Once a week, we have an unapologetic Doctor Who geek-out here to discuss the latest episode. I’ve just finished watching the 7th episode of the 8th season of the rebooted Doctor Who called Kill the Moon (<—that’s a recap from BBC America’s Anglophenia.)

Fair warning now: this is not a summary, just an off-the-top-of-my-head response, and it does contain spoilers. Of course it does – we have to talk about this stuff! So let’s begin, Whovians…






Where do we even begin with this episode, eh? Let’s try to hit the highlights. This episode is huge character development, not so much with the major-story-arc-connections (at least as far as we know) so there is much to discuss.

This episode broke my heart a bit. I don’t mind admitting it. As I said last week, I miss liking the Doctor. I mean, I love him still but I miss the likeable qualities that made the other and more weirdly alien stuff endearing. So who knew that this week we’d have a flat-out challenge to everything we thought we knew about the Doctor?

Courtney Woods – I was VERY reluctant to embrace Courtney Woods. Every time we’ve had a kid or a teenager on the TARDIS lately, it’s been an irritating distraction, of which we can only say the good thing that “at least it didn’t last long.” However, I like Courtney. Quite a bit. I loved that she stood up for herself and that she wasn’t just a brat. She was thoughtful and respectful, she knew her limits, and quite clearly she is going to play a major role in the world to come in 2049. (However, I don’t quite get how they put her in as American President unless there is a major chance to their political rules but whatevs.)

The Concept – This was pure Who, was it not? Taking something totally normal in our lives and then twisting it into something that could be silly but seems so believable all of a sudden. The idea that the moon is actually an EGG – brilliant. Bloody brilliant. Never saw that coming.

The Crew – Forgettable. But I wonder if the show runners think we’ve established enough connections with astronauts in space that we know now what to expect and so we don’t need the character development that we did in The Waters of Mars for instance (truly terrifying episode, right?). I mean, this lead astronaut pretty much could be a stand in for Captain Adelaide Brook from that episode.

Humans choosing darkness – that was a powerful metaphor, right? The lights slowly turning out one after another, showing the darkness of the decision that they made to murder the thing inside the moon rather than run the risk of what could be.  Self-preservation won out over every other consideration.

He left. That’s right, the Doctor left. I couldn’t believe it. Stone cold LEFT. Calculated and walked away. I was devastated right along with Clara. He was patronizing and just crapped out. We knew exactly where he stood and yet he walked away, leaving a teenager, a school teacher, and an astronaut to decide the fate of this creature AND supposedly the fate of humankind.

Learning from his mistakes? – I was so angry about this but then part of me wondered if this wasn’t the Doctor learning from his mistakes in the past. You could argue that the Tenth Doctor’s greatest mistake was  in that same episode I referenced, The Waters of Mars. That was when he gave himself over to rewriting history out of compassion. He knew that the events that happened on Mars that day were a fixed point and so he should NOT interfere and yet he did. And Adelaide Brook called him out on it and ensured that history was returned to its proper order. He dared to take the mantle of “Time Lord Victorious” and that was his worst defeat and regret. So perhaps when he walked away, he was thinking of another space station in another time and simply knew – what would happen would happen. But even if he did, he should have told Clara. For all the trust he places in her – for instance, when she tells him to “do as he’s told” and leave the place where they landed back in the episode “Listen” without looking to see where they are, he obeys – he doesn’t seem to trust her enough to tell her what he knows.

Doctor as Officer – Going back to Danny Pink’s insightful words about the Doctor from last week’s The Caretaker, the Doctor was 100% officer in this episode. He lit that fire and walked away. I’ve been puzzling more and more about the Doctor and his connection with soldiers in the rebooted series. I was reminded of the episode The Doctor’s Daughter (so good) where he refuses to “claim” her because she is a soldier and she keeps drawing the parallels between them, trying to show him that they aren’t that different after all. The part in that one that always gives me chills is at the end when he is teaching the Hath and the Humans how to live peaceably now and he tells them to tell this story and to remember that he was a man “who never would” take up arms. What other times have we seen the Doctor betray his soldier/officer prejudice and yet similarity over the years?

