If you found yourself on the moon…

How would you react if you suddenly found yourself stranded on the moon?

I jotted this question down recently as I watched a Dr Who episode — you know the one where Martha is introduced? The episode is called Smith and Jones.

Anyway, Martha is a student doctor working in a London hospital that is suddenly transported wholus bolus to the moon by aliens. (Typical for Dr Who, really.) All the patients, staff and visitors are transported with it, the windows revealing the barren lunar landscape that nevertheless seems to have earth-like gravity. (We’ll ignore this tiny factor and attribute it to the forcefield that provides the air.)

Upon realising they’ve been transported to the moon, most of the humans run around the hospital waving their arms in the air, screaming at the top of their lungs.

Is this how you would react? No? I didn’t think so.

I’m not saying I’d be a hero like Martha and help The Doctor save the day, but I do think I’d take the time to look out the window and MARVEL. I mean, this is the MOON.

In this particular case I think Dr Who lets itself down with such a cliched schlok horror moment of B-Grade hysteria. But it did get me wondering how people would react in such a situation — and the conclusion I swiftly reached is that everyone would react differently.

In fact, the spectrum of reactions that such a crowd would likely produce would in itself have made a fascinating story. Had there been no Doctor, who would have stepped up and worked with others towards a solution? Who would have lashed out with blame? Caused violence and spread doubt? Who would have slipped into nurturing mode?

The possible scenarios for how the situation could have panned out are virtually endless.

I suppose we never truly know how we ourselves will react in moments of extreme surprise/fear/pain until we are put into the situation. Moreover, our initial reaction will probably be unrelated to how we deal with the situation long-term.

For example: I might be confident that I’d stare out at the lunar landscape in wonder initially (there would NOT be screaming!); but, ten minutes later, confronted by hostile-appearing aliens with big guns? I couldn’t tell you.

We like to imagine we’d be strong and level-headed and helpful to others . . . but there’s a good chance you’d find me in one of the hospital wards hiding under a bed.

What about you? How would you react? Would you like to find out?

19 comments

  1. On the one hand, appearing on the moon would be pretty cool because it’s the moon and all that. On the other, I suspect it would be apparent there’s no easy way back home, and that would probably give me a frowny face 😦

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    1. But what about the old adage ‘if you can get up you can get down’? Surely that also applies to the moon. I guess that means I’d sit around waiting to be transported back again…

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      1. I’m not sure I’ve heard that adage and suspect that kittens everywhere would disagree 🙂

        But if I knew I’d be transported back sooner or later without having to really do anything, that would be awesome. I’d totally have a cool fun time on moon. They’d let us go outside and play, right?

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  2. If I found myself on the moon, I would be so excited because it’s the MOON! THE MOON! And I didn’t even have to do well in math or be hired by NASA to get there! Woo-hoo! But then, as Mike pointed out, I would get sad if I couldn’t get back home easily. But if this were my fantasy (and I’m assuming it is because I’m here at work and NOT on the moon), I would have molecular transporter handy for just such occasions and send myself home as soon as I was done checkin’ the place out. But that’s just me. 🙂

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  3. I’m glad you clarified your scenario. When I read the first line, my first thought was “you mean, besides choking and dying”? *grin*

    The moon would be interesting for about…. oh, 10 minutes, but since it is just dead rock and lots of dust, I’m sure I’ll be pining for home (and all the comforts and luxuries of it) pretty soon.

    (But since I’m a homeschooling mom, a part of me would probably be thinking of ways of turning this unexpected trip into a unit study.)

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  4. I’d hope to be too busy going ‘the moon, sweet!’ and trying to call one of my friends to be like ‘Dude, guess where I am?’ I like the aliens in that episode (Jidoon, or something, not sure on the spelling), and the general plot, although personally the episodes written after Steven Moffat took the reigns blow them all out of the water.

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  5. Hmmm…probably wouldn’t believe I was on the moon, that somebody was fooling us. After looking out and being sure we weren’t on some Hollywood studio set, I’d be be amazed for about ten seconds until the reality started setting in and the fear–running out of air, food, water, etc. I’m not even going to think about the aliens-la la la, I don’t hear/see you.

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  6. Are we on the side that can see the earth? if so I think I would be much more interested in looking at the earth that would be the coolest bit

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