Kill the Moon

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  • #32934
    Craig @craig
    Emperor

    kill-the-moon

    A fantastically tense and frightening episode written by Peter Harness (Wallander, City of Vice) and directed by Paul Wilmshurst (Silent Witness, Da Vinci’s Demons), both new to Doctor Who.

    Moffat supposedly told Harness to “Hinchcliffe1 the s**t out of it”. It’ll certainly scare the s**t out of you!

    The Doctor, Clara and Courtney find themselves on a space shuttle making a suicide mission to the moon. Crash landing, they discover a mining base full of corpses. It’s a “base under seige” – this time by vicious, spider-like creatures.

    The group have a terrifying choice to make. If they make the wrong decision everybody dies.

    When Clara turns to the Doctor for help she gets the shock of her life, giving Jenna Coleman a chance to really shine in one of the best episodes this series.
    ___________________________

    1. Philip Hinchcliffe was producer of Doctor Who from 1974 to 1977 and brought a dark, more adult, horror influenced tone to the show.

    #32958
    BadWulf @badwulf

    Did anyone notice an anti-abortion vibe to that episode, or am I imagining things?

    #32959
    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    Did anyone notice an anti-abortion vibe to that episode, or am I imagining things?

    Interesting.  No, I didnt, but Im thinking Clara and Danny have got more jiggy than the programme has let us into, and Clara is seriously worried / thinking about her [potential] children.

    But thats just on first watch.  Have to watch again, natch.  Off to the Red Button and Iplayer

    #32960
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Oh what a dark episode loved it even if the doctor shows a more unlikable side. Can’t think clearly this episode definitely needs a second viewing as there is so much going on.

    #32962
    BadWulf @badwulf

    I am so disappointed. There were so many things horribly horribly wrong with this episode’s story that I feel quite saddened.

    1) All of the science was garbage. All of it.

    2) The idea of letting humanity vote, and then overriding the vote, just because. (And only letting Europe and North America vote, apparently)

    3) The Doctor abdicating all responsibility, despite being the only person in the know.

    4) If the monsters were prokaryotes then I am a Giant Redwood.

     

    On the other hand:

    1) The performances were all top notch, except for Courtney, who was just an improvement over her previous performance.

    2) The production design was nice, apart from the CGI monsters, and the CGI shuttle.

    3) Clara’s telling off of the Doctor was well written and

    #32963
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @badwulf did you accidentally click the post button mid-sentence.

    #32964
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @devilishrobby Oops!

    Yes I’m still trying to marshal my thoughts about this one because I found it to be so awful, and yet others have said it was great. I’ve not even dared to look at the Graun’s blog, but my wife said that Den of Geek loved it.

    #32965
    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Well someone is a Bowie fan – this was a grouchy Ziggy Stardust (the doc in a spiffy spotty shirt) meets the spiders from Mars  ok the moon.  It also contained a bit of a reference to John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) and also to the recent hit Gravity (2013) methinks.

    This story was a fun jab at the sci-fi disaster blockbuster, wherein scientists have to save the earth by blowing something up or killing something. And appropriate for the time of year too, given the number of big spiders hanging in gardens and the corners of rooms this late golden Autumn.

    The Twelfth Doctor as the Grinch is working for me. I’m enjoying Peter Capaldi’s worlds weary misanthropy with flashes of his hearts of gold peeping through.

    And I like Courtney, she’s sassy and smart, and watching her bunk off double Geography I get that thrill that we’ve all had, imagining the TARDIS materialising in the broom closet at school 🙂

    Basically this version of the Doctor is a bit of a manipulative dick, and his studied awkward shuffle when Clara calls him on it was nicely played by both of them.

    It was also, in a world where blockbuster movies like The Avengers still routinely involve a heroic team of guys with one gal, noticeable and pleasing to have that in reverse here.

    The more I see of Capaldi’s curmudgeonly Doctor, the more I want to see him and River together – the fights would be glorious.

    #32966
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @badwulf – don’t worry, it left me cold as well. Again, horses for courses – I quite like spiders.

    I agree that the performances were excellent; the script is probably best read as ‘allegorical fantasy’ rather than SF.

    #32967
    Spider @spider

    Well that episode certainly scared me, a lot to do with that is because I cannot stand spiders (yes, I know its my username, it’s also my nickname in real life…ironic eh XD).

