Saturday, October 25, 2014

In the Forest of the Night Review

 This episode started out so very good, a small child running through a dark forest and finds the Tardis, she then knocks and the Doctor answers being his grumpy self, but still nice. From the time the Doctor attempts to move the Tardis on the episode just goes off the rails. I have enjoyed every episode up until this one. I really at this moment want to shake writer Frank Cottrell Boyce about like a maraca and slap him silly screaming "NO MORE WHO FOR YOU!" This episode, while entertaining for small children perhaps, just fell flat on it's face and stalled horribly.
  There was really no danger other than wolves, which seem to not be able to overtake a small child, and tigers that are easily frightened by a simple flashlight. Throw science out the window and you are left with a flat boring fairytale. Honestly the only good thing about this episode was the series finale trailer at the end. Abigail Eames (Maebh) is the better actor out of all the other children and I can see why she was featured more. The rest were all forgettable and boring along with being not great at acting. Maebh, it seems, hears voices and hasn't been taking her pill to stop it from happening. She speaks for the trees? Is she secretly a Lorax?
  The interaction between the Doctor and Maebh  is actually funny and worked really well. Danny has been wasted this season as background noise and filler, when he should have been set front and center with Clara after the first few episodes and to provide a foil for the Doctor. Their arguments would have been welcomed and really funny. Ruby, who is right about most things she says, is the only other child actor with any value in the story and she is dismissed and ignored throughout.
  The other problems I have is with the ending on two different points. First we are supposed to care for the sister Mabhe has who has gone "missing" without knowing any background information whatsoever on said sister. I have no emotional investment at all in the sister or her plight. Did the trees kidnap her to get Mabhe's attention and then return her at the end? Was she a runaway? If she ran away, then why? Why was she hiding in a bush when standing or sitting on the stoop would have served the same purpose, dramatic effect perhaps. Again Frank Cottrell Boyce should be smacked repeatedly for this shit story.
   And second the science in this episode is just ridiculous. I can understand how the trees prevent the flare from harming the earth. It's a stretch, but the Doctors explanation holds up. They suck out the oxygen while the fire burns off the rest. What about the heat? Do the leaves somehow absorb all that? What about the atmosphere? Extra oxygen and the lack of aren't going to prevent all the heat from a solar flare. What about the satellites on the side of the earth that is hit by the solar flare? They would have been burned away and cause mass outages of internet, phones, and TV communication. All the trees that grew up throughout all the cities would have caused massive damage to pipes and subways. Gas lines would have been ruptured cause serious fires and deaths. Rebuilding the water lines for whole cities would have taken months if not years and water would have been scarce for long after. None of it was remotely realistic.
  It is Doctor Who though after all and this episode seemed to be more geared for children with little to offer the adults in the room. If the idea were to write a fairy tale then yes it worked, fairy dust trees and all. I just think this episode could have been so much better and that they dropped the ball and completely missed the mark with this one. Frank stick to writing children's books and away from my sci-fi. This episode gets the lowest mark of the series with a 2 out of 10.

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