The Doctor and Clara have been through a hell of a lot since his regeneration. The latest series of Doctor Who has seen them battle psychotic, flesh harvesting robots, encounter a primal evil that watches over us in secret and save the Earth more times than we can mention. They’ve been faced with plenty of difficult decisions in the past, but all that is nothing compared to the decision that Clara is forced to make in Kill The Moon.
After one of Clara’s pupils turns up at the TARDIS, it’s obvious that young Courtney has taken an interest in The Doctor… and more specifically, the promise of adventure that seems to follow him everywhere he goes. But there’s a bit more to it than that.
“She says that you told her that she wasn’t special,” says Clara. “You say something like that to somebody and it hurts… it could affect her whole life.”
Although Capaldi’s stern exterior seems not to care, they’re soon off on an adventure to make Courtney feel special… and it turns out she’s going to be the first woman to ever set foot on the moon.
Of course, they don’t quite make it to the moon right away, instead ending up on board a space shuttle that’s plummeting to the surface. A shuttle helmed by Captain Lundvik – a female astronaut who it turns out is on a suicide mission.
After a short bit of exposition we learn that the moon has become incredibly dense… so dense in fact, that it’s affecting the tides on earth, which are rising to levels that will drown entire cities. And the solution? One hundred warheads primed and ready to destroy the moon itself.
Obviously, the Doctor can’t let that happen… and so their little school trip soon ends up turning into a mission to find out exactly what’s happened to the moon. And that’s where it all starts to go a bit awry.
It’s at this point that Kill The Moon takes its cues from the 1979 sci-fi horror classic, Alien. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, it’s a tad derivative, but the tension that builds inside that abandoned lunar base is pure Doctor Who.
Attacked by an unknown alien spider, it looks as though the moon has become infested… but all is not as it seems. Of course, the lunar expedition led by Lundvik is keen to complete their mission to save the Earth.
But after diving into a trench full of spiders (which are soon found to be a giant form of bacteria) the Doctor realises something amazing – the moon hasn’t put on weight due to a gravity bomb or any of the other technobabble reasons he originally listed… it turns out that the moon is actually a colossal alien egg.
And this is where the relationship between Clara and the Doctor starts to go sour…
“There are moments in every civilizations history, in which the whole path of that civilization is decided,” he says. “The whole future path. Whatever future humanity might have depends upon the choice that is made right here and right now.”
It’s another life lesson imparted from Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to the young Clara Oswald… but this time, it seems rather harsh. Faced with apocalyptic consequences if they allow the creature inside the Earth to hatch, there are only two choices – allow it to live and face an uncertain future, or destroy the moon and save the human race.
But can Clara really make the right decision? And is the Doctor right to force her to do so?
It’s an interesting concept that puts Clara in the driving seat once again while the Doctor takes a leave of absence. Of course, Clara’s decision ultimately turns out to be the right one… but it’s a looks as though this harsh lesson has created fractures in the relationship between the Doctor and his companion. And any minute now, they just might shatter.
I have to admit, it’s an interesting direction to take. After all, we’ve become too used to seeing the Doctor cavorting with his companions in some sort of weird, almost-relationship. This time however, the Doctor is harsh and unrelenting… and even though he clearly cares about Clara and wants to help her becoming the person she can be, he’s not exactly the most sensitive soul.
Of course, this leaves us with a very important question – can the Doctor’s friendship with Clara survive much more of this? It looks as though Clara herself is beginning to question it, and it might not be long before we find out…
What did you think of Kill The Moon? Has The Doctor gone too far this time? Let us know what you think in the comments below…