Doctor Who's "Kill the Moon" Is a Mess of Pseudoscience

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Doctor Who's "Kill the Moon" Is a Mess of Pseudoscience

The Doctor takes Clara and Courtney, one of her students, on a lunar field-trip. It's no surprise that things go terribly wrong.

Read Full Article

First.

It's been the best episode of the season, mind you it was not fantastic, merely good, and enjoyable.
Clara was not so Mary Sue, we almost had a space abortion, and it leaves area for expansion, what will the giant space bug do now? Will we see it again?

I liked it.
It's not the best episode of the season, but beyond the stupid science, it was a fun romp.

Also:
Did Doctor Who SERIOUSLY have an abortion episode?

Wow.

I thought It was pretty enjoyable. Not quite "Listen," or "The Caretaker," but a decent spin on the standard narrative tropes of the Doctor Who formula.

The idea of the moon being an egg for a space dragon is wonderfully absurd, and kind of works against the back drop of serious character drama.

I've been looking at other reviews of this episode and most of them have been giving high marks and I simply can't understand it. The episode was fucking terrible. Good god was it a waste of time to watch.

I didn't like it until I thought about it a bit. I think the thing with the egg dissolving and everything working out is supposed to be total BS. See, the practical choice is to kill the moon creature, it has to be. Sometimes you have to sacrifice for the good of the many (ask Typhoid Mary) and its sad but it happens. Only someone with the Doctor's knowledge and foresight could know that things would turn out OK. Its total BS that it does turn out OK, but that's the point. Clara (and the audience) couldn't have known things would turn out well if the creature was saved. But she did what the Doctor would have wanted her to do, against the wishes of the entire planet even. That's why what she does is so annoying and why she's so mad at the end. The Doctor is making her like him, except she doesn't have the capacity to do that kind of thing responsibly.

I really don't think it's required to make the Doctor a total a-hole in order to paint him in a more morally ambiguous light. I've always thought that the Doctor's addiction to danger and his tendency to constantly drag new companions with him despite how badly the others have ended up is a good enough reason to question his heroic status.

All through that episode, I kept thinking "Can we Adric Courney?"

Back in my day, when you showed someone the vastness of outer space first hand, they kind of stopped being awful people.

Doctor Who's "Kill the Moon" Is a Mess of Pseudoscience [...] Unfortunately, the action is often spoiled by the science, which even by Doctor Who standards is pretty slip-shod. [...] This is basically Doctor Who's version of Armageddon except Armageddon was probably more scientifically sound.

You're looking for hard sci-fi in the wrong TV series about aliens who travel through space and time in police boxes.

Didn't like the dr's attitude? Really? A jerk? Not someone who's basically inpatient with stupidity. He was right though with Clare. Why was she asking him to sort it? There was only two choices, it didn't need him to pick it for them so they can ride his coat tails, he just invoked the prime directive. He's a Dr with the balls to say what most people been thinking for years.

harpere:
This episode is a string of scenes that don't make a lot of sense, but are vaguely held together by virtue of the fact that they all happen on the same channel in the same one-hour period

Now that's about as damning as reviews get :)

Somethingfake:
I've been looking at other reviews of this episode and most of them have been giving high marks and I simply can't understand it. The episode was fucking terrible. Good god was it a waste of time to watch.

This. Me and my housemate were watching it, and he was shocked with all the scientific inaccuracies and the plain stupidity of it all. Plus, they all would have died when the shuttle crashed on the Moon anyway!

Besides that, an episode centred around whether to kill an unborn alien? No wonder it was being shown close to the watershed here in the UK (though that allegory may well go over children's heads). Whilst the conclusion was serviceable (killing the alien would have left a massive corpse in the sky and no moon), IT LAID A FREAKING EGG AFTER BEING BORN. I...am nearly done with this show. Or I would be if Capaldi weren't as good as he is.

I think 1 1/2 stars is overly generous. The episode was dire, the series is dire. The difference between this and Tennant-era before Moffat took control is drastic.

They should just take the horror out and put this on at 4pm with the other kiddie shows because thats what this series is becoming

V TheSystem V:

Somethingfake:
I've been looking at other reviews of this episode and most of them have been giving high marks and I simply can't understand it. The episode was fucking terrible. Good god was it a waste of time to watch.

