Doctor Who Series 8 Review “In the Forest of the Night”

Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 10 In the Forest of the Night (5)

This season of Doctor Who has its share of bad and good episodes, with things fortunately leaning towards the latter overall. However, “In the Forest of the Night” doesn’t really qualify as either; it’s just dull through and through. We’re talking “why did I even watch that” dull. Even the ongoing Clara/Danny conflict was toothless this week, making for a truly disappointing lead-in to the two-part finale.

There have certainly been a lot of kids on the show lately, which is interesting given the darker tilt to this season. From the youthful graffiti hoodlum last week to the parade of Coal Hill students, the show has felt like its leaning a bit more heavily towards its children show roots. However, this week took things a step further with a non-conflict so lame, it felt like I was watching an episode of a different show. The sudden appearance of a forest was cool, but then it didn’t really do anything. It was just a sudden forest.

And this led to the trees just sitting there, impervious to damage, as Clara, Danny and a group of “gifted” students from Coal Hill wandered the woods. What followed was a lot of nothing happening for 45 minutes. I mean, a tiger showed up and got chased off with a flashlight at one point. So, um… grand adventure there.

Also, given that the trees were somehow immune to damage, I didn’t quite get why there needed to be a huge, worldwide message to tell people to leave them alone. Even if people could damage the trees, how much damage would they have done in the twenty minutes or so leading up to the solar flare? Was it just to make Maebh feel special? It was just lazy, unclear storytelling to give an ending to a boring episode.

As mentioned, even the conflict between Danny and Clara fell flat this week. After the stressful interchanges the duo have had over the Doctor in recent weeks, it felt really out-of-character for Danny to just shrug of Clara’s lying to him and tell her to take even more time to figure out what here relationship with the Doctor is. Hopefully, he can find the fire again in the two-part finale.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!