TV Review: “Doctor Who” – “Kill the Moon”

Written by Caitlin Cooper October 09, 2014

Doctor Who

Just when I expressed my concerns over the growing rift between the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman), there’s yet another “Doctor Who” episode in which the writers have these two good friends fight. This time it’s not about Clara’s boyfriend, Danny (Samuel Anderson). This time, the fight is about the Doctor abandoning Clara just when she needs him most.


“Kill the Moon” sees the Doctor and Clara, along with student Courtney (Ellis George), travel to the moon. But there’s something wrong. The moon looks different, there are whole cities being swallowed by the uncontrolled tide, and the moon is falling apart. Why? The moon is an egg, and it’s ready to hatch. Hatching means there’s nothing to control the tide, and the earth will be in great danger. There’s a choice: kill the baby alien inside the egg, or let it live and hope that it stays near earth. In the midst of this, the Doctor does something so shocking that Clara and Courtney have to rely on one another to save the day.

“An innocent life versus all of mankind. We have 45 minutes to decide.”

“Kill the Moon” is probably one of the most tense “Doctor Who” episodes yet this season, mostly because the Doctor and Clara seem to be on different pages for how to deal with the situation at hand. The Doctor has had to make a decision like this before: to end the war on Gallifray, he killed all of the other time lords so he could also kill the daleks. But on the “Doctor Who” 50th anniversary episode, called “The Day of the Doctor”, Clara helps a past version of himself undo that choice. Instead of killing everyone to save the rest of the universe, the Doctor simply moves Gallifray to a different universe. I suppose he knew Clara would know what to do about the moon, but he actually leaves in the Tardis. He says he wanted to leave the choice up to humans since it’s our world it would affect, but did he have to leave completely? It seems rather odd to me given the countless times he’s helped Earth before.

doctor who

There are some pretty moving scenes as a result of Clara and Courtney’s emotional state in this episode of “Doctor Who”. The three women left behind on the spaceship by the Doctor – which includes astronaut Lundvik (Hermione Norris) – can’t agree on whether or not to hit the red button that will set off explosions to kill whatever is inside the egg. Clara gets a wonderful idea: broadcast to the world and have them vote on what to do. The results are to kill the moon, but Clara changes her mind at the last second and decides that we should let the creature live and hope for the best. This scenario really reminded me of the one from “The Beast Below”; Amy (Karen Gillan) makes a decision to stop harming the creature that is flying the ship and the creature decides to stay despite being tortured for years. In “The Beast Below”, the Doctor is angry with Amy for at first deciding to let the creature keep being tortured. But the Doctor already knows in “Kill the Moon” that Clara has made a decision to save life rather than end it. So why would he leave her when she begged him to stay? Another moving scene is when Clara confronts the Doctor for leaving her and mocking humans. Coleman is such a good actress which makes the scene even more devastating. She’s not wrong in what she says; the Doctor had good intentions but they failed to translate.

“How would you like to be the first woman on the moon?”

This episode of “Doctor Who” is really one for strong women. Clara makes a huge decision. Lundvik finally sees why killing the moon is the wrong choice, even though all she really wanted was to save Earth. Courtney gets to experience something beyond London, England. Courtney is curious about space, much like every companion is before they become companions. At first, the danger and reality of it is too much for her, then she decides she wants to be involved in saving lives. The women come together afterwards when they watch the moon hatch because the realize this was the right decision even if it was the harder one to make.

doctor who

Overall, “Kill the Moon” is a good “Doctor Who” episode despite the direction in which the writers are taking the Doctor and Clara. I still find myself concerned with the growing rift between them, and I really hope it’s fixed soon so it doesn’t taint anymore episodes with sadness. Strong women make big decisions in this episode, and the acting makes these scenes even more poignant.

My Rating: 8/10

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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