This story in a nutshell: It's all in the title...
Sparkling Dialogue: 'Little moments where big things are decided. And this is one of them.'
'The Moon's an egg...' - enjoy this moment, it might be the only point when Capaldi's Doctor smiles in the entire episode. He's clearly tickled by this insane development, something that even he wouldn't have conceived. The universe can still surprise him.
'It's your Moon, womankind. It's your choice.'
'Get back in your lonely bloody TARDIS and don't come back.'
* And spiders? Come on, you know that is going to be a winner. They worked a treat in Planet of the Spiders when they were leaping onto peoples backs and they provide a thrilling (and terrifying if you are arachnophobic) monster for this story. Clearly the work of CGI, that doesn't make them any less skin crawling as they are scuttling over the walls at a rate of knots, leaping at victims with giant fangs and dribbling saliva and nesting in a dark crevice on the Moon, legs twisted together, crawling on top of one another and leaping out to attack unsuspecting visitors. It would have taken a real numbskull to mess this one up because two thirds of the audience are already terrified at the though of seeing a spider. But I have to say the director did a great job of taking the horror as far as it can go in the time slot, especially the attack on Courtney and sudden shock as the Doctor is leapt at from the nest. Very well done.
* I cannot in all good conscience provide a critical appraisal of this episode and neglect to discuss how stunning the production values are this week. I was quite taken aback by the quality of the production and how a trip to the moon was pulled off with cinematic visuals on a BBC budget. Whoever had the notion to use the volcanic plains of Lanzerote to double for the Moon's surface deserves a massive round of applause because the ensuing shots of the deserted landscape are just gorgeous. Doctor Who has presented quite a few versions of the Moon's surface and most of them have been pretty good but to have actors out on location in such vast space truly sells the notion of the unending desolation on the lunar surface.
* It helps that the direction was a damn sight more imaginative than usual too. The dissolve of the moon into Clara's eye, connecting the orbiting body and the character in a visually arresting way provides the key to this episodes central dilemma without uttering a word.
* There are two musical themes this year that I have fallen a little bit in love with. One I am calling 'the Doctor Reacts', which is the blood pumping, pacy score that accompanies the more exciting moments of the season (such as the ship screaming down to the Moon in this episode). The other is 'The Doctor Muses' which is the unnerving, darker motif that plays every time he is deliberately try to creep people out (and sounds remarkably similar to and yet entirely unlike Stannis Boratheon's theme in Game of Thrones). Listen out for it when the Doctor talks about the gravity levels on the Moon, pointing out the inexactness of the situation. Add to that the piece that plays as the Doctor and his companions reach the Mexican colony and study the surface photos of the Moon. You're in no doubt that the shit has hit the fan...and is about to do so again.
* We've been told that the Moon is getting heavier, we have the evidence of its newfound gravity and suddenly it starts splitting apart (in one glorious shot taking the shuttle down one of its cracks). This is suddenly a race against time to prevent a natural disaster and that always creates a sense of tension. But what on Earth is up with the Moon? Oh yeah, it's an egg. Hang on...what? The Moon that has been hanging in the sky longer than any of us have been on this Earth is a living creature gestating inside a shell. That's insane. It's whacky. It's impossible. It's so out there that half of fandom's love for the show shrivelled up and wilted away to nothing. It's just madness. I love it. It's as brilliant and bold and imaginative as a man with two hearts and the ability to regenerate travelling around time and space in a box that is bigger on the inside than the outside. It's the sort of crazy ideas that Doctor Who has been dining out on for 50 years. Scientifically it might be absurd (especially in relation to it hatching and the seas failing to let rip on the planet) but creatively it is one of the riskiest and bravest twists that Doctor Who has ever attempted. I was applauding.
* Suddenly this predictable, Hinchcliffe horror has become much more interesting, and consequently because of Lundvik's suggestion that they kill the creature and prevent it from hatching, a whole lot darker too. I personally found the second half of Kill the Moon far more engaging because suddenly the show was firing on all thrusters again, not dallying in a formula from the past (which so many episodes this year have been guilty of) but pushing for a dark, philosophical debate over an outrageous concept. It's more innovative than the show has been for year. You have three women discussing the rights and wrong of abortion. Those who choose not to see that are ignoring the evidence of their own eyes. Lundvik, Clara and Courtney have to make the decision whether to abort a child or destroy the Earth. It's an overwhelming decision and Clara buckles under the pressure. What a terrible position to put her in (and by golly it is about time).
* Taking Courtney back to the TARDIS is a weird diversion from the story. I feel that once they reached the base the story should have remained there for maximum claustrophobia. The scene of her huffing and puffing in the ship hardly enamours her to the audience.
* A shame that once the purpose of the spiders is revealed that the writer and director ditch the idea of making them scary again. They become a bit irrelevant to the story, proving they were just there to kill time in the first place.
* The lights going off around the world? That all happens terribly quickly. It's one of those times when a big decision has to be made in a hurry because there simply isn't any time for it to play out at a more relaxed, thoughtful pace. The fact that the people of the Earth chose to kill the creature genuinely surprised me though, I thought there would be more lights left on. I guess we are a self-preserving species above all else after all.
* Even I had trouble with the creature inside the Moon laying another egg to take its place. Since when does a creature have the capacity to lay an egg at birth that is of larger mass than itself? Let's just assume this is an extraordinary species that we don't understand and hop along.
Result: 'It's time to take the stabilisers off your bike...' I think I might be turning a corner with season eight. With the advent of Kill the Moon (and Mummy on the Orient Express for anybody who might be interested) that is four of the last five episodes that have ranked from good to great. Kill the Moon was written by a new writer to the series and it shows because it isn't resting on the laurels of the past but pushing ahead with something unique and groundbreaking (hoho). The fact that fan reaction to the extraordinary twist that the Moon is an egg was so divisive proves that he must be doing something right, until this point in the season I don't think there has been anything worth getting this het up about. This was a massive risk and for some (like me) it paid off in spades. I love how the episode shifts gears from your traditional Doctor Who spook fest (which the director pulled off with some gusto) to something much more dramatically substantial and philosophical. For once an episode tossed out the timey wimey clever cleverness and actually seemed to be about something. Whereas I have been slouching back and enjoying the show for what it is in season eight there were three times in Kill the Moon when I bolted upright on the edge of my seat and really paid attention (for the record it was the egg twists, the Doctor choosing to exonerate himself from responsibility and Clara's devastating accusations in the closing TARDIS scene). There is so much to admire about this episode; the stunning filming in Lanzerote, the arachnophobiacs nightmare, the standout performances of Capaldi and especially Coleman who truly proves her worth in the devastating climax. I'll take a point away for the humourless and generally staid guest cast of characters and another because Courtney's presence baffles me but overall this joins Listen as the best episode of the year to date for me. I feel as if the season is gaining more momentum as it progresses and new regime is starting to click into place. It's nice to be so positive about the show again. More new writers please, it is clear that the Moffat era can still flourish with some new creative blood to back him up: 8/10