I don’t know. So much about this episode is just plain wrong. I mean really wrong. It started out with an intriguing premise – the mass of the moon changing and screwing the tides, etc., a good enough sci-fi premise.
The arrival of unicelluar ‘germs’ the size of dustbins and resembling lava powered spiders . . . well . . . okay, I’ll go with that . . .sort of The moon being a giant egg containing some weird creature that automatically shit’s out an egg that bigger than itself . . . oooooooookay, I think we may have just jumped over the line from good tea-time fun to sub Heavy Metal bullshit. Was this plot designed by Chris Foss? Chris Achilleos? Roger Dean, maybe?
The laying of the egg, seconds after birth; the egg larger than the creature that laid it; that it was all off screen further compounded the stupidity. And you know eggs dont get heavier as the chick grows, right? So, the whole mass thing was dumb.
Oh. So. Much. Wrong
It was kind of cool.
Sort of. Bit’s of it.
Okay, there was a lot that was good about it – the aforementioned initial premise, the spikey relationship, the emotional explosion, the build up of atmophere. The sections on the moon were fantastically done; the direction was pretty good too – but the beginning, middle and end all belonged to different stories.
It was a lot of faffing to get from ‘moon mass’ to ‘emotional explosion’ and very little of it made sense – not least the creature in the Moon bit. I mean, really? The Moon, our Moon, has been seen in countless Doctor Who stories set post-2049 and it has the same pattern of plains, seas and meteor strikes as the old one. Really? Noone mention the moon was an egg before?
What is angering me about this season is that the Doctor Who-ness is becoming irrelevent. It’s Doctor Who as a backdrop for Coupling. I really, really want some *proper* Doctor Who again.
Now, the thing is, the relationship stuff is brilliantly written. It’s fantastic, rich and entertaining, but is it Doctor Who? Why is “Coupling” wearing Doctor Who’s clothing?
I mean, I loved Coupling. It was a bloody good programme. But Doctor and Coupling are not now, and never should be THE SAME FUCKING PROGRAMME!
Okay. More good stuff…
The Doctor is turning out – after last weeks marvellous episode – to be a truly intriguing incarnation, with the bad-tempered inhumanness of Colin Baker and the “something’s going on” mystery of Sylvester McCoy – although the Yoyo harked back to Tom Baker – and I’m really warming to him, at last.
Clara continues to be utterly brilliant and steals the show again. That she is able to stand up to the Doctor and tell him he is wrong . . . well we haven’t seen that since the much missed Donna Noble. I do hope he’s beginning to learn, though. Otherwise the climax will be sort of wasted. Interesting that Clara wasn’t in the ‘ coming next week’ bit, though.
What’s interesting, though is that either by design or coincidence, they seem to be pulling the original Tardis Crew back together – Irrascible and grumpy old bloke, two teachers in a relationship and a teenaged girl…. I mean what is Courtney about?
She’s potentially a great character, but given that she seems to be there to get the youth vote to identify with the programme – just in case they don’t go for an older Doctor – sticking it on at 8:30 seems to undo that work. Baffling.
But the worst thing about this episode is that it seemed like the writer had a few good scenes in his head, but couldn’t think of a decent way to join those images up. Those scenes were bloody great, in isolation, but really, despite some cool bits, this episode was a total dogs dinner.