Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.
Or (if you want to be all obvious about it)
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
- Ambrose Bierce
Me: 'They had to hire an actor without skin'?
Me: At this stage, I should probably say we’re just watching the next time trailer for Mummy on the Orient Express. It looks brilliant. Okay. Here goes…
The Moonbase and trays; Let’s Kill Hitler; The Ark in Space and yo-yos as gravity testing equipment; the J. N-T reference to “hanky-panky”; the Brigadier; Starship Troopers; there was an essence of Melancholia to it, the film that is-
Him: The film?
Me: The film Melancholia, yeah. The scene on the beach was the most obvious moment, but there were little touches throughout. The swearing was a little bit of a surprise – but I guess the Moon brings that out in people.1 And there were definite echoes of Apollo 18, the found footage film about… well, the ‘spiders’ in Kill the Moon.
Him: Are you going to replace ‘thing’ with the actual number after you look it up?
Me: Yeah, but no-one’ll notice when I’ve typed it.
Him: But now you can’t, because either way-
Me: Also, one thing I’ve noticed which has nothing to do with anything, is the moment when our heroes aren’t being sailors on the Moon but they’re-
Him: “We’re whalers on the Moon/We carry a harpoon/But there ain’t no whales/So we tell tall tales/And sing our whaling tune”
Me: Ha! So, here’s a tall tale that shows that not everything’s always connected.2 At one point, in the background, there are three boxes, each labelled separately with the code twenty-three then a slash and then another number.
Him: No, no, no. It’s twenty-three slash seventy-seven, then twenty slash eighty, and seventeen slash eighty-three.
Me: Was it? I thought they were all twenty-three?
Me: Okay. Well, do you know what happened in 1977, 1980 and 1983?
Me: Those were the release dates of the first three Star Wars films.
Him: Does that matter?
Me: No, it’s got nothing to do with anything. Right, Kill the Moon. Oh – can I say my Courtney thing?
Him: “We’re whalers on the Moon/We carry a harpoon”
Me: Did you notice that Courtney ends up marrying Blinovitch?
Him: Yeah, I did. Is that the chap who came up with the recommendation effect?
Me: I think it might be, yeah. As both our readers will find out for themselves, if they scroll down to the bottom of this page. Apart from the moment after that amazing scene where Clara basically breaks up with the Doctor – apart from that, fair play to Murray Gold. He nearly went back to his old tricks and destroyed the mood for the scene between Danny and Clara. The music there wasn’t good at all and detracted from- I was thinking, “Is this still the same programme?” The music throughout the rest was really good.3
Him: “Evena boardedupa windows donta keep out Murraygold!”
Me: Nothing can keep him out. Some of that was filmed on Lanzarote. There was a ‘secret’ working title drip-fed out to start fans salivating, in much the same way that J. N-T once had ‘The Doctor’s Wife’ written on a whiteboard listing upcoming stories that he purposefully made sure was in photos. He was trying to find out where leaks in the office were coming from. This script was ‘provisionally’ entitled 'Return to Sarn', Planet of Fire also being filmed on Lanzarote. The location work gave it a wonderfully alien look. To me, it looked almost black and white.
Him: Yes, you did say that. Repeatedly. “Wow! That looks black and white!”
Me: And speaking of black and white. In The Moonbase there’s a moment where a puncture gets blocked-
Him: That’s like a coin landing on its side fifty times in a row. After being dropped into a bowl.
Him: Not on its side.
Me: Not on its side.
Him: And not fifty times.
Me: Another Troughton reference of course, was the, “When I say ‘run’, run.”
Him: But then he didn’t say, “Run.”
Me: Well. I wasn’t expecting to be asked those sort of questions to be honest.4
Him: Okay. Japan.
Me: What about Japan, Great Healer?
Him: Well, it’s a big country.
Him: On the other side of the world from where Clara and the rest happened to be viewing. They’d probably all’ve been asleep to begin with, if they weren’t busy-
Me: So they didn’t get a vote?
