‘Kill the Moon’ may seem like a provocative title, but the plot was a near rehash of the Star Whale in ‘The Beast Below,’ only without the interesting characters, and a very strange understanding of what would happen if the moon went away. Also, the Doctor decides not to solve the crisis at all.
The episode starts with Courtney Woods (who I’m very excited has come back, and hope she returns) being upset that the Doctor doesn’t think she’s special. Why he keeps insisting she’s not is up to interpretation. Maybe he’s being curmudgeonly as is usual, or maybe he thinks that in the grand scheme of space nothing is that special. That, at least, seems the be the point he tries to prove when he takes her and Clara to the moon… to kill it.
Okay, rather, he takes them to the moon for a bit fun and perspective, but it turns out there are man-eating bacteria killing astronauts and a little baby dragon-moth thing growing on the inside. Oh, and the moon gained 1.3 billion pounds since the Doctor was on it last, and yes somehow that change did not manifest in any obviously destructive tidal shifts on Earth. Weird.
In any case, they must come to a decision to kill the baby that grows in the moon, or let it live. Or rather, when I say “they” I mean “they” minus the Doctor because he’s suddenly decided that humanity needs to make its own choices. He pops off, and during that time Clara asks people on Earth to turn off their lights to let her know if they should kill the baby moon or keep the lights on to let it live. Predictably, Europe and America turn off their lights (we don’t see any other continents), and the killing continues.
Until at literally the last second, Clara aborts the plan to blow up the alien creature. With less than a second to spare, the Doctor pops back in, saves them, takes them to Earth to watch the moon explode, which, by the way, should be causing some massive waves, and the Doctor talks about how beautiful it all is while Clara just stews about his treatment of her. Now, if you’re thinking that if the moon disappears, we have some huge ecological issues (since a great deal of ocean life depends on the tide), plus tidal issue to deal with, don’t worry. The new born baby was able to lay an egg the size of its own body with the nutrition it got from… well… I don’t know. It’s ‘Doctor Who,, am I supposed to be asking these rational questions about alien species?
Then, in the strongest bit of the episode, Clara gives the Doctor a piece of her mind, and it is the only thing that makes this wholly unbelievable and trite episode work. I love that Clara is not pleased with the Doctor’s condescending attitude toward her, treating her like a child. It was a hard decision, whether to kill the baby or not, and she should not have made it alone. He left her to face the horrifying part of herself that may have let the creature die, and she is livid with the Timelord, as she has every reason to be.
The final scene has her ordering the Doctor to leave her for good, and who knows, it may be the end of Clara the companion. The next episode teaser certainly didn’t have her in it. But I’m glad to see a companion standing up and demanding they be treated like an equal friend, though that didn’t end terribly well for Martha or Donna, so we’ll have to see how that ends.
In any case, for a very weak episode with a few shining highlights (the astronaut laughing about her gran who used to use tumblr and Clara’s character development), I give this episode