    I too will have to watch a second time but overall on first watch I generally enjoyed it (apart from giant spiders. ARGH!). Now I’ll never be able to look at the moon in the same way! (add that to the list of statues, shadows, cracks in walls and so many other things Mr Moffat). I’m still slightly struggling to get why the Doctor did what he did and why. Was he trying to make Clara ‘grow up’ (what was that line about ‘take the stabilisers off’) and make her realise exactly what it was like to make the BIG decisions.

    Not entirely convinced about Courtney being there, was the source of a few funny moments but really she seemed a bit redundant (apart from being there to see it all happen – rather like Clara in Time Heist)…got the feeling this is setting up something more substantial later on in the series though, it has that feel to it…on the other hand we’ve had kids in the tardis last season and that went nowhere!

    Clara angry at the Doctor at the end was really, really good. He didn’t do a particularly good job of defending himself..but maybe he realised she was angry and needed to calm down…although on the other hand he isn’t particularly good at any other point figuring humans out.

    Hmmm…lots to think about, must go watch again!

    (\(\;;/)/)

    #32968
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @badwulf yeah, I kept thinking of abortion arguments and it did nag at me a little. Particularly because, to make it a pregnancy metaphor, it’s the whole world that is pretty much equally late stages pregnant with something that might or might not kill them all. And then the choice is made by a person who has the best chance pretty much in the whole world of surviving whatever happens.

    That said there was a lot of interesting stuff in this episode. An Earth that had turned its back on the stars (that had stopped making nuclear weapons as well as spacecraft, though) dragged back up with a feeling of dread. Insight into Danny’s experiences, and evidence, I think, that his words to her at the end of last weeks episode were not controlling, but came from experience.

    I liked Courtney here. She was brattish sometimes, brave sometimes, cowardly sometimes, brilliant sometimes. Not too good or too bad. (Of course, she had already helped Clara in episode one, through Clara’s memory of her first day at school (threats can only escalate).  b.t.w. Clara said to Courtney last week pretty much what she accused the Doctor of saying to her this week :you’re big enough to look after yourself.

    I think it came OK at the end. Clara was angry because the world made the ‘wrong choice’, she nearly made the ‘wrong choice’ and he didn’t know for a fact at the time that it was the wrong choice. And because the Doctor said it was ‘their moon’. The first Doctor could probably have said that. Quite a few, maybe. But by now the Doctor has been with us enough, been here enough, to have a stake in the matter.

    #32969
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @spider Now I’ll never be able to look at the moon in the same way!

    I just went out into the garden with the dog, and was looking up at the moon thinking about this episode. It is a beautiful starry night with a gibbous moon right now (I don’t know if it’s waxing or waning, though!)

    The thing about Courtney in this episode was, the Doctor took her there, so yes, he had a moral duty of care for her, and yet he just abandoned her there, with Clara and the astronaut. He behaved inexcusably. He was absolutely reprehensible, and I find myself very much disliking him for that. This may be part of the character arc for 12, but for me he is dancing on the moral event horizon, and the writers will need to do a lot of work to bring him back from the edge.

    #32970
    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    Is it OK to say here that I think this ep and the last one were really Sarah Jane Adventures eps?

    The monsters were rubbish (in The Caretaker, they were Silurians On Badly Drawn Wheels; here, they were spiders which all children fear).  The tension factor just wasnt there in either ep for me.  It was nice to see Clara facing off against the Doctor, and left to her own devices to control what happens.  But that felt a bit like the writers saying that the wimmen need to have more control over events.  The [older] female astronaut, the female teacher, the female student?  Was is just me who saw them slo-mo running and thought, sigh?

    There is definitely a clash building between Clara and her Real Life and the Tardis Life.  I dont watch Next Week guff so I will be reading this thread with caution.  But there appears to be a choice that Clara needs to make, soon, and I got the feeling that Clara might be pregnant from the way she looked when the character Hermione Norris played talked about her children / grandchildren.

    Which would be sad.  Why is it that TV writers think that young women must all get pregnant as a story arc?  Thats soap land.  Couldnt Clara just decide that the danger of life with the Doctor – and the danger shes putting her students through, in the guise of Courtney – isnt what she wants any more?  The danger of Real Life, making the mortgage and finding a plumber and fixing light bulbs is something I guess Amy Pond already did.  What else can Clara do, except get pregnant (with a child that doesnt have a Time Head??)?

