‘Doctor Who’ Recap: “In the Forest of the Night”

By October 26, 2014

The world’s suffering from a new invasion…the invasion of the trees!

Danny and Clara are supervising a school field trip to the museum, and find themselves nearly trapped inside by the branches pressed up against the door. Meanwhile, young Maebe has escaped and found the Doctor in the middle of the forest. Her sister has been missing for some time, and Maebe has been labelled mentally ill. But is Maebe really sick, or is she just more attuned to the world than other people?

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Danny is none too pleased when he discovers that Clara and the Doctor have been in contact, and it doesn’t take him long to deduce that she’s been traveling with him, too. She left her ungraded papers on the TARDIS, which he sees when he and the children come aboard.

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The children try to play with the console, much to the Doctor’s dismay. Maebe disappears again, but this time she leads them to the epicenter of the forest. The Doctor manages to communicate with the little golden particulates that have created the foliage, and they claim they’ve been called into being by the sun.

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The Doctor realizes that there’s going to be a massive solar flare, just like the one that destroyed the bank of Karabraxos…and this one’s heading straight for the Earth. The Doctor offers to save the children, but Clara declines, saying they’d miss their parents. He offers to save her and Danny, but again she says no; Danny would never leave the kids behind. Finally, he offers to save just her.

She won’t let him, though, since she doesn’t want to be the last of her kind. Instead, she tells the Doctor he can save one person: himself. Reluctantly, he gets into the TARDIS, where he has an ‘aha!’ moment. The trees aren’t humanity’s enemy. They’ve grown overnight to protect the people of the Earth from the solar flare.

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He runs back into the forest and brings the group back to the TARDIS. It’s time for a school project: tell the people of the Earth not to harm the trees.

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With the Earth safe, he offers everyone a trip to watch the solar flare. The kids, however, miss their parents and want to go home. Danny the ex-soldier has had enough of the extraordinary, and only wants to see the beauty in normal, everyday things. But Clara, ever the addict, still goes with the Doctor.

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After the solar flare, the trees all dissipate, having done their job. Maebe’s sister suddenly reappears from behind a disappearing bush. And, of course, creepy Missy is watching everything, and she’s apparently surprised by it.

The two-part finale begins next week; maybe we’ll finally get some answers about Missy and the Promised Land!