Kill the Moon: Initial Reactions

Picture shows: Peter Capaldi as The Doctor

Guess what? Seven weeks in, and we’re well and truly past the “halfway” mark – series “8b” is officially upon us, and no mid-season trailer means we’re (mostly) in the dark about what’s to come.

Naturally, to throw us in the deep end was “the episode that would change everything forever”. The episode with a seemingly terrible outcome. The episode where the choice had to be made between an innocent life or the human race. And, at the end of the day, it was the episode that taught humanity an important lesson about abortion. Wait, what?!

It’s amazing what you can discover when winding down from an episode of Doctor Who. Normally, I like to compare my expectations to my reaction to the episode itself – did it live up to the hype? Did we get what we were promised? Is it just me or was the romp I was expecting just turn into a dark morality tale (*cough* Dinosaurs on a Spaceship *cough*)? But a funny thing happened when I stopped and thought about Kill the Moon – I realised my feelings toward it were exactly the same before as they were after. At the beginning of the week I was terribly excited for this story, but the more I thought about it the more my feelings evolved into…nonchalantness. It didn’t look like the story was really going to do anything significant, and looking back it really didn’t.

But seriously, think about it. Apart from Clara becoming angry at the Doctor’s unforgivable actions (a minor continuity point) it actually did nothing. It didn’t have a real enemy, the supporting characters were boring, the Doctor was an idiot, and Clara was put into an awful situation. Was it a moving morality tale? Okay, I’ll give you that one. But, at the end of the day, the story that tried to change it all became a footnote in Doctor Who history. It’s a story that seems to have divided the fandom and, in one of those very, very rare times, I personally seem to be on the “wrong side” of it.

Keep it together, Camille. Don’t start needlessly bashing stories that deep down really, really, really disappointed you due to their clumsily awful anti-climax.

*Takes a deep, self-controlling breath* So, with that out the way let’s try to muster together the…erm…good bits of this story.

A Few Initial Reactions

  • Ooh, a good old cold open that let’s us peek at the climax of the story. A classic that really should be used in Doctor Who more often.
  • Clara pinned back her fringe. I like it, it’s kind of cute (my friend had a somewhat different opinion, she sent me a Facebook message along the lines of “CLARA PINNED HER BANGS BACK ITS SO WEIRD”)
  • Here’s a nerdy point for you: the cold open went for almost exactly 45 seconds, and Clara mentions they have “45 minutes to decide”. However, this is not the shortest cold open in Doctor Who – that record goes to Victory of the Daleks with 42 seconds. Just, you know, putting it out there.
  • Woah woah woah, a polka dot shirt?! Say what?! Twelve in polka dots. And here we were thinking plain eggplant was daring…
That's it Twelve, keep rocking those dots. Can we expect a tropical print next?

That’s it Twelve, keep rocking those dots. Should we expect a tropical print next?

  • Courtney in year ten? Nah, anyone who knows anything about high school kids knows she’s in year nine. They’re notorious.
  • “It’s like you kicked a big hole in the side of my life.” Hmm, a surprisingly accurate description of what the Doctor does to his companions.
  • I think we’ve found “the Twelfth Doctor’s theme“. Finally. It’s been used in the past six episodes, but it played a pretty big role here in some key Twelve moments.
  • Wait a second, I don’t get the space suits. I thought there was only one, which the Doctor got from his expedition to The Impossible Planet – why is there three all of a sudden?
  • “In fact, I’m not entirely sure that I won’t keep on regenerating forever.” An excellent point. How many regenerations does he have in his new cycle now?
The curious case of the self-replicating spacesuits

The curious case of the self-replicating spacesuits

  • Oh look, they found a cleverly cheap way of making the TARDIS crew go to the actual moon without having to replicate the gravity.
  • Astronauts on a special mission are just going to share their plans with a random alien on their spaceship? Give me a break.
  • I will say, however, that this woman makes a good female leader. Too many of them are far too strong and shout-y – she’s cool, calm and somehow collected, and sort of naturally extrudes authority. She doesn’t have anything to prove and she doesn’t need to.
  • “One small thing for a thing, one enormous thing for a thingy-thing!” BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Okay, not going to lie, they're pretty creepy...and I'm not even an arachnophobic.

