"You need an appointment to see the Doctor"
This week’s episode was penned by storytelling genius Frank Cottrell Boyce, winner of the Carnegie Medal for children’s literature and the man who scripted the London 2012 Isles of Wonder Olympic Opening Ceremony. And did we mention he is a Macmillan author too? His fractured fairytale had a fantastical setup; overnight, the trees take back the Earth. Cue impressive upwards tracking shot of Nelson's Column wrapped in branches and Knightsbridge tube station in a woodland glade. We loved the references to fairytales Sleeping Beauty, Hansel & Gretel and Red Riding Hood.
We asked our resident Whovian Paul Cornell to share five brilliant things from this week’s episode.
Five brilliant things about Doctor Who, 'In The Forest of The Night'
1: This was a poetic, elegiac, slow-paced episode that did that very British 'cosy catastrophy' thing of making the end of the world so lovely-looking and calm that the Brits almost embrace it. Part JG Ballard and part CS Lewis, with the first bit of even slight peril 19 minutes in.
2: Again, the story was expertly plugged into the character arcs of the season, with Clara having taken onboard the Doctor's philosophy concerning 'superpowers' and a change in his own character as he declares that (as Clara argued in 'Kill the Moon', Earth is his world too).
3: 'Be less scared, be more trusting,' is a wonderful central message to the world as it is today.
4: Danny and the Doctor's tussle over how both failed Maebh is almost a struggle about who'd make the best Dad. It's good to see Danny shown to be a good teacher, someone who leads kids to make the best of themselves, something the Doctor sometimes fails at.
5: The scene outside the TARDIS, where Clara chooses not to be the last of her species, having fooled the Doctor into going there, is beautiful, again playing on the shared experience of those two. She's seen what being so alone has done to him.