Day 278: Blue Moon, Green Shoes

Sheer lunacy in last night’s Doctor Who

October 5 main

Okay, so if you haven’t watched last night’s Doctor Who yet, don’t read on, because there will be spoilers. It’s impossible, y’see, to talk about the episode without mentioning the ending… And it was all going so well until then.

I blame myself. I made scrambled eggs for tea. I haven’t made scrambled eggs for years. Possibly decades. Probably not since I was at uni. So I’m not sure what possessed me to suddenly make scrambled eggs (with cheese and Worcestershire sauce), but I wish I hadn’t; firstly because they were horrible (I’ve clearly lost the knack, hence the Worcestershire sauce to make them taste of something) and secondly, it made that climax of “Kill The Moon” even more difficult to swallow.

The moon being an egg, I can handle. The egg hatching and releasing a Mothra, I can handle. Mothra laying an egg to leave us with a new moon… sorry, my disbelief was well and truly shaken from suspended animation.

Kill The Moon Doctor Who moon surfaceIt’s not so much because it’s bad science. Doctor Who and scientific accuracy split up because artistic differences many moons ago. This was simply a massive, almighty cop out and a leap of logic that would barely make sense in Road Runner cartoon. It was too big. It was too silly.

Also, I’m worried. Because unless this giant new-born lunar Mothra is a bloody good aim and has laid an egg that’s exactly the same size at the old one, our incredible “perfect” eclipses (when the moon covers the sun precisely, thanks to an incredible quirk of fate that means our moon is the  correct size and distance from both the Earth and sun) will never happen again.

I wasn’t alone in having problems with the ending. I hate turning to internet forums to back-up an opinion, but in this case the response was virtually unanimous. Even people who loved the episode (and they were in the majority) were admitting they’d have preferred a less dopey ending, while for others the “bad science” was too much to handle and completely ruined the episode.

Kill The Moon Doctor Who CourtenayI lean towards the former point of view. There was a lot I really enjoyed about the episode. The spiders were great, the moon surface was brilliantly realised, the big bust up between the Doctor and Clara was well handled. Capaldi was magnificent. Jenna Coleman is turning Clara into one of the most watchable companions ever (although she does seem to be a totally different character to the Clara who travelled with Doctor Eleven). Even Courtney was miles better than most irritating teenagers (though I cringed at the moment she taunted Clara about fancying “Mr Pink” partly because she sounded like a seven year old but mostly because THE BLOODY MOON WAS ABOUT TO BE RIPPED APART!). But if you’d been on Earth and some woman you didn’t know from Eve popped up on your TV and said, “If I don’t kill a giant moth then you’ll probably all die – what should I do?” well, you would vote, “Kill giant moth!” wouldn’t you? She didn’t exactly put her case with much conviction, did she?

(Plus, what if Earth had voted “Save The Moth” and the lights just went out because the effects of the moon breaking up cut the electricity… now that would have been a twist!)

So, another episode where I think a little bit of logic (or even a spurious attempt to stick to basic rules of science) could have gone a long way to making turning a good episode into a great one. As I said last week, I don’t want the show to suddenly go all po-faced and serious; I just think the show can incorporate some properly clever and ostensibly paluasible sci-fi ideas without losing its sense of wonder and fun.

I suppose my main gripe is that because I did like the rest of the episode so much, it’s going to be a pain every time I rewatch it knowing how it’s going to end.

I have a similar problem with Lost.

See you tomorrow.

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