Doctor Who: Kill the Moon Series 8 Episode 7 Review
I had high hopes. Peter Harness hadn’t written a Doctor Who yet, and the trailer looked pretty spooky… but then I went on Twitter.
— Marcbalbirnie (@marcbalbirnie) October 5, 2014
Okay, I’m watching now, and it starts off okay until we get the dialogue. Things we’ve held true for the Doctor are being unravelled with each new line of the Moffat era. The Doctor once said he hadn’t met anyone who wasn’t special. Now apparently he’s telling a young girl that she’s nothing. These reviews are getting too hard to write now, and it really really upsets me. I’ve been sitting at my keyboard for twenty minutes trying to figure out what to say. I liked the idea behind the story, I liked the moral, I liked the “fear factor”, but I don’t know. Okay, I’ve gone out, had a bite to eat, digested my thoughts as well as my favourite steak sandwich. (Go to Bugsy’s in St. Catharines, order the Robinson. Tell them I sent you. Trust me. They make it on garlic toast!) Here we go. This synopsis will be full of spoilers so don’t read it if you haven’t watched it, because I’m not blanking this one out this time.
The Doctor takes Clara and her problem student Courtney on a trip to the moon, seemingly as a way to apologize for telling Courtney she was not special. Instead of landing on the moon in 2049, they land on a space shuttle that is crashing into the moon with a payload of nuclear bombs to blow up Earth’s largest natural satellite. The moon has gained several billion tons, now has it’s own gravity and is playing havoc with the tides on Earth. Unable to solve the problem, Captain Lundvik leads the last remnants of an abandoned space program have been sent on a suicide mission to save the planet. In an abandoned Mexican research outpost (on the moon, not Mexico), they discover massive amounts of cobwebs as well as the bodies of the Mexican crew who went missing a decade earlier. The moon is infested with spider-like bacteria that are growing in numbers. Eventually the Doctor discovers what the problem with the moon really is. It turns out the moon is an egg, and for hundreds of millions of years it has been incubating a creature inside it that is now ready to hatch. (The creature looks like some sort of space dragon which could be really really cool but it turns out isn’t that important to the story) The Doctor then leaves. In what seems like an important storyline they find a way to write out the main character. The Doctor tells Clara, Courtney and Captain Lundvik that he can’t see what is going to happen here, or knows what will become of the future based on their decisions, but that it is their decision and not his. And with that he jumps into the TARDIS and leaves while the three women of Earth debate the morality of killing the baby creature that will soon hatch, not knowing what will happen to their planet when the rocky shell erupts. Able to communicate with the planet via a television satellite, they ask the population if they should kill the creature to save the planet or let it live and take their chances. They can signal the moon mission by turning off their lights if they vote for the bomb or leave them on if they vote for letting it live. The people have spoken as all the lights on Earth are turned off. Resigned to their fate, Clara stops the countdown at the last second and the Doctor returns to take them back to Earth and watch the fallout from their decision. The moon hatches and the creature leaves with the egg disintegrating and posing no threat to the planet. Now, the earth and humanity are set on their proper path back to exploring the stars because for once they looked up, and let something live when they could have destroyed it, and this rekindles their adventurous spirit. In the wake of all this, a new egg is laid and we have a “new moon”.
- Okay, so the space dragon, thing is born, and instantly lays a new moon egg ,the same size as the old moon. Do none of these writers understand science? physics? math? geometry? How does something that big come from inside something that was inside something that size? If a=size of the moon and b=size of the dragon and c=the size of the new moon, a>b and a=c, which means c>b so how does b give birth to something the size of c?
- They turned the decision whether to let the moon baby live or die into a phone in vote show. Wow.
- Could the Doctor stop doing silly walks and jumping around like a fool at the beginning of what seems like every episode? Please?
- Well, at least they didn’t make it seem the Mexican expedition to the moon brought the spiders/aliens/germs/bacteria with them in a bag of oranges, which I sadly feared they were going to do. It’s bad enough that I’m pretty sure I saw a poncho, and thankfully what I thought on first glance was possibly a sombrero in the base was probably just a chair.
- What sort of astronaut captain is allowed to wear diamond earrings into space?
- I did like the notion of the abandoned space program being set back on it’s feet by the incident and mankind looking to the stars again because of it. Well done, even if it was possibly done as a commentary on the state of the space programs today.
There were good things about this episode: it was spooky-ish, had a decent enough moral message and the supporting cast was very good. I personally would like to have seen Hermione Norris’ Lundvik join the TARDIS crew for a while, but to quote the prophet Jagger, “you can’t always get what you want” (my favourite line from an old episode of House). Danny Pink was actually well written this time out, and of course both Jenna and Peter delivered excellent performances though the writing of the Doctor’s character was not exactly to my liking.
I can relate the final argument between Clara and the Doctor to my feelings for this entire eighth season. I don’t feel respected as an audience member, or as a fan. I think Moffat is treating us as though we are little humans who are tiny, silly and predictable. Moffat was our friend before. He took the reigns of our show, and we thought we were safe in his hands. He was one of us, a fan who loved the show, he walked on our earth and breathed our air, and he made us his friend by writing all those wonderful episodes he wrote in the first four seasons. Now, as Clara told the Doctor, we want him to clear off and not to come back. She’s done, and a lot of us are done too. A lot of fans are very close to being finished with the show, but it’s true what Danny Pink said, you’re never finshed with someone while you’re stil angry with them. I suppose that’s why we still watch, and why I will keep watching this season out, but I’m very very close to breaking like Clara, because I’m definitely angry with Steven Moffat. Was this scene a veiled rant from another writer to express his frustrations with the showrunner? Or was it a somewhat clever trolling attempt by the showrunner? Speculate as you wish.
With Clara seemingly taking a timeout from her adventures in space and time next week (or two, as Mummy on the Orient Express is the first episode of a two-parter) perhaps we’ll finally see the Doctor shine on his own and not be shoved to the background of his own show. Jamie Mathieson hasn’t written any Doctor Who before, but he did write several episodes of Being Human, and the film Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, which I found very enjoyable. Who knows.