Which leads to the question – did he know? He claimed it was a “grey” area and the outcome could go either way. But I have a hard time believing that when he walked away entirely without any explanation other than a paternalistic attitude towards them all. “Your planet, your problem” just is NOT the Doctor we know and love. So that leads us to believe that it was a fixed point, he knew what would happen, and simply kept them in the dark so that the decision would be genuine. Even so – bad form and more than a little cruel. Regardless, Rule One – the Doctor lies. And I’ve never been so convinced of that rule as with this Doctor. So yes, I think he lied. I think it was a fixed point and he backed off to let it take its course. What do you think?

Clara’s resolute and instant decision to save the creature was a truly fine and beautiful moment. Truly. I was cheering. Of course she would save the creature, of course she would. It was beautiful. I did find it a bit odd that the Doctor mentioned that this event in 2049 was what rebooted the space programs and sent humanity to the stars when he said something very similar in the Waters of Mars episode about Adelaide Brook’s grand-daughter being inspired by their failed mission. I guess I can see it – I mean Waters of Mars took place in 2059. So it’s completely reasonable to say that both stories stand as game-changers for what ensures the survival of humanity long after the end of earth. The new moon restarted the space program and exploration which lead to just ten years later, the launch to Mars to establish the colony which lead to Adelaide Brooks’ grand-daughter taking it further and so on. I get it.

Can we talk about the not-so-subtle connections to abortion in this episode? It was pretty broadly painted, in my opinion. The dialogue around the issue could have been lifted from any discussion on the topic in any movie. The moral dilemma of the choice before them, an innocent life for their lives, even the fact that the right to choose was given to the women.  I thought this was a beautiful and nuanced exploration for the issue through this storyline, not shying away from the unfairness of the decision and the agonizing choice between lives. Case in point, Lundvik’s words to Courtney: “Look, when you’ve grown up a bit you’ll realize everything doesn’t have to be nice.  Some things are just bad.”

I mean, it’s nice that it tied up so neatly at the end with no loss of life on earth, but they didn’t know that going into the decision. I think if there is one thing that has remained consistent about the Doctor over the years, it is that he is pro-life in all its iterations – he’s curious about and fascinated by all life, he doesn’t think that different equals bad. In fact, some of his greatest arguments with the soldiers/governments over the years have been over this very issue – the humans are afraid and so they want to kill the aliens while he wants to encourage life and cooperation (thinking in particular of the Ninth Doctor with Harriet Jones or even the battle of Canary Wharf when we lost Rose because of Torchwood opening the breach etc.).

THAT ARGUMENT AT THE END THO’. I know. I know. How did I wait so long to talk about it? This was THE moment of the show. The great moment. Probably one of the greatest moments in Clara’s time in the TARDIS. Her anger, her feelings of betrayal, her devastation, her broken heart was all so beautiful. She held him to account for his actions and his attitude, his patronizing and paternalistic habit of interfering when it suits him. It was a thing of beauty in his terribleness. And it was made all the more powerful by Peter Capaldi’s bewildered hurt at her words, you could see in that moment that he really thought he was doing the right thing and his instincts had been wrong and hurtful to her.  This entire scene took the episode from being a good one to a truly great one, in my opinion.

Of all the companions, Clara sees the Doctor most clearly, I believe. Rose and Martha loved him, Donna brought out his conscience and his friendship like none other, Amy Pond worshipped him and he was always trying to live up to her childhood ideal. Clara isn’t his friend, not really. She’s not in love with him. But she isn’t afraid of him either. And her blistering accusations are so real, so deep, and raw that they ring true. He was in the wrong. He was being hypocritical and cruel. He used her and manipulated her. And what’s more is that he left her to make a decision simply because he didn’t want to make it. He begged off on the whole “I’m not human” thing that, as she said, that’s bullshit. That has never stopped him before. No other companion that I can recall has called him out like this before. We’ve been told that River does do this sort of thing, but I haven’t ever seen the equivalent of this scene.

And finally, Danny continues to be the man. I love that guy. He seems to have such an interesting back story, I hope we explore it. Even though he was only there for a few moments in this episode, he is clearly pivotal. I loved that line of his when Clara asks him how he got to be so wise: “Like everyone else: I had a very bad day.” So true.


Now what do you think? Did you like the episode? Any theories or ideas or highlights? Have at it – I love your comments and can’t wait to get the conversation going. 

(And as a note, I’ve been asked by a lot of folks who are intrigued by the Doctor but intimidated at starting to write a quick primer on how to start watching the show and what’s important to know. I hope to have that done this week.)

