Doctor Who – Series 8, Episode 10: “In The Forest of the Night”

(Warning: spoilers)

* Maybe the Twelfth Doctor is lightening up after all. He does help Maebh without too much protest; he apparently now agrees with Clara’s points at the end of Kill The Moon and is ready to admit that Earth is his planet too; and he retains his previous incarnations’ attitudes towards children, even if he is slightly hypocritical about it as Danny points out. Maybe there’s a slight conflict between his core “Doctor” personality and the more unique qualities he got from the latest regeneration – I guess that’s something you can do with a man who has had multiple incarnations and personalities.

* “Even my incredibly long life is too short for Les Miserables.” I wish I had your good sense, Doctor.

* Most of the child actors were surprisingly good, with the exception of the one playing Maebh, who was quite flat at points. They weren’t as annoying as some other children on the show have been, and even added quite a bit of humour to the whole thing. I don’t think the flashbacks to their work were really necessary, though, given that their different personalities didn’t actually have any bearing on the plot.

* So is Clara lying a theme for this series now? Lying to Danny about phoning the Doctor and then how much time she’s spent with him, lying to the kids about being gifted and talented, lying to the Doctor himself – now that I’ve noticed it, it’s getting very distracting, and making me sympathise with her rather less. Her apparent decision to have the Doctor save himself and nobody else does have some logic behind it, but still seems rather dark – even worse than how the Twelfth Doctor has previously acted in some ways.

* On the other hand, I do like what a grasp Clara has on the Doctor’s behaviour to the point that she understands his patterns, without simply having blind faith in him to save the day. I also like how she “springs straight into action”, as Danny puts it.

* I also liked Danny’s reasoning for being happy with things on Earth, which provides an understandable counter to Clara’s views and would indicate that he’s not going to be willingly travelling in the TARDIS. Oh well.

* Why was there a Natural History Museum sign outside, when the museum they were in clearly wasn’t the Natural History Museum? It’s a bit hard to miss the Diplodocus.

* Having an episode take place almost entirely in a forest is pretty, and probably inexpensive too, but it becomes quite samey after a while – this doesn’t help the overall plot of the episode, which meanders and isn’t very exciting.

* The Doctor being sent away to save himself should have been an emotional moment – apart from the fact that I didn’t buy it for a second, any more than I did when he was apparently going to sacrifice himself in The Poison Sky.

* And by the end, we discover that….everything is absolutely fine and everyone was worrying over nothing; nothing bad’s really going to happen, the trees have got it sorted. Oh, the government’s going to exfoliate the trees? Just a quick telephone message with hardly any attempt at tension and that’s sorted too. Everything was way too easy in this episode.

* As well as those problems, we get very little info on the nature of the tree-makers, and that ending with the long-lost sister was way too corny. Also, if the Doctor could see how human history would progress after the Moon hatched in Kill The Moon, wouldn’t he be able to see that there wouldn’t be a disaster here, or was that distorted too?

This episode had a few good points, but was overall rather monotonous. It’s not very exciting if the ultimate solution is for the Doctor to sit back and do nothing, except make a quick phone call. Even the title doesn’t make any sense – the entire episode takes place during the day! Rating: 2/5.

In other Doctor Who related news, I finally got to try out my Ninth Doctor costume at the Preston Comic Con this weekend! Most of the Doctors seen there were Eleven (complete with the obligatory fez), though there was also a Five, a Seven, and the scarf of Four. In attendance – and giving a very fun panel – were Nicola Bryant (Peri), Jimmy Vee (a number of roles, including the Graske and Bannakaffalatta) and Spencer Wilding (also a number of roles, including Skaldak the Ice Warrior). Had great fun, and picked up plenty of nerdy reading material, as well as a Big Finish audio CD narrated by Nicola Bryant!

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About velociraptor256

Hi, my name's Richard. I created this blog to talk about my interests - and I have quite a few of those. I love zoology in general, herpetology in particular (especially snakes!), writing (have won National Novel Writing Month nine times so far), reading, astronomy, palaeontology, and travel. Thank you for coming to my blog, and I hope you find something that interests you here!
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