Published on October 6th, 2014 | by Brad0
Doctor Who – Kill the Moon review
“I think it is unique. I think it is the only one of its kind. I think that that is utterly beautiful.” “How do we kill it?” The decision presented to Clara, Courtney and Hermione Norris’ Captain Lundvik is as brutal a moral dilemma as could possibly be presented, and the Doctor has left them alone to make it themselves, in the frankly superlative Kill the Moon.
As a way of atoning for making Courtney feel bad about herself, the Doctor takes her to be the first woman on the Moon (Martha Jones’ trip in Smith and Jones apparently doesn’t count). The year is 2049, and they encounter an expedition led by Captain Lundvik to investigate the change in the Moon’s mass which is affecting the Earth in catastrophic ways. As the Doctor investigates, they discover giant, spider-like creatures which seem to have the same genetic structure as germs.
It soon follows that they are germs, and the Moon is a large egg, which is on the brink of hatching. This might lead to catastrophe, or it may be totally benign. The team have the choice of letting it hatch and find this out, or they can kill this innocent creature to ensure their own survival. And the Doctor leaves it in the hands of the humans, physically departing and leaving them to have the discussion.
One of the elements which has been played up this year with Peter Capaldi is the Doctor’s alien-ness, the lack of human empathy which sometimes can appear to be callous, even if done with the best intentions, and that’s really showcased here. The Doctor absolutely believes that it’s best that this decision be taken by humans, and that he, an alien, take no part in it. But he’s also supposed to be Clara’s friend, and he should not be springing that decision on her and then offering her zero support, abandoning her in her hour of need. Certainly, the Eleventh Doctor would never have put her in that situation. But the Twelfth Doctor is not the Eleventh, and that final scene, where Clara’s faith in him cracks, is going to prove very crucial.
I’ve praised her a few times this series, and I’m going to do it again – Jenna Coleman’s performance as Clara has been superb this year, really bringing the character on leaps and bounds. Her interplay with Peter Capaldi has been wonderful, and seeing them have a more complex and interesting relationship than the usual unrequited lovesick companion (which rather plagued Clara’s travels with the Eleventh) has been a breath of fresh air.
Kill the Moon is an excellent episode, keeping up a largely high standard for the series so far. The first half is atmospheric and claustrophobic, and then upon the larger discovery, it enters very complex moral and emotional territory. After a slight downturn with series 7, I’m back at the point where I can’t wait for Doctor Who each week, and that’s a wonderful place to find myself again. This series has been excellent, and Kill the Moon lives up to that in spades.