SPOILER ALERT: Don't read ahead if you haven't watched Doctor Who series 8, episode 7: Kill The Moon
Welcome to the seventh week of The Doctor acting like a men who all of a sudden can't be bothered to give two shits about humanity, even though he's spent about 1500 years meddling in human history. 'Kill The Moon' is shaping up to be the most polarizing episode of season 8 so far, with some fans still advocating for the new Doctor as a dark antihero and other shouting "but what about THE CANON?!?!"
Personally, I fall somewhere in between those two notions. I respect Capaldi's portrayal of The Doctor. The Time Lord's internal struggle with heroism has been fascinating, but his crass treatment of a loyal companion is a hint that The Doctor is completely lost despite acting like he has all the answers.
Classic Who fans, majority of whom consider themselves better than the rest of the show's followers (the people whose support is responsible for the shows international recognition), have hailed the 12th iteration for being similar to William Hartnell and Tom Baker versions. The Doctor being a superior alien being who doesn't have time to "coddle" humanity. I completely disagree with that perspective. Hartnell and Baker while older as actors were depicting The Doctor who was much younger, who hadn't yet spent as much time with human kind as 9th, 10th or 11th had.
This Doctor is being a jerk not because he thinks he is above humanity, but because he is feeling guilty for the influence he's had on human history. He is so busy masking his guilt, that in the process he loses the sight of his bond with human kind. Which is why Clara's speech at the end of the episode was so revealing.
The Doctor's moral compass is completely out of whack. His crassness comes from the fact that he is lost and despite of all the showing off he's been doing, he no longer has all the answers.
'Kill The Moon' was a crowning episode for Clara. Much of this season, her character has been extremely complex and very relatable. She has definitely taken the cake for favorite companion, despite starting weak in season 7. The problem we often see with companions is that they are so enamored by The Doctor's adventures that they rarely challenge his morality and goodness. When they do, it's brief and inconsequential.
There is an obvious allegory that can be drawn in the fate of an unborn alien child being decided by three women. While The Doctor made a huge error by giving Clara, Courtney and the astronaut skewed information, the episode delivered an important feminist message by giving these women autonomy in the decision. What is even more important is Clara directly calling out The Doctor for that patronizing manipulative behavior. Clara realizes that The Doctor is so lost that he actually doesn't treat her as an equal anymore, which makes her decision to leave him completely justified.
It's going to be interesting to see how this plays into the overall arc of the season. We know that "the woman from the shop" has been trying to make sure that Clara and The Doctor stay together. Now that there is a huge rift in their relationship, we may finally get a few more clues about the stranger.
Next week's preview omitted Clara from the trailer, surely to fuel fan speculations, but considering that there's this, I think we've got nothing to worry about.
Finally, let's acknowledge that Tumblr is now officially part of the Doctor Who canon. Nerds everywhere rejoice!
"Doctor Who" airs on Saturdays at 9:00 pm EDT on BBC America .