Me: Half of humanity didn’t get a vote really.
Him: Yup. And it’s also the more populated half. Involving China.
Me: Oh yeah. Anyway, it didn’t matter because what they voted for… they didn’t get anyway. That’s democracy in action.
Him: Maybe the other half voted, “No, no, no, don’t kill the thingy.”
Me: Sell the Space Whale.
Him: Even though it’s a Star Whale. As I keep saying. '#SaveTheWhale'. That was an odd, odd, odd episode.
Me: It’s laid another egg.
Him: Humanity would’ve died anyway, whether they blew it up or not. We need a moon to survive. But then, I was annoyed that when it hatched it was instantly able to fly. Things shouldn’t be able to fly the second they hatch. It shouldn’t have had feathers and it can’t have anything else that’ll enable it to fly.
Me: If indeed it had feathers. Bearing in mind we aren’t watching in eye-bleeding Hi-Def on a screen the size of a football pitch.
Him: I know. It could have been like a big butterfly. But, it couldn’t have been like a big butterfly.
Me: Polly the Glot?
Him: It could’ve been… It would actually explain it more if it was a big butterfly and the Moon was just the chrysalis. That would also go some way toward explaining the cobwebs that didn’t make any sense and that would also explain why a) it was able to fly and b) lay another egg the second it hatched.
Me: That’s fair enough.
Him: When a caterpillar spins its cocoon does it know it’s going to be a butterfly?
Me: I don’t think they get given a handbook. Do you think it’s just automatic?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: It must be an automatic process-
Him: You’ve been a caterpillar before.
Me: Yeah, but that was a long time ago. I can’t really remember what I thought. Is the butterfly that emerges the same creature that went in? Because they change completely-
Him: They alter and they’re mush in the interim period.
Me: Yeah. Everything changes around. It’s like Trigger’s Sugababes theory.
Him: As opposed to that thing about the Sugarcubes?
Me: Ha! Bjork! Which slowly brings us back to Lars von Trier and Melancholia.
Him: So, if you keep changing around the fructose and glucose that’s in it, is the sucrose still the same?
Me: Awww. Chemistry. The characters are still making loads of errors. Clara goes on about the duty of care she’s got… There's no way that Courtney should be in that TARDIS. It’s all well and good being made special but this is just dangerous. Things’ve changed. Although it hearkens back to the original TARDIS crew line-up of the wizard, two Coal Hill school teachers and a pupil… There’s a line from Lundvik, played by this week’s Spooks guest star Hermione Norris, about what to do with aliens. “Blow them up.”5
Him: Uh huh.
Me: And that reminded me of the Brigadier, which brings up-
Him: Oh God, this point.
Me: Well, I think it’s a point that needs to be made.
Him: But not several times to me – you don’t need to rehearse it.
Me: It needs to be said. A lot of people online have been saying that the Doctor appears to have forgotten that he’s already known a retired soldier who became a maths teacher. A couple of things’ve been said that... I don’t think are entirely accurate but I can see why people have said them. With this hatred of soldiers that the Doctor’s got – and, again, we don’t know where that’s come from or why it’s being highlighted... I’ve seen people saying that Steven Moffat has obviously forgotten about the Brigadier. Well… I’m going to have to say that, unfortunately, when Moffat’s got a character called ‘Courtney’ in these episodes, I don’t believe you can even consider he’s forgotten the Brigadier. Moffat knows what he’s doing. I thought, in many ways, that Clara became the new Sarah Jane Smith during Kill the Moon. Especially with the sly nip of wine. She’ll be typing and seeing robot dogs on walls next.
Him: “Doo dee dee dee doo/K9”
Me: A lot of the discussion that the Doctor and Clara were having in front of Lundvik made it very obvious that they were time travellers. I wonder if this is going to affect stuff, especially seeing as Blinovitch got a mention. How old would Orson be in 2049? And Clara addressed humanity. That’s going to cause questions. They’re all still making mistakes. This is going somewhere – well, I hope it is. I don’t think it’s just Moffat opening story trapdoors-
Him: Try saying it as two separate words.
