While this week’s episode of Doctor Who was one of the more lighthearted episodes of Series 8, it was also one of those episodes where nothing really happened, sadly.
Let’s start with the good things about this episode. The episode is essentially about Earth having been covered by trees all over the place over just one night. This happens during a field trip that Danny and Clara has with their students. At first, I was intrigued because it was something new for the show and who knows what kind of creatures it was that was causing this.
This episode was heavily kids influenced as a young girl name Maebh played a key role throughout “In the Forest of the Night” and I really liked her acting. For that matter, the kids that actually had dialogue and any form of representation were fun to follow. It was especially fun to see how Capaldi’s Doctor was with kids because we have seen each doctor have their own interaction with different children throughout the series over the years. I loved how he first treated Maebh when she came to seek for help and all he said was “it’s that way!” and shuts the TARDIS door in front of her.
But once he let her into the TARDIS, there were some adorable moments and the level of comedy just increased when he was with the other kids as well. The downside to this was that Danny figured out that Clara had been lying to him this entire time and of course because Danny is such a cool dude, he didn’t freak out too much about it. Although you figured that at this point, he would be somewhat pissed at her, but that’s just how great Danny is.
However, the episode became less enjoyable when you started to see that nothing was really happening. We learn that the reason why the trees were growing globally was to protect the planet from an incoming solar flare. So are there any risks? Was there any serious danger? No, that was the biggest problems that there was no real threats and really, not a villain. I’m not going to sugarcoat what I’m about to say: I absolutely hate whenever a great TV show like Doctor Who puts up a mystery that in fact has no significant danger to it.
This is the last episode before the two-part finale that starts next week so you figured that something big was going to happen to either set it up or at least hint of what is coming. But we don’t get any of that at all. We do get another Missy scene where she is witnessing the Earth being protected from the solar flare and she calls it a “surprise” and boy does she love surprises. That was the only thing at that point in the episode that still kept my interest because I know they are at least setting her up for the two-part finale.
Overall, “In the Forest of the Night” was one of the few disappointing episodes of Series 8 and it felt like that it held back a lot of great things that we could have seen. But judging from that trailer that followed the episode for the last two episodes of Series 8: if you are a true Whovian, then you don’t want to miss those two episodes.
Doctor Who airs on Saturday nights, 9/8c on BBC America.
[Photo via BBC America]