Kyle J. Steenblik

Kill The Moon has Capaldi showing off his Doctor Who roots

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Kill The Moon was a perfect mid-season episode.  The tonal shift was palpable, and there were some significant character revelations will resonate through the rest of the season.  There is a lot of good, a lot of cheese, and a lot to discuss.  This episode was surprising, full of easter eggs, and screams for a repeat viewing.  Here we see a side of The Doctor we have not seen for a very, very long time, it was refreshing and a little frightening.   Now as we are in the second half of the season it is time to start giving spoiler warnings, if you aren’t caught up spoilers lie ahead.

Doctor Who (series 8) ep 7

Kill The Moon

Season 8 | Episode 7 | Original Airdate: October 4th, 2014

In the near future, the Doctor and Clara find themselves on a space shuttle making a suicide mission to the moon. Crash-landing on the lunar surface, they find a mining base full of corpses, vicious spider-like creatures poised to attack, and a terrible dilemma. When Clara turns to the Doctor for help, she gets the shock of her life.

Written by Peter Harness. Directed by Paul Wilmshurst. Guest starring Hermione Norris and Tony Osoba.

You are now leaving the spoiler free zone

The Doctor, having been egged on by Clara, takes Courtney Woods somewhere special, the Moon, in 2049.  There is a bit of a snag, there is a problem with the moon, it is too big, too heavy, the gravity is drowning cities with massive tides.  But don’t worry about that, that isn’t what this episode is about.  On the moon they meet with astronauts with hundreds of nuclear weapons ready to blow the whole thing up, once they land they find a Mexican moon-base filled with corpses.  But that isn’t what this episode is about either, and definitely don’t pay attention to the massive spider-like creatures, they have absolutely nothing to do with it.  What this episode is really all about, is The Doctor stepping aside to allow humanity to fail or succeed without him.

Here is the setup, the moon, is actually an egg, one that has been incubating for millions, or billions of years.  Now it is getting ready to hatch.  The Doctor literally gets into his TARDIS and leaves Clara, with an astronaut on a suicide mission to blow up the moon, and unique life form ready to hatch.  It’s similar to Amy’s Choice, where they had to choose between the space whale and the starship UK.  The difference is The Doctor removed himself from the equation, refusing to make the choice for humanity.  With the Starship UK, he was upset when Amy tried to keep him from becoming involved.  This is also a shift away from Tenant’s Doctor who at best, pointed humanity in the “right” direction.  What was startling about this is it was something of an about face, while I don’t recall him ever claiming earth was not his home, he certainly acted like it.  Here he defiantly declared that Earth was not his home, and he refused to get involved.  That is something Doctors of distant past would do, Doctors that still have Gallifrey.  The tonal shift here left me a little taken aback, I wasn’t expecting it, but I am very pleased.  It is a shift that will lead to more conflict, more dynamic interactions, especially with Clara and any future companions.

Speaking of Clara, first I need to say no, she did not leave, but she definitely opened that door.  What was surprising here was not the unabashed way she stood up to The Doctor, but the way she didn’t back down when he showed her she was wrong.  When she got home to Danny, he smartly remained a neutral party.  He has already shown that he understands this Doctor; maybe better than Clara, it is going to be Danny that keeps Clara with The Doctor.  It was great to see Clara deliver that spunk toward The Doctor rather than in defense of him.  If only she could be that engaging and interesting most of the time, but then it would be too reminiscent of Donna and I don’t think her personality is big enough to pull that off.

Overall, this episode set up the last half of this season beautifully.  The relationship between Clara and The Doctor won’t ever be the same, and it appears Danny will have to step in to pick up the pieces.  We can see now The Doctor has distanced himself from the Human Race significantly, even from Earth, which I believe will lead into the search for Gallifrey.  I am looking forward to the next 5 weeks.

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