New Show Recap: Doctor Who 8×07, “Kill the Moon”

“An innocent life versus the future of all mankind.”

We start with further proof that this version of the Doctor is a little off from his previous incarnations; while Eleven had “never met anyone who wasn’t important,” Twelve told Courtney (“Disruptive Influence”) that she wasn’t special, and she’s gone into a downward spiral over it. After they catch her in the TARDIS messing with some vortex manipulators, Clara demands that he tell her she is special, so he does so as only he can…

And off they zip to the moon, never mind that it’s the middle of the school day. Well, they land on a shuttle that’s about to crash on the moon. Apparently Airplane II is still around in 2049, because they manage the exact same landing and everyone’s ok. Of course, the three astronauts on board are not pleased to find three stowaways. The Doctor says to kill Courtney first because she’s gonna be scared if she has to watch him and Clara die, but warns them that killing him won’t be easy.

Of course, maybe they don’t want to kill him after all.

https://twitter.com/soundmonkey44/status/518567551136440320

OK, nobody’s killing anyone, and they’re off to figure out why the moon has normal gravity (but is splitting apart). How it gained 1.3 billion pounds is a mystery, but if anyone can figure it out, it’s this crew. Clara’s confused because she could swear she’s seen the moon in trips to Earth post-2049, but the Doctor says it’s a gray area and that what happens is up to them.

They make their way to the base a Mexican crew disappeared from 10 years ago; they’d been looking for minerals but somehow didn’t find any, and then went silent. Humanity gave up on exploring space, so it had taken them that long to scrounge up an old NASA shuttle from a museum and train three astronauts to fly it.

There are some creepy spider-looking things that on further examination turn out to be giant bacteria, but not until they’ve killed two of the astronauts, leaving just the leader, Lundvik. The less said about them the better, because NOPE. Courtney apparently kills one with Windex, but she’s scared and wants to go home. They take her back to the TARDIS where she’ll be safe. Of course, she eventually gets bored and starts posting on Tumblr. Cue the eternal flailing of Tumblr, along with Lundvik laughing that her grandmother used Tumblr and Twelve freaking out.

Eventually they figure out what’s going on. The moon isn’t breaking apart, the moon is hatching. The moon’s an egg. A really big fucking egg that might kill everyone on Earth, because what happens if we have no tides and giant chunks of moon go crashing into the planet? Lundvik immediately says they should nuke it, but Clara’s horrified that they could just kill an innocent baby with no remorse. The Doctor uncharacteristically has no opinion as to whether they should choose the end of humanity or the death of what could be the only member of an entire species. After telling Courtney how to bring the TARDIS to their location in the base, he leaves them there to figure it out for themselves.

Cue a very well-timed call from mission control. Clara broadcasts a message to everyone on Earth to turn off their lights if they want to kill the creature or turn them on if they want to let it hatch and take their chances. Lundvik goes ahead and sets the timer on the nukes for one hour, and humanity agrees that they should kill the creature. Problem is, Clara, Courtney, and Lundvik are still on the moon, and while Lundvik figured all along that she was heading on a suicide mission, the others don’t want to die. Clara stops the clock with seconds to go, at the exact instant the TARDIS reappears, and they pop back down to Earth to watch it hatch.

So maybe the Doctor was just trolling them all along. The creature hatches and the remains of the moon shatter into tiny fragments that won’t hurt the Earth. It even somehow lays a replacement egg/moon, so the tides will be just fine. The Doctor explains that the middle of the 21st century is when humans, after having given up on space travel for years, decide to take to the stars once more and will eventually spread across the entire galaxy, all because the birth of the moon creature gave them a reason to look up.

Clara is absolutely furious that he put her in the position to make a decision for all humanity.

He still tries to play it off that he didn’t know, and she tells him she’s done with him. Back in her classroom she has a sweet conversation with Danny, who comforts her because he knows what it’s like to make it through the worst day of your life (though it still doesn’t appear that he’s told her about the incident that was alluded to when we first met him, where he killed an innocent person). He doesn’t think she’s totally written off the Doctor yet, though.

This episode shows a definite departure from the Doctor we’ve known for so long. The old Doctor would never walk away from humanity, partly because of his fondness for them, and partly because he enjoys being the clever one who fixes everything. I’m not sure how much Clara we’ll see next week; she wasn’t in the trailer but that could just be careful editing. However, Jenna-Louise Coleman is reportedly leaving the show soon, so we’ll have to wait and see how big a presence she is going forward. I do know there’s no way they’ll leave her storyline on such an unsatisfying note.

Oh, but at least we got another River reference!

Gif from Doctor Who of Twelve saying, "We didn't nip out after pudding and kill Hitler. I've never killed Hitler.
Gif via BisexualAmy on Tumblr

Now we just have to wait for scientists to come forward and explain just how badly wrong they got a bunch of things, because yeesh. (Edit: Thanks, Phil Plait!)

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[E] Hillary

Hillary is a giant nerd and former Mathlete. She once read large swaths of "Why Evolution is True" and a geology book aloud to her infant daughter, in the hopes of a) instilling a love of science in her from a very young age and b) boring her to sleep. After escaping the wilds of Waco, Texas and spending the next decade in NYC, she currently lives in upstate New York, where she misses being able to get decent pizza and Chinese takeout delivered to her house. She lost on Jeopardy.

One thought on “New Show Recap: Doctor Who 8×07, “Kill the Moon””

  1. Someone wrote a review on imdb calling this episode “feminist claptrap,” so I feel like I should have loved it on principle.

    I assume Danny exists as a reason for Clara to leave (she’ll decide it’s too much to juggle the Doctor and the relationship, or she’ll get pregnant or something) so I’m interested in seeing where they go with him.

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