For anyone feeling the episodes starring the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) have felt rather generic, this episode is for you. The Twelfth Doctor’s disinterest, callousness, and unsympathetic attitude toward everyone else becomes almost full-on sociopathic, something none of the other Doctors even came close to. It’s hard to believe that this episode was originally written for Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor. More than a few people have noted that they don’t like Twelve’s attitude compared to the previous doctors, in between all the praise Capaldi’s Doctor has been receiving in general. Those few are allowed to wear smug smiles on their faces for a while now. They’ve earned it.
In the cold open, Clara makes a plea to the planet about making a choice between an innocent life and the fate of humanity as a whole. It switches back to the start of this little snafu with Clara chastising the Doctor for telling already-troubled Courtney Woods that she is not special. They meet her in the TARDIS, where it seems that she has quite unceremoniously become a new companion. Both women argue with the Doctor about what he callously told Courtney until he relents and takes her to become the first woman on the moon. For some reason, that means going 40 years in the future instead of 240,000 miles up.
The trio find themselves aboard a shuttle loaded with nuclear bombs. The shuttle crew, naturally confused about three stowaways on their ship loaded with nukes, threaten the Doctor. Standard operating procedure for space crews, it seems. Despite being a situation which we’ve seen him in many times before, this Doctor’s reaction is surprisingly different. The Doctor basically welcomes the threat and instructs the captain to shoot Courtney first, since it would be traumatic for her to see her guardians to be gunned down first. Oh, and he’s also a super genius time-traveling alien who’s there to help so if they still want to shoot him, they can go right ahead. Of course, they don’t. We can’t even call it the Doctor calling their bluff either—he was just extremely confident. He also doesn’t seem to have any intention of hiding the fact that he’s a Time Lord like Ten and Eleven did in similar situations.
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