    #32971
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @miapatrick I think it came OK at the end. Clara was angry because the world made the ‘wrong choice’, she nearly made the ‘wrong choice’ and he didn’t know for a fact at the time that it was the wrong choice. And because the Doctor said it was ‘their moon’.

    I’m glad you used the inverted commas around ‘wrong choice’, because from where I’m sitting, based on the evidence that was available to the world, them made absolutely the right choice.

    Assuming Earth’s actions could be impactful, were four possible scenarios:

    1) Hatching would be deadly, but Earth nukes, therefore Earth Survives

    2) Hatching would be harmless, but Earth nukes, therefore Earth Survives

    3) Hatching is harmless, and Earth doesn’t nuke, therefore Earth Survives

    4) Hatching is deadly, but Earth doesn’t nuke, therefore Earth Dies

     
    Rationally, and based on the available evidence, the only way to be sure is to follow the Ellen Ripley route, and nuke them from orbit.

    #32972
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @BadWulf- I know, that’s why I put the inverted coma’s in!

    inevitably, on the day I finally get around to paying the damn bt bill it starts blinking so I just lost a whole post, but I think what I said was:

    the doctor, when he returned, made a few arguments from his considerable experience as to why the crisis was probably going to turn out ok. The tendency of hatchlings not to destroy their nests, for example, rather passing over what some Cuckcoos do. Not only did he have the advantage of experience, from a safe distance these arguments were quite logical. Clara had no distance at all. By putting the decision on the human’s, we was refusing to let them avail themselves of his knowledge and skills and experience, and that was unreasonable.

    two other thoughts regarding ‘right choice’. Firstly, whether what they in fact did was the right choice depends on what we think of human beings unleashed on the universe, which the Doctor (10) has called monsters in the past. and secondly, I’m not s scientist, so genuine question: would exploding 100 nuclear bombs on the moon definitely not have a harmful impact on the earth?

    #32973
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @badwulf

    Rationally, and based on the available evidence

    Which is why rationality is a terrible way to make life or death moral decisions. Moffat’s been extremely consistent on this one: ‘rational’ is the greatest good of the greatest number. But in Moffat’s world view (and mine) deciding that the death of one innocent is worth it, compared to the risk of an entire world dying, is wrong.

    It’s always wrong. It’s wrong when the Doctor does it, it’s wrong when Kate Stewart is prepared to do it, and it’s wrong when it’s a baby dragon and the entire world wants to do it.

    Because that’s the road to death. Not the road to life.

    #32974
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Bluesqueakpip- it actually reminds me of one thing in Buffy- before she died, she was willing to risk the end of the world rather than let her sister die. After she died she admitted to (or reassured) Giles that she probably wouldn’t make that choice. but she never made the other one.

    I personally do think it was the right choice, partly because I don’t like Unitarianism. I find it interesting because Moffart suggests that the consequences of the earths majority decision being carried out would have had this effect on the human race- and the effect of the choice that was made was this, which gives an argument about how it really isn’t necessarily for the greater good to make the hard, pragmatic decisions. I also think it’s pretty clear that the fact that the earth made the choice it did, and Clara and Courtney basically overruled it, somewhat undermined his rational for stepping out (unless Clara was right and he was building Courtney up.)

    #32975
    Spider @spider

    I have to admit. I would have pressed the button. It was the rational thing to do, and as @bluesqueakpip quite correctly says it is a terrible way to make a decision.

    @miapatrick, yes the bombs would affect the Earth, not because of the detonation itself (too far away) but the aftermath. Large chunks of moon raining down on the Earth – exactly the same way ‘bit of eggshell’ might. Actually, that’s a point…either way there is going to be a hell of a lot of debris (causing a risk to the Earth) and no moon (stopping the tides). And you are either left with nothing or a huge great space alien thing.

    Oops, may have just invalidated my whole argument!

    #32976
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @miapatrick – I think what the episode may have been trying to hint at is that ‘the moral decision’ and ‘what everyone wants to do’ are not necessarily the same thing.

    In Buffy the point where Buffy says she wouldn’t make the same decision is, if I remember correctly, the point where she’s suffering from severe depression.

    The Doctor knew he could trust Clara, because Clara’s already made a similar decision – in The Day of The Doctor, when she persuaded him to change his mind.

