Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S8 E7 Kill The Moon

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Peter Capaldi as the Doctor: S8 E7 Kill The Moon

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.

Great Quote(s)

********************

The Doc­tor: She’s fine, what are you 35?
Court­ney: 15

********************
The Doc­tor: And Don’t touch any­thing
Court­ney Do you have any games
The Doc­tor: Oh Don’t be stu­pid
Court­ney Ca
n 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].
Clara: Doc­tor.
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
3. Lis­ten
4. Robot of Sher­wood
5. Time Heist
6. Kill the Moon
7. Deep Breath

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.

Great Quote(s) 

 

********************

The Doctor:   She’s fine, what are you 35?  
Courtney: 15

********************
The Doctor:  And Don’t touch anything 
Courtney Do you have any games
The Doctor:   Oh Don’t be stupid
Courtney Ca
n 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].
Clara: Doctor.
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
3. Listen
4. Robot of Sherwood
5. Time Heist
6. Kill the Moon
7. Deep Breath