TV Review: "Doctor Who" 8x07: Kill The Moon

Written by: Lord Gremlin

There were a handful of moments during “Kill the Moon” that reminded me why I fell in love with Doctor Who in the first place. The 7th episode this season is arguably the strongest yet (I’ll have to give it another watch to see if it eclipses “Listen”) with every ingredient I cherish in the show being mixed together to make a nigh perfect confection of Doctor Who goodness.

This season continues with harkening back to the Classic Era of Who with the infamous “base under siege” trope the show was known for in the 60’s. You see, it’s the year 2049 and our moon has become too heavy and is causing some expected havoc down on terra firma. A small group of astronaut’s are sent to evaluate the situation (I.E. blow It up) but are thwarted by creepy ass giant moon spiders. Just what is going on? And what will the Doctor do about it?

The plot of this particular episode is nuts. It’s like, really out there. Even *gasp* silly. I’ve already read comments about the junkyard science the episode uses and couldn’t care less. Have these people ever seen an episode of Doctor Who before? Old or new? This is the kind of stuff Doctor Who does and does well, fairly consistently I might add.

First time scripter Peter Harness manages to meld different styles of Who into one sublime treat. It’s unpredictable, it’s creepy, it’s barmy, and it’s funny. This show is at its best when it can successfully fool you on the outcome of any given story, and “Kill the Moon” is a great example of this. It’s science fiction/fantasy at its most confidently inventive.

Now comes the part where I vomit my obligatory praise of Peter Capaldi. The man can do no wrong in my book. His delivery of some of the dialogue here had me laughing out loud on numerous occasions. I’m also really appreciating the fact Moffat and his team are bringing back the elusive nature of the Doctor that was prevalent in the old days. 12 is still very much an enigma. You never quite pin down what he’s thinking or what he’ll do. His action in this episode in particular reminded me of the 4th and 7th Doctor respectively. This is the most alien The Doctor has felt in a long while and I’m loving the unpredictability.

Jenna Coleman gives us her best performance yet. She shares a powerfully emotional moment with The Doctor during the end of the episode that felt very…real. Very human and vulnerable and opens up some very curious doors as to how the character of Clara will make her departure-which has been strongly hinted to be this year’s Christmas special.

The biggest ‘what if’ that had me a tad worried about “Kill the Moon” was the inclusion of the 15 year character Courtney Woods as a temporary companion. While her interplay with The Doctor last week was fun and charming I was worried that we’d get flashbacks of “Nightmare In Silver” and have to deal with an ungodly annoying troll of sass and attitude. Luckily, Harness knew what to do with the character and she ended being refreshingly well handled. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

Production wise this is the best looking episode of the season. Man, they just keep topping themselves in this department. The CGI is some of the most consistent and convincing we’ve seen on the show recently and the mood of the piece is eerie and remote. There is genuine peril here, and it’s the most palpable said peril has felt since probably “The God Complex” in Season 6.

9/10. The minor qualm I have is that I wish the Moon Spiders got a bit more screen-time. Their design and creep factor were too strong to have them get sidelined like they did. Overall though this is a minor issue in an overall excellent episode of Doctor Who.
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About The Damn Beast

Pre-op trans-minotaur, sci-fi/fantasy/horror author, metal singer, videogame journalist, pop culture blogger. I also lift heavy things and put them down again repeatedly to occupy more space.
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