Last week’s Doctor Who episode, “Kill the Moon,” written by Peter Harness, was another smash hit in an already surprisingly strong series. With Peter Capaldi as the newest Doctor and Jenna Coleman still playing her role as the Doctor’s companion Clara, series 8 has been perhaps the most consistently great series of Doctor Who in some time.
(That is with the exception of the previous episode, “The Caretaker,” which really fell flat and was only there to move along the storyline between Clara and her boyfriend Danny Pink – more on Pink later.)
The Doctor takes Clara and one of her students to the moon, where they soon discover that something is horribly wrong – the moon is “gaining weight” and the resulting atmospheric disturbances on earth have caused the last astronauts to attempt blowing it up.
The Doctor and his companions immediately meet up with the astronauts, who inform the Doctor of their mission on the moon. His curiosity soon leads the Doctor to discover that the moon is breaking apart, it is hatching. Inside the moon, which turns out to be a giant egg, is a completely unique creature ready to hatch. Clara and the only surviving astronaut, guest Hermione Norris, must make a dreadful choice – allow the creature to live and break free from its shell, which could send fragments of the moon hurtling down on earth and killing countless people, or blow up the moon, which would deprive the earth of its moon as well as killing an innocent creature that is not even born yet.
To Clara’s great dismay – and later anger – the Doctor leaves the two women to make the choice by themselves. He won’t give any help or even advice. He tells them that this decision will determine the future of mankind, so mankind must make the decision themselves.
The writing is incredible, topped in this series only by the episode “Listen,” and is just plain exciting to watch.
However, the episode ends with Clara screaming at the Doctor for leaving, pushing her too far, and then tells him to go away and never come back. It is a big leap forward in Clara’s leaving the show, which is set for the end of the year. She is rapidly becoming less trustful of the Doctor with her boyfriend constantly whispering in her ear how bad the Doctor is.
To sum things up, “Kill the Moon” is a great episode of Doctor Who and I can’t wait for Saturday night to see “Mummy on the Orient Express.”
Some general thoughts on Doctor Who series 8:
Capaldi is spot on in his performance in every single episode, playing a much darker and more somber Time Lord than his predecessors Matt Smith and David Tennant. Yet the Scotsman still brings his own humor to the show. And unlike the last few transitions from Doctor to Doctor, which were quite jarring on fans and hard for all of us to get used to, Capaldi has made a seamless transition into the role and is keeping everyone hooked on the show.
The counterpart to how much I like Capaldi is how much I hate the character of Danny Pink. He is a weird, jealous little man who is constantly trying to tear Clara away from the Doctor, even though he knows nothing about him. His justification is Clara’s safety, but we’ve already seen what that actually looks like in Rory and Amy. Rory more than once jumped on the Doctor for taking Amy into dangerous situations, but he could still see that the Doctor was the universe’s ultimate good guy. Danny Pink, however, is just plain sleazy, bitter and a little bit off. I like Jenna Coleman a lot, but if losing her means we can get rid of Pinky, then I’m all for it.