* Perhaps more than with any previous regeneration I’ve seen, this series – by its seventh episode – is still having a feel of “first time out” for this Doctor so far in. He doesn’t feel as settled as Ten and Eleven did at this stage. Perhaps the key to it is the fact that Clara is still getting used to him; Rose was fairly comfortable with Ten by this point in Series 2. I suppose, once again, it’s because this Doctor’s not as “user-friendly”.
* The writing and dialogue felt particularly good in this episode – some of the imagery, like the “paper-thin” atmosphere of Earth – I’d like to see more by Peter Harness.
* I’ve been saying for a while that I like the more crabby side of the Twelfth Doctor’s personality, but this was the episode where he started going too far and was just plain unpleasant at times. It was good to see his attitude actually having consequences, like what Courtney thinks of being called “not special”, and Clara calling him out at the end.
* I was intrigued by the idea that by 2049 humans have stopped going into space, forcing the astronauts on this mission to recycle a Space Shuttle – wonder if Peter Harness has read Stephen Baxter’s Titan – and then it’s the events of this episode that inspire spaceflight again. Like with Time Heist, it’s a great revelation that brings the whole plot full circle. Then again, humans are supposed to have known that aliens exist since The Christmas Invasion; had they forgotten and needed reminding?
* Courtney was less insufferable than some other kids we’ve seen on Doctor Who and its spinoffs, but I still didn’t really get why she needed to be there.
* So first our whole planet is created by the Racnoss, and then we get a Moon that just happens to be a giant egg? Do other planets in the universe attract so much strangeness? I could accept it fine – this is sci-fi and alien biology we’re talking about – plus it fits pretty well with the Silurians’ backstory: since they presumably went into hibernation more recently than 100 million years ago, the Moon must have been laid elsewhere in space and drifted around for a few million years before entering Earth orbit.
* Nice callback to Blink regarding the DVDs that can control the TARDIS and the specification that you need to touch the console to avoid getting left behind.
* I did approve of the Doctor leaving the big decision in the hands of the humans, even if Clara didn’t like it and he could have been a bit nicer about it. The whole thing with the lights brought to mind the scene on the ferries in The Dark Knight – though I did anticipate Clara disregarding the result.
* The argument at the end was another good scene, particularly on a second viewing – you could clearly see and accept the Doctor and Clara’s different ways of looking at the situation. It’s also another example of Clara becoming more three-dimensional and less generic compared to last series, as she keeps getting pushed further out of her comfort zone, though I’m still having some trouble nailing her down as a character in some ways.
And we’re still on a good streak with another really great, inventive episode. Rating: 4/5.