12th Doctor Peter CapaldiFor some people, the current Doctor is hard to know and even more difficult to like. They now includes Clara Oswald, who is shocked by the Doctor’s decision of what to do to deal with  a crumbling moon. This leads to a decision that some have been predicting for some time…but it may be the end of her travels in the TARDIS.

In “Kill the Moon”, the Doctor, Clara and a hitchhiking Courtney travel to the moon 35 years into the future. The episode begins with Clara and Courtney broadcasting to the Earth that it has to make a choice: kill an innocent life or sacrifice the Earth.

Doctor Who CourtneyThen, the story goes back to earlier that day, when Clara tells the Doctor that Courtney (Ellis George) has been using his psychic paper to get alcohol. Seems that she’s upset he said she wasn’t special, and even sneaked into the ship. He suggests that she can be special…by being the first girl on the moon.

They land on the moon, but in 2049 and inside a long-obsolete space shuttle that’s loaded with nuclear bombs. They learn from a woman named Lundvik (Hermione Norris) the Moon has been acting strangely, causing massive high tides flooding much of the planet. The moon’s gravity is even heavier, according to the Doctor’s yo-yo. Lundvic reveals mankind has stopped traveling to the stars, which is why they had to borrow the space shuttle from a museum.

It looks like the moon has been invaded by strange spiders from under ground. It’s also causing major cracks under the surface. The truth, though, is even stranger:  the Doctor says the Moon is really an egg, with a very unique creature inside. This sets up a very interesting discussion:  should a newborn creature be destroyed to save the Earth? Imagine that discussion on cable news of the future. The Doctor makes a decision: it’s up to Clara and Lundvik, because it’s not his moon and Earth. So. he hops on his TARDIS and leaves.

Doctor Who Kill the Moon BLundvik says the creature should be destroyed, because pieces of the moon could hit the earth. Also, the creature could reach the planet and cause more damage. So, it’s best to use the nuclear bombs so that she, Clara and Courtney die to save the Earth. That’s when Clara broadcasts to the Earth, asking it to make the choice. If they want the creature to live, leave their lights on. The vote is unanimous:  they want the creature to die.

Clara doesn’t. She stops the bomb…just as the TARDIS shows up. Of course the Doctor shows up, and he sends her, Lundvik and Courtney to Earth. The Moon hatches….and nothing happens. However, the Doctor says the event does force the human race to look up and see what’s out there. It winds up reviving space travel. The creature also lays an egg, which will become the earth’s new moon. That result seems to wrap up things a bit too tidy.

Not so, though. Clara is still very upset the Doctor left her to decide the fate of the creature and the Earth. She thought that was patronizing, but he says it was a sign of respect that she would make the right decision. It also made Courtney feel more special. Clara won’t have any part of this. She points out that the Earth is his home, too, and that the moon is his moon. He should have helped rather than leave. She’s had enough of him and the TARDIS, and tells both to get lost. She meets Danny, (Samuel Anderson) but he’s not sure she has completely broken things off with the Doctor.

Doctor Who Kill the Moon CClara’s decision to end her travels with the Doctor will likely encourage more rumors that Jenna Coleman will leave the show after the Christmas special. The current Doctor is not the Doctor she joined a year before. His regeneration made him a man she’s not so eager to travel with. In a way, she represents many Who fans who think Peter Capaldi isn’t as fun as Matt Smith or David Tennant. Thing is, that’s not his job. The Doctor is an alien who takes very difficult decisions that are not always popular. Clara may be mad now, but she’s bound to be tempted to hop aboard the big blue box once again.

Capaldi was also a hit when he appeared with Denzel Washington on the Graham Norton Show later that night. A previous story showed some clips about him writing fan letters to the BBC and how he almost leaked the news about his new role while working on another series. Here, he talks about his modeling career.

Next week:  the Doctor rides the Orient Express in space, and battles a mummy.

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