Peter Harness’ first script for Doctor Who better not be his sole contribution to the programme on the strength of this episode, which gives us some very clear insight into how the 12th Doctor regards his relationship with humanity, as well as providing some really chilling moments. The Caretaker didn’t really need its 8.30 pm slot (bar the shot of the policeman’s charred hand); Kill the Moon most certainly does for some of the scenes featuring the spiders that we saw in the trailer. In DWM, Harness talks about being told to Hinchcliffe the shit out of the story; he follows his brief!
There are some surface similarities with David Tennant’s penultimate adventure, The Waters of Mars, with a strong female astronaut, a key point in Earth’s history, and aliens that need to be dealt with. Hermione Norris is given some strong material to work with in a story in which, because of the dilemmas involved, you really do not know how things will turn out – this isn’t a “how will they do it”, it really is “what will they do?”
Jenna Coleman has stepped up to every challenge presented to her this season, and continues to do so in Kill the Moon. Clara has a responsibility for Courtney, which she never forgets even amid much wider considerations, and the rapport between Coleman and Ellis George will hopefully be exploited further. Capaldi is similarly given plenty of challenges in this story – including where he has his equivalent of Tom Baker’s “I walk in eternity” moment with Clara.
Verdict: One of the best stories of the season to date. 8/10