So… the final episode before next week’s two-part season finale gets under way. The Doctor and Clara end up in a contemporary London overgrown with dense forest and an amateur dendronchronologist points to a red ring in a tree section at the museum. What is going on here? On a side note, I am loving the socially inept Doctor with little tolerance and patience for children :)
A clever yet convoluted idea and not dissimilar in tone to the Kill the Moon a few weeks back. My prompt then, following this love-child of an X Files episode and a poor M. Night Shymalan film….
Missy was watching The Event and declared it a surprise. Aside from taking people a fraction of a second before they die, has she perhaps been setting up The Doctor for most of this season’s plots?
8 thoughts on “Open Thread: In the Forest of the Night”
I think that more episodes this season has got it right then wrong but still, this one seemed a little out there. I thought the woman might be the Tardis but I am not so sure.
It was a little convoluted, I agree and I would have preferred more in the way of hints for the finale than another stand alone.
There are so many theories on who Missy is that I’ve given up thinking about it. Is she the TARDIS? A gender-switched Master? The Rani? The Great Intelligence? We will get our answer this time next week!
It was…ok. But I felt it was another very CBBC episode (along with Kill The Moon)- the child actors were annoying – bad acting or bad directing, not sure which, maybe both…I mean, the kids weren’t *bad* as such just they were typical child actors in that they struggled to deliver their lines believably, for me at least.
The kids weren’t very fleshed out characters and it felt like there were too many of them for characterisation to be possible, clearly adding in extra ones to make up numbers for the ‘class group’ scenario.
Dull writing. I saw some comments on the digital spy forum on how the ep could have been improved – ideas like setting it at night, at least touching on what was going on with the infrastructure in London and all the many other people there. They could have made the trees seem more threatening at first.
The bit at the end with the sister reappearing from the magic disappearing bushes rather stretched my credulity. There was no development of why she’d disappeared, no depth to the character of the mum (she lost a daughter and then another one, there could have been proper drama there but they kept it very after-school telly) – the disappearing sister subplot seemed to just be a way to explain Maebh’s mental health issues (your sister disappears = psychic powers and the ability to conjure forests from your mind)
What I did like was the visuals of the fireflies and the forest looked believable enough, and the visual they did for Maebh looking like Red Riding Hood was nice (wish they hadn’t shoehorned in a comment about Red Riding Hood into the actual script though, this felt heavy handed)
I am finding the Missy teases underdeveloped. It’s got me curious, I’ll give them that, but just showing her watching goings on (on an ipad or HD tv by the looks of it!) just hasn’t been enough intrigue. They could have shown more of her world.
Hmm was the surprise the trees growing, or the solar flare, or…the way the Doctor and/or Clara dealt with the situation?
I would rank this one as 9th out of 10 episodes so far – bottom would be Kill The Moon.
Based on the trailer for the two part finale (complete with the cheesy ‘the finale begins’ at the start) Clara is being set up to leave the series. Which leads me to think that this might be why the series has been a bit weak in places – they’re trying to resolve Clara’s story and bring in a new incarnation of the Doctor at the same time.
But oh my…is Clara a baddie playing a long con on the Doctor?!
On the teaser trailer, Missy says ‘you know who I am’ presumably to the Doctor though not necessarily…so he’s met her before? I’m still inclined to think she’s a breakaway timelord (timelady?) maybe the Rani.
I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with UNIT and nice to see the asthmatic lab coated girl from the 50th anniversary special is making another appearance.
That’s a good point, fewer of them may have been better. Because of their prevalence and underdeveloped state, they felt weak. The pedantic girl was really good but aside from that, none of them had personalities to speak of. This would have been an ideal situation to bring back Courtney, though from what I remember she is older than those kids.
Oh good, I’m glad I am not the only one who found that confusing and pointless. I was starting to wonder whether I had simply missed something.
I’ve seen very good arguments for why she will be the Rani and it is the most solid argument so far, but Moffat has said he will never resurrect the character because she is too obscure – a strange claim to make in my opinion. Most fans of the classic era know who she is purely because of how well Kate O’Mara played the character. O’Mara died earlier this year and bringing the character back would be a nice tribute to a character people have brought up quite a lot returned since Tennant’s reign.
I’ve seen that Kate Stewart is credited to appear again, but I didn’t spot her in the trailer (did you see her?) Very intrigued about this and Clara’s almost Bond-villainesque declaration “Clara Oswald never existed! Wuhahahahahahaha!”
Yep she’s in the trailer, you see her face briefly and you also see lab-coat girl taking a breath on her asthma inhaler
Fantastic! Will be good to see them both again.
I’ve just had a thought about previous season threads. As much as we’re grumbling about the lack of clues on Missy, neither did these plot threads until the respective finales:
* Bad Wolf
* Harold Saxon (or, we found out at the end of Utopia)
To name the most prominent in each previous Doctor’s most emphasised season-long plot thread.:)
There’s an important distinction to be made here. Missy doesn’t take people before they die. They die, and somehow she meets them in the afterlife. Evidence: The policeman zapped in The Caretaker episode. We clearly see his severed hand drop to the floor when he is shot. Then when we see him in the Nethersphere he is whole again. I don’t know what’s going on but I don’t think she is a Time Lord snatching people in her TARDIS just before they inevitably pop off. However, they do know each other. Secondly, was she being sarcastic when she said the trees saving Earth was surprising? I kind of think so. I get the impression that she knows the future in some way. I’m almost tempted to say she is Clara but the two actors look nothing alike. I can’t believe Clara could grow into her.
Anyway, on to the episode itself. It did nothing wrong, but it did nothing exceptional either. I guess that comes as a downer after the lovely Flatline last week.
I’ve been losing interest in Who, but all they needed to say was that line at the end of the trailer “Clara Oswald never existed”. I thought she was saying this to the Doctor but on closer inspection its a Cyberman. So is she playing some trick to escape deletion? Or is it true that Clara has been lying throughout all of the Doctor’s lives, and if so, what explanation for her can there be when she has also been fragmented across his timeline? I’m intrigued by the finale like I haven’t been since before the premiere.
I’d forgotten that bit. Now you’ve pointed it out, I think you’re right about them actually dying.
No, me neither. Their complexions are completely different for starters. Clara has brown eyes and Missy’s are blue I think.
Well spotted… I’m going to go and take a look in a moment.