This is really going to be a flash review. And it is not a favorable one. Which I hate to say, but damn, this sucked.
1. It's not as bad, for me, as "42," my go-to for worst New Who episode ever. Not quite.
2. It is, however, BB's choice for worst, and I completely understand. I mean, he's angry. He doesn't do angry for Who, he's not as invested as I am, so he can watch it with more of a sense of perspective and humor. But "Kill the Moon" did it for him, or to him. With him, as he said, it's the pure mindless stupidity of the plot, which, as he said, breaks even the flimsy framework of Whoniverse skience. And I'll be honest, I, who am the cheapest of cheap dates for Who, thought this was bad. In fact, I felt insulted by it. Why? Hmmm;
a) Bacteria that look like spiders. Riiiight..
b) The moon lacking any minerals. Riiiiight ... those moon rocks that geologists have been studying for years are what, then? *nods in BB's direction*
c) Did the writer stop to think that, when an egg is laid, all its mass is already there? A chicken's egg doesn't get heavier as the chick develops; it eats up the available mass in the yolk. But, no, of course not, he didn't, he just thought that a developing creature would add more mass.
d) The writer has the Doctor state that the moon's been around for 100,000 million years. BZZZT, wrong answer. It's about 4.7 billion years old. Bit off, there.
Why should this matter in Dr. Who, home of laughable science? Because when you make mistakes this basic in a story where SKIENCE!!!! is supposed to be the main plot point - not, say, a character episode, or a horror episode, or a mystery, or a historical romp - then at least pretend to care about science that would impress, say, a fifth grade student. Make your pretend science at least that good. And if you can't do that, then make us not care because the other aspects of the show are good; the characters, the moral questions, the what-have-you. This failed that test.
3.It failed because of scattered and slapdash writing, the lack of a center, the lack of characters that I care about, the lack of infrastructure to draw the characters into the plot. It tells me things, in the middle of this gormless mess of words, it tells me there's an important philosophical question being asked, but it isn't showing me why it's important; in fact it's doing the opposite, it's making me angry that I'm supposed to feel a certain way when it's pretty clear, logical - and fucking ethical - to feel the exact opposite. It's telling me things about Clara and the Doctor and their relationship, but it's not showing it to me. Worse, it's not sure what it's telling me to think. It's just bad writing.
4. Jenna acted the hell out of it. Capaldi acted the hell out of it. Even Ellis George did admirably. But they can only do so much when they're given such atrocious material to work with.
5. This makes "The Caretaker" admirable by comparison. It makes "Listen" damn near a masterpiece.
7. But I have high hopes for next week. Yes, of course I'll come back. I love these characters!
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