr Who that even after long pondering with some of the finest minds in the Geekyverse we haven't been able to solve. Lacking an entry in the ODE, see Wikipedia's definition of plot holes (which differs from Mr Moffat's one): A plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot, sometimes even contradicting itself. These include such things as unlikely behaviour or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, events happening for no apparent reason, or, statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.
 

If you think he is wrong, feel free to express some of the plot holes you have found in his work.  I think we are all aware of the definition.


__________________________________________________________________Bigby: Will you shut up?
Colin: Well, maybe if my throat wasn’t so parched, I wouldn’t have to keep talking.
Bigby: Wait, that doesn’t make se-
Coline: Just give me a drink, please.
 

January 19, 2014 3:35 am  #7


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Is that ok to do here; what are the rules on spoilers outside the appointed forums for the episodes? I didn't put a spoiler tag in the title of the thread.

The reason I posted the definition was that it's different from what Moffat says, which is "A plot hole is actually something that can’t be explained."
If it can be explained, but only by going against the rest of the storyline or logic; it's still a plot hole.

Last edited by Cat of Ulthar (January 19, 2014 3:39 am)

     Thread Starter
 

January 19, 2014 8:19 am  #8


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

If you can't change the name of this thread to include the word "spoiler", just write it above your next post  in huge red letters or something.

I'm really curious about your plot holes, too!


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I still believe that love conquers all!

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q666/Schmiezi/f78f2088-06ef-444c-b254-d9efa841bc19_zps435390b3.png      http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q666/Schmiezi/140545df-e987-4a67-9272-fa8b2742790c_zpsa8b00ed8.png

"Quick, man, if you love me."
 

January 19, 2014 11:18 am  #9


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

If you started the thread yourself which you did you can change the title by clicking "Edit" in our first post and changing the title. 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

January 19, 2014 1:18 pm  #10


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Or just stick to s1 and s2, then everyone can join.g

 

January 19, 2014 4:29 pm  #11


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

SusiGo wrote:

If you started the thread yourself which you did you can change the title by clicking "Edit" in our first post and changing the title. 

By golly, so I can. Thanks

The one that really spoiled His Last Vow for me is this:

When CAM first visits Sherlock, his security men frisk Sherlock and John, finding John's tyre iron.

When CAM has his men pick up John and Sherlock from the Christmas party, they let them through into CAM's own house *with a gun*. HOW did CAM's necessarily professional and capable security service not check them for weapons?

     Thread Starter
 

January 19, 2014 5:23 pm  #12


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Cat of Ulthar wrote:

SusiGo wrote:

If you started the thread yourself which you did you can change the title by clicking "Edit" in our first post and changing the title. 

By golly, so I can. Thanks

The one that really spoiled His Last Vow for me is this:

When CAM first visits Sherlock, his security men frisk Sherlock and John, finding John's tyre iron.

When CAM has his men pick up John and Sherlock from the Christmas party, they let them through into CAM's own house *with a gun*. HOW did CAM's necessarily professional and capable security service not check them for weapons?

I picked up on this. But then the counter argument could be that at the search in Baker Street none of the heavies checked John or Sherlocks backs. (As the CIA guy was doing in SiB.) So the argument could be that John put the gun in his waistband near the small of his back. Sloppy; but hardly a plot hole.


 

Last edited by dartmoordoggers (January 19, 2014 5:25 pm)

 

January 19, 2014 6:30 pm  #13


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

dartmoordoggers wrote:

Cat of Ulthar wrote:

SusiGo wrote:

If you started the thread yourself which you did you can change the title by clicking "Edit" in our first post and changing the title. 

By golly, so I can. Thanks

The one that really spoiled His Last Vow for me is this:

When CAM first visits Sherlock, his security men frisk Sherlock and John, finding John's tyre iron.

When CAM has his men pick up John and Sherlock from the Christmas party, they let them through into CAM's own house *with a gun*. HOW did CAM's necessarily professional and capable security service not check them for weapons?

