Kill the Moon

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    BadWulf @badwulf

    @janetteb Also interesting to note, and purely random I am sure, but thus far  this series we have found out that Robin Hood, Hollywood style, was real and there are dragons.

    Does that mean that it is all taking place in a stage managed fantasy world? That would support some of the bonkers theories from upthread.

    thommck @thommck

    @oblique, @Purofilion I almost fainted when I saw you both think

    Amy and Clara virtually indistinguishable-yes

    No! I have always felt Amy and Clara are complete polar opposites! Where Amy was brash and determined, Clara is thoughtful and cautious. I can remember people on here remarking how, when we first met Clara, she stayed put when the Doctor asked her to. Amy would completely ignore whatever the Doctor said, in fact she usually did the opposite just to prove she could.

    We still see it happening in this series. In Deep Breath, the Doctor jumps off the bridge into the icy Thames. Clara just goes back to Madame Vastra’s for a cup of tea, whereas I’m sure Amy would’ve dived in after him (maybe with Rory trying to hold her back). If anything, Clara is more like Rory <insert Rory regenerated into Clara bonkers here>.

    I don’t really want another “pregnancy” story line but I like the concept of Clara trying to fulfill what she thinks her predetermined fate is. Things with Danny/Orson have got to backfire or twist somehow surely?


    Also: As I said, I don’t watch much TV, but am open to recommendations 🙂

    Check TV thread for some good suggestions!

    Anonymous @

    no @thommck I think I said ( or inferred) it seemed that way & in this series the gal has been quite different to Clara. Polar opposites: no, I don’t think so. Amy behaved the same way in The Whale as Clara did in The Moon -basically, or similarly. Anyway, want smelling salts? 🙂 @lisa recommended clarified  -after I said Clara had more clarity compared with Amy.  I must be typing in Urdu or somethink;  musta fix  that. Otherwise i’ll get more “oohh nooooo”.

    So, sorry folks, back to work and other things for awhile.

    Enjoy Who next week. Looks exciting. Kindest,  Purofilion.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Personally @purofilion, I think @thommck is quite right on this one. It can be really easy to pick isolated scenes as evidence to back up a glib assertion (such as Amy and Clara are “indistinguishable”, when @thommck has focused on the characters over the period.

    I think Amy is peculiar one, and the scene you’ve selected from Beast Below is really an outlier. SM wanted to tell a particular story with that one, and it’s actually the one episode he wishes he could write again. Throughout that series Amy is largely “Brittle” and “Defensive”, possibly due to the damage to her upbringing the Doctor did (the psychiatrists). I’d say she mellows in her second series, and her relationship with Rory does induce more natural empathy in her (as she infects Rory with some of her impetuousness, perhaps). Clara is a really different kettle of fish.


    I don’t really want another “pregnancy” story line but I like the concept of Clara trying to fulfill what she thinks her predetermined fate is. Things with Danny/Orson have got to backfire or twist somehow surely?

    You may laugh at the reason, but I don’t think a pregnancy is on the cards. I think a desire to tell that story was the distinct reason that Amy and Rory were the first married couple to travel in the TARDIS. It may seem laughable in this day and age, but I think the BBC would want to pick it’s battles with it’s enemies sensibly. The biggest “family” brand on a public service broadcaster “Promoting” (as the Mail, Politicians and assorted fruitloops would call it) “Immoral behaviour? Senior BBC people would go into meltdown.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift and @Purofilion

    I think the wedding was more thematic. Firstly, it represented Amy’s adulthood. Secondly, it allowed Moffat to say ‘Amy and Rory had sex on the TARDIS’ without actually saying that.

    I remain amused by A Good Man Goes to War’s detailed discussion of River’s conception – without once using the word ‘conception’. Tone, you know. 😉

    I think the idea that Clara is pregnant is a complete red herring – for one thing, they’ve emphasised the ‘control freak’ this series. An unplanned baby? No way! Any baby will be timed to maximise educational advantages, the appropriate supplements ingested pre-conception – and would not be conceived or gestated on the TARDIS. She’d tell the Doctor to give her some maternity leave.

    In fact, she’d order the Doctor to give her some maternity leave. 😉

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I remain amused by A Good Man Goes to War’s detailed discussion of River’s conception – without once using the word ‘conception’. Tone, you know.

    Oh, agreed, I’m sure that entire sequence between the Doctor, Vastra and Dorium should be taught as a masterclass in “getting away with it”. An entire conversation about sex, which includes the line:

    “I am trying to be delicate. I know how you can blush”. With Dorium’s very earthy laugh to counterpoint it. I’ve seen young teenager’s laugh at that line, presumably because it mirrors their parents oblique conversations whenever the subject of sex hoves into view.

    I’m sure that one of the things that must have appealed to RTD when he was reading SMs first scripts was that lengthy metaphor for sex – “Dancing”. He must have laughed his head off.

    I think you can look at the marriage in a number of ways. It was remarkable than it took almost 50 years to have a married couple in the TARDIS, and given that Amy’s relationship to River was one of the firmly established “facts” when SM cast her, I think he knew he’d have to proceed very carefully. I think the BBC are in a pretty weird situation – caught between actually reflecting society and a number of very vocal pressure groups that can cause headaches. I think it would be a minority of viewers who would actually have a big problem IF Amy had found herself pregnant while unmarried, but the self appointed moral Guardians can cause enough trouble.

    Save it for the fight over the lesbian marriage relationship between two sentient species, one of who happens to be a lizard. That’s a much easier one to fight. 🙂

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @bluesqueakpip and @phaseshift

    We will revisit the Doctor’s crib before Moffat is done however, I swear it.

    And to be fair, Moff is fond of a pregnancy story – having them in both Doctor Who and Sherlock.

    I think the reason why a baby (moon dragon) was the entity to be killed or not to be killed to potentially save many people on earth in Kill the Moon was, once again, narrative mirroring of the Doctor’s terrible choice. It was stressed that the War Doctor was responsible for the deaths of the children of Gallifrey.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Getting excited for “Mummy…

    Some quick thoughts –

    Thanks @whisht for your post  which managed to say in a couple of paragraphs what I rambled around in about a dozen posts! 🙂

    Thinking a bit more about Missy – if she thinks she’s in some way the Doctor’s girlfriend, might she be making a present for him? (Something warped of course!). What is she doing with all these people that have been “saved”?

    When is Danny going to get a trip on the TARDIS (and why hasn’t he already)?

    Taking bets on either Clara or Danny needing rescued (from Missy’s world) by the end of the series – which will either split Danny and the Doctor for good, or resolve their relationship into one of mutual respect (don’t judge 1 person on the group you see them as part of (soldiers, officers, daleks, moon dragons etc…)).

    thommck @thommck


     An unplanned baby? No way! Any baby will be timed to maximise educational advantages

    Haha, that is very true! However, we may get the Doctor going off on his own, only to come back 2, 5 or 10 years later for the final episode where Clara has settled in to family life?

    Timeloop @timeloop

    I don’t know who said it anymore but in one late night reading someone said (I think it was on this episode) he would like to see the Doctor make a choice to sacrifice someone and have the audience agree that it was the right choice, that that would be something he would like to see and I wholeheartedly disagree. This is a kids/family show and I don’t what this to be the moral they pick up from it. If you are into this kind of stuff, watch Sherlock. I already was disgusted by that choice of storytelling. And I really don’t what kind of moral in Doctor Who.

    Anonymous @

    @timeloop yes indeed it was in this episode and I cannot recall the name of the poster. The idea that @bluesqueakpip used to dissuade this person’s theory was “who benefits?”. I agree wholeheartedly that this is a family show. Same with the thought that the episode Flatline should be more ‘edgy’. I thought it was disturbing enough. My 12 yr old was proper scared in Kill the Moon and in the most recent.

    Davros @davros

    The Doctor tries to share his burden by making Clara take some of his responsibilities. She doesn’t like it.


    The “fantasy” part of this science fantasy is a bit too strong for me: the moon as egg idea is too ridiculous. And why were the Nasa astronauts _all_ British? Or did the British Space Agency just happen to buy the Space Shuttle and Nasa’s leftover spacesuits?


    The final conversation between Clara and Danny reinforces how much similarity there is between the Doctor and Danny. I hope we get to see Danny’s war story this series.



    SonicBilby @sonicbilby

    I haven’t read all the posts, so my apologies if this has already been discussed.

    I took this story to be an allegory for current political events.

    Something represented by the moon is trying to reinvent itself and is being attacked by an aggressive infection. An infection that wants to stop, and can be overcome by, women being allowed to make decisions. Something that the Western countries are attacking. And is represented by a ‘dragon’ that looks like a star and an exploding/crescent moon.

    Surprisingly political for Doctor Who. Something we haven’t really seen since the Pertwee stories about political issues like the mining strikes

    fonzysimon @fonzysimon

    This one had some good moments and the spiders looked brilliant, i think they should have concentrated on escaping the giant spiders rather then THE MOON AS AN EGG! this writer was on some serious hallucinogens.

    sidrat @sidrat

    I don’t get too upset by the fictional “science”: after all, the whole “time line” concept was obsolete before Who began in 1963.
    The future? Like there’s only one?

    Which gets us to the part I didn’t like.
    You’d think a [i]teacher[/i] wouldn’t be flaming the Doctor for not slipping her the answers in the middle of a test.
    The space aliens didn’t come to tell you what was the “official right answer”? Welcome to life.

    No, my biggest disappointment was that, at no time, did anyone say: “Eggs: terminate”. 😀
    (insert rim-shot here)

    Cyberlord @cyberlord

    CYBER-REPORT: My one big problem with this episode is the main ‘monster’ creatures. The giant germ things. I understand that the kid makes the episode duller, but the fact that everyone is scared of the germs. Why? Because they’re giant? Because they’re vicious? Because they’re killer alien lifeforms, who are unknown about and are clearly a threat? No, it’s because they slightly resemble spiders. I don’t see the resemblance.

    Apologies for long post

    ichabod @ichabod

    Sonic Bilby:  “I haven’t read all the posts, so my apologies if this has already been discussed.  I took this story to be an allegory for current political events.”

    I like your point; I agree that it can be read that way.  I certainly like it better than the idea that this is an anti-abortion story.  The abortion issue, as it presents in the US, is about a woman making her own decision about her own reproduction; there is no planet with a rich and busy biosphere anybody thinks is going to instantly “die” whether an individual woman decides to abort her own unborn or not.

    In “Kill the Moon”, as I understood it, the moon’s change could have effects on Earth tides etc. that could be catastrophic, and the thing being born wasn’t human, and its progenitors weren’t involved in the decision making either.  So the plot hinged not on somebody deciding wither or not to bring their own kid into the world, given bank accounts, genetic background flaws, etc., but on the threat to the existence of Earth and everything on it if the moon-egg were allowed to hatch.  Not the same thing *at all*, IMO.  On the other hand, the idea that Clara’s decision in favor of risking the life of Earth against the hatching of a new but alien life-form could be seen as voting strongly against the illusion of safety (kill the egg, our life goes on fine — until the next potential disaster arrives) and for the impulse to take on the risks of space exploration (which are, let’s be clear, pretty damn huge).

    I’m left with a question, though: at the end, when the egg has hatched, and the Doctor predicts that because of that pro-risk action of Clara’s in stopping the killing of the moon mankind will go to the stars and endure til the end of time; but what his *face* says is, Oh god. more god damn tragedy!

    But why?  Is he lying — does he know that we don’t make it past 2016 for some reason, or does he foresee the huge amount of destruction that we are bound, in our notoriously selfish and energetic way, to wreak havoc everywhere we go out there, and this time he didn’t “do it”, Clara did, in an instant of compassionate action?

    Or — ?  What gives?  Anybody got other ideas?  (I feel like I’m missing something . . . obvious . . .  and you know how that is)





    ichabod @ichabod

    Catch-up reading back on this discussion (thank god, something to do until Season 9!):

    Purofilion: “I wonder if the Dr’s need to fix things means he needs to ‘let go and let Clara’ – see her as ‘just’ human (still exceptional) not only as The Imposs Girl-others above mentioned this.”

    What an interesting idea . . . why shouldn’t it work both ways?  And certainly the Doctor’s frequent puzzlement or complete bafflement suggests that he often does *not* “see” Clara in the way he is desperate to be seen by her — as himself, the enduring being who just now happens to be wearing and engaging the universe from behind a Peter Capaldi face and set of personal features and quirks.

    In fact, in this episode, Clara rails at the Doctor: (approx, quote) “Don’t you lump me in with the other silly little animals (humans) that you look down on as childish etc.!”  Which says quite a bit about how Clara sees *herself*, but that’s another subject.  (No, maybe not — back to that in a moment).  In the series finale, MissyMaster chides the Doctor for doing mad things to protect his “pets” — us from harm.  So, seriously, what *are* we to this alien traveler, who says he was only trying to show Clara respect by refusing to try to influence her choice, but who doesn’t hesitate to give orders and demand that them to be obeyed (“Do as you are told!”); and who gives every evidence of not just respecting but loving dinosaurs as if they were his equals (cuz they’re old like him?  And boys love dinosaurs anyway?  They’re bigger and more impressive-looking than we humans are, and their kind ruled the planet for xxx many thousands of years and we will probably have wrecked the place beyond repair within maybe 50,000 yrs of developing what we are pleased to call “intelligence”?  Or what?).

    As for Clara — she demands to be “seen” as more than just another pudding brain, doesn’t she?  She doesn’t care about the rest of humanity, and although she at times makes Doctor-moves in the Doctor’s place, I don’t think she sees herself as his “equal” because she clearly is not, just by virtue of comparative length of experience if nothing else.  I’m not sure she wants to be “seen” as anything in particular — I think she wants from him what we all want from out intimates: to be seen, recognized, and accepted regardless, as just exactly what we are, fears and inadequacies included.  If the Doctor saw her that way — *if he paid enough close attention to do that* — he would have known, she’s saying, that she wasn’t emotionally ready for this trial/lesson/exercise in independence that he left her with.  The “lesson” was to big and too brutal for her emotional self to handle, in part because it required her to make the right decision on the most difficult grounds there are — on the grounds of what her *intuition* told her was right (after all the reasoned arguments, that’s what it came down to).

    How terrifying is *that*?  No wonder she blew up at him!  She wasn’t ready for his respect, which was an assumption on his part that she could and would work up the nerve and the faith in the soundness of her own intuition to decide for herself, regardless of what the others thought.  I don’t think the nature of the decision mattered to him at all: *deciding* did, because he has to make hard decisions often and carry the consequences.  If she can’t do that and keep her balance, then is she just another “pet” for him to take along for company?

    Clearly, the Doctor loves Clara, and says so (“Do you think that I care for you so little . . . “).  He doesn’t *want* her to be just a “pet”, but he knows she is not and can never be his equal in any strict sense of that term; but can he teach her to stand in what I can only think to call a position of parity with him, which is similar to but not the same as equality?  I think she can learn what he has to teach her, but not without perfectly appropriate protest.  We think of Clara as being necessary to the “humanizing” of her alien companion; but he’s surely necessary to force her to grow to the height of her potentiality, whatever that may be.

    So, no, he needs to see her not as “just” human (which would make her a mere pudding brain), but as human with the potentiality to be something more.  She’s a teacher; so is he.  If he wanted just human, a very smart dog would do.  He wants a dynamic companion; he needs the challenge.

    Damn it all, blah blah blah, I just love thinking about this stuff — too long, I’m sure.  Sorry; and I can use the practice in trying to write more concisely.  This isn’t an all-night bull session in a college dorm, after all; people have lives.




    lisa @lisa

    @ichabod Yes Clara sets very high standards for herself and her highest standard is too emulate
    her mentor/guru the Doctor . She is also the Doctors ‘care taker’ which is a kind of marriage thing
    for him which is why part of his jealousy over Danny perhaps at first. With the exception of Rose
    he has always seen his close companions as brothers, sisters, maybe father figure in Wilfred so
    I also don’t think the Doctor sees Earth residents as pets any more than how he sees any other
    species but you cant like everyone all of the time.
    Also, I don’t agree that Clara doesn’t care about others but she cares a very great deal about
    being an alpha female/leader type which leaders no matter who or what they are leading always
    seem to have off putting characteristics. Alpha personalities are always willing take on challenges
    and are generally very failure adverse. I have also been wondering about Clara’s desire to stay inside
    of the Christmas dream because it felt ‘safe’. Its been a rough season for her and she almost lost it
    but that’s for maybe the Christmas thread.
    Now that she is staying on I expect there will be some very interesting twists coming up with her.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @lisa — I wasn’t clear about something, and new it would come round and bite me, so I want to correct my statement “Clara doesn’t care about other people” so that it means what it was supposed to mean: “Clara doesn’t much care how the D sees *other* people, but she cares very much about how he sees *her*.”  I agree that she’s developed a strong Alpha drive, and teaching school kids could get to feel pretty confining for such a person.  The D is her chance to get out there and Alpha her head off, if he is convinced that she can carry off Alpha performance, which means not just ordering other people around but acting wisely and forcefully on her own.  She needs his respect if she wants to be more than his “assistant”, “companion”, or “carer”, and she does.

    Of course when he *gives* her his idea of respect, even though she lives up to the demands of the quandary he leaves her in, she’s furiously resentful — because maybe it was too much respect for her to handle yet.  Too much fear came with it, too much responsibility.  Boy, y’can’t win for losing, can you, around people.

    I think one thing the D has gone about learning in his travels with Clara is to curb his formidable impatience, at least with her.  He has to pause and pay attention, not take her for granted as either worthy of respect or not.  Look at the scope he gives her for handling Danny’s death (in Dark Water) and the inevitable demand to bring him back to life: a whole dream-scenario, with volcanos and lava, suggested for her!  Prod, push, investigate — because he really has no idea of how far she’ll go with her blackmail scheme.  Far enough, as it happens, for him to assent to her demand (we’ll to to Hell and find Danny etc.).


    Anonymous @

    @ichabod Hold the Phone! What? Teaching ‘school kids’ not ‘alpha’ enough for her? Get orf the Grass!

    Roobish! 🙂 🙂


    Havoc @havoc

    Pro choice – But Clara Made It (bless)

    Grievances surrounding this Episode mostly Seem to come from the Pro Choice movement,  and to these other knocks Attacking Theshow’s “science” – The Moon is,  in Game Of Thrones, an Egg laid by A dragon Which drinks from the sun. Who is to say Perhaps It Is…as for my countryman @badwulf7 she’s pretty obviously annoyed that the doctor Would Protect the most innocent and dependent of a species,  the unborn children Who never feel the Sun on their skin….this episode is poetry.  It isn’t afraid to champion our innocents and its A Sure Bet to share with that arachniphobic relative,  just to get a good laugh!

    And Now: My Theory on why the doctor Still wearing that old spacesuit From:

    The Impossible Planet

    The Satan Pit


    Life On Mars…no, Er, the 1 where DT goes Mental (You. Are The Weakest Link) Aaaaargh!

    And, Some Matt Smith Ones….?

    WHY? When 11 Got an obviously way more kick Ass spacesuits on the way down to earth (even though He was in a hurry and got it Back the front) At the start of The Window,  The Wench & the War or something, Christmas special 2012?


    Because….that reeeeeeally looooooong Spaceship Was copyrighted By Mel Brooks, Including Any Lifeboats, awesome Spacesuits and the bumper sticker slogan “We Brake For Noone”



    Anonymous @

    @havoc  but Game of Thrones is real, right? I thought it was a valid history of Nordic peoples.

    Regardez-vous,  puro.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @havoc   Yah, the space suits were goofy-looking, but the story was a bit goofy too (I liked it, but I am a Rebel Time Lord Watcher who understands that this show is science FICTION and can do whatever it damn well pleases and still be delightful).  Thanks for the tip of the hat to Life on Mars — great time travel show that I wish would come back . . .


    ichabod @ichabod

    Wait, wait — I *still* want to know why the D looks so pained after his ultra-positive summary of the  future course of human history, standing on the beach?  Because the rest of them are dumb enough to believe it?  Because — ?  Somebody help me out, here.

    ichabod @ichabod

    Thought I’d transport this post, which I came up with very late last night on another discussion site, to a spot here, as it’s an attempt to validate KtM on the basis of how its core scene — Clara’s blow up at the Doctor — is bounced off of later in Season 8.

    What a beautiful set-up for the Xmas finale that quarrel-scene in KtM is! Here’s the Doctor, having made a clumsy, hurtful effort to show Clara that he thinks she can stand on her own two feet and make big decisions without him.  Her reaction: instead of trusting that her friend’s behavior was well-intended, she condemns him for it and tries to literally banish him from her life.

    Then, in Dark Water, she *intentionally betrays him* by using the Tardis keys to try to blackmail him into doing what she demands. What is his response? First, he stands there and takes the hit full on; look back at the volcano scene, when she throws away the last key, and then says she’d do it again. His face tells us all we need to know about how that feels for him.  Not surprisingly, he rebukes her for “letting him down”.

    But he does *not* kick her out of the Tardis, as she clearly expects him to do because she knows she well and truly deserves it. Instead, he says he’ll help after all, and when she says good grief why, he calmly delivers a breathtaking declaration of unconditional love. Then, while she’s standing there struck dumb and paralyzed by shame and desolation (seeing the enormous miss-match between his feelings for her and hers for him, plus Danny is still dead), he comes up with a way to move her on from that awful moment by brusquely yanking her forward into doing exactly what she wanted to (although he thinks rescuing Danny is a doomed endeavor, and dangerous besides).

    He now understands she really needs to do this, so never mind the blows she has just dealt him and the shallowness of her regard. “Chin up, shoulders back — let’s see what we’re made of, you and I.” With that short speech, he sets the two of them on equal footing — provisionally — and gives her the chance to prove that she belongs there with him.

    Well, he is a Time Lord. He has two hearts, and they are apparently big hearts with deep resources of devotion (Moffat’s word). Clara is only human; she has one heart, and on the evidence it’s an emotionally weak one, constrained by ego and riddled with inconstancy, as, let’s face it, our human hearts so often are.

    So, on to Last Xmas: He returns to Old Clara (the first time). She shows new (presumably hard-won over a lifetime) emotional maturity by immediately and unstintingly forgiving him for taking 62 years to come back to her after their dream-sleigh ride (he got distracted; how unusual). He is remorseful for the delay, and is man enough to say so and apologize instead of “bantering” his error away.

    And there it is: they have now moved to a new level of emotional symmetry between them — they don’t care any more who loves whom more, or who betrayed whom, issues dwarfed by long deprivation of each other’s company and the wonderful warmth of reunion at last — and on that basis they can move forward together in mutual trust and affection if they want to.  They want to, so they do.  The bookend to the KtM quarrel is matched by its mate in the finale, and the re-set for Season 9 is completed. (I think this is why I found Season 8 so satisfying overall — I was following the emotional arc, not the plitty-plotty SF hijinks that some viewers are still complaining about — and lo, I have my reward, because IMO that satisfaction was Moffat’s master plan all along.)

    In my book that is brilliant and elegant story-telling, no matter what does or does not come afterward.


    ScaryB @scaryb

    Nice post @ichabod.

    I was coming on to say much the same, having rewatched last night. It’s interesting seeing the episodes after the first rush of watching in “real time” and with the hindsight of knowing how the rest of the series pans out. You also get the chance to watch other details when you don’t have to keep such a close eye on the story. Like every little twitch and all the nuances Capaldi brings to the role. He really is quite superb! As are the rest of the cast.  And I stand by my earlier comments on this episode – it’s about humans growing up as a species. They have to make their own decision here in order to move forward as a species. But CapDoc has every faith that his “apprentice” will make the right one. He doesn’t doubt it for a second.

    I think I mentioned it upstream, but it’s a nice touch having the 3 women make the decision – like the 3 Fates from various mythologies – the old woman, the younger one and the almost-child.

    ichabod @ichabod


    Thank you!  It took me a while to figure out what was so *right* about KtM that I just didn’t give a flying flip about the nonsensical moon hatch thingie.  But her “You scared me, now f**k off” in KtM vs. a big Old Clara’s huge, open-hearted hug for her “stupid old man” (and this time it’s for him, not SmithDoc any more, and without the taint of sadness and falsehood of the Sad Cafe) is perfect, but subtle enough to miss first time through.  The eps in between that make you forget — while your subconscious keeps elbowing you in the ribs with “Wait, wait, look *again*, there’s something else there . . . ”

    But I missed your three Fates etc., glad you pointed that out.  That’s the thing that makes this show unique, IMO — it’s so well written (on most levels most of the time) that you end up with the kind of layering that rewards re-watching and following the quiet trails of those details that you’re intended to miss the first time round, when it’s all story! story! story!  This thing isn’t f**king Gatorade; it’s actually got legs, like a good, sturdy, rich wine.  How many tv shows can claim that distinction?  (Well, Buffy of course, and . . . do people re-watch The Wire, for example?  It was too depressing for me the first time.  Hill Street Blues?  Lots more, I’m sure, but I only recently learned to use the new DVD player so I’m hardly an authority).

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod Aah, Hill Street Blues. One of the best cop shows ever.

    I too loved the 3 fateful ladies -KtM has a lot to add on re-watch, as you say, the monster of the week may not be everything, just something leading on to something else more fascinating -and rewarding.

    Anonymous @

    Still, going back over some discussions from last year and the thoughts that Clara and Amy were, at some point, indistinguishable….I still think that whilst Clara is more thoughtful, I would now add my tuppence (for what it’s worth) that Clara has become less cautious -the final two parter and even her behaviour in KtM echoed the occasional Amy Spat -but, maybe that’s an outlier too.

    Certainly, to connect the discussions on Companions Past and Present, and also Daemons, it’s easy to see how far these ladies have progressed: from ‘early’ companion, “ooh, look Doctor, what CAN we do?” to ‘apprentices’ -see Flatline for that progression and development as well.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion  Just so.  The 3 Fates are worth a bit of egg-nonsense, IMO.  And isn’t it amazing to see (or at least I see) an imprint of the influence of modern feminism on the development of the companions in recent years?  Despite the backlash, and it is horrendous and by no means crested yet, minds have been pried open a bit, and the culture shows it.

    Anonymous @


    I remember on this very Forum, members joined just so they could find a ‘penetrable’ entryway into a ‘decent’ discussion about why Moffat was an ‘idiot’ and how the science in KtM was just ‘so wrong’. To even enter into a debate about the science shows the general stupidity around -I shouldn’t say that, but reading these pages you can see whole 1000- word treatises rambling on about gravity & the size of the moon. It’s fun in one way, but it riled me that none of the actual plot devices or metaphors made a dent in these people’s arguments. By the next episode requiring ‘science ‘ – The Forest, they were back again with another set of debates about how “this isn’t good enough.” Looking back, we were all very polite. Blue did her, ‘well, let’s look at this this way’ debate but they didn’t back down!

    I hardly think these same men (and they were all men) identified the mythology at work, the feminist aspects or the important character links with Clara having a go at the doctor. I  claimed that Clara and Amy seemed at times indistinguishable in the first season (of Clara’s time) but that now (second season) she was quite different. Others believed Clara to be more thoughtful and less of a ‘jump-in’ type.

    I’ll  argue against that point because now we’ve seen a Clara pretending to be ‘Doctor’ (and ‘good’ at it); one who yells at the Doctor, doesn’t stay put and throws all his keys away whilst betraying him so I feel quite validated. Don’t know why I need validation but I feel I do.

    Must be the woman in me. Always saying “oh, sorry for saying….” and “oh so sorry for living” 🙂

    There’s a series on the ABC with comedian Judith Lucy who’s interested in assessing the development of feminism in this country. She interviewed the first female pilot (this point keeps me on topic) in Melbourne with Ansett as well as many 50+ women who admit they’re the ones always apologising -for getting in the way, for having a job….etc. A different story on this Forum, IMO, which is terrific.

    On the predictions of The Magician’s Apprentice (?) I can see that the Dr leaving Clara ‘in charge’ on the Moon was a necessary decision and incomparable to anything we would have seen 30 years ago!

    lisa @lisa

    @purofilion – There are two types of humans for me and I don’t mean men and women. I’m
    referring to those who seek enlightenment and ask questions and those that are anti-
    enlightenment or just seek to undermine anything that doesn’t seem rational enough.
    I often feel as though most folks in the world are unfortunately that second type.
    The problem is that these are the people that undercut themselves with this attitude
    and it frustrates me a lot.
    Also. I agree you about Clara getting a ‘promotion’ so to speak and placed in charge of
    a executive decision. SM likes writing strong female parts and I appreciate that too.

    lisa @lisa

    @purofilion -Ok using the word rational in the last post may be hypothetically the wrong choice
    because sometimes its not even about that. In any case I find it dispiriting too.

    Anonymous @

    @lisa I hear you!  It was so funny (actually, sad) reading them banging on about  the science. Not a-one mentioned the nature of the women left in charge, the idea, itself, of rationalism over philosophy and metaphor.  They were all very keen to say “rubbish” and be disrespectful about it without once referencing the purpose behind the episode. One in particular had a tag name which very much indicated his science preference to the point where he said “changes in history wouldn’t cause the same problems” and yet, history…the development of the role of women, the concept of mythology, hello? “not important”?

    Yeah you’re right, they undercut themselves without knowing it  but worse, undercut everyone else in the room -desperate to be ‘right’ and less about ‘opening the mind’ which if anything, science has taught us is the most important attribute. Without that, science cannot progress to the formation of new hypotheses.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @purofilion — Yes, he left the moon problem to them, and nobody melted down into a puddle or went off to cry in a corner, and that *alone* is (still!) major.  Somehow commentors avoid pointing this out — it’s all “Oh, he’s so mean”!  Good (Time) Lord.  Kinderf**kinggarten on line, sometimes.  CapDoc is impatient and impulsive himself, and he was getting tired of waiting for her to take the initiative in a substantial way, I think — so he threw her into the deep end of the pool.  And by damn she swam, outrage and all, so when Flatline came along later —   I don’t think I really got it, myself, until this minute: his “teaching” style was crude and offensive, but the decision to push her so fast and so far was sound.  Clumsy and unkind, but *right* in the end.  Drives the fans crazy; they want their huggy-wuggy bunny back . . .

    Glad I missed the phony science outrage about KtM here — I don’t think I was on board then, but might well have shied off if I’d seen those boobies making their smugly stupid messes from on high all over the place.  The “Sorry for living” thing is *so* difficult to shake — women learn it as their default setting in every culture I know of, and it doesn’t matter how many women are included in government, either.  At the default level, looks like this is going to take *forever* to go away.  And yes, Moffat is doing his part, and more — again, not always perfectly or brilliantly, but the man does try, and sometimes he gets if very right.

    @lisa   The super-insistent science types merely expose their own terror of being without rules and having to rely on one’s own wits, courage, and emotional sensitivity to get things right.  That does seem to be more men than women, although we do get crossovers.  But to me, it’s a matter of *nerve* (like so much else).  It’s like the extremist fringe of atheism, the Materialists, who can’t bear to consider that stuff they don’t know how to perceive, let alone measure with numbers, yet, might nevertheless turn out to be real — like, um, germs?  Atomic particles?  Whole bloody star systems and planets?  You can be a closed-minded science believer as well as a closed-minded fundy in other ways, like attributing human virtue and achievement to “God”, but human evil only comes from “men/the Devil”.  Ay-yuh.

    Anonymous @

    @lisa @ichabod @scaryb

    having thought of the eps in the past series, it seemed like a  lot of them were metaphoric examples of life:

    You have to Listen before you can make good decisions (ktM) and then the only way home is Through The Forest. I suppose I could fit each ep into some kind of ‘life lesson’ which ends up a bit self-righteous but I do like the idea that’s it not the story so much as the layers deep underneath. Even the spiders -the bacteria – have some philosophical function: all good things ( Moon Eggs) are often hidden beneath difficulty (spiders).

    Just a musing

    Oh and do you need to take a Deep Breath before you can trust (the stories in Robots of Sherwood) and then be prepared to Listen?

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    Howdy. Lots of interesting stuff. I always loved KtM. Confession – I think one of the things which put me off DW for so long was that without a small person to give me the excuse to watch it in the first place, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to thole the pseudoscience. Of course, having actually watched it, I know that is largely (if not always) a backdrop for the excellent writing, acting, directing and storytelling general, oh well, my loss, making up for it now.

    Which is why I sooo don’t get the ‘it’s not scientific’ bleating about KtM.

    Of course its not! It’s about possibility and consequence, and fun stuff like that, which the vast majority of ‘science fiction’ has acknowledged or just run with. But you all know this. I just do not get it when you know you’ve got a show in which you can do literally anything, then you randomly apply what you think is science at one specific instance when wilfully ignoring it being overextended, played with, objectified at other points is just … weird.

    To me DW puts science in a very short dress, takes it out on a date, gets it drunk, says, “Hey, Science, gosh you look sexy tonight, could I just get you to jump this shark or three and I’ll take pictures.” So long as we’re all having fun, it’s all good with me. Better Science than Crime or Corsets, they get taken out all the time.

    I read an article by Philip Sandifer, who raises bonkerising to scholarship and I gather not everyone likes, but I liked the article so… Anyway, his view was that when all the ladees put the decision to earth, we the audience may feel invested in the in-programme audience’s (ie, the People of Earth’s) decision, very subtly breaking the fourth wall. The when we realise they are making the wrong decision we get a bit panicked, and are then relieved when Clara and Courtney make it right for us, but also horrified to note that probably people would have voted to kill it if this were really real, because as the writer says

    the star whale has literally lost that vote every time it has ever come up in human history

    Wine count – 1 glass.

    Also linky?:

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    OK maybe not literally anything, but anything age appropriate

    lisa @lisa

    @Barbara Lefty _ I really enjoy your descriptive way of putting things. “Puts science in a very
    short dress and takes it out on a date” is brilliant! Its a great formula isn’t it? It finds success
    all over TV and movies. I actually do think however there is something about DW that attracts
    some fans who connect a lot with the technical bits. Its hard for me to look at DW thru their eyes
    but like you its also all good with me too.

    lisa @lisa

    I think I may have to explain my last post a bit more- what I mean to say is that ultimately
    I just feel very passive in my overall attitude about a certain variety of fan even though
    I find them a little frustrating,

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Just dashing through, but have to agree with @lisa – lovin @barbaralefty‘s turn of phrase. Another poster, of several regulars  in here, who make me splutter over my keyboard!  (You know who you are 🙂 )

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @barbaralefty   Thirded! That is a fabulous description. And thanks for the link, I have just discovered yet another way to spend time I don’t have! It’s so rare to find people writing about DW who can actually write (which, of course, is why we enjoy this forum so much).

    Regarding the “it’s not science” brigade, I confess that I can sympathize with them a bit. It’s not a problem for me at all, because I live in a realm of the imagination in which facts are usually just a convenient framework for human interactions. This can even be true of historical facts, about which I am much more passionate than scientific ones. As long as the framework is constructed in a reasonably convincing manner, it doesn’t bother me to know that it is not precisely accurate.

    However, I love with two pretty hardcore science nerds. Mr. Arbutus has enjoyed fiction at times, but is much more interested in facts. He finds in them all the beauty and wonder that I find in a beautifully imagined story. I think that inaccurate science would annoy him– he saves himself that irritation by simply not watching things where it might come up! Which is of course the problem; there is a portion of fandom that expects DW to be scientific. While it has been more or less so at different times throughout its history, I don’t think that was ever meant to be the point.

    Barbara Lefty @barbaralefty

    Cheers peeps (@Arbutus, @lisa, @scaryb). I’m pretty sure it owned something to D Adams, but can’t think what exactly. I guess, science-wise, I’ve been through the lovely speculating, theorising, part and I’ve been through the doing some experiments but mainly being puzzled by why things don’t work, and now my day consists of being within limits of 98.0-102.0%, rounded to the nearest 30 seconds, reproducible within 0.1%. That’s my science. Creativity is useful for troubleshooting and experimental design but otherwise  it is the enemy in the drive to limit or quantify (we can never eliminate) baseline noise. We need that science, but frankly, you couldn’t pay me to watch it.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    One of the fun things about the Kill the Moon script (an episode, by the way, that by and large left me cold) is the sheer number of times everyone either gets things wrong or just plain doesn’t know what’s going on:

    Clara [about Courtney]: you told her that she wasn’t special.

    This is the Courtney who later becomes US President.

    Courtney: This isn’t the moon. Where are we?

    On a Space Shuttle.

    Doctor: Oh? Well, you’re just going to have to shoot us, then.

    The astronauts don’t have any guns.

    Courtney: COURTNEY: Wow. Wow! One small thing for a thing. One enormous thing for a thingy thing.

    Okaayyy… though to be fair, Courtney is later mentioned studying Geography, not History.

    COURTNEY: Kills ninety nine percent of all known germs.

    It’s an unknown germ … and Courtney didn’t even know it was a germ.

    CLARA: It’s obvious, isn’t it? The moon doesn’t break up.

    Oh yes, it does.

    LUNDVIK: Doctor, if the moon breaks up, it’ll kill us all in about forty five minutes.
    DOCTOR: I agree. Unless something else is going on.

    Something else is going on.

    LUNDVIK: There’s no water on the moon.

    Well, it’s always possible that one might be the writer…

    CLARA: Where’s the Tardis?
    DOCTOR: She’s in the shuttle, isn’t she? She’ll turn up.
    CLARA: Last time you said that, she turned up on the wrong side of the planet.

    ’nuff said.

    Clara: The secretary hates me. She thinks I gave her a packet of TENA Lady for Secret Santa.

    Even the School Secretary is wrong. 😉

    Anonymous @

    @barbaralefty “To me DW puts science in a very short dress, takes it out on a date, gets it drunk, says, “Hey, Science, gosh you look sexy tonight, could I just get you to jump this shark or three and I’ll take pictures.” So long as we’re all having fun, it’s all good with me. Better Science than Crime or Corsets, they get taken out all the time.”

    @denvaldron @ichabod @bluesqueakpip

    The above quote is probably the best thing which summed up KtM for me.

    The science gets drunk.

    How I wish I was!  -but it’s only 9am here. @bluesqueakpip good to see you back and on a longer post. I imagine the studies are taking up quite a bit of time.  I agree with you about the “everyone is wrong” statement. I think it says a lot about the point of the episode -not a favourite of mine at all but never “despised be”.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Missed that quote from @barbaralefty before but it’s pretty damn fine. You win the internetz!!

    ichabod @ichabod

    Everybody — I’ll take the @BarbarLefty quote as definitive on the science — thank you!

    To reply to @purofilion’s earlier post (but in the right place this time, as promised over on the TV thread), what I think about the Dotor’s “out of character” behavior (in seemingly abandoning Clara, although the instant the decision is made, he’s right on the spot, so clearly he’s been monitoring events somehow) is that this is a follow-on from the set-up in Deep Breath, where he seemingly leaves her with Half-Face but is, again, actually there monitoring.  Only this time he doesn’t leave her “alone” with danger, he leaves her “alone” with a heavy responsibility that requires her to find her own way out, without him saving her (and our, humanity’s) bacon.

    Was the decision goofy, convoluted, compromised, etc.?  It certainly didn’t help to bringing in the abortion issue.  But to me, KtM shows what it means to say that the newly regenerated Doctor is dangerous,  unstable, with values and perspectives sometimes alien to ours, and a very poor teacher when he tries to set up a lesson for his companion-pupil instead of simply serving as an example.  He’s not a teacher, never was as far as I know, and with his constitutional impatience roused up he makes a major balls-up of it.

    He’s trying out Clara’s role, as she tries out his (later, in Flatline).  She passes her test; he spectacularly fails his, beginning with setting up a crappy test-question.  Yes, he’s a bit crazy (as Moffat says), but t’s not *out of character*, IMO, to have a protagonist fail.  For me, the form this failure takes seems coherent with his (for the moment) wibbly-wobbly character.  Clara’s reaction seems natural.  She didn’t expect a surprise quiz today.  Not long ago he was protective of her, in “The Caretaker” (interesting title), even with Danny.  Now, in a fit of misjudgment, impatience, and pique, he kicks her out of the nest to fly on her own.  She feels outraged and betrayed, and he accepts her judgment and her kicking loose of *him*. Except for that “last hurrah”, MotOE, in which he starts out chastened and rather depressed — until the “Thing” he was hoping for occurs, putting him back in a situation he knows how to handle: a murderous monster wrapped up in a puzzle.

    But I write fiction; part of my job is lining up the set-pieces.  The rest is filling in the gaps between them, supplying the connective tissue that makes it all hang together sufficiently, and meaningfully enough, to satisfy me.  I don’t require it to satisfy anyone else.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @bluesqueakpip‘s observation is spot on. This is an episode of everyone getting it wrong basically. And that’s what makes it interesting. @ichabod is also dead right when this is essentially about the Doctor’s regeneration crisis — the true arc of s8. The Doctor is just not himself here and this is a failure of nerve on his part and essentially re-learning who he is (‘am I a good man?’).

    Having said that, this idea that the Doctor’s leaving is out of character is just wrong. Most, with the exception of Troughton, McGann and possibly Smith, could quite easily have done this. All have form on ruthless — and of basically wrong — decisions and all have ‘abandoned’ companions, often at crucial moments. It’s not as an essentially ‘un-Doctor-ish’ thing to do as some would like to think.

    I wouldn’t say this is an episode I love in any way but it is one I’ve come to admire. It’s very much a statement of intent. It’s emphasising for a start that this Doctor is not going to be reliable, he’s not going to be particularly knowable and he’s not going to be an Authority, in the way that many of the previous older Doctors were.

    It’s also the most direct statement of Moffat’s ‘fairytale’ take on the show. Or at least it’s ratcheting it up a notch. The jar between the hard-science of the first act and the mythic, almost dream-like conclusion is part of the point. It’s saying ‘here’s what you think the show is, but here’s also what it can be’. It’s not a mistake. It’s deliberate. To still be fretting over bits of moonshell is rather missing the point, I feel.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @ichabod and @jimthefish

    I’d agree that there’s nothing out of character about the Doctor leaving. Ichabod can find a throughline as a professional writer; I can find one as a professional actor. Frankly, Peter Capaldi is a much better actor than I am – so if I can find a through-line, he certainly can.

    Looking at it from an actor’s point of view, and given the note that the regeneration crisis lasts all Series 8, I’d hark back to Hartnell (very unreliable in his first series) and Baker 2. Both are bloody rude, both erratic, both quite unreliable. Both would have left a companion to cope on their own.

    Then, going from previous events in Series 8, I’d note that Clara manages perfectly well when the Doctor previously had to seemingly desert her or when she has to work alone, and in fact has rescued the Doctor more than once. Obviously, in my Time Lord mind, she just lacks self-confidence; the knowledge that she can tackle these major decisions by herself will do her the world of good.

    What the Doctor is missing, he’s missing because he’s an alien (again, I’d look at the more ‘alien’ regenerations – Hartnell, Baker I, Baker II). He clearly has problems reading human emotions (think Aspergers…), he probably does subconsciously expect his companions to be telepathic (he is) and so (I’d decide) he’s missed why Clara was deeply upset and sobbing in Deep Breath.

    He thinks she was sobbing because she was scared (she was) and that she was able to use that to fool the Half Faced Man (she did). He’s missed that the main reason she was in floods is because she thought the Doctor had abandoned her. Having missed that, that’s why he gives her a test by telling her he’s abandoned her.

    [Had he picked up that Clara thinking she’s been abandoned is deeply upsetting to her, he’d probably have arranged something where she’s ‘accidentally’ left on her own to make the major decision, and then told her afterwards he did it deliberately, because she doesn’t really need him any more.]

    I’m not surprised that she was so bloody furious with him. Nor am I surprised that the Doctor was surprised.

    None of the other characters are any problem; the astronauts have a fairly obvious through line and Lundvik’s deep cynicism can be explained by a background of having lost the career she loved – because of Earth’s fear of aliens. After so many invasions, of course people on Earth are going to be scared stiff of any alien, even a baby one. Another side effect of the Doctor wiping himself out of the record; there is no record that not all aliens are scary monsters trying to kill everyone on the planet… why would anyone support a space program when the universe consists entirely of psychotic pepper pots and potato headed super soldiers? Best to hunker down and kill anyone who comes this way.

    Clara’s behaviour is consistent throughout. She needs to know that people have her back; it harks back to her mother reassuring her by telling her that, however lost she is, her mother will always find her. Equally, she needs to know that the Doctor will always find her if he can. Her mother died; she’s able to cope when the Doctor can’t have her back because he’s trapped himself (and needs her to have his back). But that seems to be the image of love that’s in her mind.

    Neither she or Courtney are scared of the baby Moon Dragon – they both know the friendly alien Doctor.

    As Ichabod says, this doesn’t have to satisfy anyone else. It’s simply that this isn’t one of those scripts where I’d be going ‘the reason for the character’s behaviour is that they’re paying me a lot of money to find a reason…’ 🙂

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