Doctor Who: Kill the Moon

OK, that was a lot better from Doctor Who this week – in large part because the narrative appeared to agree with me about the way the Doctor is behaving. I’ve seen a certain amount of flap about the science, but really Doctor Who has always been science fantasy so I’m not that fussed about the level of physical and biological impossibility displayed here!

SPOILERS AHEAD! Hover mouse over text to read, or read on entry page:

While we’re on the subject of the science – “what if the moon were an egg?” is a trope I’ve run across before in a 1930s short story, played for horror that time. I reviewed it (briefly) last year (scroll down to “Born of the Sun” in the 1934 section) and it was fun to see a Doctor Who take on it – lighter, more hopeful and with a lot less of the unpleasant 1930s subtexts. In terms of nitpicking on the science I think the big mistake the script made was to get too specific – if it hadn’t said “prokaryote” for our germ spider analogue I’d’ve not spluttered, if you need a science-y word make one up and have the Doctor make some disparaging remark about how our puny scientists haven’t heard of that yet. In terms of details of the thing in the moon-egg though, I figure that’s just so inherently implausible that we might as well just handwave through the rest – if the moon is an egg then biology and physics clearly just don’t work like we think they do 😉

I do quite seriously continue to wonder if this is going to turn out to be not reality as we know it. We’ve had an on screen Heaven where people who we have seen as on screen dead are showing up. We also now have the moon as an egg with all the attendant biological and physical implausibilities. But I also think I’m likely to be wrong about that – it would be difficult to do the reveal without making it feel cheap. It would also be difficult to square it with how much time we’re spending on the Clara/Danny relationship if it’s going to turn out to not really be real (although of course we’ve done that before, with Donna in the Library, and that was Moffat too).

Anyway. The Doctor acting as an asshole is clearly positioned here as the Doctor acting as an asshole. Which makes it rather more palatable than when I was wondering if it was supposed to be funny. He’s also not wholly wrong – I think Clara needed that reality check from the way she was acting in this episode, it’s not just a grand adventure and home in time for tea. She’s a part of what’s going on rather than just a bystander. I’m not sure how much sense that makes in terms of Clara’s character throughout the show, but the episode itself sold me on it (if that makes sense). However, the Doctor was being a dick about it, and both show and Clara were right to call him out on it.

I liked Courtney in this – I guess she wasn’t quite all mouth & no trousers. I didn’t quite buy the self-esteem crushed business at the beginning, that felt like it was more there in order to get a point across about how this Doctor differs from the last. Eleven held forth on more than one occasion about how everyone was special, Twelve is barely willing to grit his teeth and say someone isn’t an entire waste of space. And Courtney as characterised so far isn’t someone you’d think of as special if you don’t believe everyone’s special – a fairly typical teenage girl doing teenage girl things.

Overall much better than last week, I enjoyed this one again 🙂