Another write-as-I-watch review.
Right away, this feels like a little red riding hood story… then we see the TARDIS. The Doctor compares the size of the TARDIS to the amount of sugar in a Coke, which I found interesting… He seems to be good with the random child that shows up at his door, but things are very confused.
Apparently we’re in the middle of London, but we’re in a forest. For once, could we please have an alien planet? We’re spending entirely too much time in the UK, too much time on Earth entirely. *sigh* Anyway, on we go. A bunch of kids sleeping over in what looks like a museum with our good friends Mr. Pink and Miss Oswald. When they leave, they discover the forest has grown up overnight… and it appears to have covered the whole world. The child? Well, they lost her and now the Doctor has her.
There’s some… tension… between Danny and Clara over the fact that Clara is still in contact with the Doctor, but in this case it seems to be a good thing she is.
“If you start to fall behind, don’t” – Danny Pink
Seriously? Is this boot camp?
The kids start to notice weird thing about the trees, like no growth rings and ones with both nuts and blossoms. Something’s definitely not right with the forest.
It appears Danny has realized what’s really going on with the Doctor and Clara, or at least he suspects it. There’s no time to worry about that with a lost little girl running through the woods, dropping clues as she goes. As Clara and the Doctor follow they find men trying (but unable) to light the trees on fire. We also realize there are animals loose in the woods.
So far there doesn’t seem to be much of a story here, just a lot of filler.
Wolves. Wolves and a girl in a hooded red jacket. Total red riding hood. They find Mave (our little girl – and I’m sure that’s not her name but that’s what it sounds like so that’s what I’ll call her for now) and then we find a tiger. Danny gets to save the day and be cool for a second. Mave tells the Doctor that she created the forest because of the thoughts she catches. The thoughts look like lightening bugs, but more aliens?
The Doctor believes the world is going to end. He wants to take the kids and Clara, or even just Clara. She doesn’t want to go, but she wants him to go and save himself. She talks him into leaving, but I don’t think he’s done yet. Within seconds, he’s chasing the group and bringing them back to the TARDIS. What does he do but tell them all the Earth is on a path of destruction… for a second, anyway. Then he explains that the trees are going to save them all.
The kids want to go home, but Clara wants to see the solar event. Danny doesn’t want to go… so Clara acts like she’s going to skip it but goes back and sees it anyway. I feel like her exit is coming soon or the end of her relationship is.
We’re treated to another brief glimpse of Missy, where she seems shocked by the choice as well.
Everything resolves itself within a minute. The trees go away, a missing child is returned and everyone will apparently forget everything.
This felt a little preachy. A little soda has a ton of sugar in it, save the trees, look at what’s in front of you instead of out at the world (Danny’s speech to Clara). I don’t know, but I really didn’t enjoy it very much. The interaction between characters was good, and there was some camera work that I enjoyed immensely, but I wasn’t at all enthralled with the story itself.
By the way, I just looked it up – it’s not Mave, it’s Maebh.
Next week looks much better. We see Missy as well as Clara not being, well, Clara. We also get a glimpse of some Cybermen. It’s part one of the season finale (I’m not counting the Christmas Special as the finale) so I’m very excited to see where things are going. Over the next several episodes I expect some resolution to Clara’s character (whether she leaves the TARDIS or Danny), and I also expect some resolution to Missy.
What did you think of this episode, and what are your predictions for the next several? If you’ve seen any leaked footage or anything please don’t share that though – just opinions and theories.