Kyle J. Steenblik

In The Forest Of The Night The Doctor finds his home

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In the last episode before the two-part season finale and the confrontation with Missy that the entire season has been building toward, The Doctor lands in a very meaningful way.  I’ll get this right off, because I am not going to write anything about the first part of the two part episode next week, I am going to hold off until both parts air.  That is not just because I want to avoid some embarrassing conjecture; it is because the two part episodes are infinitely better when viewed back to back.  Now getting to it, the big reveal this week about The Doctor was his calming earth as his home.  A reversal of what he proclaimed in Kill the Moon, it was practically a confession.  In fact I believe what he said directly mirrored what Clara said to him “I walk your Earth.  I breathe your air.”  Now I have racked my memory, but I cannot recall The Doctor ever claiming the Earth to be his home.  I know he has claimed the TARDIS as his home, but that always felt more out of necessity.  When The Doctor spoke of home, he always meant Gallifrey.  The implications for the character are huge, but more than anything, it sets up some dramatically tragic confrontations that are soon to take place.

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In the Forest of the Night

Season 8 | Episode 10 | Original Airdate: October 25th, 2014 |

One morning in every city and town in the world, the human race wakes up to face the most surprising invasion yet.  Everywhere, in every land, a forest has grown overnight and taken back the Earth.  The trees are inflammable, seemingly invulnerable, and surprisingly, here to help. 

Written by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Directed by Sheree Folkson. Guest starring Abigail Eames, Jaydon Harris-Wallace, Ashley Foster, and Harley Bird.

There was a strong throwback to The Doctor The Widow and the Wardrobe with the forest.  If you remember, think of the forest life-force and what it looked like, and how it behaved, and how it spoke through the children.  The same effect was used here, the difference here being this forest life force has always been with the Earth, and has apparently been protecting the planet from comic catastrophes for a very long time now.  I do admit the idea is cool, and I quite liked the way they executed it.

Another, possibly my favorite, moment in this episode was watching The Doctor turn schoolteacher.  He had a class of students in his TARDIS giving them a crash lesson on solar flares and inexplicable forests that spring up overnight.  Unfortunately, my geeking-out gland was neutralized by the inexcusably bad science.  I have a very high tolerance for bad or imaginary science in my science fiction, and even more for Doctor Who.  If you missed that bit, solar flares, even one so large it could reach the earth, do not behave the way this one did, the excess oxygen would indeed burn, taking everything on the surface of the planet with it.  Also, the force of the solar flare would blow the atmosphere away from the planet entirely, not just burn it up.  That little nit-pick aside, it was very cool to see The Doctor return to his professorial roots.  It really was a fantastic episode, and it was tremendous fun to watch Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink again, I was really hoping he would become one of the Doctor’s companions.

Now, one last thing, you have a few days now to try to come up with a good theory about Missy.  What are yours?  I’m thinking some form of new Cybercontroler.

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