This. Me and my housemate were watching it, and he was shocked with all the scientific inaccuracies and the plain stupidity of it all. Plus, they all would have died when the shuttle crashed on the Moon anyway!

Besides that, an episode centred around whether to kill an unborn alien? No wonder it was being shown close to the watershed here in the UK (though that allegory may well go over children's heads). Whilst the conclusion was serviceable (killing the alien would have left a massive corpse in the sky and no moon), IT LAID A FREAKING EGG AFTER BEING BORN. I...am nearly done with this show. Or I would be if Capaldi weren't as good as he is.

I was struggling to decide whether the "Moon's a egg" thing was genius or ridiculous. After the "baby" laid another egg, I decided it was neither, it was in fact the dumbest thing I've ever seen. I like this Doctor, because his serious, uncaring personality is a interesting change from 10 and 11's silly fun guy personalities, but this series is pretty crap so far. Dinosaur in Victorian London, Robin Hood, the spaceship being sent out of orbit by a gold arrow (Which WOULD NOT hit the damn thing, it's gold, which is heavier than a normal arrow), and next week, a train in space. I want to make it clear I do like Doctor Who, but this series is making it difficult to.

Worst episode of the series so far, redeemed only by that great scene at the end between Clara and The Doctor. Otherwise it was utterly ridiculous (not in a charming ridiculous way either).

I felt like I wasted an hour of my life.

I really like Clara, honestly this season I like her more than the Doctor. If we had this Doctor combined with any other companion I'd have seriously been considering stopping watching the show after 3-4 episodes this season. But her decision was just so stupid. All the evidence she had suggested "kill the egg, or let everyone on Earth die". She got the whole planet to vote so that she didn't have to have it on her conscience, and they made the only possible decision. But still she couldn't do it. Yeah it turned out okay in the end (typical BBC cop out rubbish), but there is no way she could possible have known that*. It was the worst gamble anybody could ever make. Sometimes killing is necessary. Please, give me Jack Bauer in that situation.

*But then it turned out the Doctor knew everything and he could have solved the situation in 5 minutes but he couldn't be bothered.

The Doctor didn't know everything. That moment in time hadn't been written. Whenever he tried to think about the earth's moon, all he could recall was grey parts of his memory. The outcome only happened after they made their decision. That's when his memories came flooding back.

i find it really interesting to be honest.. oh not the episode, this series or capaldi. its watching moffat with total control completely crash and burn, he constantly amazes me. i dont think the episodes can get worse and yet here we are, a giant alien moth thing that lays an egg bigger than it is in the time it takes the camera to look away and then look up again.. oh and after the alien was shown flying away.

the other thing im noticing is that jenna coleman really looked like she was enjoying working on the show last series but yeah this series she looks frustrated? annoyed? just wants out maybe. i dont know if its capaldi she doesnt get on with (although there is no chemistry there) or moffat.

Oh boo-hoo. The Doctor isn't a funy and cheeky alien there to whisk maidens around the galaxy. Stuff it. You should have known the type of Doctor we were going to get when they cast Capaldi. Not that he can't do a certain amount of levity but seriously, have you seen the roles this guy takes?!

No, honestly, I like this Doctor. No BS, no smiles and rainbows. The universe is a hard place where hard choices have to be made. Maybe he's just tired of making them for everyone else?

As for the episode itself, it really wasn't great.

Isn't "a mess of pseudoscience" basically the subtitle on the new Who series in general?

Chances are if that would bother you you stopped watching a couple episodes in anyhow.

Adraeus:

Doctor Who's "Kill the Moon" Is a Mess of Pseudoscience [...] Unfortunately, the action is often spoiled by the science, which even by Doctor Who standards is pretty slip-shod. [...] This is basically Doctor Who's version of Armageddon except Armageddon was probably more scientifically sound.

You're looking for hard sci-fi in the wrong TV series about aliens who travel through space and time in police boxes.

I don't think these criticisms necessarily indicate a desire for 'Who to be hard Sci Fi. It would be nice if the show was just consistent with standard physics, or at least give us a hand wave "reverse the polarity" kind of explanation.

Two examples: The moon spiders are "single-cell prokaryotic organsms"? Seriously? I may be more irked by this than other folks, having some biology training, but it's a friggen spider with fangs and legs. That speaks to cell differentiation, which makes it impossible to be a single-celled organism. Weird writing.

