Kill the Moon: a review of Doctor Who

Peter Capaldi

There are spoilers in this article, so don’t read this until after you have watched the episode.

At the start of this series, I was perplexed at how the Doctor seems to have lost his ability to read human beings, particularly since he has had 2000 years to study them. The entertainment value of this behaviour made me suspicious that he is doing this deliberately. His actions in this episode confirms my suspicions. He knew what he was doing when he left Clara and Courtney to help decide the fate of the moon, and he knew what was going to happen to the human race as well.

Courtney – AKA Disruptive Influence – I’m guessing she isn’t trailing along by accident. Sometime in the future, she must be someone very important. I like the fact that the character has a realistic personality for a teenager, that she isn’t a cut down adult. The unbalanced relationship dynamics between her, Clara and the Doctor is an added bonus.

Danny has only one scene, but it was an important scene in giving good advice to Clara. He is wise, because he once had a “really bad day”. I am certain we will learn what that day in in some future episode. Nice foreshadowing. I am glad he hasn’t become a companion, as Clara needs a life away from the Doctor.

Clara was the central character in this episode, not the Doctor. She is more than just a companion. She has become the Doctor’s voice of reason, his conscience, his version of Jiminy Cricket. Her anger at the Doctor means that the Doctor is somehow angry at himself, on some level. I don’t know if I like this, as I am fond of Clara for her own sake. However, since she is given a life away from the TARDIS, she has two roles within the Who universe. Clara’s characterization is as complex as the Doctor’s.

No Missy this episode. Dammit. No clues as to what games she is playing.


Filed under Characterization, Doctor Who, Pop Culture, Science Fiction

8 responses to “Kill the Moon: a review of Doctor Who

  1. Really enjoyed this episode.

    • Me too. Again, the rest of my family didn’t like it. They like Capaldi, but they have trouble with how changeable the Doctor is. They don’t remember One or Six at all, so don’t realise this is part of his character. They were too used to Matt and Clara, and are having all sorts of problems with the new relationship dynamics.

  2. You think Danny won’t become a companion? Old Doctor, two teachers and a teenager. Sounds pretty familiar to me.


    Really wasn’t terribly impressed with that episode – I wish Moffat *would* overwrite, not to the extent RTD did but some of those scripts need a polish they’re not getting.

    Just to be clear: I’m not a Classic Who fanboy who hates all NuWho (far from it, I love NuWho in general). I have very much enjoyed most of of NuWho, but this season has been pretty spotty so far, in my opinion. (I’m happy with the new Doctor – I’d’ve been happy with Chiwetel Ejiofor or Judi Dench as well.)

    The writer of this episode seemed to have a very poor grasp of both human behaviour and science (if you’re going to write a scientific episode like this, you need some clue). And the director seemed to be clueless as to how to present the concepts.

    As for specific criticisms, this episode suffered from the “They Came From Outer Space” syndrome. Which is to say someone suggests that something “might be true” and from that point onwards it *is* true with no proof whatsoever. How come this was a space parasite, evidence? And where did the mass come from (both times)? And why did Courtney “float”? (Because even in standard Moon gravity she wouldn’t be floating – and you can’t just mask the gravity for no reason.) Why did the “population of earth” believe this person they’d never seen before who suddenly pops up and say the moon is an egg, we can kill it or not? I mean, srsly? Besides, even if they believe her, Earth was already being destroyed by the increase in mass, killing the creature would not solve that. The risk of it destroying Earth was a valid reason but barely touched on – because if they emphasised it the people of Earth would have said “KILL IT”. And that kind of faking is just plain bad writing.

    What they had was an interesting idea and a terrible execution of that idea.

    I’m okay with one or two unexplained things. But when the questions pile up like this it’s a bad’un.

    • I agree with all of the bad science comment. And, as an added bonus, how does a newly born creature lay an egg the same size as itself?

      I didn’t get the ‘two teachers and a schoolkid’ reference until you pointed it out, you genius you. No wonder this Doctor reminds me so much of the first incarnation. This may be deliberate lamp-shading by the writers.
      I do agree that the writers need to left their game. They keep hinting and not explaining … and too many questions is what is alienating my family from the show.

      • My comment “where did the mass come from (both times)” was a reference to the growth of the parasite and then reproducing itself. Me being obscure. (Being born pregnant is a thing that happens in nature so is not an issue.)

        Clearly the effort made by Moffat in the first episode to make it absolutely clear this is not the same man, didn’t work for some. (Personally I thought it was overkill but it seems they know their audience better than I do.)

      • I know some people who are STILL moaning over the loss of Matt. This reminds me greatly of all the moaning when David went (and I know one or two people who wish he was still the Doctor). These people don’t want a change and refuse to see a change.
        Mind you, over-the-top is a genre marker for Doctor Who. That and shonky sets. I actually thought the ‘you’re not floating’ explanation wasn’t so much to ramp up the suspense, as to explain away the earth type gravity. More ‘shonky set’ issues. But I did love the yoyo. This Doctor’s Fez or 3D glasses, do you think?

        The science bit that really distressed me was the single celled creatures that had moveable limbs and sense organs. Ask my husband about my rant about ‘not bloody likely’ when the first spider-bacteria turned up.

  3. I like the yoyo. I liked the whole thing around the yoyo and the gravity. however the good bits were so far outweighed by the bad on this one.

    Yeah, single-celled spiders. Oh well. Most US science fiction shows have science consultants to prevent stupidities.

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