Doctor Who: Kill the Moon

“The future is no more valuable than the past.”

Doctor Who

***L-space Newsflash:*** Doctor Who is crap again.

Excuse my French, but I believe in this case it is warranted.

SPOILER ALERT! THIS REVIEW/RANT WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.

I’m just going to free-rant, I think. Apologies for any incoherency which may occur.

Kill the Moon begins with Clara delivering an extremely unconvincing monologue which serves as an introduction for the old “45-minutes-to-save-the-world” theme. This is an old chestnut which can be done well, but here it’s just irritatingly melodramatic and cliffhanger-y. The Doctor has disappeared, or will have disappeared? Why? You’ll just have to watch the episode to find out!

Grrr.

Then the theme tune starts. This is possibly the best bit of the whole episode.

Flashback to a time when the world was not about to explode (i.e., about three hours beforehand): Clara is shouting at the Doctor because he traumatised Problem Child Courtney, one of the pupils at Clara’s school, when he took her for a trip in the TARDIS in The Caretaker. To stop Clara’s ranting, the Doctor agrees to take Courtney to the Moon: “First woman on the Moon! Is that special enough for you?” Except that the Moon is, inexplicably, in the future. And its gravity has, handily, increased to exactly Earth gravity. And there’s another woman on the Moon. Sorry, Courtney. You’re not actually that special after all.

The woman (named, somewhat incongruously, Captain Lundvik) and her sidekicks fill us in on some backstory: the Moon has inexplicably increased in mass; its famous seas-not-seas are expanding; all the coastal cities on Earth are flooded. Captain Lundvik’s shuttle has a massive payload of nuclear weapons. Her plan? To blow up the Moon.

Um…what?

There’s no indication of what this would actually achieve, which is probably nothing, because the Moon is, you know, quite big. Even when it hasn’t magically increased in mass. You couldn’t destroy it, not with ten nuclear warheads. Or even decrease its mass by any appreciable amount. Where would the dislodged material go, anyway? Do you know anything about gravity, Mr Moffat?

Anyway. The gang go round the Moon (because it’s totally small enough to cover significant amounts of it in a few hours) planting the weapons, and during the course of this little project they come across the cobwebbed remains of a Mexican base. The research team who built it are, fairly predictably, dead. The base is dark and there’s no power or air or anything, but then someone flips a switch and it all works again. I have two questions: a) surely you can’t just switch oxygen on and breathe it straight away? That’s not how air works. b) Why was the power off in the first place? If the research team died suddenly, either the power is off because it’s broken, or it should be still on. In either case, you wouldn’t just be able to switch it on again.

We’re in for another surprise. A giant spider enters the research facility and kills one of Lundvik’s henchmen. But then Courtney kills it with an antibacterial spray which…she just happened to have in her pocket? Yep, that’s a normal thing for a schoolgirl to carry around. The Doctor claims the spiders are just giant germs. Er…no, Doctor. Germs don’t make cobwebs. Why would they make cobwebs on the Moon, anyway, when there’s nothing for them to catch?

The gang wander around a bit more, until they’re disturbed by an earthquake. Fissures open in the ground. Someone declares that the Moon is falling apart. YES, THAT’S WHAT PLANETS DO ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME. Inside one of the fissures, they discover a writhing colony of germ spiders by waving a torch inside. This looks like a job for the Phial of Galadriel. *snickers*

Sorry. Where was I?

The Doctor jumps into a crater for no discernible reason, and Clara and Captain Lundvik return to the research base, the shuttle having fallen into a hole. (Bad parking there, I feel.) The Doctor returns a little bit later with the TARDIS and a revelation: “The Moon is an egg.”

*facepalm*

I’m sorry, did I take a wrong turning somewhere? Is this Discworld-land now? Could you really not come up with a better explanation than “The Moon is an egg?”

I mean, a frickin’ egg.

Well, now we know why Captain Lundvik brought all those nuclear weapons along…in case the scriptwriter needed a way of solving an unforeseen and inexplicable plot twist. I’m glad we’ve cleared that one up.

Predictably, Captain Lundvik wants to blow the Moon up even more than she did already. Clara doesn’t. The Doctor flies off to allow them to choose for humanity after spouting some timey-wimey guff about moments when time gets changed, etc. Essentially, this is the old plot device of the fixed points, reversed. It’s just convenient exposition.

Clara comes up with a brainwave: let’s ask humanity what they want! She sends a message to the people of Earth: if you don’t like the look of the hatching sky-dragon, turn your lights off. It’s like a cosmic version of Take Me Out.

Forty-five minutes later, the whole Earth is dark. No likey, no lighty. Everyone is very disappointed in humanity. The nuclear bombs are about to blow up the sky-dragon. Then…

Clara turns the bombs off.

Sooo…what was the point of Cosmic Take Me Out, then?

(Also, can you imagine the domestic arguments it must have caused? “Turn your lights off, darling.” “NO, I DON’T WANT TO, YOU MURDERER!!”)

The Doctor returns at this point to give Clara a metaphorical pat on the head and spirit her, Courtney and Lundvik back to relative safety on an island somewhere, from which they view the egg hatching. The sky dragon flies away, but not before it lays a BRAND NEW EGG. In exactly the same place. Exactly the same size. Needless to say, this is spectacularly unlikely and suspiciously convenient and robs Clara’s decision of any negative consequence and thus any actual meaning.

Everyone goes home, but not before we find out that the Sky-Dragon Incident inspired humanity to go to the stars. Terrific. It was all worth it, then. And in a coda, Clara rants to Danny (who? Oh, him) about how mean the Doctor is for leaving her to make her own decisions. Well done, Clara! You’ve struck a blow for feminism there, haven’t you?

TL; DR Kill the Moon is possibly the stupidest of all stupid stories. Also, the scriptwriters really need to go and read about science.

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