Okay, not going to lie, they’re pretty creepy…and I’m not even an arachnophobic.

  • Ooh, big threatening germ-spider thingys that basically come to…nothing. They’re pretty creepy though.
  • I feel it’s time to comment on the absence of Missy. Two people died (the crewmembers) and she didn’t appear to save them? An interesting observation…
  • Courtney in the TARDIS “putting some pictures on Tumblr”. Haha it feels a little three years ago, but I’m willing to bet the Tumblr fandom is on fire right now.
A Coal Hill student Just, you know, chillin' in the TARDIS on the moon.

A Coal Hill student just, you know, chillin’ in the TARDIS on the moon.

  • “[The TARDIS] will turn up” “Last time you said that, she turned up on the wrong side of the planet!” “You two have never gotten on, have you?” Haha, an obvious reference to Cold War. Also, the Moff said that he was going to properly address this year why Clara and the TARDIS hate each other.
  • The moon is an egg?! Oh, but that’s brilliant! Now it’s a question of what lives inside, “the only one in the universe”…(more on that later)
  • “There’s some DVDs on the blue book shelf. Just stick one into the TARDIS console, that’ll bring you to me. Make sure you hang on to the console, otherwise the TARDIS will leave you behind.” Loving the blatant reference to Blink.
Clara's hair in this shot though...

Clara’s hair in this shot though…

  • We don’t do anything.” In this specific moment of the episode, during this speech Twelve gave, I had a thought. This is it. This is what makes Twelve different to Eleven. Every other line of dialogue you could imagine Eleven delivering (in his own way, of course). But not that one. Eleven would never, ever show that kind of…nonchalance (shut up) toward something Clara cared so much about, unless it was some sort of plot like in The God Complex
  • “Listen, we went to dinner in Berlin in 1937, right? We didn’t nip out after pudding and kill Hitler. I’ve never killed Hitler, and you wouldn’t expect me to kill Hitler.” Oh, the irony.
  • I can actually see the Doctor’s point. It’s not up to him. It’s not meant to be up to him. But the difference is, that shouldn’t have stopped him especially since he knew the answer to solve the stalemate. It didn’t stop Eleven in The Beast Below. Another interesting, mind-boggling point.
Ooh, more bouncy-hair action shots.

Ooh, more bouncy-hair action shots.

  • Courtney teasing Clara about Mr Pink did make me giggle. However, I’m thinking more than ever that it’s a forshadowing. I think, in one way or another, she’s going to leave soon and settle down with Danny (in a warped Doctor Who way of course, like on an alien planet or in the future or something).
  • And so, in a warped way, “everybody lived” – but the Doctor was a total jerk in the process. Really, I don’t blame Clara for getting mad, that was so unfair.
  • NEW HEADCANON: the creature that hatched was the Star Whale from The Beast Below. It has to be – it’s tail even went up and down when it ‘flew’ away. It would make sooooo much sense, I refuse to believe anything else.
A Star Whale is born.

A Star Whale is born.

  • “Tell me what you knew else I’ll smack you so hard you regenerate.” That’s a new (brilliant) one. Go Clara!
  • “She met this bloke called Blinovitch…” woo hoo, more references! If you don’t know, Blinovitch is, presumably, the person who discovered the “Blinovitch limitation effect” – the idea that you “short-circuit” your timeline when you time-travel and touch another version of yourself. In the Doctor Who world it’s kind of like saying “she met Zefram Cochrane”.
  • I love Clara even more after that speech – not to mention that fact that it was a brilliant performance from Jenna Coleman. And you know how I always go on about one of my favourite companions, Steven? I’m going to again, because that speech had a similarity to the one where he essentially left the Doctor. It wasn’t so much the words or anything like that, but the way they fought. See the the quotes below:

