Okay, well I am of the school that says Doctor Who is not science fiction, but fantasy that uses the trappings of scifi. So for me the absurd science is not a negative because Who always has dumb science. It is a show with evil mannequins and subterranian dinosaur people and Martian Ice Warriors. If you don't agree with that view, obviously this episode won't work for you.
But if you are onboard with Who as a fairy tale, then “the moon is an egg” is a perfect idea for a story. It is beautiful and weird and suggestive and magical.
This episode starts out appearing to be yet another Astronauts in Trouble attack of the moon spiders bog standard Who episode and then it lurches into something darker and subtler, almost a stage play where three humans have to make a huge difficult choice.
And it is smart and it is well-acted and it is nuanced and the fact that the Doctor takes off makes it disorienting and gives the decision gravity(which sure, is not an otherwise original dilemma).
And then the double-twist of Clara letting the world vote but then overruling the world when the world is selfish and mean? That elevates the problem of “do you be nice or not” into something far more complicated and dramatic.
And it has all wrapped up right? But no. The Doctor behaved terribly this episode and Clara lets him have it. There is a fundamental power imbalance in the Doctor/Companion relationship and the Doctor has always exploited it and this season he has been showing all of his least sympathetic traits. And Clara does not do what Rose always did which was smile and take it. She gets to be righteously angry and it is perfect.
So for 40 minutes we have a perfect fairy tale for grown ups that is a showcase for spectacle, a mature exploration of a moral issue, and a character drama that ultimately affirms mankind's best nature. And then for the last five minutes we have a brilliant character drama that is firing on gears we've never seen on the show before but springs from issues that have been present for the entirety of the show.
I was stunned by the skill at display in the crafting of this episode. Most of the complaints levied here are things that I liked. The only thing I take issue with is calling Clara out of character and a “bitch”. Clara has always had a take-no-shit attitude and always treated the Doctor as an equal. Good on her for getting angry.
So that's where I'm coming from.