Review Kill the Moon (2014)

Doctor Omega


The author makes exc...... explains that whole moon is an egg thing.........

PETER HARNESS: Well, that's a big question... And I think it's a difficulty with Kill the Moon.

My thoughts on this are going to be a bit rambling and unfocused, so please forgive that.

I think the fact that the Doctor absents himself from the process and leaves Clara, Courtney and Lundvik - the humans, the representatives of planet Earth - to make the decision for themselves - is uncomfortable and hard to work out for a lot of people who watched it. I guess that's one of the (many) problems that people have with the episode. And, to be honest, I find it tricky myself - as I believe I should do.

Because I don't believe that it's the purpose of a writer or a storyteller to instruct the audience what to think. I think it's the purpose of a writer to entertain, to provoke emotion, to provoke debate, and ultimately, not to come down on either side. To show a whole bunch of characters who are doing what they happen to think is right, and to allow the audience to engage with that, to have an intellectual as well as emotional response to the story. I don't want to package the moral of the story up in a neat little parcel and tie it with a bow.

As a writer, I don't necessarily know all the answers. And I don't believe that I should. I think that drama is a two-way process. The writer and the actors present something for the audience to take away and think about.

I think that the Doctor talks about grey areas at some point in the script. And I guess, looking back on it, that this is what I subconsciously or otherwise wanted to explore. The whole moral decision, the actions of the Doctor, and Clara's response to it - I think they're all grey areas. Areas in which nobody is totally right or totally wrong. And even though I wasn't specifically trying to write an allegory about abortion or the right to choose, I think the fact that a lot of people read it as such an allegory is interesting. Because basically, the whole right-to-life versus right-to-choose debate is a complex moral debate, with plenty of grey areas; one which deserves serious thought and understanding from both sides, but which instead is more often than not polarised into one side being right and the other being wrong.

We live in very binary times. In which it seems that one has to subscribe to one polar-opposite view or another. Whereas, in fact, I believe that the majority of human experience takes place in the grey areas in between.

I think that Kill the Moon is about how difficult it is to make decisions, how there are so many shades of grey within people's characters. And what you're talking about in terms of how people treat their heroes is perhaps a part of this.

Basically, for me, every character in that story has their flaws, and their good points, and deserves to be understood. Nobody comes out of it 100% blameless or 100% guilty. And I think that's probably the way it should be. I'd never make a moral judgement on any of my characters. Nobody's perfect. And to understand all about any one person is to forgive all.

I still like Kill the Moon very much. In fact, I think it's probably my favourite of all my Doctor Who stories, because I think it's the trickiest, and because it divides people so much.

I understand that people think the science is crazy and unscientific, but all the science in Doctor Who is crazy and unscientific. I could have chosen to plaster it over with technobabble, but I didn't, because I thought that anyone who had a problem with the silliness of the science could just make up their own technobabble. I understand that people think the fact that the Moon is an egg is a silly idea, but all the ideas in Doctor Who are silly, they just don't happen to effect something that you can see in the sky every night. And the kids that I know who watched it think that the fact that the Moon is an egg is a very magical thing. I know that many people were enjoying the episode up until that point where the Doctor says, "the Moon's an egg", and afterwards, they thought it was the worst thing they'd ever seen since Time and the Rani, but so be it. I want to take such risks, and I want to surprise people and I suppose, a natural consequence of that is that sometimes people will think it's too much or too silly. But I think in Doctor Who, more than any other show, you need to keep on pushing at the boundaries.

And I love the fact that people argue about Kill the Moon, that it provokes so much debate. Because that's what I think drama should do. If you please everyone then probably you're doing something wrong.

The Seeker

Member: Rank 6
Eh, there are degrees of silliness, and this was silly to the Nth degree.

I noticed it got a high rating over at Planet Mondas. That's ... well, I guess that's the audience he's writing for.