    No wonder she shouted at the smug git; how dare he tell the woman who saved him from the biggest mistake of his life that it’s time to take the trainer wheels off. 😉

    #32977
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @miapatrick I’m not s scientist, so genuine question: would exploding 100 nuclear bombs on the moon definitely not have a harmful impact on the earth?

    I’m not a scientist either, but we can do some back of the envelope calculations! Not all nuclear bombs are made equal, so to be fair, we should use the most powerful human built bomb, the Tsar Bomba, as a suitable reference.

    Tsar Bomba had a yield of ~50 Megatonnes (50,000,000 tonnes of TNT).

    100 Tsar Bomba equivalents would therefore be ~5 Gigatonnes yield (5,000,000,000 of tonnes TNT)

    By comparison, the dinosaurs were wiped out in an event estimated to be equivalent to ~100 Teratonnes (100,000,000,000,000 tonnes of TNT), or roughly 20,000 times more powerful than 100 Tsar Bombas. This made a crater ~180 kilometres across (the Chicxulub crater), that’s about 25,000 square km, or 0.07% of the moon’s surface.

    So, it wouldn’t damage the moon much, and any ejecta from the explosion that reached Earth would, in all likelihood, burn up in the atmosphere like a meteor shower.

    Final thoughts – the space shuttle’s payload to *low Earth orbit* is ~24,000 kg. Tsar Bomba alone weighed more than that, at ~27,000 kg. This means that a single space shuttle would not even be able to get one 50 Megatonne bomb to the moon, let alone 100.

    #32978
    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    I can’t help feeling that SM is definitely setting up an exit scenario for Jenni.

    However I get the feeling thatin someway the doctor is setting Clara up to make some kind of bigger decision that will have universe wide implications. In this adventure he was testing her in some way but I am not sure exactly for what. He himself has had to make decisions on whether the safety of the many means sacrificing a few (oh Lordy that makes me sound like a Vulcan, Lol ). Maybe the test was not so much for Clara as it was for himself.

    Also in response to those criticising the doctor for differentiating between himself and humankind could be excused if he still thought he was the last timelord. He now knows gallifrey survived albeit in its own pocket universe so his ultimate sense of loyalty has now changed so his thinking paradigm will have shifted back to a them and us view.

    Right that’s all my initial thoughts but will no doubt think of more when I eventually get my second viewing.

    #32979
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Aaarghh! So many times I’ve said this in this series.

    I need another rewatch. It seems a cop-out, but I was like this in Series 6 and only Steve Moffat can leave me like this. Which I assure myself is A GOOD THING. I enjoyed it, although tired and I want to see what comes next (which is a five star rating in book).

    I’m looking for certain pointers, and will have to rewatch again. I’ve made a rare incursion to the G to explain my own theorising, but will attempt to expand on it (with possible thanks to @juniperfish and her links to Santa Muerte)/

    The Doctor had gone beyond the lifespan his species intended him to. We saw that in Time of the Doctor. I wouldn’t expect SM to ignore the possibilities of that scenario, and I think he’d playing up to it. The few Time Lords we’ve seen who have had extended life (Rasillon, The Master) were a bit …well …odd. A tendency to wear their underpants on their head and proclaim themselves masters of the Universe. You know the score.

    So what happens to the Doctor, and what could possibly change the debonair, charming, Roger Delgado to Anthony Ainley and John Simm as they circumvent the afterlife?

    I think there is a theme here, and it’s something to do with how we are remembered. It could play into the notions we’ve seen so far (and the anniversaries approaching). We are the accumulations of our actions, our impacts on others, for good and bad. I think that’s what the potential dates at the end of the series are about. A humanist once said that we are the sum of our impacts on our fellow man. We are remembered by them by the good and bad influences we bring. This is our legacy.

    Are you a good man? Depends upon the summation of your impact on others and what they do, doesn’t it? That’s legacy. And legacy can only be evaluated after the fact. After you’ve stopped living.

    #32980
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @PhaseShift- I do agree about the lifespan. I think I’ve said before that possibly the regeneration limit was to do with the number of personalities a Time Lord mind is capable of dealing with- and yes, the kind of lifespan. 11 lived a very long time too.