Read More:

Episode 1: Deep Breath 

Episode 2: Into the Dalek

Episode 3: Robots of Sherwood

Episode 4: Listen

Episode 5: Time Heist

Episode 6: The Caretaker

Episode 7: Kill the Moon

 Episode 8: Mummy on the Orient Express

Episode 9: Flatline

Episode 10: In the Forest of the Night

“I’m the one who carries you out of the fire, he’s the one who lights it.” :: a response to Doctor Who, The Caretaker
The Best Laid Plans :: On finding out the sex of our new baby
thank you for sharing...
  • Pin this page6
  • 14
  • Tracey

    Clara’s argument is so much like me and church right now. I felt her anger and when Pink hugged her my husband grabbed my hand. “Anger boils out the impurities.” I LOVED this episode except for the Doctor being a butt – once bitten, twice shy. He needs a good monologue just to therapize himself and get it out.

    • He DOES need a good monologue. I need one from him, too. And very good point about the anger indicating that it boils out the impurities.

  • Brenda P

    I didn’t like this episode at all. It felt so predictable for most of it. We’ve seen so many astronauts, so many crews, and there wasn’t anything really special about most of this story. I knew all along that Clara wouldn’t be OK with killing the creature in the egg but that the others would be all about saving themselves. I do think “the moon is an egg” is fun, though.

    I didn’t even make the whole broad terms abortion connection. I wasn’t at all surprised that Earth voted to kill the innocent life, because as you pointed out, we’ve seen them choose self-preservation time and again. I hated that the Doctor left, it seemed to fly in the face of his previous championing of all life-forms.

    I really feel like Clara did, that the Doctor finally went too far. He was so completely unlikable in this episode, and I hate that I’m starting to not trust him anymore. After he left Clara alone on the spaceship with the robots and then again this time, I just feel so sad about it. It used to be he was always there, no matter how crazy the adventure was, and now he seems like he’s doing his own thing without fair consideration of his companion.

    I still find Courtney grating. I think maybe it’s because I feel like this sassy teenager got rewarded for being a trouble-maker by getting to go on a grand adventure.

    • I agree about the Doctor in this episode. I thought it was telling that Clara claimed a “burden of care” because Courtney was along for the ride but that reference went right over his head. He has a burden of care even if he doesn’t want to admit it.

      • Brenda P

        It’s been so clear with previous Doctors that he feels responsible for his companions. It’s like he did a 180 with no reason shown to us. I do wonder if Clara stating that she has a “burden of care” for Courtney is the writer’s way of acknowledging this change in the Doctor.

  • Kat Robertson

    Clara’s really been growing on me as the season has gone on, and this is the episode that made me love her. For one thing, as someone who works with children, I cannot imagine being whisked away like that, not wanting to be, with a child who I was responsible for in tow. When she cheerfully ushers Courtney out of the TARDIS and then lays into the Doctor, I was like “Yes, that’s exactly what I would have done.” I do not at all get his sudden “I couldn’t possibly save earth!!!” thing. Also, he put Clara in a position where he clearly wanted her to save the life of the hatchling, when as far as they knew it would mean the end to billions of lives on her home planet, including her own family. It turned out ok, but neither of them knew that it would at the time, and then he was all like “You’re welcome for my respect.” Good for the show for giving her that scene and reaction.

    Still, even with an unlikable Doctor, I’m loving the character and story work of this season. I wasn’t the biggest fan of 11, so I was happy at the prospect of a big change. I don’t mind an unlikable character as long as the writing is good, and it definitely is. I could see how people would have a hard time with this incarnation’s alien grouchiness though, especially if they were big fans of the Matt Smith era. I really struggled with Matt Smith because I loved David Tennant not wisely but too well, so I understand.

    • Lauren

      This is how I feel – especially about David Tennant/Matt Smith – so I am actually really enjoying Peter Capaldi. Also LOVE Clara especially this episode!

    • I totally get this! And yes to how she just kept her mouth shut until they were alone and then lit in. That is so true to life, right? And I’m with you about David Tennant – always.

  • Rebecca Erwin

    I’ve been on the fringes of the Doctor for years now. All of the other ones, I’ve struggled to like. I thought them meddling, irrational and sometimes trite. However, I really like this Doctor. He seems more like a big brother, a bit obtuse but deeply caring. Because of him, I want more and might catch up in order to be in on the conversation. I loved that he left it in their hands. I loved that his former quirks were challenged by Clara.

