Houston we have a problem.
At the close of my spoiler free review for Listen, I wrote this:
"... we likely have the best episode of the series (it's going to be hard to beat) ..."Well, just three weeks later they've beaten it!
I'm very much against rating shows and movies, I've never done it for any other review because I know that these things are subjective, as we all appreciate different styles and stories. With that being said, if it's grown-up Doctor Who that you're craving then Kill The Moon is as close to 10 out of 10 as you are likely to find.
Make no mistake, this is proper drama. It's Doctor Who earning the 8.30pm time slot. Kill The Moon is scary, with echos of Waters of Mars about it, and that's not just because the Doctor is in his orange spacesuit again. The episode does have a rather bizarre premise - in the year 2049 the Moon has put on weight, and with no Zumba fitness classes for it to attend it is seriously affecting the Earth. Naturally, us Humans decide to nuke it... because we would, wouldn't we?
Here's where this weeks guest star Hermione Norris comes in. She plays Captain Lundvik, the leader of a team of astronauts sent to the moon in a shuffly old space shuttle, who, along with the TARDIS crew, discover an abandoned lunar base with a rather nasty arachnid problem. As well as being the size of a badger, these spiders look amazing, if you have even a twinge of arachnophobia about you then you'll find this uncomfortable viewing.
But writer Peter Harness has also made sure that those who aren't fussed by the thought of giant moon spiders will still find Kill The Moon a challenging experience, because the Doctor is faced with an impossible choice, and how he reacts to it is surprising to us the viewer. It fact the whole episode is kind of unpredictable, we like that - you'll not see this one coming.
Capaldi and Coleman test the limits of their Doctor/Clara relationship, and neither of them miss a beat throughout the 45 minutes. Hermione Norris is equally as strong, and easily the most well utilised of all the guest stars this season. Even the "disruptive influence" on board the TARDIS turns in a first rate performance. That'll be young Ellis George perfectly portraying Schoolgirl Courtney Woods, we liked her.
When we reach the shows 60th Anniversary and Doctor Who Magazine does the obligatory "Vote for your favourite Who stories of all time" poll, I would not bet against both this episode and Listen ranking high inside the Top 10. And, we've still got 5 more new stories to go this year! As they say at the Ambassador's Parties, "You're really spoiling us."
Kill The Moon premieres Saturday October 4th at 8.30pm on BBC One.