Monday, October 27, 2014

Doctor Who - In the Forest of the Night

Magic trees. In the latest episode of Doctor Who a new forest has sprung up across the world much to the surprise and consternation of the local populace. Arriving in London, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) begins to investigate the phenomena which one of Clara's (Jenna Coleman) students brings to his attention. Initially ignoring the girl's insight, the Time Lord discovers that Maebh (Abigail Eames) is unusually tuned to the odd happenstance and may be the key to understanding what is going on. The show has certainly gotten its money's worth of introducing Clara first as a nanny and now as a schoolteacher allowing children to become involved in multiple episodes which it uses again as a strength with talented child acting.

Moving one-step closer to Jenna Coleman's departure from the series, we see Clara choose Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) over her time-and-space traveling pal. While humanity looks for ways to destroy the magical forest immune to fire The Doctor discovers a problem much larger than a few trees in the form of a solar flare which will soon wipe out all life on the planet. It takes the Time Lord longer than it should to connect the two events, leading Clara to choose dying with her boyfriend rather than being whisked to safety by the Time Lord, before the world watches in amazement as the trees save people from the cataclysmic event. Um, thanks magic trees?

Relying heavily on magic trees which appear and disappear at will (without a will behind their actions), the logic behind "In the Forest of the Night" is more than a little shaky (especially as The Doctor explains this isn't the first time magic trees have saved the Earth from disaster). On a positive note, the situation allows Danny to be showcased as more than just a tongue-tied love-struck fool or disapproving boyfriend to Clara's travels. It also leads the show into the two-part season finale which will apparently explain all those cameos by Missy (Michelle Gomez) and the references to "Heaven."

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