While I’m not planning to go into a lot of plot details, it’s likely that the random mutterings that follow will reveal some things you might prefer not to know if you haven’t seen the episode yet, so in my usual way, I’ll include this warning:
The Doctor agrees to take the occasionally annoying, but generally entertaining, Courtney along for a ride in the Tardis. Clara, being Courtney’s teacher, thinks this is a Bad Idea. So quite naturally, the Doctor takes her along anyway, arriving on the Moon just as Something Strange is happening, which suggests that either the Doctor had a Cunning Plan or the Tardis is doing its old trick of taking him where he needs to be…
The Moon has, unaccountably, greatly increased in mass, causing massive destructive tides on Earth. As humans aren’t all that bothered about space flight at this particular point, it’s an ageing crew in a refurbished space shuttle that arrive to investigate, and if necessary, take action – though the plan of demolishing the Moon with a load of old nuclear weapons didn’t strike me as all that well thought-out.
Fun follows with nasty spider-like thingies and the real nature of the Moon being revealed. But as ever, the real story is about Clara trying to understand the new version of the Doctor, and in this case, totally failing. Which is perhaps understandable, as the Doctor does something quite unusual – rather than wading in and telling everyone what to do, he steps back and forces the humans to make a decision. He claims that it’s a point in time that isn’t clear to him – something like the opposite of those “fixed points in time” where he can’t change a thing, except when he loses the plot a bit, as in The Waters of Mars, of course. Is this really the final straw for Clara? Will she really abandon all that time and space stuff and settle down with Danny? Well, obviously not. Well, not yet, anyway….
The lunar surface was portrayed by the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote with some very nice colour treatment to make it look like the actual Moon’s surface. More on the location shoot in the latest Doctor Who Extra:
More fun next week with an episode involving a train in space and someone’s mummy. Err, a mummy.