Finally, two back-to-back episodes of Doctor Who Series 8 that were both good! I was wondering if this roller coaster would ever stop!
But seriously, “Kill The Moon” was an inspiring episode, and apparently one from a first-time Doctor Who writer in Peter Harness. Props to you Peter!
For all intents and purposes this could’ve been a true filler episode, but instead we got a thought-provoking case study of a question that’s been around for a long time. No, not that question. The question of “do you save one life, or a million?” Or in this case, “Do you save an alien you didn’t know existed until now, or the human race that may be extinct if it comes to life?” What’s a companion to do?
“Kill The Moon” was nothing if not blunt in it’s title. When the Doctor takes Clara and her student Courtney (who was introduced to the Tardis last episode) to the moon to make some history, they wind up in a crucial moment in the history of the human race. For the moon was actually destroying the Earth because it had somehow gained weight. And lest you think that the moon gaining weight is a “no big deal” kind of thing, change your opinion now! It’s a well known scientific fact that if the moment was to change it’s current orbit in any way, the world would be rocked with changes. As the episode very epically pointed out.
When I say this could’ve been a filler episode, I really meant it. Especially when it was revealed that there were “spider monsters” on the moon. Yeah…we’ve seen something like this how many times? But the concept continued to evolve when it was revealed it was a “living” being, but an evolved bacteria.
But that wasn’t the biggest twist though, the reveal of the moon being…AN EGG…was pretty jaw dropping. I mean that too, cause who would’ve thought of that? Sure the moon is “white”, and round, but…to be an egg? Really? Cool.
The coolness went away quick though as the question remained, “what do we do?” Save one? Or save billions? This was the true crux of the episode, and it was done in a very fun and thought-provoking way, as the Doctor refused to make the decision, instead leaving it to “womankind”. This was a dramatic departure from what past Doctors would’ve done in my opinion. Number 10 would’ve done what he thought was best, as would have Number 11, possibly in their own unique ways, but they would’ve done something. Number 12 though decided to abstain, leaving the choice to Clara, Courtney, and the last astronaut.
These minutes were packed with intensity, as Clara struggled to both believe in the Doctor, but also to believe in herself. Cause it was truly her choice…or at least at the beginning.
The idea to let Earth decide it’s fate was another brilliant move, and the result was, well, human. As was Clara’s decision to override it at the last second.
At this point, it all could’ve been for nothing. What’s the point of polling Earth if you’re going to make the final call yourself, right? But the Doctor put it all in perspective, revealing that this was indeed the moment (aka year 2049) that Earth decided to try and go into the stars. Something we’ve seen in cemented in past Doctor Who episodes.
So, a happy ending right? WRONG!!! In the final shocker, Clara goes off on the Doctor for what he did. It was something she would have NEVER done to Matt Smith’s Doctor, and it proved that any feelings she had for that particular Doctor are long gone. Whether she truly is “done” with him still has yet to be seen. But it made for quite a few dramatic scenes with both the Doctor and Danny.
Now, although I really liked the episode, and I’m giving it a high score, there are some things that need to be noted. First off, thought the payoff was nice, the setup for the episode left a lot to be desired. Courtney throughout the episode was hit-or-miss…with more on the miss side. Also, there were some…scientific anomalies that people will pick out if they pay attention. But hey, this is Doctor Who right? Also, there were some small elements that weren’t truly explained, so not everything was tied up nicely.
In the end though, “Kill The Moon” bucked the trend of “up again, down again” episodes and delivered a clear shot into the arm of the series. One that I very much hope will continue to change things as the series heads to it’s end.