Steven Moffat's original brief to writer Peter Harness instructed him to "Hinchliffe the sh*t out of" Kill The Moon. But it wasn't just the style of the episode, there were lots of moments referencing the past, as Andrew Jero explores...
The first word that comes to mind immediately after viewing Kill The Moon is awesome! I am continually impressed by Capaldi’s incarnation of the Doctor; he is leaps and bounds above the other recent Doctors, Eccleston, Tennant and Smith.
There were several references in this story to past adventures. Aside from the return, once again, of the orange space suit, let’s address the most recent one, the Tennant reference from Blink. When the Doctor tells Courtney to grab a DVD off of one of the bookshelves and put it into the console it references back to when the Tenth Doctor had Sally and Larry put a DVD in the console so that the TARDIS will come back to the Doctor in 1969.
Going all the way back to the Second Doctor's era, there was a Troughton reference in the form of the well-used line, “When I say run, run.”
On to the Tom Baker references, first, the Bennett Oscilator, the yo-yo and the speech at the end about human kind are all references to the season twelve story, The Ark In Space.
The line from Lundvik, “When that button gets pressed it stays pressed” is a reference to the season twelve story, Genesis of the Daleks, when the Doctor almost kills Davros and presses his life support button. As well as the dilemma over killing an innocent neophyte being, which first brought us the brilliant “Do I have the right?” speech.
We almost got a similar speech at the end from Clara when she decided to yell at the Doctor about him sitting back, letting things be and leaving them on the moon to decide the fate of the dragon-esque creature.
This episode has escalated Capaldi as the Doctor for me. I loved his remarks about how special Courtney is now, and that she becomes the President of the United States, all after complaints from Clara about the Doctor not telling Courtney that she’s special. I felt with the episodes outcome that the Doctor’s actions (rather the lack thereof) were justified, and that Clara way overreacted about it.
Capaldi continues to impress me more and more with his performances each week. His Doctor seems to be an amalgamation of the best parts of Doctor's One to Four, and all the continuing references make the episodes a treat to view. They are small drop-ins, throwaway lines and snippets that likely go over the head of many viewers, especially those who have only watched the newer series, but for us lifelong Whovians they are the icing on the cake in what has been a run of amazing episodes.
Could next week's episode, Mummy on the Orient Express, have a reference to the Tom Baker story Pyramids of Mars?
I would not be surprised if it did.
Andrew lives in Iowa and has a very strong love of both Red Dwarf and
Doctor Who. He enjoys acting and writing plays, television scripts,
and short stories. Follow Andrew on Twitter.