Me: “Trap. Door? ‘cause there’s something down there.”
Him: Trap doors, not trapdoors.
Him: You don’t need these little spaces.
Me: These things are open so that later on something can come through them and then they can be slammed closed. As far as the Aristotelian-favoured structure for Greek Tragedy goes, it’s a tradition, or an old charter, or something.2 The course of this series has been much more tightly plotted. There were moments in Kill the Moon that I found very impressive. Even Murray Gold’s last ditch attempt at snatching defeat from the sea badger paws of victory didn’t spoil it. Capaldi’s performance is brilliant. I can see why it’s alienating some fans though. Jenna Coleman was equally brilliant. Ellis George was very, very good. I wonder if what we’re seeing is also somebody highlighting the flaws in Nightmare in Silver…
Him: Always the Moon! Always the Moon.
Me: Always the Moon.
Him: Even though on neither journey has the Doctor taken Clara to a large rock that used to be part of the Earth.
Me: Courtney on Tumblr? All these things are going to cause massive problems, I’m sure of it. Shall we make Macra noises then?
Him: No! Are you looking forward to next week’s one?
Me: I wasn’t impressed with the shot of the Orient Express in space, but the rest of it looked very good.
Him: You weren’t impressed with the shot of the Orient Express in space?
Him: Why not?
Me: Because it looked really cheap.
Him: I don’t think there are many more ways you can do a train in space. Short of actually building a train, putting train tracks in space, and setting it to go along them.
Me: Why not not do it in space, then?
Him: Because that would be silly and not science-fiction.
Me: I don't think Doctor Who's ever really been science fiction. All the alchemy puts the kibosh on that. It reminded me of- Do you remember that phone conversation the Matt Smith Doctor had about a mummy on the Orient Express?
Me: Alright then.
Him: When was that?
Me: End of The Big Bang.
Him: Actually, I do remember that. Do you think this is related to that in any way?
Me: Yes.6 I also think it’s blood-related to a film called… Not Death Line… Horror Express! Starring Christopher Lee and Peter "Cinema's Doctor Who" Cushing. But not Vincent Price. Which reminds me. The Stephen Fry piece’ll be up in the next few days.
Him: What’s that film you like about Elvis Presley and the-
Me: Bubba Ho-Tep! Oh, I hope so. That’d be good. Right. Let’s just make Macra noises then.
Him: Why Macra?
Me: They were bacteria that everyone though were crabs, and tonight we saw bacteria that everyone thought were spiders. Ish. “Even a sponge has more life than I!”
Him: You don’t do it as well as I do.
Me: Well, you do it.
Him: No, because you'll type it the same way.
Me: “Even a sponge has more life than I!”
Him: Hmmm… It doesn’t matter how I say it because you’re going to type it exactly the same. You can’t just say that the Macra aren’t giraffes.
Me: The Macra aren’t giraffes.
Him: Not giraffes. That other thing.
Me: How did you get those two confused? Wouldn’t it have been amazing if the Moon hatched to reveal a massive space giraffe?
Him: I don’t think that’d be much different from what actually happened.
Me: And what’s going to happen when that tide comes back in?
Him: I’ve already said that, but I think you skimmed over it or ignored it or didn’t type it up.
Me: Right, that’s us.
Him: Why don’t you make Mummy noises?
Me: “Clean your teeth! Tidy your room! Polish your shoes! Shave your face! Hoover the lawn!”
Him: You must’ve had a terrible childhood.
Me: I wouldn’t like to go into it. Long, long time ago. On top of a hill.
Him: I don’t think you had to hoover the lawn either.
Me: I didn’t have to. And on that bombshell!
1. Eh, Martha?
2. Just a figure of speech. It totally is.
3. The opening theme’s definitely being tweaked per week.
4. It’s not like I was watching The Dark Knight or something.
5. Yup, we knew Tony Osoba has been on the Moon and Skaro before.
6. Not to mention Voyage of the Damned. Ahem.