Doctor Who Review – “Kill the Moon”

This entry is more concerned with the people around the Doctor than the Doctor himself.

Cast and Crew Information

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor
Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara Oswald
Ellis George as Courtney Woods
Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink
Hermione Norris as Lundvik
Tony Osoba as Duke

Written by Peter Harness
Directed by Paul Wilmshurst


The Doctor takes Clara and Courtney to the moon in the near future, and discover that our natural satellite is not what we thought it was.

High Point

Courtney’s prep work for the trip was amusing.

Low Point

Could the science get any worse?

The Review

This is a story I haven’t seen before, and it is original. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were generally good enough, although some moments did stand out as CGI, likely because of the sheer volume of CG environments. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story depends entirely on a couple of scientific inaccuracies. The moon has limited tectonic activity, the mass of the moon would not increase under these conditions, and it has lighter gravity but not no gravity. Throw in a poor understanding of how germs scale, and the science geek in me simply cannot engage my mind with this episode. This is on top of questionable character choices that have been a source of online debate since it aired. I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting is the strongest part of the episode, with the cast doing their best to represent the script they have to work with. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is consistently well done. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was weak. I just couldn’t get involved after the way the story opened. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, those who aren’t as familiar with the science will quite possibly enjoy it, but I can’t highly recommend it. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Kill the Moon receives 28 out of 42.

9 replies on “Doctor Who Review – “Kill the Moon””

  1. I dunno about Original. My girlfriend was really mad when I kept telling her what was going to happen every single step of this episode (from “Giant Moon Spiders” to “It’s an egg” to “It’ll lay a new one for no apparent reason”), except for Clara’s freakout at the end.

    Which in my opinion was somewhat unjustified. I think it’s just fine that The Doctor let Humans dictate the path of Humanity. Could he have been nicer and less patronising about it? Of course he could, but he’s The Doctor, you should be used to that by now.

    Having said that, is it OK that someone occasionally yell at him for that? Of course it is, he’s The Doctor, he needs it.

  2. The science was absolutely dreadful and kept breaking me out of the story. I mean they could have at least made an attempt to handwave the horrible inaccuracies related to gravity and explained where the added mass came from and how it appeared suddenly. We know there is technology in the Who universe that can mess with gravity so a throwaway line somewhere mentioning it might have been smart. In fact, using *that* as the macguffin would probably have worked better. They could even have related it to the biological entity.

    In fact, a gravitational manipulation field of some kind would have made so much more sense. That would actually allowed localized gravitational “failure” without totally breaking me out of the story. After all, moving a mass that large a fraction of the diameter of the moon would not have reduced the gravitational pull sufficiently for anyone to suddenly start floating. Even with the ordinarily weak Lunar gravity, things will fall toward the surface.

    Granted, science in Doctor Who has always been iffy at best. However, getting something as basic as gravity that far wrong these days is inexcusable.

    • Even for Doctor Who… That’s some terrible science.

      As for original, I predicted the ending because I read Nelson Bond’s “And lo! The Bird” when I was ten or eleven and it stuck with me. There, the earth itself (like the other planets) is the egg, so the situation is much more dire. Unfortunately, what works in a one-off thought experiment story does not work so well here– especially with the Doctor leaving his companions with so little information.

    • Meh.
      It’s science FICTION. I don’t care about reality.
      I DO want the characters to be consistent and that seems to be really lacking with 12.

  3. WTF is WRONG with Clara.
    Why the temper tantrum. She’s seen how the Doctor works. Even if she has forgotten the “previous regenerations” prior to 11, she saw what the Doctor did in the Day of the Doctor when he made the humans and the Zygons work together. Seriously.. why the hissy fit? Humans ALWAYS must make the human decision. I was so furious with her. (and the writers…)

    I liked the episode until that point.
    Go away Clara. I don’t like you anymore.

    Bring back JACK!!
    LOL and *sigh*

    • Funny thing, but “WTF is WRONG with Clara” has been a real-life question for me for like 3 years.

      The current Doctor Who series seems to favour companions named after important women in my life…

    • Clara had a very good point.

      This wasn’t “humans need to choose their own path”, this was “Clara needs to decide between wiping out an utterly unique species or risk wiping out the human race”. And he didn’t just force her to make the decision on her own, he completely abandoned her during the most difficult decision she’d ever have to make.

      Moreover it was an artificial decision. The Doctor withheld critical information that the Earth was probably safe to push her towards the wrong decision, Clara now has to live with knowing she made a decision jeopardizing the human race.

      • Clara now has to live with knowing she made a decision jeopardizing the human race.

        Maybe, but when she stops being angry about it she may realise she gets to live knowing that when push came to shove, she made the right decision – not only without The Doctor, but in spite of The Doctor.

        What’s more… The Doctor knows it, too. Maybe this was all a test to him. Maybe he needs to know this about Clara for something that’s yet to come…

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