Kill the Moon: Fact File

Episode 7 of this series touches on what would happen to planet Earth if it was suddenly without the moon. You can find out about the origins of our nearest satellite in this fascinating clip from Do We Really Need the Moon? There are many more brilliant archive clips relating the moon – from The Sky at Night to news items covering the lunar landings – on the BBC’s archive pages.

Turlough and the Fifth Doctor in Planet of Fire.

The read through for Kill the Moon took place on Thursday, 1 May, 2014. The shoot began the following Monday on 5 May and finished on 5 June.

Filming for the episode included a 3 day location shoot in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. The Fifth Doctor story, Planet of Fire, also included a location shoot on the island which in that adventure doubled for the planet Sarn.

Tony Osoba plays Duke in Kill the Moon but first appeared in Doctor Who as Lan in 1979’s Destiny of the Daleks. He was back as a different character, Kracauer, in the Seventh Doctor adventure, Dragonfire.

The Doctor says that Courtney “…marries a feller called Blinovitch.” The Blinovitch Limitation Effect was introduced in Day of the Daleks and refers to at least one principle of time travel. It was later alluded to in adventures including Invasion of the Dinosaurs and Mawdryn Undead.

The Doctor used a yo-yo to test local gravity in the 1975 story, The Ark in Space. The Fourth Doctor also played with one, apparently just for fun, in several further adventures including The Brain of Morbius. The Seventh Doctor was carrying a yo-yo when he regenerated and when the Third Doctor moaned that the Time Lords had control of his TARDIS, he referred to himself as ‘some kind of a galactic yo-yo!’

The Doctor with his yo-yo in Kill the Moon.

Vortex manipulators are mentioned in Kill the Moon. These resemble leather bracelets or watches and enable the wearer to travel in time. Captain Jack used one which River apparently got her hands on, but the Doctor was dismissive of the devices. ‘That is not time travel!’ the Tenth Doctor once declared. ‘It’s like, I’ve got a sports car and you’ve got a space hopper!’

We first saw the Doctor visit the moon in The Moonbase, a Second Doctor adventure set in 2070, 21 years after the events depicted in this episode. He was back on the satellite in The Seeds of Death, Frontier in Space and Smith and Jones. The Eleventh Doctor also mentioned having taken ‘a quick hop to the moon’ before collecting Amy in The Eleventh Hour.

Kill the Moon looks at mankind’s efforts and ambitions to travel into space. The episode was first aired on 4 October, 2014, the 57th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik - the first man-made object to orbit the Earth, fired into space by the USSR on that date in 1957.

The Fourth Doctor in Pyramids of Mars.

Before he leaves Clara on the lunar base, the Doctor states, ‘The Earth isn’t my home.’ He used those exact words in Pyramids of Mars when he told Sarah Jane Smith, ‘The Earth isn’t my home, Sarah. I’m a Time Lord… I walk in eternity.’