Sunday, October 26, 2014

Doctor Who 8.10: "In the Forest of the Night"

“I can save you.”
“I don’t want you to. Please don’t make me say it.”
“Say what?”
“I don’t want to be the last of my kind.”
- The Doctor and Clara

Well Whovians, we’ve nearly completed our first sojourn in the TARDIS with the Twelfth Doctor. Can you believe it? I sure can’t. Anyway, let’s jump in to this week’s episode. It starts with a little girl running through the forest. She happens upon the TARDIS and she asks for help since she’s lost. The Doctor invites her in and they have a rather odd conversation about the little girl being constantly confused by things so she doesn’t really say much about what confuses her. It seems the TARDIS is confused herself because she keeps saying they’ve landed in London where he’s aiming for. But clearly they are in a giant forest. He makes a comment about not having anyone to ask when the TARDIS isn’t working since he’s the last Time Lord but he’s really not. If you consider the Christmas special from last year, the Time Lords are out there in a bubble universe just waiting to be saved. Typical Moffat not remembering his own continuity. Anyway, the little girl turns out to be a student from a museum sleep-over trip which is being chaperoned by Danny and Clara. How she got out is beyond me as they were locked in the museum but whatever. Clara, Danny, and the other students quickly find that the city has been taken over by a forest as well and Clara phones the Doctor to tell him she’s got something amazing to show him right there on planet Earth.

He’s already seen the trees (and the rest of the world is starting to take notice including the little girl’s mother). Danny isn’t pleased that Clara called the Doctor instead of the school and kids’ parents to sort out how to get them home. But this is kind of a situation where he’s needed. Trees can’t just grow up overnight. Not naturally anyway. Danny gets into soldier mode and leads the kids to where the Doctor and Maeve (the little girl0 are waiting. He’s kind of curious about the whole spontaneous tree thing but he’s more concerned with keeping the kids safe. Which really, should be Clara’s top priority, too. But travelling with the Doctor and seeing all the things she’s seen skews her priorities a bit. I guess it would do that to anyone.

When the group finally reaches the Doctor, he’s starting to rant a bit. Clara thinks he can just solve the problem but he’s not sure he can. The trees literally grew up overnight (hence they don’t have any rings to show their age) but they can’t just do that without messing with the fabric of time and communicating with something or someone. So now he’s interested in figuring out why the threes showed up the way they did. I can’t quite see him dealing with a bunch of rowdy kids in the process though.

It turns out the kids are actually important, or at least Maeve is. She’s got some nervous ticks due to her sister going missing in a forest a year ago and she’s on meds. She apparently hears voices. The Doctor realizes that Maeve is tuned to a different frequency than the rest of us and she’s hearing things that could be important. He also thinks she’s the key because he sees her homework and she drew a supernova aimed right at Earth. So he and Clara head out to find her, leaving Danny to mind the rest of the class in the TARDIS. The Doctor is very cross with all the kids messing about with the TARDIS so it’s probably good he’s leaving. Staying inside doesn’t last long though after the statue in Trafalgar Square comes crashing down. Maeve is running through the forest when she sees a bunch of guys in fireproof suits. She’s leaving a trail for Clara and the Doctor to follow as she’s going (her phone, a pencil case and lunch box). It seems that the tree are flame resistant though. Smart trees.

The Doctor and Clara finally catch up with Maeve when she’s being chased by wolves from the zoo. She gets away from them but then a tiger shows up. Danny comes to the rescue with a flashlight but they don’t have time to celebrate his quick thinking. Maeve runs off again. After some quick thinking from the Doctor, he alters gravity around her so that the thoughts she gets will slow down. It turns out they are aliens that have come to protect the planet. They also claim not to have sent Maeve to find the Doctor, they don’t even know who the Doctor is. Maeve thinks she heard the thought from Clara. Interesting, if a little creepy. The Doctor thinks that they can’t do anything to stop the solar flare and Clara tells him to leave and humanity will figure it out. But he hurries back when he makes the connection between the flare and the fire resistant trees. I got there a little faster than he did. Yay me? The trees are there to keep the planet from burning up.

In a very “Stolen Earth/Journey’s End” way, the TARDIS phones everyone on Earth and Maeve reads out a message to not cut down or burn or spray anything on the trees. It works, too. The Doctor and Clara watch from the TARDIS as the trees to their job and the flare burns off in the excess layer of oxygen. Of course, there’s still some relationship drama to deal with. Danny knows that Clara has been lying to him. He wants the truth, no matter what it is. But he tells her to go home and figure it out before telling him. At least he’s not cross this time like he was before. I had a feeling though it would come up again and soon.

Overall, it was an okay episode. Not fantastic but not horrible. And it leaves us in an interesting place going into the two-part season finale. Missy is watching the Earth get saved and she’s surprised that it worked. I really just want to find out what the hell is going on and who she is.

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