drwho killmoon

Review: Doctor Who – Kill the Moon

Kill the Moon is  at least a great title for an episode. Unfortunately, the story itself was not. Perhaps the idea could have been eventually refined to something decent with some more writing, but what we had was very nonsensical and irritating. So, while I will later attempt to defend some of these problems, let’s get into what my least favourite parts of this episode were.

WARNING – Discussion of Spoilers below

Clara pleads with humanity to make a difficult decision: should we forgive the broadcasting of "Kill the Moon"? ©BBC
Clara poses a difficult decision to all of humankind: should we forgive the BBC for broadcasting “Kill the Moon”? ©BBC

Firstly – the appearance of Courtney Woods. I doubt that any viewer of last week’s episode would have thought ‘Wow, what an interesting character, I hope she appears again so we can learn more about her!’ Her presence in Kill the Moon was fairly pointless, and any role she did serve could have been taken over by one of the other temporary characters. In the 45 minutes each episode takes, there is little room for characters like this, and I also dislike the presence of children in general in Doctor WhoThe Empty Child/The Doctor Dances excepted. The way I think most Whovians understand the role of the central TARDIS travelling characters is that the Doctor is the one who allows the adventure to happen, driving the story, and then the current companion is for us the viewer to identify with, and keep the Doctor’s more alien tendencies in check. There should be no need for any awkward child actors if the companion is written well enough for both young and old to identify with them somehow, and apart from that possible reason, or if the story desperately calls for them, children need never appear at all.

Another frustrating point was the presence of the spider creatures in the first half of the episode, who, much like Courtney, were mostly irrelevant. They seemed to be only present in order to provide some form of jeopardy before the Doctor and company figured out what was going on. Since it was not one of the more famous villains from the Doctor’s rogues gallery, and it is unlikely we will ever see them again, this is one of the more forgivable things.

The science in this episode has come under a lot of scrutiny, but to me this is one of the least important things to be complaining about. Science in Doctor Who is always rather fuzzy, due to the incredibly complex issues of time travel which are at the centre of the show’s premise.

Finally, we come to Clara’s dramatic exit, having lost faith in the Doctor. I liked Jenna Coleman’s performance; my complaint is how this sudden dissatisfaction with the Doctor has had only one week to sink into our collective minds, and there was no indication that Clara was feeling this way at the start of the episode. I commented last week about how slowly the Heaven subplot was moving, and now the Clara subplot has made a huge leap in a single episode. Two does seem to be too many for a 13 episode series. But as we edge closer to the finale, let’s hope that these intermediate low points are all worth it in the end, because I don’t feel good moving on from this shambolic story of spiders, eggs, and a moody Tumblr user.

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Richard Priday

Richard Priday is a history student, but his greatest love is games, across all platforms and genres.