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Doctor Who - The Caretaker & Kill The Moon - Review: "Too Far Gone"

Episode 8.06: The Caretaker
Written by: Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat
Directed by: Paul Murphy
Airdate: 27 September 2014

Well, I really enjoy the John Smith episodes of the show. And it was no exception. Though I can't say I'm a fan of the Doctor vs. Danny situation. It always starts pretty badly when two good characters see things from a completely different perspective. Strange thing, if you consider the fact that both of them have actually many things in common and could easily work together if it wasn't for their prejudice and truly horrible circumstances. Definitely wouldn't like to be in Clara's shoes here. It seems like it's all heading towards a different kind of disaster this year. Not so sure if I'm going to be a fan of that. But for now... Let's talk about The Caretaker.

We start the episode with Clara trying to balance her two lives: the one where she travels through time and space with the Doctor and the one where she's just a regular teacher, trying to have a relationship with a fellow teacher - Danny Pink. And one day it all changes. The Doctor visits Clara only to tell her she can't join him this time, because he's going 'deep undercover' and later shows up at her school pretending to be a temporary caretaker, John Smith.

He's clearly not very good at it, barely changing his coat to adjust to the new place. He has quite a few funny interactions with Clara and meets Danny, introduced to him as a former soldier, who he keeps thinking is a PE teacher, not a Maths one, because of his background. He also fails to notice the fact that he looks just like Orson Pink he and Clara met just two episodes ago. The Doctor also meets another teacher, Adrian (with a bow tie and quite similar appearance to the Eleventh Doctor) who he believes to be Clara's new boyfriend. And Courtney, one of the students who becomes interested in him and the TARDIS. It doesn't take long for Clara to learn that the reason the Doctor's at the school is because he located a murderous robot called the Skovox Blitzer (with enough power to destroy the planet) nearby.

The Doctor plans to use an invisibility watch to avoid detection by the Skovox when he lures it to the empty school at night and sends the monster a billion years into the future thanks to the time vortex. He wants to generate a time displacement vortex using the devices he planted around the school. After explaining his plan to Clara he also mentions he approves of her boyfriend (he still thinks is Adrian) which is clearly a big relief for her. Unfortunately, Danny stays longer at the school, notices one of the strange devices and inadvertently changes its settings, thus only allowing the Doctor to send the robot 3 days into the future. He also walks into the room where the Doctor confronts the Skovox and for a moment believes that Clara's an alien and the Doctor's her father after seeing them together.

The Doctor and Danny argue, especially after the Time Lord learns that Pink is Clara's boyfriend. Clara reveals that she loves Danny and tells him the truth. When they're finally alone she tells him the whole story and admits that she keeps travelling with the Doctor because it's amazing and full of wonders. In order to show him who she is with the Doctor she gives him the invisibility watch and he enters the TARDIS with her. The Doctor discovers the deception very quickly and it leads to another argument between the two men. After Danny and Clara leave, the Doctor meets Courtney again and shows her the TARDIS. Then there's parents' evening at the school and at the same time, the deadly robot re-materializes, sooner than it was expected. The Doctor comes to Clara to help him distract the Skovox long enough for him to make his device work and stop the creature for good.

When Clara acts as a decoy, the Skovox doesn't go after the parents and teacher at the school but instead is drawn to the Doctor. Seeing Clara in danger, Danny chooses to follow her. He arrives just in time to distract the robot (using the watch) and buy Clara and the Doctor more time to stop the Skovox. The Doctor sends it drifting into space with Courtney as a passenger in the TARDIS but she gets sick and they have to come back. Meanwhile, Clara and Danny share a quiet moment at home where he tells her to let him know if one day the Doctor pushes her too far and she's going to need his help. She agrees. And in the last scene of the episode, we see a police officer, killed earlier in the episode by the Skovox, being interviewed by the man named Seb in The Promised Land. He learns about his death and notices Missy, apparently too busy to talk to him. The end.

Episode 8.07: Kill The Moon
Written by: Peter Harness
Directed by: Paul Wilmshurst
Airdate: 4 October 2014

After all the little moments between Clara and Twelve this season, him not showing he actually cares, her not being able to accept his new self, their conflict about Danny and more, it was all finally enough in Kill The Moon. As much as I absolutely enjoy watching Peter Capaldi's portrayal of the Doctor, I'm honestly still not sure what I think about Twelve. I kept waiting for the moment where he reveals more of his emotional side which is very often a part that really makes me feel more attached to the new Doctor but it's been seven episodes and still... nothing. Barely a glimpse at one point and a smile at another. Like I told you in my first review, I haven't had a chance to watch the Classic Who but I've recently heard that Twelve is actually quite similar to the old Doctors. Hmm... I guess I'm definitely more of Nine, Ten and Eleven fan then. I always love the connection, the bond between the characters, the Doctor and his Companions, so I can't really say I'm glad about how things are going this season. Hopefully the powerful scene at the end will have a big, positive impact and allow the two to work things out in the end. I'd hate to lose Clara, especially like that.

