Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Doctor Who: “Kill the Moon” recap and review

by Melissa Parkin

Following the events of last week’s “The Caretaker,” Clara informs the Doctor that one of her students, Courtney, wants to take another trip on the TARDIS. Apparently, time and space travel did not take too kindly to her; she got sick. When Clara and the Doctor enter the TARDIS, they find poor Courtney aboard, still trying to clean up the literal mess she made. The Doctor doesn’t wish to linger on the events any longer, and decides to take both girls on a little trip to the Moon.

When they arrive, something is clearly not right. Donned in full space gear, the trio exit the TARDIS, prepared to step out onto some good old fashioned lunar crust. Instead, they find themselves aboard a space shuttle chock-full of nuclear weapons preparing to crash into the surface of the Moon. Surviving the impact, they’re introduced to Captain Lundvik and two other crew members who happened to be on board as well.

The year is 2046, and this small team of astronauts are on a mission: Nuke the Moon. Why would anyone want to do this? Apparently, the Moon’s mass increased so much that it now shares the same gravitational properties as the Earth. The only information pertaining to the issue came from a transmission, by a Moon-based Mexican colony, just before a destructive high tide took out a massive portion of the human population along with its satellites back on Earth. So, the astronauts believed that the problem originated from the Moon.

Upon journeying to the Mexican settlement, the Doctor and team discover the entire base covered in spider webs. In the midst of their exploration, both of Lundvik’s crew members are attacked by badger-sized spider-like germs. As one of these hideous creatures lunges at Courtney, she kills it, cleverly, with a can of disinfectant she used to clean the TARDIS.

The Doctor then discovers some of the readings taken by the Mexican colony. Reportedly, the mass of the Moon suddenly increased by over one billion tons, explaining the freak tidal changes happening back on Earth. Upon further investigation, the Doctor realizes that the moon is in fact a massive, one-hundred-million-year-old egg with a gargantuan creature inside ready to hatch. Captain Lundvik declares that nuking the Moon is the only rational option, considering the potential threat that the creature holds for the people on Earth. Clara, on the other hand, argues differently, and this is where it hits the fan.

At first glance, “Kill the Moon” seems like another earthbound episode as it starts at Clara’s school, but it quickly skyrockets to a Prometheus-level space thriller as it introduces its microbe-spiders. The setting, cinematography, direction, and atmosphere all make for a compelling, dark adventure, but that only scratches the surface of things. The emotional rollercoaster makes this story compelling, particularly Clara’s reaction to the Doctor’s decision by episode’s end. The overall concept is gripping, the scenery is spine-chillingly perfect, and the character conclusion makes this the most emotional installment of series eight. (Editor’s note: But, but what happened??? Don’t leave me on the edge of my seat.  Google it is.)

“Kill the Moon” Episode Rating: Solid A


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