    @Bluesqueakpip- I wasn’t thinking of the day of the doctor, good point. I’m also remembering that Tourchwood episode- was it children of earth? where Jack, I think, earned permanent expulsion from the Tardis by-

    Spoilers?

    sacrificing his grandchild over the screams of his daughter. And once character made  comment about how maybe sometimes the Doctor doesn’t answer the Earths call because of the things they do. I’m not really comfortable with that existing in the same universe as Who. That’s partl why I like that Moffat re-booted the reboot.

    #32981
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @bluesqueakpip Which is why rationality is a terrible way to make life or death moral decisions.

    I disagree. In fact, to analogise, an organisation such as NICE needs to do this all the time in order to ensure that it maximises the patient benefit of its resource expenditure.

    In fact, I think that the issue is simply a variation of the Trolley Problem, which is an effective dramatic problem because the human brain typically decides that a sin of commission (killing someone) is worse than a sin of omission (letting someone die through inaction).

    However, I know that I am emotionally unable to make a rational choice – it feels wrong to me to actively sacrifice someone, even if it is maximising the saving of life (or rather sentience), so I would rather that a rational external entity make the choice for me!

    #32982
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @miapatrick

    Yes, when it was floated that Time would see some sort of resolution to the regenerations issue I was pretty firmly of the opinion that he shouldn’t seek it. It seemed to go against the Doctor’s past philosophy (that immorality was for fruitloops, and self interested people) full stop.

    Thinking beyond that, about the afterlife, and the challenges that brings is something else. I think every deal needs a price and the reluctance of the Time Lords the extend their gift must make the drawbacks …. significant?

    #32983
    Apopheniac @apopheniac

    @phaseshift

    It seemed to go against the Doctor’s past philosophy (that immorality was for fruitloops, and self interested people) full stop.

    Is that “immortality”?

    Although immorality being for fruitloops and self interested people is also a good reading.  😉

    #32984
    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Apopheniac- both do work, don’t they…

    @PhaseShift- I don’t know if you’ve read ‘The Neverending Story’, especially the second half, the seeming miracle o the resurrection of a world and the price that is always paid for it…

    the more I think about it, the fact that Missy is at least calling her wherever the afterlife etc, and the doctor has technically cheated death must surely come together.

    #32985

    Line of the show: “I’d rather call you Miss, Miss”

    Random notes:

    A very direct reminder of Clara’s testy relationship with the Tardis;

    Watch your language there are children (plural) on board;

    Very large single cell thing has precedent from a Tom Baker story – can’t recall which;

    A salutary lesson in what happens when the Doctor obeys the Time Lord equivalent of the Prime Directive. Or was it? Courtney taught the value of being non-disruptive; the teacher being forcibly shown that those who can do (confounding the popular insult of teachers); humanity being taught to look up when it was at the point of maximum…decadence (in the most literal sense). Sometimes the best way to interfere is to take a step back.

    Random thought: In Buffy season 6, after she was brought back, the spell created a demon – via thaumogenesis (“Technically not a price. A gift with purchase”). If it killed Buffy it got to survive…

    *Strokes chin*

     

    #32987
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @pedant Very large single cell thing has precedent from a Tom Baker story – can’t recall which;

    Could that be the Nucleus of the Swarm from the story The Invisible Enemy? Most notable for the first appearance of K-9?

    #32988
    MTGradwell @mtgradwell

    I’ve just lurked and haven’t spoken up about this series because I haven’t really had anything interesting or original to say about it, but I have really enjoyed it up until now. Peter Capaldi is an impressive Doctor, and such a long run of good episodes was an amazing feat, but I think it ended with this one. I can only echo BadWulf’s sentiments, especially his point 1) All of the science was garbage. All of it.

    Having the Moon be an egg was already stretching things, but having the imminent hatching of that egg causing Lunar gravity to multiply six-fold to match Earth-normal was a stretch too far. Conservation of mass/energy is one of the most consistently observed laws of the universe, and while the Tardis itself might seem to break that law, it does so on a scale small enough to be overlooked or excused. An entire moon / moon-sized egg gaining mass six-fold or so with no obvious source for that extra mass is another matter entirely. The Doctor’s technobabble “explanations” didn’t really help. I can see why they did it -the alternatives would have been to either ignore the gravitational difference between Earth and moon and just walk around normally without explanation, or to move around slowly and carefully (for indoor scenes)  and in leaps and bounds shown in slow motion (outdoors); but either of these alternatives would have been better than what they actually did. At one point they even had the Doctor perform a huge leap, which would have been plausible under 1/6G conditions but not with normal Earth gravity.