Additionally, where is the moon's extra mass coming from, and why does it gain so quickly? Apparently the Mexican mining team shows up, and THEN the trouble starts. What did they do to encourage this being to change mass so rapidly? If this thing is really millions of years old, shouldn't it be increasing mass at a slow and steady rate?

Also, where is this mass coming from? A baby animal gets larger and heavier because its mother is eating throughout development. I would have liked to have seen some sort of hand wave here, explaining it was sucking up energy / turning it into mass (which could explain why it took so long to grow,) or pulling matter in from another dimension, etc. Something to explain this situation at all.

Aside: Shuttle airlocks don't work like that. No one would ever design a door that led directly to the cabin. You'd have to drain that whole room of atmosphere every time you wanted to leave the ship. That's why airlocks are typically small and have two doors.

It really seems like rushed writing, or production issues, or some other problem.

... What's wrong with having a train in space? They're had racing galleons through space before and how is it more stupid than space titanic?

I already gave my opinion on the episode in another thread, so I'll just copy it here : -

I didn't enjoy it, partly because I find it creepy that Dr Who did an abortion metaphor episode, and because I find it even more creepy that in the end it was pro life holy shit guys, and partly because the science was so goddamn bad.

I noticed about ten obvious bits of weird science but there were undoubtedly more than that:

Also, why were there so many extraneous characters in this episode? All you needed were Clara, the Doctor and an astronaut. In fact, you could even have gotten rid of the astronaut and still had the same moral dilemma, and the same trick with the lights, at the end. The kid was annoying, why do you keep doing kid episodes? Gah.

Anyway, my thoughts on the whole creepy abortion thing going on -

It's a bit heartening to see I'm not the only one who was outright annoyed with this episode. I want to like this new series, and I am going to watch the entire season. (I'm that kind of guy; I watched the entire Evangelion series on VHS back in the early 2000's just so I could scream at a friend of mine who considers it to be the greatest Anime ever made - and so when I screamed at him I could cite things in every episode to back up my hatred for that show.) So far I do like the concept of a darker, older and more remote Doctor, one who is more apt to let a stranger die to serve a "greater good" (as the Doctor defines it at that time) than to move Time and Space to save them. But the execution is just horrible from top to bottom. In my eyes nothing is working this season. The writing is atrocious, the plots are thin and weak and the science is a D minus even when judged on the historical standards for Doctor Who.

I hope it gets better. I want it to get better. I think it can get better - and I think that Samuel Anderson (Danny Pink) might be the actor for the job. His chemistry with Peter Capaldi is intriguing, his character is perhaps the most interesting recurring one to be created in the past few seasons and as an actor, Anderson seems to have chemistry with everyone he's in a scene with. The writing for him is... inconsistent at best, but he's been the recipient for what I think is the most intriguing concept the new series has had so far - the concept of the Doctor being a Military General/Officer. We've been given hints of the Doctor being an Aristocrat in the reboot (and I believe it was pretty much an open idea for some of the pre-reboot Doctors), but the idea of him being a military officer (even metaphorically) is something that Doctor Who has always seemed to shy away from. I'd like to see them dive into that idea with Danny Pink.

And for [bleeps] sake, get rid of Clara. She was an awesome character when she was the Impossible Girl, showing up as almost the exact same character in different places in time and space, only to die a tragic/heroic death that made you wonder just who she was. Then they turned her into the official Companion and in either the very first episode or the very second episode, they undid all the good they had done with her up to that point. And the writing for the character has gotten steadily worse ever since. She's like the reverse Mickey; he started off as a horrible character who ended up growing into a good character. She started off as a great character has has turned into a blah character.

I wasn't that sold on the episode the first time I saw it; it was okay, maybe not that great, but okay. Having seen it twice, it's grown on me. I didn't get the abortion subtext the first time around, though I can see how that could be read into it. I agree that the end scene was really good. Probably would've been better if they'd had more time to flesh out the story.