The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve

STEVEN: Did they all die?
DOCTOR: Yes, most of them. About ten thousand in Paris alone.
STEVEN: The Admiral?
DOCTOR: Yes.
STEVEN: You had to leave Anne Chaplet there to die.
DOCTOR: Anne Chaplet?
STEVEN: The girl! The girl who was with me! If you’d brought her with us she needn’t have died. But no, you had to leave her there to be slaughtered.
DOCTOR: Well, it is possible of course she didn’t die, and I was right to leave her.
STEVEN: Possible? Look, how possible? That girl was already hunted by the Catholic guards. If they killed ten thousand how did they spare her? You don’t know, do you? You can’t say for certain that you weren’t responsible for that girl’s death.
DOCTOR: I was not responsible.
STEVEN: Oh, no. You just sent her back to her aunt’s house where the guards were waiting to catch her. I tell you this much, Doctor, wherever this machine of yours lands next I’m getting off. If your researches have so little regard for human life then I want no part of it.
DOCTOR: We’ve landed. Your mind is made up?
STEVEN: Goodbye.
DOCTOR: My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we’re all too small to realise its final pattern. Therefore don’t try and judge it from where you stand. I was right to do as I did. Yes, that I firmly believe.

Kill the Moon

CLARA: Do you know what? Shut up! I am so sick of listening to you!
DOCTOR: Well, I didn’t do it for Courtney. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Do you think I’m lying?
CLARA: I don’t know. I don’t know! If you didn’t do it for her, I mean…do you know what, it was cheap, it was pathetic. No, no, no. It was patronising. That was you patting us on the back, saying, “You’re big enough to go to the shops by yourself now – go on, toddle along.”
DOCTOR: No, that was me allowing you to make a choice about your own future. That was me…respecting you.
CLARA: Oh, my God, really? Was it? Yeah, well, respected is NOT how I feel.
DOCTOR: Right. OK.
CLARA: I nearly didn’t press that button. I nearly got it wrong. That was you – my friend, making me scared, making me feel like a bloody idiot…
DOCTOR: Language!
CLARA: Oh, don’t you ever tell me to mind my language, don’t you ever tell me to take the stabilisers off my bike, and don’t you dare lump me in with the rest of all the little humans that you think are so tiny and silly and predictable! You walk our Earth, Doctor, you breathe our air, you make us your friends, and that is your moon too – and you can damn well help us when we need it!
DOCTOR: I was helping.
CLARA: What, by clearing off?
DOCTOR: Yes!
CLARA: Yeah, well, clear off! Go on. You can clear off. Get back in your lonely…your lonely bloody TARDIS and you don’t come back!

Naww do we have a name for their ship yet?!

Naww do we have a name for their ship yet?!

  • “It happened, didn’t it?” was, of course, a reference to Danny’s warning in the previous episode: “if he ever pushes you too far then I want you to tell me, because I know what that’s like.”
  • Of all the things, I never thought they’d be a parallel between Clara’s situation and Danny’s. I loved him in this scene, it’s not possible not to love him the more you watch him.
  • And, I have to be fair and mention the fifth Doctor’s companion, Tegan. She left the Doctor because “it wasn’t fun anymore” – which is kind of Clara’s predicament now.

Next Week: Mummy on the Orient Express

Ah, a good old companion-lite (which will be followed Flatline, a Doctor-lite tale). It looks boring, like a rip-off of Voyage of the Damned with some cheap scare tactics. But whatever.

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Posted in Doctors, New Series Reactions, New Series Tele-Stories, Projects, Series 8, Story Media, Twelfth Doctor
2 comments on “Kill the Moon: Initial Reactions
  1. Brilliant review, and I enjoyed the reference The Massacre. The parallels of the two scenes between the Doctor and Steven/Clara really are very similar. Personally, I’m quite looking forward to Mummy, but I can see your concerns. Great stuff! :-)

    • Thanks! I also think Clara and Steven are very similar, I guess that’s why I love both of them so much. I like someone who isn’t afraid to say ‘no’ to the Doctor – I guess in a way they break the stereotypical “yes, Doctor” mould

      Thanks for the follow, by the way!

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