So, far betrayal has been the theme of Series 8.
From The Doctor’s regeneration, to Clara lying to her best friend and her boyfriend, the spectre of betrayal has loomed large, and the 7th episode, Kill the Moon is probably the apex of this emotional storyline.
Kill the Moon sees The Doctor and Clara’s friendship fatally compromised.
But before I get to that, there’s a whole episode to review…
On first viewing, I have to admit that I did lump this episode in with the dire Robots of Sherwood, as just another clunker, every series of NuWho has had at least one or two of these per series, but I have to admit that I was wrong.
Kill the Moon is one of those stories that definitely disserves a second watch, because once you step away from the truly ridiculous premise, there is a lot to love about this episode.
Kids on The Tardis.
I have a confession to make, I really like kids being aboard The Tardis.
From The Doctor’s very own Granddaughter, to Vicki Pallister, but please let’s all just forget proto-Wesley Crusher…I mean Adric, for me there’s always been something weirdly appealing about The Doctor interacting with children/teenagers.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want The Tardis to suddenly turn into a massive flying, time travelling crèche, but there is something nice, every once in a while to see a 2000 year old alien, being put in his place by teens.
Although Courtney Woods first made her debut all the way back in Deep Breath, when she is seen harassing poor Miss Oswald in flashback, and she also appeared in The Caretaker, once again harassing poor Miss Oswald, Kill the Moon is where Courtney really shines, and joins the ranks of Susan, Vicki and Zoe Heriot as being a compelling, and interesting younger character.
Once you get passed the bags of sass, the constant tumblr posting, and poor grasp on historical quotations, Courtney Woods becomes the heart, and the conscience of Kill the Moon.
Going so far as to risk her own life, to do what she considers to be the right thing.
She also brings a much needed dose of humour and reality, to a story that is always, only one step away from becoming completely ridiculous.
Guest Star of the Week.
Bar, Robots of Sherwood, Series 8 has done excellent work at making the most, and getting the best from their supporting guest cast, Kill the Moon is a great continuation of this, with The Doctor and Clara, not only being joined by Courtney Woods, but also Hermione Norris’ tortured and compelling, Lundvik.
In Lundvik we are introduced to a character who has lived a life of thwarted ambition, one of the last astronauts, in a period of history when mankind has turned its back on space, she has the misfortune to have her dream finally realised, only for this to mean not only the end of her own life, but the destruction of the moon as well.
Lundvik is filled with fear and bitterness, and this informs her every decision in the episode, as she becomes the closed-minded yin, to the open-minded yang, of Courtney Woods, Clara Oswald and The Doctor.
However, the writing in Kill the Moon is good enough, to show that Lundvik isn’t a baddy, she’s a good person who knows what she is doing is wrong, even though it’s for the righ reasons.
The End of the Affair.
As mentioned previously, Kill the Moon is notable because it finally sees Clara confront The Doctor with all the anger that has been simmering away beneath the surface of their friendship, since Deep Breath, and perhaps even before that, with the events of The Time of the Doctor.
When The 11th Doctor, pulled what I like to call a 9, and tricked Clara into going back to Earth, while he stayed on the planet named Christmas to grow old, and protect the inhabitance, Clara was forced to Rose Tyler her way back into The Doctor’s life, by clinging to the outside of The Tardis, which is also known as doing a Captain Jack.
Clara has grown tired of being lied to, manipulated, talked down to, and even poked with sticks, she’s as mad as hell, and she isn’t going to take it any more, The Doctor’s refusal to help her decide the fate of the moon, is the final straw that shatters this seriously annoyed camel’s back.
While The Doctor, appears to see his behaviour as being nothing more than teaching the teacher how to stand on her own two feet, for Clara The Doctor’s attitude seems to underline everything that is wrong with their friendship.