    Then, the crew enters an abandoned/derelict base, they restore the power, the lights come on and INSTANTLY it’s safe for them to remove their helmets. As if it wouldn’t take time to get the air pressure and temperature back to something tolerable. Again I can see why they did it, but…

    And it’s implied or outright stated that this moon-egg-dragon-creature is unique, the only one of its kind, as if moon-sized eggs can just pop into existence without the existence of some sort of ecosystem involving other moon-sized eggs and egg-laying dragons; even though we see the dragon instantly (and conveniently) lay another moon-sized egg immediately after hatching, implying a reproductive rate which could potentially put tribbles to shame, if it wasn’t for the unfeasibly long incubation period.

    Etc. Etc.

    On the positive side, they did do a good job of making Lanzarote look like the moon, and it was a better choice for the job than the usual abandoned Welsh quarry.

    #32989
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @badwulf

    I disagree

    Which means we have a fundamental disagreement about the basis of our respective moralities. 😉

    Organisations such as NICE are not making the decision made in Kill The Moon. They’re not even making the same type of decision (at least I hope they’re not, because if they’re wandering around NHS hospitals shooting people on the grounds that they might possibly go out and commit a crime, we’re in trouble).

    The decision in Kill The Moon is whether to take a baby about to undergo a natural birth and kill it. Because, according to your assessment, there is a one in four chance that the birth may be deadly to an unspecified number of people (up to and including the entire Earth). That’s a 75% chance that there won’t be an un-survivable problem.

    The decision NICE generally has to make is that they can treat anyone but they can’t treat everyone. It’s a ‘no right decision’ moral problem; they would treat everyone if they could, but they can’t. So they have to make decisions about how to allocate scarce resources. I think they’d usually treat something with a 75% survival rate. 😉

    But our little Moon Dragon doesn’t even need any resources, scarce or not.

    It’s also not really a variation of the Trolley Problem because, again, the Trolley Problem is a choice between two wrong decisions: it’s a ‘no right decision’ moral problem of the type some post World War II ethicists got obsessed with.

    The Trolley Problem is basically that somebody MUST die. You have to choose how many. There is no third option. You are not, for example, allowed to shout at the single person wandering about on track B, nor are you allowed to enquire why you’re supposed to take moral responsibility for the actions of the murderous idiot who tied five people up on a bleedin’ railway track. 😉

    Our little Moon Dragon isn’t the Trolley Problem. Or if it is a variation of the Trolley Problem, it’s one where diverting the trolley will definitely cause the one person on Track B to die, but if you don’t do anything there’s a 75% chance that the trolley will stop before it reaches the five people on Track A.

    If the Trolley Problem was formatted in that way, most people would refuse to divert the trolley. The reason they didn’t in tonight’s script was that THEY were the people on the track.

    Faced with the possibility of dying, they chose to commit murder. Fortunately, Clara stopped them.

    😀

    #32990

    @badwulf That sounds about right . Included the a Doctor line about being perfectly entitled to exist, just not a as huge space thingy (I am paraphrasing a tad).

    #32991

    Oh, and Moon Dragon responded in fundamentally the same way as Space Whale when it was freed.

    #32992
    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @mtgradwell

    All of the science was garbage. All of it.

    Yup. In no particular order: Robin Hood exists, there’s a dragon in the Moon, dinosaurs were much bigger than we think they were, Daleks can become aware of their own evil, there appears to be life after death and bankers can repent of their misdeeds.

    Am I spotting a pattern here? 😉

    #32993
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @bluesqueakpip  Yup. In no particular order: Robin Hood exists, there’s a dragon in the Moon, dinosaurs were much bigger than we think they were, Daleks can become aware of their own evil, there appears to be life after death and bankers can repent of their misdeeds.

    Am I spotting a pattern here? ;-)

    I think you’re on to something, although the notion that bankers can repent of their misdeeds is the most ludicrous of the lot. Reality can only take so much warping before the spacetime elastic snaps back and causes a nasty red mark.

