I don’t think I have ever witnessed such depth, drama and intensity between the Doctor and his companion. Tonight’s final Tardis scenes packed such an emotional punch that I am still reeling now. As Twelve and Clara faced off, I wondered, can Jenna Coleman get any better? Each week she astounds us. Tonight, totally enthralled by her performance, her tears were my tears.
The Doctor has really messed up this time – a real Capaldisaster – and seemingly lost his best companion since Sarah Jane, due to his alien insensitivity. I was so glad that good old Danny was there to give Clara a reassuring hug at the end. But, I venture, the Doctor needed one too.
Earlier in the episode, the Doctor had walked off and left Clara and company to decide on the fate of the moon. I thought, “Doctor, what are you doing? What is about wearing an orange spacesuit that makes you act a total scumbag, just like that time you were splish-splashing around on Mars?”
Talking attire, I love the Doctor’s new black spotty shirt. Probably because I used to have one just like it myself. Be that as it may, this Nu-Who trend of varying the costume slightly every week is fun!
The moonscape was breath-taking, worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. Oh – the days of quarries have never felt so far away! And they said the moon had no atmosphere!
Courtney – is that a tribute to the Brig? – is possibly the first child companion that actually works. Her Tumblr joke had me in stitches, as did the Doctor’s “Don’t put photos of me on the Internet!”. I am quite happy for the kid to stay on board. The actress plays well against Capaldi and brings out a softer, more likeable side to his performance.
Tonight for the first time, I wasn’t overanalysing Capaldi’s performance. I have accepted him. I can enjoy the stories without worrying about any troublesome traits in the new Doctor. In “Kill the Moon”, his alien qualities were skillfully written, unlike, on some occasions, where the Doctor just seems to be a watered-down version of Malcolm Tucker who spouts cheap, unintelligent and “undoctorly” insults.
I had been led to believe that “Kill the Moon” was all about scares and spiders. Indeed, the arachno-foes were both well-realised and horrific, but, in the end, the story wasn’t about them. It was about the emotional drama of Clara’s dilemma. For five minutes or so, the show could have been called “Clara Oswald – Defender of the Moon”. Viewers felt a real sense of desperation and despair, as she was left “Doctor-less”.
To quote Moffat, the episode did indeed “Hinchcliffe the sh**out of it” for the first half. However I would like to argue the point that the second half more than “RTDed the poo-poo out of it”, from an emotional and character-oriented standpoint, that is. Yes, those final Tardis scenes between the Doctor and Clara were worthy of Russell T Davies (aka Rusty) himself. They were real tear-jerkers, on a par with the ones of Rose and Ten on that Norwegian beach all those years ago. (Incidentally, I believe they should name a Dalek after the ex-showrunner, in his honour. Or – think ‘Into the Dalek’ – maybe they have done so already!)
So, in conclusion, the moon was an egg. I had always thought it was made of cheese. Those mice from Bagpuss will be mighty disappointed. And that’s probably why they are screeching so!