Doctor Who – “In the Forest of the Night” Review

Doctor Who - "In the Forest of the Night"The trees have taken over London. It just so happened on the day that Danny Pink and Clara took some of their students on a class trip. Everything has been overgrown into a veritable forest in the midst of London. Heck, the Doctor found one of the little girls Mauve in the middle of Trafalgar Square even though it looked more like jungle at the moment. In fact, all the planets over the city aren’t just over the city, but the whole world. Everything is literally over run by plants. It is quite a curious situation as all of the plants and trees are brand new, springing together at once.

Trees don’t just behave like this, growing to full size over night. Which meant that someone was messing with it. Then they realized that Mauve had a connection to whatever wavelength the forest was operating on. And let’s be honest, the idea of how these plants all sprung to life was explained although a bit hard to grasp as it involved seeds and time streams. However the purpose was clear, as it forced everyone to function outside of their natural element. A part of nature first, rather than a rigid society filled with buildings, streets, and order. The forest had no path. Hell, when men came in with flamethrowers to use controlled fires to create paths, they were foiled by the trees that withheld the oxygen fire desperately needs.

Doctor Who - "In the Forest of the Night"Yet again, the fate of Earth was in the hands of the Doctor and what was to happen next. Once more we were told that though we’ve seen various other futures play out, Earth’s history could still be written. Not only that, but it would be if they can’t find a way to stop what was happening. Turned out that similar to “Kill the Moon” things just resolved themselves. The trees had been there all along to help, to diffuse the effect of the solar flare that could have caused serious damage to the planet. Just like I was frustrated with “Kill the Moon” for setting up stakes that indicated the forever change of Earth’s history, only for it to be upended. In this case we are expected to believe that as a society we entirely forgot the entire world being covered with trees overnight within the past hundred years. It’s a bit ludicrous, but with so little time let int he episode, we don’t have time to object.

What this episode really did was expose the lies that Clara had been telling Danny. When things looked like they had all settled and their was peace between them under the presumption that Clara had cut all ties with the doctor. Only for it to be revealed that not only had she not gone cold turkey, but that it seemed Danny would need to at least meet up with the Doctor at least once more. The lies are what is eating and eroding the relationship between Clara and Danny.

Doctor Who - "In the Forest of the Night"This episode also granted us with one of the greatest gifts it has to offer: giving us the opportunity to see the Doctor interact with children. Whenever the Doctor is mixed with children things always get interesting. I’m particularly loving how the 12th Doctor gets on with children as his curmudgeonly attitude never changes. Heck, the Doctor can’t even remember the faces of Mauve who he had one on one time.

Oh, and who would I be to not mention the very clear similarities to The Happening. While this episode was more enjoyable that movie, it’s not a high bar to set and ultimately left me with the same sour feeling.

What did you think of the episode?

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