Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Do You Kill the Moon?

This week's Doctor Who episode started off with Clara confronting the Doctor about Courtney, a student at Coal Hill School. He doesn't see a problem. The conversations ends up in the Tardis where Courtney is waiting and the Doctor takes off. They end up in the mid 21st century on a shuttle about to crash on the moon.

I'm going to have to review this episode from 2 points of view. First, from a storytelling perspective.

Well, it was great. This episode was about the monster and had a classic feel. The spiders were creepy and scary and served the story well. People died. Even had to wonder about the Doctor for a moment.

And then at the critical moment, the Doctor left the solution to the three human women with him. That action may not be typical of most Doctors, but it is typical of this Doctor. I think in this episode we are seeing the twelfth Doctor in his full glory. He is a bit zany, wild, but always serious.

This story was a perfect way to move into the second half of the season. And the final scenes were brilliant. There was a lot of character development in this story, but not at the expense of the danger of the situation. It makes me wish that some of the previous episodes were more like this one, the perfect weave of a dangerous situation and character moments.

That said, I have to look at it from another point of view. The setup was very similar to the Seeds of Death, set toward the end of the 21st century. In both you have an Earth that has put space travel behind them and when they find the need to go to the moon, must make due with what they have. Except this time that isn't believable. Commercial space flight is near to being a certainty, the Chinese are just getting started, and NASA has its sights set on the Moon and Mars. The situation that sets up this episode just isn't believable. Add to that the bad physics of having something that has supposedly been inside the Moon this whole time suddenly gaining mass and you have a bad setup. It, at times, took me out of the story.

When I put the 2 points of view together, I really have to weigh the writing more than the plot and say that this is a really good episode in spite of its logical flaws. I hope the remaining episodes have this nice balance of danger and character that produce such good stories.

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