    #32994
    Serahni @serahni

    Well…

    It seems over-said now that I have to watch it again to get a feel for it but the fact that this is becoming a reoccurring requirement is interesting.  I can’t decide if I think it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I can’t tell whether I like an episode on the first watching.  What I do know is that I have emerged from the last couple of episodes feeling somewhat underwhelmed and though it’s not bad enough that I would complain and say the episode wasn’t worth watching, it does at least make me contemplate the limitations of this one-episode storytelling.  There are always great moments and a lot of underlying themes that are great to ponder on but it seems lately that the show has run out of time to really build any tension.

    I wasn’t sold on Courtney’s performance necessarily but I did like the fact that she was written as a normal teenager who did exactly what you’d expect of a 15-year-old.  The tumblr stuff made me giggle.  Clara trotted out some brilliant moments again and our Doctor truly has reverted to alien status, which is refreshing and unpredictable and remains a highlight.  Without including spoilers, next week’s episode looks like more opportunity for this so I am hopeful for that.

    Overall, I will watch it again but something is missing a beat for me at the moment.  Maybe it’s just Daylight Savings stealing an hour’s sleep from me!

    #32995
    BadWulf @badwulf

    I’m enjoying this, because the Trolley problem always causes me horrid cognitive dissonance (a bit like the death penalty – I feel that *even* if the death penalty can be demonstrated to have a deterrent effect, it is still a moral line that a government should not be allowed to cross.)

    @bluesqueakpip

    Our little Moon Dragon isn’t the Trolley Problem. Or if it is a variation of the Trolley Problem, it’s one where diverting the trolley will definitely cause the one person on Track B to die, but if you don’t do anything there’s a 75% chance that the trolley will stop before it reaches the five people on Track A.

    If the Trolley Problem was formatted in that way, most people would refuse to divert the trolley. The reason they didn’t in tonight’s script was that THEY were the people on the track.

    Faced with the possibility of dying, they chose to commit murder. Fortunately, Clara stopped them.
    :-D

    Actually, in the example you’ve given, the maths still seems to stack up in favour of tipping the Fat Controller in front of his runaway trolley, as based on probability, chucking the stout chap will save 1.25 lives of the 6 at risk, whereas not dropping Sir Topham Hatt over the edge only saves one of the six lives.

    #32997
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @mtgradwell Then, the crew enters an abandoned/derelict base, they restore the power, the lights come on and INSTANTLY it’s safe for them to remove their helmets. As if it wouldn’t take time to get the air pressure and temperature back to something tolerable. Again I can see why they did it, but…

    That’s one I didn’t pick up on! And yes, it is another one for the ‘silly’ pile.

    So, the story committed sins in the following areas that I’ve noticed: Engineering, ecology, physics.

    Probably politics as well, because I can’t for the life of me understand why the last remaining space shuttle would be crewed exclusively by British astronauts.

    Oh yes – definitely politics – I forgot about the votes of Africa, Asia and Australasia not counting because it is daytime there.

    #32998
    Anonymous @

    @badwulf and @bluesqueakpip  God help me, but could you briefly explain this “trolley problem”? The link didn’t work for me (my laptop I’m sure) and the stuff on Wiki is confusing. I’ve never heard of it….??? Oops. Kindest, purodiddling

    #33000
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @purofilion

    Basically, the Trolley problem seeks to explore whether people instinctively agree with Spock’s axiom “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

    In short, do you flip the switch on a runaway train so that it only hits one person on a siding, instead of letting it run over five people on the mainline.

    It pits a rational accounting of how actions affect differing groups of people against the moral and emotional reasoning of human beings.

    From Wikipedia:

    The general form of the problem is this: There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You do not have the ability to operate the lever in a way that would cause the trolley to derail without loss of life (for example, holding the lever in an intermediate position so that the trolley goes between the two sets of tracks, or pulling the lever after the front wheels pass the switch, but before the rear wheels do). You have two options: (1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track. (2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person. Which is the correct choice?

    I also enjoy this variant (which is why I was blathering on about fat blokes):

    Judith Jarvis Thomson:

    As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track towards five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by dropping a heavy weight in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you – your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Should you proceed?

    Resistance to this course of action seems strong; most people who approved of sacrificing one to save five in the first case do not approve in the second sort of case. This has led to attempts to find a relevant moral distinction between the two cases.

     

    #33001
    Serahni @serahni

    @badwulf

    Oh yes – definitely politics – I forgot about the votes of Africa, Asia and Australasia not counting because it is daytime there.