    • SarahPinault

      I’m with you Rebecca, he left it up to “a teenager, a school teacher, and an astronaut” Of course he did. Why should some Time Lord with unending lives, who has done everything and been everywhere decide something like that. It should come out of the mouths of babes, from the perspective of one who shapes those babes, and from one with first hand knowledge. I think Clara was entirely out of order in this episode. I do think the Dr was wrong to bring Courtney along. I think Clara is the wrong companion now, she was the right one, now she has overstayed.

    • See, i don’t see the “deeply caring” part of him any longer and that’s the part I’m missing.

      • Rebecca Erwin

        He strikes me as deeply caring in the way a teenage brother deeply cares for his little sister- kind of an emotional ninja.

        The more I thought about it yesterday Dr’s words of “It’s a gray area” kept repeating. Here is what I came up with: He could withdraw BECAUSE he knew the moon was there in the future. IF they killed the emerging life, it would still launch the space program because scientists would want to explore/dissect/test the life inside the moon. IF the emerging life was NOT destroyed, the moon was still there because the egg was replaced which would still reboot the space program. I think Clara and the other companions often rely on Dr too much-like cheating on a test.

  • Shane Deal

    This was not my favorite episode, I’ll admit, but I did like Clara telling him to get out and not come back. I felt relief at that, though I expect it’ll probably only last through the next episode, or in between them.

    I too thought of abortion during that scene.

    I am a bit upset with him for leaving, when The Doctor leaves without a word it’s usually his attempt to leave them out of danger, not leaving them in danger. Mr. Grumpy or not, I’m not even sure The War Doctor would have done this, it isn’t consistent with his overall character. Clara was absolutely right to call him out at the end, something that may or may not change The Doctor’s future ways. My gut feeling on it is that he isn’t going to quite get it right away. Best of intentions is not enough. For me personally, it’s taken me years to learn that intentions count very little if you’re still hurting people around you, even when confronted on the subject, it doesn’t just switch off or go away overnight. All I can say is that he better have one heck of a good reason for it, or even a reason for that matter, such as a quick hop into the future to see whether the moon was new or not.

    That said, The Doctor has been appearing and disappearing, and going off on his own, throughout the series, such as showing up in the chair of Rupert Pink’s bedroom, unnoticed by either Clara or Danny. Even in the first episode he took off to figure out what was going on, on his own. Whether that is important or not, I have no idea.

    The darkening of the Earth, I was disappointing that not even one place left their lights on, cultures throughout the earth have different values and traditions going back thousands of years, for such a unified view in so short a time, I find it a bit difficult to believe. (Also, I was wondering if lights really could be seen from the moon, binoculars or not.) As a metaphor yes, it works very well, we humans are self-preserving, generally speaking.

    I like Danny too, he really seems to value Clara’s opinions and respects that she is an individual person while at the same time showing compassion and is not afraid to admit that he knows what it’s like. I like that. It’s wonderful how the more they learn of each other, and the difficulties of each other’s histories, the more they have respect for one another.

    Perhaps I just missed the introductions, but I was kind of expecting a revelation at the end that it was Captain Adelaide Brook that we met on the moon, but alas, no such revelation. I didn’t miss how similar their personality, and even appearances were.

    I have mixed feelings on Courtney, but I like that she’s not afraid to speak her mind and knows her limits. Yes, she can be a bit rebellious, but it’s a good sort of rebellion, it’s the kind that if properly channeled rebels against systems of oppression and injustices. I felt in the beginning, that The Doctor, in taking her in the TARDIS is also showing her that there is great value in pushing the limits.

    • Good points, Shane. And yes, I was disappointed about the lack of light entirely, too. “For ten good men, I’ll save the city” sort of thing. But oh well.

  • Tawny Burgess

    I made the mistake of watching the episode on my lunch break at work. The ending with Clara had me in tears. I would have reacted just the same. I was so angry with the Doctor for abandoning her — for not protecting his companions. There were many times in this episode in which I wanted to give up and turn away because the Doctor who was being such an arse. He knew the truth and he just wiped his hands clean and placed the burden on his friend – the person who has always had his back! But no, this time he decides to abandon her. TWICE, really. And to ignore her, repeatedly.

