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Doctor Who - In the Forest of the Night - Advance Preview + Dialogue Teasers

So, a Maths teacher and an English teacher take half a dozen of Coal Hill’s slightly more behaviourally challenged children to a sleep over at the London Zoological Museum, as is completely normal... Perhaps it’s to do with the success Clara had with getting Courtney ‘disruptive influence’ Woods to buckle down and improve as a student. Who knows? It’s only one of the numerous plot holes this episode suffers from after all, and like the rest of the story you’re either going to roll with it and be taken in by Frank Cottrell Boyce’s enchanting fairy tale, or nit-pick and wind up feeling slightly underwhelmed.

Like last week’s Flatline, this boasts a new Season 8 director and writer working together for the first time. Sheree Folkson's (Truckers, Graceland) vision of London overrun with plants is wonderfully actualised; there are some really beautiful shots of sunbeams struggling to shine through the trees on to the scant reminders of urban life which are swathed in creepers and vines. A lamppost here, a bus there, and even the TARDIS itself, all start to disappear under the ever growing vegetation as it increases its stranglehold on Earth. However there is only so much she can do, and this one way in which I feel the script is weak, there is a no real sense of any threat building.

The so called ‘scary bit’, when it does finally come, is very brief and not in any way satisfying after the darker tone the rest of the season has provided. I know that some will probably enjoy a frothy, whimsical fable before we dive into the two part finale, but for me it jars me out of the arc that was coming along so perfectly at the end of last week. Consequently it feels as if the characters have taken a step backwards, and when you tack on a conclusion that is even more convenient and slapdash than Kill the Moon, I'm afraid to say that it’s not a story I can see myself wanting to revisit anytime soon.

In spite of the negatives that I feel about the episode it does have some captivating moments too. On the whole the children handle their roles pretty well; Capaldi has some delightful scenes with young Abigail Eames who plays the troubled Maebh – showing once and for all what a ludicrous notion it is that his older Doctor can’t connect with the children. Clara has a couple of weighty decisions to make, including a massive lie that she tells the Doctor which leads to a very poignant scene between the two of them. Also, it’s fantastic that we finally get to see more of Danny as opposed to relegating him to the occasional phone call, although I do prefer his natural comradery with the children opposed to his endless patience with Clara.

In the Forest of the Night airs on Saturday 25th October at 8.20pm on BBC 1 and BBC 1 HD in the UK, and at 9pm on BBC America. Below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then. Don't forget to come back to vote in our poll after the episode and let us know what you thought.

"I don’t wanna see more things. I wanna see the things that are in front of me more clearly"

"Which one’s Maebh? Maebh? Maebh? Maebh? Maebh? Maebh? Maebh? Maebh? Maebh? Maebh?"

"I'm allowed a torch sir, I've got a note. I'm darkness phobic"

"Why are you asking me all the questions? Give someone else a go!"

"What are the round bits for?"

"Oh, you didn't call the school, you called him"

"What are wolves scared of?"

"We will create pathways through the trees using carefully controlled fires"

"Do you have an appointment? You need an appointment to see the Doctor"

"Why would trees want to kill us, we love trees!"

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Banshee, The Musketeers, Atlantis, and other BBC shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Sons of Anarchy, Hannibal, Game of Thrones and Elementary.
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