About the episode... The Doctor takes Clara and one of her students, Courtney Woods on a trip in the TARDIS. Apparently, after Courtney got sick in the time machine the last time, the Doctor told her she wasn't special and she didn't take it well. Side note: the same Doctor that keeps telling people how important they all are, says something so hurtful to a little girl. That's pretty much the definition of my current problem with Twelve. Anyway, the group lands on a Space Shuttle (filled with nuclear devices) and eventually crashes on the Moon in 2049. That's where they meet Captain Lundvik and two other astronauts. After an initial argument, she explains that they're on a suicide mission to blow up the Moon, because a few years back there was a sudden mass high tide, which killed significant number of people, took out most of Earth's artificial satellites and left the planet more vulnerable to natural disasters. The scientists believed the problem to be on the Moon and they decided that destroying it was the best option for humans to survive.

The Doctor reveals to Clara that the decision what's going to happen with the Moon is not a fixed moment in time and that it's going to happen right there and now, and he doesn't plan to make it himself. The group finds the Mexican colony where they want to discover the source of the change on the Moon, but they end up being attacked by the big spider-like creatures which kill two other astronauts who came with Lundvik. Courtney manages to stop one of the spiders when it goes after her, thanks to the disinfecting fluid she had with her. The Doctor comes to the conclusion that the creatures are very much like germs. He also returns a scared Courtney to the TARDIS and with Clara and Lundvik goes to check the cracks on the surface of the Moon. That's where they find many thousands of these spiders and the amniotic fluid nearby. The Doctor suddenly decides to leaves the rest behind for a while and disappears in the hole.

The Shuttle falls into one of the cracks on the surface so Clara and Lundvik return to the colony where the astronaut prepares to set the timer on the nuclear detonators. The Doctor soon comes back, with the TARDIS and Courtney safe inside. He explain to the group that he discovered that the Moon is actually an egg, a 100-million-year-old egg, with something inside ready to be born and the spiders as the equivalent of microbes on the egg. Lundvik is certain they should destroy the Moon and the creature inside to save people from the things it may cause to them in the future but Clara and Courtney struggle with the decision to end an innocent life (of a baby). When Clara asks the Doctor for his help, he refuses and leaves in the TARDIS to let them decide on their own. Abandoned by him on the Moon, the three must decide what to do before the egg hatches in about 90 minutes.

Clara, Courtney and Lundvik struggle with the choice: to kill an innocent one-of-his-kind, not even born yet creature or possibly cause the death of everyone on Earth. Eventually, Clara uses a simultaneous television broadcast to present the two choices to the people on the planet and ask them to make the decision together. She asks them to turn off their lights if they want to destroy the Moon or keep the lights on if they want to give the creature a chance to live. Eventually all the lights on Earth go out, the countdown on the nuclear devices is almost over but at the very last moment Clara chooses to stop the clock and save the creature. That's when the Doctor comes back, seeing their decision and takes them back to Earth as the Moon starts to crumble.

The four watch as the dragon-like creature inside the Moon hatches and flies away and the shell of the Moon disintegrates without affecting the Earth. The creature even leaves a new egg behind, a new Moon in Earth's orbit. The Doctor tells the rest that what happened that day with the Moon is what inspired people to travel to the stars and helped them to spread across the universe. Lundvik and Courtney go back to their homes and the Doctor and Clara stay to talk in the TARDIS. Clara, after hearing what the Doctor said to them about the humanity's future, starts to believe that he knew how the things are going to end from the start and instead of telling her the right thing to do, he left her alone to make a potentially terrible choice without him. She's angry that despite all his history with the Earth he didn't stay with them to help. Even though he convinces her he wanted to show her he respects her, knowing she's going to make the right decision, she breaks down and tells him to leave and never come back. Later at the school, Danny's there to comfort her and makes her realize she's not completely ready to move on from the Doctor yet. She cares too much. In the evening she goes home and looks out onto the Moon. The end.

Whovian notes and questions:
1. What did you think about the episodes? Which one you liked better? In my case it has to be The Caretaker. The comedy bits were brilliant and I enjoyed all the characters interactions much better. And really, I hate this conflict between the Doctor and Clara. Even though I do agree he's being wrong quite a few times this season.
2. Speaking of, the Doctor misinterpreting Clara's feelings lately and the age thing (What are you, 35?) sure seem to repeat quite often this season. Any other themes that you noticed and would to like to share/speculate about?
3. And once again, The Promised Land returns. And Missy. Any new theories?
4. So, did you wonder during "Kill the Moon" which choice would YOU make? Want to share?
5. A shout-out to Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman for their brilliant performances, especially in Kill the Moon! At least a few powerful moments with these two in these last episodes.
6. What do YOU think about Twelve? And Twelve and Clara? Where do YOU think/want them to go on from here?

Thank you for all the comments and for reading. Go ahead and share your thoughts about the episodes below. Till the next time!

Justyna JJ Kubica
22. Student. SpoilerTV Writer. Loves Movies, TV Shows (Doctor Who, Teen Wolf, Sherlock, Person Of Interest, Arrow, Supernatural (especially 1-5), Agents Of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, The Musketeers, Fringe, Psych, etc.) and Books (Harry Potter!). Fantasy & SciFi geek! Scene Of The Week articles author. Member of SpoilerTV team since 27th November 2011.
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