    Courtney was annoying for me but hey, she’s a teenager — it’s true to reality, am I right? I thought at the end she proved herself worthy of being on the TARDIS when she decided to come back. That was an important move for her.

    Yeah, I was not impressed by the crew. They were just plot devices for the germs to be shown as a threat, and the female astronaut herself had no personality. She was incredibly dull. She just needed to be the stand in for humanity’s darkness and selfishness, basically.

    I am glad Clara spoke up. The Doctor needed to hear it, and yeah, he looked shocked.

    • Yes, tears! I’ve also learned not to watch it on the TV because commercials ruin the emotional arc of the show – i want to have a good cry without being confronted with an ad for a cell phone seconds later, you know? Anyway, yes, I was angry, too. He needs to be woken up again, I think.

  • Joy

    I’ve been all over the place since the episode went off. I am really struggling with the lack of compassion in this Doctor. I find myself cringing as each episode comes on wondering how much more is going to change. I really found myself echoing Clara at the end of the episode- who are you and what have you done with the Doctor? sort of thing. I just cannot believe that the doctor would stone cold leave. From one to eleven, I could never imagine any of them leaving like 12 did. It just. I can’t even process! I’m so stuck on that I can’t even stop to consider the rest. I do love Danny though- that interlude with him at the end was so powerful.

    • I think that’s the thing that’s hard. I could NOT imagine any of the Doctors doing this. I mean, perhaps six because he was such a prat but certainly not in the rebooted version. Just did not compute.

      • Joy

        It certainly plays in to the getting-very-popular rumor that he is the Valeyard… I don’t know! I don’t like it! (Moffatt!! #shakesfist)

        • Okay, I know next to nothing about The Valeyard so I went digging. I found this over at the Tardis Data Core. http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Valeyard

          I see why it’s a theory people are digging these days – particularly since he was supposedly an amalgamation of the Doctor’s darkest side occurring somewhere between his twelfth and final regenerations. But there is enough still “Doctor-ish” about the Twelfth that I can’t quite get there. He’s not like the other dark sides of the Doctor we have often seen (I’m thinking about the Dream Lord from “Amy’s Choice” in particular). But …. that said…. I get it.

          And way back in August, The Den of Geek was already speculating about that very thing. http://www.denofgeek.us/tv/doctor-who/238351/doctor-who-am-i-good-man-or-just-the-valeyard

          • Okay, still thinking it over… Two things. First, the 80s stories were exactly when Doctor Who died a terrible death in ratings. These were the stories that did not resonate with people, right? So why bring back a story from an era that had terrible ratings and resonance with people? BUT he did hint at the return of the Valeyard during the episode The Day of the Doctor when the Great Intelligence called him, among other titles, “The Valeyard.” So. I’m still stuck.

          • Joy

            Oh I agree. I’m really struggling with where this is going right now. You do have to wonder though. Eleven was pretty adamant about the Time Lords not coming through the crack, because ‘he knew what they would do’, which is why he wouldn’t give his name…but they give him some big old whopping regeneration energy, and you have to wonder what came through that crack. Is that perhaps why Eleven tells Clara that Twelve is ‘afraid’ and she needs to help him? The Time Lords were always meddlesome… I really want to trust the BBC and the fan-boy in Capaldi that this trip to the dark side is going to blow our socks off and all make sense in the end, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was worried.

  • jamiearpinricci

    This episode left me put out. The qualities of a great episode were there, but missed the mark too often. However, what clenched it was this: As you say, Clara knows the Doctor best. However, I don’t believe it is the same Doctor. They’ve taken too much license and made fools of the other companions unnecessarily. I am very conflicted about this.

    • See, this is where the Valeyard theory begins to make a bit more sense to me…

      • jamiearpinricci

        Perhaps. I guess continuity and consistency is a lot to ask for such a show. 😉

  • as a pacifist, i loved it. and yet . . . how many of these decisions can result in NO negative consequences? oh, that is sort of a sticking point for me. not that i ever needed it to be realistic. but oh my, Danny Pink is the best thing to happen to this show in a long time.

    • Same. That was the part that bugged me, too. It tied up a bit TOO neatly for all the moral dilemma of it.

  • groon

    Okay–I have to admit I did not care for this episode at all. Well, except for the last ten minutes or so. Clara’s tirade at the Doctor was absolutely brilliant, and made the rest of the episode bearable. I’ve said it before–I didn’t like Clara until the regeneration–she was all smug and that just put me off–and now she’s turned into a remarkable person.

