Well, I said last week Kill the Moon was a rather bad title, but after watching the episode I would like to retract that.  Sure, it’s now a less than subtle title but it’s definitely a fitting one for a rather good episode.

As I have mentioned in previous reviews for series 8, Clara is actually written consistently this time around.  As a result, we get an episode that relies on Clara to do some very important things, and while it is valid to argue the companions have been given too much of a role and taken the focus away from the Doctor, this time it’s the Doctor taking his own leave.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The story starts off simple enough. The Doctor is forced by Clara to take the girl (her name’s Courtney Woods) from the previous episode to space, because the Doctor was being rude and telling the girl how she isn’t significant. Oh, did I not mention in the last review there was a girl from Clara’s school? No big deal, there’s a girl from Clara’s school.

So, the Doctor goes to make her the first woman on the moon, and in the process, as is often the case with Doctor Who and wondrous cliches, gets more than he bargained for.

It seems there’s issues with the moon splitting apart and it’s going to be catastrophic for the tides down on Earth. A team of scientists are sent up to literally blow up the moon. Let’s just examine a few things for a moment. First, they’re scientists because I believe they say how NASA shut down space exploration, fine, no big deal. But the best they could

Orange never goes out of style in space

Orange never goes out of style in space

come up with was blowing up the moon with nuclear weapons? Let’s just ignore how that will affect the tides. Anyway, I digress.

Together, they all make their way to an abandoned station on the moon, in which the inhabitants have all been killed. Killed by what? Spiders, kind of. The first twenty minutes or so we’re left to believe spiders have infested the moon, are tearing it apart, and killing people who step foot on the moon. Because well, spiders are evil and will do anything to be more evil.

But luckily we’re spared a boring old spider story and instead are left to find they’re parasites, which leads into the bigger issue of what is going on with the moon?

We lose the Doctor for a bit at this point, as he literally dives into the moon to find out what is going on. Clara, the girl, and the final surviving scientist (why must the rest of the crew always insist on splitting up?) return to the station, left with the decision: blow up the moon or don’t. Soon enough the Doctor gets back and sheds some light on the situation. He discovers the moon is an egg, and inside is a new species, all on its own. Whereupon he departs again, not interfering in Earth’s history, or future, or timey-wimey. This doesn’t sit well with Clara, who along with the girl from school, does not want to blow up the moon since it is a living creature. The scientist on the other hand has to play the role of wanting to blow up the moon. And it’s for a decent enough reason, saving Earth and all.

So in a frantic mess, Clara sends a message to Earth, asking the people to cast their own vote on what should be done. In the end it comes down to the final seconds before the moon will explode. Clara lunges towards the cancel button and spares the moon. Conveniently, the Doctor shows up just in time to get them all off the moon and to the safety of Earth. They witness the moon crack open and a new creature emerge from inside. Unlike the blow up the moon method, the creature lays another moon, or egg rather, so nothing is ruined by the moon potentially no longer being there.

Right, all neat and tidy, except not really. See, Clara was not at all happy with the Doctor just leaving her. She wasn’t ready or wanting to take on such an important task on her own. Essentially paving the way for the future of humanity. She sees it as the Doctor making light of the situation, just popping off to do something else and come back to see how things are going. Of course the Doctor did it because he trusted her to make the right choice.

Logical? Nope. Really cool? Yup.

Logical? Nope. Really cool? Yup.

Clara actually does leave at the end of the episode, and for these forty odd minutes, it’s pretty significant. Obviously I don’t have to mention the stellar performances by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, because, well, when aren’t they fantastic. I mentioned earlier how it’s not bad for this to be Clara focused, because she’s finally being defined as a character instead of a plot device as she existed to be in series 7.  Plus, it’s not like the Doctor hasn’t been the focus of this series the majority of the time.

I actually really enjoyed this story. I was glad they took a risk and made it kind of out there instead of just having a spider invasion story for the millionth time in sci-fi history. I always seem to enjoy the episodes when they have to decide whether or not to save a creature (even if they usually end up saving it), there’s always a solid amount of tension and emotion, making for some good drama.

Clara walking out on the Doctor was pretty cool and even cooler was seeing Danny (anyone who read my previous reviews knows I’m a fan of Danny) disagree with Clara and show her she’s not done with the Doctor just yet.

There are so many dynamics at play with the characters this series that I’m glad we didn’t have to deal with more Missy stuff.

I’m looking forward to next week’s episode and seeing how the Doctor and Clara act together after the climactic ending of this week’s story. Here’s the trailer for Mummy on the Orient Express (I hate to judge an episode by its title, but can we get a bit of creativity one of these weeks with the title?):

Advertisements