Title: Doctor Who S8.E07 “Kill the Moon”
Released: 2014
Series:  Doctor Who

Previously on Doctor WhoThe Doctor takes a side job as the caretaker at Clara and Danny’s school, and Danny begins to prove himself worthy.

DANG, guys. This episode. I kept forgetting I was supposed to be taking notes while it was on.

Here We Go Again

The episode begins with Clara, in a space suit, sending a distress call to someone, intimating that the Doctor is gone, and announcing that they’ve got a huge decision to make. It’s an innocent life vs. the fate of all mankind. If that wasn’t ominous enough, there’s a timer counting down, and there’s only 45 minutes left …

Jump back to Clara and the Doctor walking through the halls of the school. Clara’s annoyed with him because one of the Coal Hill students, Courtney Woods (who puked in the TARDIS last episode), is upset because Doctor doesn’t think she’s special. In order to make it up to the both of them, he takes them on a quick trip to the moon. They arrive, in 2049, not exactly on the moon, but on a space shuttle carrying nuclear bombs that makes a hard landing on the lunar surface.

The Doctor realizes right away that something’s wrong with the Moon, in part thanks to the presence of gravity. (How convenient for the SFX team, huh?) Three astronauts who were piloting the shuttle find the Doctor, Clara and Courtney in the cargo hold and explain that no one knows what happened to the Moon, but they’re there to fix the problem. Or blow up aliens. Like ya do.

The group heads to an old Mexican mining station that Earth lost contact with more than a decade ago. They find cobwebs at the station, which is another clue that something’s amiss on the moon. They also discover dead bodies and the fact that the Mexicans found no minerals on the moon, at all. One of the astronauts goes back to the shuttle to prime the bombs, but is killed on the way by a very large spider-like creature.

Suddenly, something skitters through the station. Another spider-thing comes at the group from a hallway. They try to get away, but another of the astronauts is killed. Courtney gets trapped in the room with it, but kills it with an anti-bacterial spray, causing the Doctor to draw the conclusion that the creatures aren’t creatures—they’re germs.

(Let’s pause for a Purel break, shall we?)

Courtney wants to go home, and Clara doesn’t think they need to stick around any longer, since she’s seen the future and the moon’s still there. The Doctor explains that there are certain moments in time that he can’t see. The remaining astronaut—Lundvik—conscripts them into helping her and all of Earth, and they attempt to make their way back to the shuttle. On the way, the Doctor is attacked, but gets away. He then finds amniotic fluid in a crater, and tells the women to make their way back alone before he leaps into the darkness.

The women get back to the shuttle and the Doctor arrives soon after with huge news: the Moon isn’t actually a moon—it’s an egg. And it’s hatching.

Lundvik wants to continue with her mission and kill it. She’s afraid of what will happen to Earth when the egg breaks up and the Moon is gone. Clara and Courtney don’t want to kill what might be the only example of the creature in existence. The Doctor say’s he staying out of it, and does so quite physically by getting into the TARDIS and leaving.

The germs converge on station as the hatching gets even closer. The women discuss their options, and then Ground Control calls. Clara hijacks the feed to ask Earth what to do, and pretty much all of humanity wants to save their own hides. Right as Lundvik is about to set off the bombs, however, Clara and Courtney both hit the stop buttons.

The Doctor arrives and takes the women back to Earth to watch the Moon hatch. It flies away, and the eggshell disintegrates rather than falling to Earth. The Doctor explains that this day is the day humanity decides to look to the heavens once again, and why it endures to the end of time. The creature also leaves a new egg behind, so none of the pesky “what do we do without the Moon” problems are problems any longer either.

The Doctor takes Courtney and Clara back to school, and Clara throws an absolute hissy fit at him about the situation, for forcing her to make the choice. She tells him to go away, and then goes to talk it out with Danny. He listens and comforts her, but says (rightly so) that she shouldn’t make a final decision until she’s calm.

Don’t Blink or We’ll Exterminate

Although the spider-like germs and the moon baby were causing some problems, and, uh, killing people, I think they were just doing so because of their nature. The germs were getting rid of something they saw as a threat to the life inside the moon. And, it’s not like you could stop the pain your mother went through when she was in labor, right?

The New Face

Another new shirt? This Doctor is a total fashion plate. And although Clara didn’t appreciate him leaving the humans to make their own decision, I thought it was an important moment in his relationship with Earth. Yes, he’ll protect it time and time again, but every now and then, us humans need to step up.

My favorite Doctorisms of the episode:

Doctor: “We should all be bouncing about this cabin like fluffy little clouds.”

Doctor: “She’s fine! What are you, 35?”
Courtney: “I’m 15!”

I also particularly enjoyed Lundvik’s “Aw. My gran used to post things on Tumblr.” quip. That will totally be my grandkids one day.

Companion Annoyance Level: The Ponds, with an escalation to Clara at the end

Companion Annoyance Advisory System

Clara: Severe Risk of Annoying Entitlement

Martha: High Risk of Ridiculous Mooning

Donna: Significant Risk of Overbearing Bossiness

The Ponds: General Risk of Bothersome Smothering

Rose: Low Risk of Irritating Smugness

  • Clara was fine this episode, and I probably would have done the same thing she did about the creature were I in her shoes. However, I’m not quite sure why she got so mad about the Doctor making her make her own decision. The fit she had kind of came out of nowhere, and it felt more like a plot device—since Danny had told her last episode that there would come a day when he would push her too far—than an actual relevant emotion.

  • I think Courtney’s teenager-ness was a great compliment to the Doctor’s old man crankiness. I love that she was the only person to actually kill one of the germs, too. Her “I’m bored” business was a little annoying, but I suppose that par for the course when it comes to teenagers.

  • Lundvik was a bit abrasive at first, but when she had to make the decision about killing the baby or saving the planet—and the Doctor had left the women to make that decision—I got a glimpse at what it might be like to have a female Doctor. And I liked it.

Keep Moving

I really enjoyed this episode, up until the end. It had action and it had intrigue and it had the ridiculous aliens that I’ve come to love and expect with Doctor Who. But there’s trouble at home, which makes for awkward viewing. I’ll be glad when the issues Clara has with the Doctor get sorted—one way or the other.

But, what did you think of “Kill the Moon”? Do you think Clara’s really going to give up that easily? Let’s discuss in the comments.


Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.