    But the story . . . am I the only one that rolled their eyes and said, “Really?” I mean, decades and decades of flitting around the Earth and its history and its future, and being on the moon MANY MANY times before, and he never knew? And can we talk about canon? I mean, while Doctor Who has never had a problem with going against its own established canon, it could at least try to not contradict itself so obviously.

    And can we talk about science? I mean, yes, suspend disbelief and all that, and I do. I really do. But seriously? How did the moon all of a sudden increase its mass (not weight, like the Doctor said, and as a scientist he should know the difference)? By the egg developing? From what? It didn’t suck in random material from space all of a sudden, did it? So how the increase in mass?

    And hearing the creature hatch? From the Earth? Noises on the moon? Garg!

    And how is a creature that just hatched supposed to lay another egg the same size as the egg it hatched from? Imagine a newborn chick laying an egg the same size as the egg it just came out of. How is that possible?

    And . . . and . . . and . . . I’m sorry. I’ll stop now.

    • groon

      I mean think about it–right now, here on Earth, scientists can use instruments and tell you exactly what the moon is composed of, all the way to its core. Arg!

    • haha! Love it. You’re so right. The science on this one is nuts.

  • Bekah Harmon

    I was so terrified of the unknown creature. The webbing, the setup. The fear was real, where as so often it’s more of a mind game fear, or not actually scary. this episode reminds me why kids used to hide behind their couches during classic Who.

    Then I was angry, at his desertion, at going into the tardis and going away. It is one thing to make the womankind make the chose for all humanity, and another thing to desert a friend when her decision is life or death. Though honestly we did know the Doctors opinion, the creature being the only of his kind, the Doctor would feel a kinship, and his great value of all life, yet he left it in their hands completely? I find that disconcerting and I’m not sure I like the new doctor either. and yet I love watching the new Doctor.

    I too loved Clara’s speech at the end and Danny’s response to her predicament. It reminds me of a quote from Madeline L’Engle about being angry with God. she says it’s ok, because that means she still believes in him. Anger is definitely a sign that you are not through and Danny called it. Bravo Danny.

    I loved the episode. Clara was brilliant. Courtney was endearing. Also, maybe The Doctor may have learned a lesson on friendship.

  • Liza

    I watched this episode today. The whole time, I hated the Doctor. (more on that later) I love the “moon is an egg” twist. It’s classic Doctor Who in that sense – take something established and turn it upside down, which there hasn’t been a lot of lately. I also liked the yo-yo. It reminded me of David Tennant and the 3D glasses at Canary Wharf. I knew Clara wouldn’t allow them to destroy the egg, even though every one else wanted to. I loved that Courtney immediately knew destroying it would be wrong, even though she didn’t get much say in it in the end. I loved the Earth turning off the lights scene. I knew they would all go off, but I was still disappointed that they did.

    I HATED the Doctor for walking out on them. I was feeling anger and hatred and betrayal when he left. In the other “this is time for humanity to shine” episodes (thinking mainly of the human/Silurian negotiations in The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood), the Doctor was there to help and encourage. This Doctor walked out? It made no sense to me. I was ready to start yelling at the TV when Clara started yelling at him for me.

    All season, I’ve felt like something has been a bit off about the Doctor’s character. This episode showed me what I’m missing. We were promised a darker, more mysterious, more “alien” doctor. We got a jerk. (Well, I’d say something that’s worse than a jerk, but I try not to use that kind of language.) He’s not mysterious, he’s rude.

    I was so glad they acknowledged that the Doctor was/is a jerk! I’m so glad they let Clara go off on him. All her emotions were the same ones I felt throughout this episode and I cried. Oh, I was a sobbing mess as she was yelling at him. It was such a relief to see someone seeing the Doctor as he really is and not liking it. It was a relief to see someone saying “I don’t want you here.” I’ve always liked Clara – yes, even flirtatious Clara – but man, I find myself loving her more and more each episode this season. I don’t remember the last episode I watched that made me cry. This one hit that nerve with me. (On the flip side, I do think the Doctor honestly had no idea he was being a jerk and that he really thought he was helping. But that made him seem more jerk-ish than innocent.)

