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Cobwebs and Spiders – Review of Doctor Who Kill The Moon

I love a good genre shift in a movie or TV series. Do you?

My favourite happens in the film “The Descent”.

It starts out as a girly buddy movie. A group of girls go on an outdoor adventure. Abseiling down cliff, pot-holing in dark caves and helping each other across deep crevasses. One of them gets trapped. Tense scenes follow until her companions free her.

About 45 minutes in the film becomes a horror movie. Suddenly the caves are full of ravenous monsters. They hunt the girls. Blood spills. Gore coats the walls of the caves.

The genre shift from buddy movie to horror shocks you and advances the plot in an unexpected direction.

Review of Doctor Who Kill The Moon

Kill the Moon has a genre shift. For the first 25 minutes we are in a remake of “Alien”.  A dark moon base. Torch light sweeping across deserted cobwebbed rooms. The sounds of scurrying in the shadows. Stolen glimpses of monstrous spiders. Sudden attacks and gruesome deaths.

Kudos to Paul Wilmshurst then. Well directed and genuinely scary you’re best watching the first half of the episode from behind the sofa.

But then the genre shifts. From horror movie to morality play. The moon is infact an egg about to hatch a creature that might destroy the Earth. Should they try to destroy the creature and potentially save the human race? Or will the hatching prove innocuous anyway?

An interesting concept but the Doctor does a runner and leaves Clara and Hermoine Norris’s character to decide. He only reappears when they make the (right) decision to allow the birth of the creature. Is this. A test for Clara or a test for the morality of the entire human species?

Whatever the Doctor had in mind Clara is unimpressed. In a scene building all season she finally tires of his new abrasive personality. She tells him to take a hike.

“Go away. You go a long way away.”

And the Doctor just thought he was helping.

I loved the horror genre section. I’m not sure about morality play. It certainly fits with the Doctor’s new persona and show runner Stephen Moffat obviously knows what he is doing. But as in The Caretaker, I find theme pushed too far.

Peter Capaldi is consistently strong but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to like him. Is that Moffat’s plan. For the softening of the Doctor’s more alien persona to be the theme of the show.

Until we like him again.

Isn’t that a bit of a risk?

Now it’s your turn:

Do you agree with my review of Doctor Who Kill The Moon? Please post a comment or share a link to your own review.