July 20, 2019
Travelling to the Moon, and the Moon itself, have inspired countless people throughout history as well as a few adventures for the Doctor.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing on the 16th of July 1969, we look back at five times the Doctor visited our lunar neighbour.
One Small Step for (Cyber)Man
The Moonbase (1967)
In 1967, space talk was at an all-time high. The world was gripped by the space race between the USA and the USRR and everyone wanted to see who would be the first to land on the Moon. Doctor Who, as a science-fiction show, naturally reflected this and not only one but two Second Doctor stories took him to the Moon.
The first one (The Moonbase) is a classic Doctor Who base under siege story featuring the Cybermen. Setting a story in 2070 where people lived on the Moon seemed excitedly futuristic back then, but also the logical endpoint of what was being discussed in the news at the time. We’re still waiting on that moonbase, but we’ll get there. Eventually.
The Seeds of Death (1969)
Two years after The Moonbase, the Second Doctor had his second lunar adventure, which is also his second encounter with the Ice Warriors. The Seeds of Death is a story full of twos!
It also has a more overt influence from the 60’s space travel fervour. While it is set on the Moon, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe start the adventure on Earth and have to travel in a rocket to reach the Moonbase. The Seeds of Death aired from January to March in 1969, beating the real life Moon landing by a mere four months!
“Judoon platoon upon the Moon”
Smith and Jones (2007)
It wasn’t until 2007 that the Doctor would find himself back on the Earth’s satellite. Stranded on the Moon by the Judoon - Space Police Rhinos - in a displaced London hospital, the Doctor has to team up with new companion Martha Jones, played superbly by Freema Agyeman.
It also features to the glorious line, “Judoon platoon upon the Moon.” Try saying that really quickly three times!
Primetime for the Silence
Day of the Moon (2011)
When the Doctor arrived in 1969 to fight the invasion of the creepy memory-wiping menace the Silence, he used the television broadcast of the Moon landing’s astronomical ratings to his advantage. Sneaking a hidden message amongst Neil Armstrong’s iconic words to warn humans of the presence of the Silence was enough to scare them off the planet for good, abandoning a few of their own lodging spaceships in the meantime!
It was small step for mankind and one whooping great big kick up the backside for the Silence!
Journey to the Centre of the Moon
Kill the Moon (2014)
The Doctor’s most recent visit to the Moon was memorable as he and Clara discovered a secret hidden at the centre of this celestial body. It turns out the Moon is actually a…well, that would be telling. Wink.
Kill the Moon is memorable for the Doctor stepping back and letting his companion make the major decision about how the situation should be resolved. Clara wasn’t happy about his reluctance to make the decision and this caused a rift between the two of them. A rift that would be enough to cause Clara to question her travels with this new Doctor…