Two things I wish they would change are getting rid of the mumbling and to make a cleaner break with Matt Smith's Doctor. Seriously; I have to keep putting on subtitles to watch this series. I like that Capaldi is more intense and soft-spoken, but you can be both and still be able to get your lines across to the audience. The 'clean-break' thing is smaller, but still important; they need to get Capaldi his own (music) theme and his own screwdriver (I thought the old west-type theme from the first episode was good). Keeping stuff from the previous Doctor sends a mixed message, like not even the show is that enthusiastic about the new Doctor. And if the show isn't, the viewers won't be, either.

shadowmagus:
Oh boo-hoo. The Doctor isn't a funy and cheeky alien there to whisk maidens around the galaxy. Stuff it. You should have known the type of Doctor we were going to get when they cast Capaldi. Not that he can't do a certain amount of levity but seriously, have you seen the roles this guy takes?!

I agree; and people should also remember that even in his earlier 'Who-verse' roles, he wasn't exactly doing light stuff - hell, in his Torchwood role, he kills his entire family and then himself.

Peter Capaldi is not Matt Smith - his Doctor isn't going to be like Smith's, and I think part of the problem is that partly the show needs to be more supportive of this new Doctor, and make that clean break with the past. And partly, maybe we the viewers need to cut them some slack - not too much, but some. :)

- THM

In my opinion, Clara should've stopped when she fulfilled the Impossible Girl status at the end of the last season.

I like how dark the Doctor is getting in his old age and (maybe?) final regeneration. It really shows how grouchy and negative he could've been all this time and makes you appreciate what he used to be. I think he's going to reconcile with Clara at some point, maybe become a bit less gruff.

But if they go nowhere with this darker side of him, I'm gonna shake my fist and stuff. Norly, I will.

harpere:
Are we really saying that between 2014 and 2049 not only will none of those programs have made any progress but they won't even exist anymore?

Maybe. Because those programs depend on future politics and economy. Those programs could had been canceled from here to 2049 because of wars and overthrown goverments. Prediction of human civilization isn't an exact science (psychohistory hasn't been created... yet)

castlewise:
I didn't like it until I thought about it a bit. I think the thing with the egg dissolving and everything working out is supposed to be total BS. See, the practical choice is to kill the moon creature, it has to be. Sometimes you have to sacrifice for the good of the many (ask Typhoid Mary) and its sad but it happens. Only someone with the Doctor's knowledge and foresight could know that things would turn out OK. Its total BS that it does turn out OK, but that's the point. Clara (and the audience) couldn't have known things would turn out well if the creature was saved. But she did what the Doctor would have wanted her to do, against the wishes of the entire planet even. That's why what she does is so annoying and why she's so mad at the end. The Doctor is making her like him, except she doesn't have the capacity to do that kind of thing responsibly.

Nor does the Doctor, he needs a companion to balance him out.
This time he had the foresight to "bud out" and rightfully so.
unlike in "The waters of Mars", there he chooses to interfere at a fixed point and messes up.

So i don't think Clara's anger was entirely justified.
Although she doesn't have to like making that choice, i think the doctor was right by letting her(them) make it.

The dialog in the last 2 episodes between Clara and the Doctor was mostly arguing and yelling.
There were rumors of Clara leaving after this season, and i must say with how things are now i am starting to belief them.

Liking these reviews, though I wish the phrase 'cord cutters' & where to watc the show didn't jarringly reappear as if pasted from the first one every time...

I'm delighted to get that info, just.. yikes, that really feels shoved into an otherwise great bit of writing.

Currently trying not to build an effigy of Moffat to burn after that episode...

It's not that it's bad at all, I'm just getting increasingly weary of this violent, slap happy abusive Clara, and the Doctor's bizarrely erratic (even for him) moods.

I didn't even think about the terrible science, I was too distracted by the doctor being written, once again, as a massive asshole. I really, really hope that it gets better, and that Capaldi isn't blamed for it. I like capaldi's portrayal, but I get the feeling the writers are getting carried away with making this a less "nice" doctor.

I found the episode to be pretty mixed. A few moments were nice but many others were just strange or bad.

And in the end the thing somehow lays a new egg, directly after hatching, that has the same gravitational pull as the old moon. How conveniently stupid. If they wanted a new moon, why not make the thing into a phoenix? It hatches, flies around the globe for a few days (glowing brightly) looking for others of its kind. Then it "dies" and goes back into its egg. They could also have used the "last alien of its kind, so alone" to make the Doctor not look like a massive twat.

Boba Frag:
Liking these reviews, though I wish the phrase 'cord cutters' & where to watc the show didn't jarringly reappear as if pasted from the first one every time...

It's definitely being copy-pasted, the same typo is there every week.