    And Danny. Oh, I love Danny. Soldier or not, he is the most level-headed character on the show. And his line “I had a very bad day.” That made me laugh and sob all at the same time. He’s so loving and kind and gentle but the Doctor hates him because he USED TO BE a soldier? This Doctor is messed up. Danny is more of a gentleman than any other guy that has been on the show.

    I know is crazy long, but I had ALL THE FEELS on this one.

  • JennaDeWitt

    Did anyone else spend a lot of the beginning of the episode distracted by: “Why is no one mentioning the spiderwebs?! There are spiderwebs on the moon!”

    • Nicole Chase


  • tpanariso

    Honestly I think that the Doctor is reflecting Clara. He doesnt seem to care because she no longer does. The relationship between the doctor and the companion is a the illustration of how he feels about humankind. He was the “savior” to Amy and thus the same to humans. I am loving Clara as her personality develops- but its clear that though she gets the doctor she doesnt inspire him. And that is what he needs.

  • Nicole Chase

    Small things, cause others have highlighted the big ones:

    “First woman on the moon?” Erm, are we ignoring Martha and AN ENTIRE HOSPITAL?

    I was disappointed that we didn’t get bouncy moonwalking Doctor & companions. I know the extra mass was a plot device, but dagnabbit, it also shorted us bouncy Capaldi.

    None of the physics or biology works, especially the helmets on and off the whole time (it’d take WAY longer to pressurize that moon base) and the GIGANTIC germ spiders. But Courtney killing one with Windex was pretty funny.

    I… actually thought the Doctor letting earth make its own choices was appropriate? He could’ve not bailed entirely, I guess, but if this really was a pivotal fixed point, maybe he knew the earth needed to be confronted with the darkness of their instinct… and that Clara would make the right choice. I don’t blame her for being po’d at him for it, though.

    Ooooooor he’s the Valeyard. Interesting theory.

    I laughed at Courtney’s “Mr. Piiiink” when astro captain asked Clara about babies. Mr. Pink himself remains the greatest.

    • Amy Campbell-Blair

      So this is a little long but I had some big thoughts about this episode and nowhere else to talk Dr. Who.

      Initially I was really annoyed when the Doctor left Clara. This incarnation really seems to be less trustworthy and a little more erratic in his behavior with only just enough similar characteristics that indicate that he is still the Doctor. Anyway, when Clara got so angry at the Doctor and he tried to tell her that he had left to show her respect, the more I thought about it made me start looking at their relationship differently. I feel like this particular incarnation is more fatherly to Clara in some ways but at the same time Clara is actually more motherly as well, more so than any of the other companions.

      Normally the Doctor makes these crazy decisions about the world and moments in time and he bears the burden that goes along with that kind of decision-making because of the knowledge that he says he has about time and space. And so when he told her that he left her to make this decision out of respect for her, I actually believed him the more I thought about it and that surprised me. Because it seems that the Doctor would and should never leave his companion to face something like that alone, but then again what if their dynamic doesn’t now always involve him trying to impress her? Despite the fact that he seems to insult her a lot, what if there are moments when he looks up to her more than usual?

      That being said, I do think Clara was legitimate in her anger because she really had no idea whether or not the Doctor really knew anything (as far as we know, that is still unclear) and I think to me her anger actually made me have a little more perspective on what the doctor actually sometimes go through as he tries to decide the fate of the world. Those decisions are really hard and I’m sure I would have been mad at the Doctor as well and would have found it hard to feel “respected.” In that moment he shifted the burden of the decision to Clara, I think because of how competent he believes her to be. And so in a weird way, his seeming less trustworthy actually might possibly be him trusting her more than he has other companions? He didn’t come in to save her right away but waited because he wasn’t trying to impress her?

      Just some thoughts I’ve been having…

      • groon

        That’s an interesting point. I wonder if that goes into the statement of his making a lot mistakes in the past, and trying to fix that. In the past, he’s not let people decide for himself–he’s just done whatever he felt was needed and the rest got caught up in his wake. Maybe he’s trying to give them the chance to decide their own fate, and then in typical Capaldi-Doctor fashion goes way too far, doesn’t understand the emotional side of things, and ends up hurting the one he’s trying to help. That look of hurt on his face at the end was heart-breaking because you could tell he genuinely did NOT know why Clara was so upset. It really was a brilliant scene.

