Series 8, Story 7 (Overall Series Story #252) | Previous - Next | Index
|Actually, Courtney, if you could keep it up ...|
Not to say it's not an interesting discussion, nor that it wasn't necessarily what the writer (first timer Peter Harness) may have meant for people to be reading into his script. The more compelling line of inquiry here, to me at least, is the one that looks at what's become of NASA and our space program, and questions whether we haven't stifled our spirit of exploration.
The other way I've seen this story bagged is for how it makes a hash out of its science. I've dinged stories for getting science wrong plenty before, so I've got some explaining to do about how I'm not overly concerned about the preposterous premise of the moon being an egg, nor of it being replaced by another moon egg, tribble-style. (An egg bigger, apparently, than the creature that laid it.) We've got to go to pretty fantastical lengths to get around how this story runs roughshod over conservation of mass and the biology of unicellular organisms. But, I read an article not long before "Kill the Moon" aired about how the melting of the polar ice cap is affecting the Earth's gravitational field, so even though the depiction of gravity on the moon going from Earth-normal to less than actual moon-normal because a space dragon shifted its position is in no way realistic, it at least feels like crazy leap from something I can point to as sounding fantastic, but is happening right now in the real world. It's hokum, but it's not the worst sort of hokum. This isn't Doctor Who trying to be an educational show and getting it wrong -- it's just being fabulous.
For this story to really have won me over, it needed to a better job sticking to it's principles though. The Doctor saying 'this is humanity's decision, not mine,' worked for me. But, it felt like a cheat that he inserted Courtney and Clara into Lundvik's dilemma. Lundvik was the astronaut sent to do the job, she was the only person who properly belonged there, in the moment when the decision had to be made. It's a stronger statement, in my mind, if they all talk about it, leave her to make the final decision, then go back to get her once it's made.
If the decision whether to kill the creature or not is strictly about it being unique, and magnificent, and potentially dangerous to life on Earth, it's a cleaner, more theoretical, dilemma than the one ended up with. Courtney and Clara pointedly calling it a baby makes it about the other, real-world debate in a way that feels clumsy.
Courtney is going to be President of the United States when she grows up? Hmmm.
Danny's only in it for a few minutes, but his character is well served in that time. The line about getting to be so wise by having a really bad day, and his observation that you're not done with someone if they can still make you angry, make him sympathetic, and continue to point to some revelation pending about what exactly made him leave the army.
The Mexican surveyors really brought a poncho? That was remniscent of the kind broad stereotyping we saw in Troughton era.