Series Issues: Doctor Who 8×07 – Kill The Moon

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

Spoilers will be bigger on the inside.

Ok, they can’t all make sense… In this week’s Doctor Who 8×07: Kill The Moon we are treated to a rather outlandish premise. It’s so far out there that I’m surprised it hasn’t been used in the series before. I can swear someone somewhere has come up with the idea before. That said, it’s not really the monster of the week that makes or break this episode.

Courtney Wood, the disruptive influence from last week’s the Caretaker, seems to have become another traveler on the TARDIS. Clara objects, but it’s a bit too late as the Doctor would rather travel to the future than try to explain things to the rebellious teenager. He takes them on the TARDIS for a moon adventure circa 2049.

It’s not -at all- fun and games. Our time travelers run into an expedition from Earth made of third-rate astronauts on board a second-hand shuttle. Earth lost interest in space exploration a long time ago it seems. The moon has augmented its gravity so much that it’s affecting the tides and causing all sort of havoc back on Earth. Captain Lundvik, the person in charge, decides to accept the help of the Doctor. Her plan is to, simply put, blow up the moon.

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

That’s where most of us would raise our hands and remind the writers that having no moon would actually cause a completely and even more critical different set of problems. Anyhow, let’s pretend at this point the technology on Earth is somehow capable of coping with all the effects of having no moon.

The adventurers are not alone. Giant spiders seem to be crawling about. It takes a couple of extras getting killed before the Doctor discovers these are simply germs. After a couple of scares and close calls, the Doctor deduces the impossible. The moon is a giant egg and there’s a living creature inside. I swear I’ve heard this theory somewhere else.

The dilemma of the episode is a bit forced… But here’s what it is. If we let the creature hatch, the fear is that the eggshells will fall to Earth and cause immense destruction. However, Captain Lundvik’s solution is more preposterous. Use the nukes in the shuttle to blow up the moon. Here’s where that premise crumbles: wouldn’t that explosion cause more problems and bigger pieces to fall on Earth?

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

But that’s not the angle that this episode wants to play. The real dilemma in question is to create the scenario for the following conundrum: if it were up to you to decide between the life of everyone on Earth and a new life, what would you do? Lundvik wants to detonate the nukes. This when the Doctor takes the strangest approach: he cleans his hands of this mess and takes off in the TARDIS.

We can come up with a million excuses, but the only reason for the Doctor to leave is dramatic license. I didn’t want the Doctor to get away with doing this and eventually he does face the consequences, but it’s still a very cruel thing for him to do.

Clara uses the communications system to talk down to Earth and ask them their opinion. Using the lights back on Earth, she wants for people who prefer to kill the creature to turn off their lights and for people who prefer to let it live, to live the lights on. Let’s forget for a moment that they can’t see the entire earth surface at the same time. Or that some lights need to stay on. Or that it’s daylight on the other side of the world.

(Source: BBC)

(Source: BBC)

I’m actually willing to drop all those holes in the premise because in the end, the premise was irrelevant. As all lights went off, Captain Lundvik attempted to throw the switch only to be thwarted by Clara who at the last second switches it off. Cue the Doctor appearing in the TARDIS and taking them all to safety.

Ridiculous premise and all, I was willing to follow the rules of the exercise here. But it all ends up magically as the moon-dragon hatches, spreads its wings and literally flies away. The Doctor and the crew watch it all happening from a beach. The moon’s surface crumbles into dust and disappears. Oh, and the creature leaves behind another egg.

Wait a freakin’ second, how can a creature leave behind an egg that is as big as the same creature (and eggshell) was? Are we to believe this creature, which is a baby, is already capable of laying eggs the moment it crawls out of one? And all this in space?

But believe it or not, again I say this is not this creature that really makes this episode. It’s actually the Doctor and Clara. Because, believe it or not, the Doctor does not get away with having put Clara in such a predicament and scampering away. This time Clara wants him gone. She wants him to leave and never come back again. This particular scene makes the episode.

Did anybody notice that the Doctor mentions Courtney becomes president of the US one day? Captain Lundvik even mentions that the current president of the US in 2049 is a woman. It wouldn’t surprise me that when the Doctor goes on about the president not being able to help because “she’s never been to space”, it was actually to prevent Courtney from talking to herself. Just a thought.

Highs:

  • Clara finally telling off the Doctor for treating her like a child. Clara’s line: “Don’t ever tell me to take the stabilizers off my bike.” As a matter of fact, Clara’s entire speech is the highlight of this episode.
  • Captain Lundvik. Great character. She also gets some of the best lines: “‘When you’ve grown up a bit you’ll realise that life doesn’t have to be nice. Some things are just bad.”
  • Courtney gets to kill a germ/bacteria/spider.
  • Clara telling the Captain that Courtney is posting pictures on Tumblr. Lundvik’s response: “my grandmother used to post pictures on Tumblr.”
  • Courtney: “I have a physics book on my bag. There’s something about gravity.” Captain Lundvik (sarcasm): “Super! Is there a word search?”
  • As much as I would put the fact that Clara and the Doctor part ways, at least for now, the thing is the way that he’s behaving towards her has been this seems like the best thing for now. He needs her more than she needs him.

Lows:

  • Well, there’s a lot less science than fiction in this episode, but that’s not why we watch Doctor Who anyways. Still, the whole replacement egg thing… Shouldn’t at least there had been some sort of a tremor due to the shift in gravity?
  • They’re on the beach. I did expect the tide to at least be shown acting weird. Nothing.
  • Law of conservation of mass is broken: the creature breaks out of an egg and leaves behind another egg of the same size. Also, if we accept all that, it means it leaves behind another problem for the future. That is another egg. Another creature will eventually hatch.
  • The Doctor’s patronizing ways. “It’s your moon, womanhood.” Worst possible line.
  • Clara runs into Danny Pink at the end. I know that he called it when she previously told her there will be a day that the Doctor would go too far. Still, this is Clara’s moment more than it is his.

That will do for now.

(Source: BBC)

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