The Latest of my reviews of the Peter Capaldi Era of Doctor Who
Summary: A horrible choice has to be made on behalf of Humanity and the Doctor is staying out of it
Plot: Clara & Courtney Woods (miss disruptive influence from last episode) are upset because the Doctor said she wasn’t special so to quiet them down he plans a quick trip to the moon in the mid 21st century but instead they end up on a space shuttle full on Nuclear Bombs crashing into the moon. The ragtag crew was sent to blow it up because odd changes are causing massive flooding and death on the earth. The Doctor decides to investigate whats going on and upon discovering that the moon has a secret millions of years old that changes everything they know. Will they have to destroy the moon to save the earth and with strange spider like creatures attacking them, will they live long enough decide one way or the other?
Writing: This is Peter Harness’ first writing credit for Doctor Who and all in all it’s a mixed bag, I like his characterization of both Courtney & to some degree Clara and the general plot putting them in a position to decide the fate of the earth and moon makes for an interesting and suspenseful plot, we honestly don’t know what’s going to happen and the decision of the Doctor to basically butt out made it even more interesting. In that respect it’s almost a Doctor lite episode as while the Doctor figures out what’s going on he absolutely and positively refuses to do anything about it as if he has adopted the philosophy of the time Lords. Nevertheless with repeated viewing and thought the holes in the episode become more plain. Entertaining television and not a bad first effort but by Doctor Who standards, Meh.
Acting: Capaldi seems never more Time Lordish than in this episode but a bit less the Doctor in the sense of his decision NOT to save the day, his performance good and at points nearly Bakerish but it’s still likely his worst of the series so far but that’s no big deal because
1. He’s been at such a high level one might not notice.
2. He isn’t the primary character of this episode.
Meanwhile Coleman continues to take advantage of this different Doctor to advance & develop Clara. I think however the real kudos of the episode go to Hermione Norris who as Lundvik outdoes them both in a performance that puts her in the “Companion for next year” sweepstakes and in her first real substantial episode Ellis George the young acting student does an excellent job. She is the most believable fifteen year old girl playing a kid suddenly thrust into both the TARDIS not like some sort of savant but the way a kid actually would, of course being an actual secondary school student she has an advantage there.
Memorable Moments: Psychic paper as fake ID to buy booze, shoot her first , smack you so hard you’ll regenerate. Can I go home now
Doctor Who Flashbacks: The Tom Baker Yo-Yo (The Ark in Space) , The remote control disk for the TARDIS (Blink 10th Doctor) , Killing Hitler (11th Doctor let’s kill Hitler)
Oddities: Clara lines concerning “We know the moon is still there” is reminiscent the same lines in cold war she should know better.
Pet Peeves: Really hated that the episode is driven by Clara’s insistence that the Doctor tell Courtney she’s special but it’s culturally correct for a modern teacher. Additionally the Doctor has been on the moon more than once and given all the time he has spent on earth I would expect he would have noticed a few things odd about the moon vs other moons, after all it’s not the first moon he’s been on. Plus if the moon is an egg then the creature would have to be laying eggs made of rock because of the moon rocks involved. Plus I hated the spray bottle thing.
The Doctor: She’s fine, what are you 35?
The Doctor: And Don’t touch anything
Courtney Do you have any games
The Doctor: Oh Don’t be stupid
Courtney Can I get reception here?
Courtney Miss I’m bored when are you coming back?
Clara: Where on our way, What are you doing?
Courtney Putting some pictures on Tumblr
Clara: No! Courtney don’t put any photos on Tumblr!
Lundvik: My gran used to put things on Tumblr
Clara: I am asking you for help.
The Doctor: Listen we went to dinner in Berlin 1937 right? We didn’t pop off after pudding and kill Hitler. I’ve never killed Hitler and you wouldn’t expect me to kill Hitler the future is no more malleable than the past.
Clara: OK don’t you do this to make some kind of point.
The Doctor: I’m sorry, Actually I’m not sorry. It’s time to take the stabilizers off your bike. It’s your moon, womonkind, it’s your choice.
Clara: And you’re just going to stand there?
The Doctor: Absolutely not [The TARDIS APPEARS].
The Doctor: A teenager, an Astronaut and a Schoolteacher.
Lundvik:: Hang on a minute we can get in there you can sort it out with that thing.
The Doctor: No some decision are too important not to make on your own.
Clara: Doctor? Doctor! Doctor [TARDIS Disappears]
Lundvik:: Hmmph What a prat!
Final Verdict: Four stars. My opinion on the episode changes each time I watch it. That in itself is rather interesting.
Ranking of Season: Sixth of 7th Another episode better acted than written & plotted. Just goes to show you just because an episode is linear doesn’t make it superior.
1. The Caretaker
2. Into the Dalek
4. Robot of Sherwood
5. Time Heist
6. Kill the Moon
7. Deep Breath