It’s funny how attached we are to that great big lump of rock that orbits us – its pock-marked silvery face waxing and waning over 28 days. Quite aside from the practical benefits our planet reaps from it, we’re all a bit in love with the Moon (it’s kept poets, writers, painters and photographers enthralled for hundred of years afterall) – so the idea of killing it is a genuinely shocking one.
Spoilers below the line…
There is much to like in Kill the Moon – sadly Clara isn’t one of those things. I didn’t like her insistence that the Doctor tells Courtney she’s “special” and I really didn’t like her threatening to slap him so hard he’d regenerate. When she whines about him leaving her to make the big decision, I couldn’t help thinking that her predecessors would have got on with it without so much fuss. And, anyway, wasn’t she the Impossible Girl, who threw herself into the Doctor’s timeline and saved him a hundred times over? The Doctor doesn’t seem to be the only one who’s had a personality transplant since Trenzalore…
But, the griping stops there. It looks like a Clara-free episode next week, so we can find out if things really are better without her. Let’s get back to the rest of Kill the Moon – which was old-fashioned, scary, thought-provoking Who.
I love the atmosphere of the moon scenes – wonderfully spooky and thrillingly scary in places. I adore the washed-out greys of the lunar landscape (never have the Welsh quarries looked quite so plausibly alien) and the contrast with the vivid orange-red of the Tardis spacesuits.
And, at last the Doctor is becoming likeable (I loved him bouncing towards Hermione Norris like a Tiggerish three-year-old while declaring himself a “super-intelligent alien being who flies in time and space” and his quiet joy at announcing the Moon is hatching: “the Moon’s an egg” – with a shy smile that puts you in mind of a proud father-to-be). The moment when he throws himself over the edge of a crevasse to investigate the amniotic fluid on his yo-yo is such a Doctorish thing to do that I’ve almost stopped worrying that I’ll have to call time on watching.
Am I the only one who was reminded of the Soup Dragon when the Doctor revealed the creature inside the egg? If he could meet the Clangers sometime – just in one of those snapshot/flashback moments we occasionally see – you’d hear the squeals of delight from space.
I really liked the Doctor handing off responsibility for the big decision to the nearest humans, although I thought it was stupidly short-sighted of Clara to ask the rest of humanity to vote (I wouldn’t trust them to vote out the obvious dud on Strictly, let alone take a chance on a massive alien egg).
Overall, for me, despite its Clara-related difficulties, this was by far the best of the series so far. Fingers crossed for further improvement next week.