Who Review – Kill the Moon
It’s TARDIS time, Evil Geeks! Last week we got a comedic romp through Coal Hill School as Clara and Danny got a little closer and Danny meets the Doctor for the first time. Clara began taking her first steps away from the Doctor in The Caretaker; she starting to see a life with Danny as much better alternative to a life spent constantly running from danger with someone she seems increasingly distanced from. If that’s not a heavy enough load to deal with, Courtney Woods, a student from Coal Hill School where Clara works, has not only found out about the Doctor, but she’s also tagging along with him and Clara on adventures. Their latest adventure takes place just after Courtney is told by the Doctor that she’s “not special”, which has caused her to be depressed and is affecting her grades. Where would you think would be a good place to take a teenager who needs a little pick me up? How about the Moon in the year 2049…just when it’s about to hatch?!?!
So you know that giant white thing in the sky every night that we assumed was a giant rock? Yeah well, it’s not. The Doctor, Clara, and Courtney arrive on the moon to find a team of astronauts besieged by arachnid-like aliens. The glowing spiders have taken over the moon base and are picking off the crew one by one. The crew of astronauts the TARDIS crew encounters are there to investigate what happened to the crew from the base and investigate the recent seismic activity on the moon. If the moon is going to break up, then it could potentially shower earth with a storm of deadly asteroids, which could effectively end all life on the planet. If that’s the case, then the astronauts are going to blow up the moon with a series of nuclear warheads placed around the moon. The Doctor isn’t familiar with the spider creatures, but he slowly starts putting together ideas and observations that begin to explain the monsters. What at first to appears to be your standard run of the mill alien invasion, might actually be something more akin to an infection. He first figures out that they’re not spiders; instead they are actually giant germs. The Doctor being the Doctor, of course continues to investigate the matter and discovers what at he at first believes to be water beneath the surface of the moon, but upon closer observation the water turns out to be amniotic fluid. The germs are actually a bacteria that is protecting a massive fetal creature gestating beneath the surface of the moon. The creature is soon due to hatch and a decision must be made: set off the warheads to destroy the moon and the creature, guaranteeing the Earth’s safety or allow the gargantuan egg to hatch and risk having the debris or possibly even the newborn creature itself destroy the Earth.
It’s trying times of crisis like this that I’m sure Clara is glad to have the Doctor on her team. There’s a really tough decision to be made, but thankfully one of the wisest people in the entire universe is on hand to lend some sage advice, right? Nope. The Doctor basically says “Wow, that’s a doozy. Thank heavens I’m not a human, so I don’t have to make that call. Peace!” and then splits in the TARDIS, leaving Clara, Courtney and the sole remaining astronaut to decide the fate of all humanity. Kill an innocent being or risk the life of every single human being in existence. The clock is ticking ladies, what’s it going to be?
The Doctor’s abrupt exit doesn’t sit well with Clara. AT. ALL. He manages to leave in the most insulting manner possible, treating the three humans like toddlers about to do something naughty. Being a time traveler, he already knows the outcome of the situation, but he refuses to help them with the decision in any way and abandons them when billions of lives and the future of humanity are all threatened. When the whole affair is over, Clara absolutely lets the Doctor have it, going up one side of him and right down the other. Not only was his treatment of Courtney (calling her not special) way off base, but his treatment of Clara lately and humans as a whole has been completely unacceptable. He argues that the decision to destroy the moon or not was a predetermined outcome. There was nothing he could have done to change the outcome, because despite what people believe, it’s as impossible to change the future as it is to change the past. He argues that by allowing human beings to make the decision was a turning point in human history and human nature. He argued that for the first time all human-kind was united as one and looking to the stars for the first time ever without the intent to destroy and conquer, but instead to learn and explore. Because he stayed out of the matter, humans were eventually able to expand to farthest reaches of the universe and continue on until the end of time. The Doctor also argues that by telling Courtney she isn’t special, it’s spurred her to do things that she never would’ve done otherwise, like walk on the moon for one. To some degree the Doctor is right, he has motivated her to be and do more, but man is he really a jerk about it. Clara isn’t so ready to excuse his behavior though. For the first time she is outright questioning whether or not she should continue on with the Doctor and it’s looking more and more like she’ll be saying her goodbyes sooner rather than later.
A common theme of this episode was that things aren’t always what they seem. The Doctor and crew were wrong about the moon being invaded and also wrong about it being infected. The humans were wrong to believe that the Earth was in any kind of danger. When things appear one way, if you look just under the surface (literally of the moon in this case) you’ll see that the situation can be vastly different when viewed from another angle. I’m seeing this not only as the theme for the episode, but as the whole Capaldi era so far. Clara fell for the Doctor when he was the jovial, goofy, warm Matt Smith version. That’s the man she signed on to travel the cosmos with, but now that she’s invested her life into the Doctor, this new version comes along that isn’t ANYTHING like who he used to be and she’s starting to feel duped. The way I see it, she was kind of duped, but not by the 12th Doctor. From my experience with the Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s portrayal is more in line with the original character of the Doctor than Matt Smith and David Tennant were. If Clara was duped by anyone, it was by the 11th Doctor. The Doctor has always been kind of a dick, Matt Smith’s Doctor just new had to be a dick in the nicest way possible. Even the premise of the episode is straight out of the Hartnell era of the show: The Doctor goes on an adventure with a student and teacher from the Coal Hill School. Instead of Susan, Barbara, and Ian, we’ve got Courtney, Clara, and now Danny too.
Conversely, what if the Doctor’s behavior isn’t what it seems either? What if he’s acting like an ass on purpose for some reason that we’ve yet to grasp? He seems to be pushing people away, but why? We’ll have to wait and see if that particular mystery gets solved. Check back next week for another Who Review!
Wanna catch up on past trips in the TARDIS? Read On…
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Posted on October 5, 2014, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, TV, Who Review and tagged 12th Doctor, bbc, BBC America, Clara Oswald, Coal Hill School, Courtney Woods, Danny Pink, Doctor Who, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Kill the Moon, Peter Capaldi, Sci-Fi, sonic screwdriver, Tardis, The Doctor, Who Review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.