    I can’t speak for the rest of Australasia but we Australians are a hardy breed.  After centuries of crocodile wrestling, spider farming and kangaroo riding, not to mention being locked in an eternal war with the sharks, snakes, jellyfish, bugs, rabbits, dingoes and ultra-violet radiation, a little thing like the moon hatching and possibly ending all life on Earth as we know it really seems like a bit of a whinge and possibly even just an excuse for a poor Ashes performance.

    😀

    I’ll put my boxing gloves away.

    (Though you’re right, the more I think about it, the more this episode seems to be full of holes and inaccuracies.  I can suspend disbelief quite a distance but I guess the plot did feel a bit constructed around a central theme.  Out of cardboard and masking tape, no less.)

    #33003
    Anonymous @

    @badwulf thank you for that assistance. An excellent definition and a moral complexity I just introduced to BoyIlion – we had a thrilling conversation about it: commission vs omission  for example. Kindest and thanks, puro

    #33004
    BadWulf @badwulf

    Actually, my maths in post #32995 is totally bogus!

    I’ve had a little think about it, and I think it should be:

    1) Assuming the Trolley impact is always fatal:
    If you do nothing, then the survival rate is 17%
    If you sacrifice the fatman, the survival rate is 83%

    2) Assuming the Trolley impact is fatal 25% of the time:
    If you do nothing, then the survival rate is 79%
    If you sacrifice the fatman, the survival rate is still 83%

    As you can see, my maths is definitely up for debate here!

    #33005
    lisa @lisa

    Hi all — So this was partly a pro-life argument and also pro-space exploration argument episode

    Here’s something a bit on/off topic I recently saw a vid on you tube

    this vid has to do with Nasa holding on to old nukes to use in space to blast apart asteroids- seemed oddly appropriate to share

    I just saw this and like the rest of you will need to do a replay to zoom in on it all- I get to see it later
    then most of you here do because of where I am
    But since I started that whole belief/faith concept list earlier on I will give you my take for this episode
    I think that it simply is the belief in yourself to make the right/best decisions – the Doctor said ‘I think you did the right thing’ – this makes me wonder about this belief arc and where it is going and why

    No Missy- [as I sometimes say– big bummer city !!!]

    #33006
    lisa @lisa

    I hope the copy/paste thing works right this time !!! sorry folks it picked up something else
    in that last post ???

    #33007
    lisa @lisa

    I wont keep messing up the thread- my copy paste thingy is broken – aahh !!

    #33008
    BadWulf @badwulf

    @lisa Hi all — So this was partly a pro-life argument and also pro-space exploration argument episode

    I would agree with you there – although I’m not entirely sure how intentional the pro-life angle was on the part of the production team.

    Here’s something a bit on/off topic I recently saw a vid on you tube

    It definitely makes a change from the silver spray-painted performance artists that usually haunt Covent Garden. I might pop down to see it this week, if I get time.

    #33009
    lisa @lisa

    #Badwolf- it wasn’t my intent to paste that 1- I don’t know how its popping up!!! but I agree it does look interesting – Im gonna give this 1 more try – if it doesn’t work please find a way to make me pay – lol !!

    hoping it works this time !

    #33010
    Dickiebow @dickiebow

    I liked this episode a lot because I feel like it built up tension in the beginning and the doctor’s little monologue about humanity spreading across the universe at the end was Peter’s first really great doctor moment for me. Foreshadowing a baby for Clara and Pink, perhaps?

    #33014
    Anonymous @

    @lisa thank you for the vid. Actually whilst really interesting I was taken by how the anchor didn’t seem to know what she was talking about! I know that’s the case everywhere, but golly, she kept pausing in the weirdest places and sounding (more than ever) that she was reading ‘word by word.’

    Understandably, some anchors get the print really late in the day/evening and others write their own -some, just can’t. I was reminded of a film in the ’90s, Broadcast News with William Hurt and a host of talented actors. Hurt was playing the ‘typically American attractive ex-sports’ “journalist” who was drafted in due to his ‘chic’ (high overnight poll results) and didn’t suffer from flop sweat as other anchors were prone to do. In the show, he was ‘totally dumb’ about anything political and asked his female lead for help to which she replies “I don’t teach remedial journalism”. Simply great and so timely.

    Kindest, puro.

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