I picked up on this. But then the counter argument could be that at the search in Baker Street none of the heavies checked John or Sherlocks backs. (As the CIA guy was doing in SiB.) So the argument could be that John put the gun in his waistband near the small of his back. Sloppy; but hardly a plot hole.


 

 
But he hadn't. He had the gun in his jacket. Just before he shot CAM we could see how Sherlock took it from the pocket of John's jacket. I had wondered about that too.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"There is a place for people like you, the desperate, the terrified. The ones with nowhere else to run."
"What place?"
"221B Baker Street."
 

January 19, 2014 6:51 pm  #14


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

It's still not a plot hole.

A plot hole would be never mentioning the gun in the first place and suddenly Sherlock producing one.

It's explainable...the security guys missed it for whatever reason.  Is it believable?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it's not a plot hole.

Last edited by sj4iy (January 19, 2014 6:52 pm)


__________________________________________________________________Bigby: Will you shut up?
Colin: Well, maybe if my throat wasn’t so parched, I wouldn’t have to keep talking.
Bigby: Wait, that doesn’t make se-
Coline: Just give me a drink, please.
 

January 19, 2014 7:05 pm  #15


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

CAM believed that he had Sherlock and John in his power. He felt safe.

Or whatever, he's capricious. 

That's not really what a plot hole is, this is easily explained by a lazy villain. The internal logic still makes sense because they explained that the gun went with them. It would have been a plot hole if Sherlock suddenly owned a gun that we've never seen before. 

 

January 19, 2014 7:11 pm  #16


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

sj4iy wrote:

It's still not a plot hole.

A plot hole would be never mentioning the gun in the first place and suddenly Sherlock producing one.

It's explainable...the security guys missed it for whatever reason.  Is it believable?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it's not a plot hole.

*shrug* We'll have to disagree on the definition of plot hole then. Following Wikipedia's one:

A plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot (CAM's security is set up as being thorough)
or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot (why they didn't check John's jacket)
unlikely behaviour or actions of characters (security not checking for guns when importing adversaries into their boss's home)
events that contradict earlier events in the storyline (first they're frisked, then they're not, when in a more volatile situation).
 

     Thread Starter
 

January 19, 2014 7:15 pm  #17


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

silverblaze wrote:

CAM believed that he had Sherlock and John in his power. He felt safe.

Unlikely. He must have known that they would get angry when they found out that there was no vault, and they'd really been cheated in the deal. He must have known that both Sherlock and John had a history of violence. He had no reason to feel safe.

this is easily explained by a lazy villain.

But CAM isn't a lazy villain. He's shown as methodic, thorough, knowledgeable, hard-working, omnipresent. Hardly a showcase for a lazy villain.

     Thread Starter
 

January 19, 2014 7:51 pm  #18


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

You can't say that it's a plot hole when we never actually saw CAM's men pat Sherlock and John down.  CAM IS a lazy villain because he never once thought that Sherlock would ever kill him, with or without the gun.  He thought Sherlock was too 'heroic' for that, and he thought that since he wasn't a 'villain', he was safe.

Knowing that about him, it's very easy to see why the gun would not be caught.  It's still not a plot hole.


__________________________________________________________________Bigby: Will you shut up?
Colin: Well, maybe if my throat wasn’t so parched, I wouldn’t have to keep talking.
Bigby: Wait, that doesn’t make se-
Coline: Just give me a drink, please.
 

January 19, 2014 8:08 pm  #19


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

... but we did see CAM's men pat Sherlock and John down, when CAM first visits Sherlock? So it's presumably standard procedure, so why did they omit it now?

     Thread Starter
 

January 19, 2014 8:12 pm  #20


Re: [spoilers] Moffat says people who see plot holes are not clever enough

Leaving the gun aside, what other plot hole do you have in mind, cat?


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I still believe that love conquers all!

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q666/Schmiezi/f78f2088-06ef-444c-b254-d9efa841bc19_zps435390b3.png      http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q666/Schmiezi/140545df-e987-4a67-9272-fa8b2742790c_zpsa8b00ed8.png

"Quick, man, if you love me."
 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum