First of all…
Generally speaking, with Doctor Who or any other long-running show, there will be Those Episodes that you keep coming back to because they’re important, amazingly well-done, a hilarious breath of fresh air, or they provoke strong feelings (or “feels” as the kids call them nowadays. What was wrong with “verklempt” Discuss among yourselves.)
For example, “Bad Blood” is one of Those Episodes of the X-Files, because it’s brilliantly staged, lets Mulder and Scully show the funny side of their long, often painful partnership; and somehow makes you hungry for pizza even while watching Scully perform a gorram autopsy.
Another one is “Closure” because we finally really properly learn what happened to Samantha Mulder, and it’s a complete gut-punch that makes sense in a series where little ever does. I still can’t listen to Moby’s “My Weakness” without weeping, over a decade later.
“Kill The Moon” is one of Those Episodes for Doctor Who.
Doctor: Listen. There are moments in every civilization’s history in which the whole path of that civilization is decided; the whole future path. Whatever future humanity might have depends upon the choice that is made right here and right now. Now, you’ve got the tools to kill it; you made them. You brought them up here all on your own with your own ingenuity. You don’t need a Time Lord. Kill it or let it live, I can’t make this decision for you.
Clara: Yeah, well I can’t make it.
Doctor: Well, there’s two of you here.
Clara: Well yeah, a school teacher and an astronaut.
Doctor: Who’s better qualified?
Doctor: Essentially, what I knew was that you would always make the best choice. I have faith that you would always make the right choice.
Clara: Honestly, do you have music playing in your head when you say rubbish like that?
Oh, Clara, Clara. She still has not forgiven him for regenerating, has she? She still misses her cuddly floppy-haired young-old Doctor, because he’d have given her a hug and a pep-talk and made it not so scary.
But he’s still the same man, and it’s times like this I wish she could remember all the other Claras she’s been, who’ve known the Doctor all his lives. But even though she can’t, she could at least remember the time she talked the Doctor down from using the Moment to destroy his own planet. She was good enough then, so why does she doubt herself now, when it’s her own planet? She’s not like the others, who turned off the lights and said “Kill the moon, even if we die along with it.”
If he does have music playing in his head, then maybe it’s time she let herself listen to it. Just a little.
Was he harsh? Yes. But was he wrong? Oh hell no. Lundvik even says the same thing. “Not everything can be nice.”
Even making the right decision can hurt so, so bad. The hurt is temporary, though.
In time, I think, Clara will see that. And the Doctor – well, I think he’ll let his guard down once Clara lets herself actually see him. As he pleaded in “Deep Breath,” Clara still isn’t seeing him.
Some people have complained that they insult each other too much, and I think that comes from the building tension that has been there since Trenzalore – the fact that they’re attempting to carry on and pretend nothing’s changed when in fact a lot has changed. And the harder they try to pretend that nothing is different, the less they can see the parts that are the same.
If I could think this deeply about coding, man, I’d be a frickin’ Java wizard by now. On the other hand, there’s a lot of fish in that sea, and maybe I just haven’t found my particular Babel fish yet.
So, that’s my review of “Kill the Moon.” Basically, don’t kill the Moon, it’s an egg and if it doesn’t hatch when I hit 71 I’m going to be very, very cross with you all.