  • mercia

    So agree with missing the Doctor’s compassion (and with loving David Tennant not wisely but too well!) But I guess we are seeing a Doctor working out both who he is and what he is for.. I loved Clara calling him on ‘walking our earth, breathing our air’ etc when he seems to loathe human beings and have no particular interest in our world. I am hoping that as he ‘comes into himself’ so to speak his passion for saving worlds and for human beings (remember David Tennant’s ‘Indomitable, that’s what you are indomitable’ when he finds them at the end of the universe) will be ‘regenerated’ and perhaps by the end of the series we can like the Doctor again. It is certainly an interesting ride and I want to thank Sarah for the forum and for her comments which I nearly 100% agree with. I don’t have anyone to talk Doctor Who with so I love the chance to share opinions. As for the ‘science’ in this one… I’m from the UK and I loved the comment in one TV guide which said the conclusion would give physicists a ‘connipiton’! No just physicists, Biologists must have been having seizures too.

  • CJM

    Love the blog, so happy I found it. You and your readers open my eyes to new things with each episode. Thank you! Also wanted to say that I recently started re-watching the new eps with closed captioning turned on, and WOW, I was missing things. Like in Deep Breath where the Doctor says “I’m not your boyfriend” and Clara says she never thought he was? I had THOUGHT he’d replied with something to the effect of “my mistake” or “I must have been mistaken”. Closed captioning revealed “I never said it was your mistake.” Wow, gave me a whole new moment there! Anyway, fairly new Whovian, got started around the time of the 50th anniversary and have been enjoying myself to the max. Thanks for the place to geek out!

    • groon

      I echo this, Sarah–thanks for your recaps and discussions. Love ’em.

  • Pingback: Kill the Moon: Geeking out over Doctor Who | For the Love of Pete()

  • ReJoycingToday

    I haven’t had time to read the other comments, so perhaps someone has said it already, but I seriously loved this line:

    “Tell me what you knew or I’ll smack you so hard you regenerate.”

  • Jazza

    “Courtney was not a brat”
    Yeah right. I hope she and mr pink aren’t in many more episodes.

  • Brandon Hume

    My feeling is that this was a terrible episode with an amazing ending. The story of Kill the Moon just stretched my SoD beyond breaking. The “lightswitch vote” seemed contrived to me… it just seemed like it was an excuse to pull in the rest of the planet, make humanity look selfish and stupid and lengthen the episode at the same time.

    That said, I thought Clara tearing a strip off the Doctor at the end was amazing and long overdue. He’s been callous and judgemental since his regeneration. He’s had the privilege of two thousand years going everywhere, doing everything, and learning everything. And when he has the chance to support people who *haven’t* had that chance, people who can die for real – no regeneration for them! – he doesn’t say a goddamned word to help. But if they get it wrong… boy, he won’t hold back then.

    Clara is unique amongst all the companions in that she’s been there for him, helping him along, literally his entire life (this is what I thought of when she demanded not to be lumped in with the rest of humanity). Including when he was a scared little boy mewling in his bed! So I think she’s uniquely qualified to lay into him for ditching her when she needs him most.

    The Doctor *could* have said, to Courtney and Clara, that being “special” isn’t what you are, it’s what you do. Or that choices are what make people special, and they need the chance. But he didn’t, and in the 12th Doctor’s case he might not actually believe that.

    So for this episode: 5/10, up until the last five minutes, where it shoots up to 10/10.

    (It’s a shame the later episodes basically have Clara caving on her right-and-righteous anger…)

  • Watt?

    I’d have to take the Doctor’s side here.Most people think that what he did was condescending and patronizing, that he just gave the humans a “choice” just to make them feel in control,but I think he did it to help them learn and decide by themselves.The Doctor knows that he isn’t immortal,and at some point he will just be gone,and so what he was doing was to teach the humans to make the right choices and not to depend on him.

  • anonjack

    I just caught this episode (late I know.) But at the end of the day the doctor isn’t a god. So what if he travels to this, or that world and has the audacity to breathe their air. It doesn’t necessarily give him the right to take away the decisions from the creatures that actually have to live with the consequences. Clara seems to be so arrogant as to believe that she has the right to command him to do just this because she doesn’t want to be the person or one of the people to decide.

    Maybe she doesn’t know about what happened during the time war but the Doctor is someone who made the call to (As far as he knew at the time.) destroy his own home world. Righteous fury, yeah right, she just wanted someone else to have to hold the bag.