Up until the eggshell dissolving and the moon immediately being replaced, I thought the episode was fine. Not good, not bad, just...fine. The thing that's really getting to me about Capaldi's Doctor isn't his attitude towards other people, it's how he seems incapable of understanding day-to-day human existence. It could be an interesting quirk of his new personality if it was just played off here and there so we could have a laugh and move on, but it's constantly being shoved into our faces with no chance to cool down. See the whole "Soldier/Maths Teacher" argument that permeated last week's episode for an example.

Deimir:

Boba Frag:
Liking these reviews, though I wish the phrase 'cord cutters' & where to watc the show didn't jarringly reappear as if pasted from the first one every time...

It's definitely being copy-pasted, the same typo is there every week.

Up until the eggshell dissolving and the moon immediately being replaced, I thought the episode was fine. Not good, not bad, just...fine. The thing that's really getting to me about Capaldi's Doctor isn't his attitude towards other people, it's how he seems incapable of understanding day-to-day human existence. It could be an interesting quirk of his new personality if it was just played off here and there so we could have a laugh and move on, but it's constantly being shoved into our faces with no chance to cool down. See the whole "Soldier/Maths Teacher" argument that permeated last week's episode for an example.

Glad I'm not the only one who was getting a twitch over the eye about that...

You nailed it, that's exactly what the problem with the writing at the moment- quirks are being over used & shoved in our faces as somehow a relevant plot or character development point.

Again, I dread the overall arc of the series coming to anything that isn't pure guff.
Yep, spot on again about the 'Soldier/Maths teacher' clunk. I don't mind the Doctor being more alien, I do mind him forgetting several centuries worth of memories of dealing with humans...

Also.... When do we get our Hunt for Gallifrey arc??

Sorry, rant over... Also that barn they visited during Listen doesn't count!

harpere:
Doctor Who's "Kill the Moon" Is a Mess of Pseudoscience

The Doctor takes Clara and Courtney, one of her students, on a lunar field-trip. It's no surprise that things go terribly wrong.

Read Full Article

Who the hell watches Doctor Who looking for realistic, or even marginally consistent, science? It's like watching Star Wars and complaining that the sound in space and space magic ruined it for you.

The Doctor is not always going to be a nice guy. The First Doctor nearly murdered an injured, helpless man because he was holding them up when they were trying to escape. The Third Doctor was hideously sexist at times in the beginning. The Fourth Doctor snapped a man's neck with his bare hands without batting an eyelash. The Sixth Doctor nearly murdered his companion, verbally abused her when they started out, and made jokes while two men melted to death in a vat of acid. The Seventh Doctor psychologically tormented his companion in order to mold her into the woman he wanted her to be. Then there was the war. And let's not forget about the Time Lord Victorious.

Some incarnations of the Doctor are nice people down to their core. (And even they have moments of saying unkind things in the heat of the moment.) Most of them aren't.

Besides, Twelve was right. What did they want him to do, hold their hand and guide them through making a decision that would affect their entire race? Why does he always have to have that decision on his shoulders when there are people right there who are perfectly capable of making the decision on their own.

Was he a dick about it? Sure. He was pissed off. The stupid blonde astronaut's first question was how to kill a living being. Everything went wrong from that moment. You can see it on his face. From that moment, he was flat-out done. Clara had every right to be angry, but the shit coming out of her mouth made no sense. In fact, the dialogue throughout the entire episode was an utter mess. And the very idea that Clara would be uncertain if the Doctor would leave them to die is utterly ludicrous. Being a dick =/= being an evil bastard that leaves innocent people (including a child) to die just because one of them said something to make him angry. Clara should have known this, and should have expressed more confidence.

In the end...I don't think new writers should be given episodes that have this much character arc weight. Especially not new writers who obviously don't get the show, or Twelve. Twelve has never been utterly rotten to the core. Twelve cares about Clara's well-being.

Oh, and on the subject of special, no...Courtney isn't special. She's the kind of kid you find at a school that's the school bully, to the point of even bullying the teachers. She's a horrible child and will grow up to be the kind of person the Doctor fights against. Screw her. Whatever happened to the days when it was the underdog that was given the special treatment, rather than the school bully? "You kicked a hole in my life!" Yeah, well, maybe now you know how the kids and teachers you probably abuse at school feel.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here