8.10. Doctor Who - In The Forest Of The Night

Series 8

Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce; Produced by: Paul Frift; Director: Sheree Folkson; Music: Murray Gold;

A young girl, Maebh, looking for the Doctor is being chased through a forest. She sees the TARDIS and asks to see the Doctor. She seems unfazed the the TARDIS being bigger on the inside, and she tells the Doctor she assumed that it was supposed to be that way so didn't say anything. The same goes for the forest outside that has sprung up overnight. She also tells the Doctor she saw an image of her teacher, Miss Oswald, in her head telling her to find the Doctor.

The Doctor tells Maebh that the TARDIS is having problems starting. He tries to land in London but instead is in the middle of a forest, and Sat-Nav voice says they have reached their destination. Maebh tells the Doctor it is only saying that because it is true.

In the London Zoological Museum a group of children from Coal Hill School are having a sleep-over supervised by Clara and Danny. When it is time to leave Danny is surprised that the museum has not opened up. One of the pupils, Ruby, notices a cross section of tree showing it's rings, including one thick red ring.

Danny finds a security guard who unlocks the doors, but they are jammed. Danny, Clara and the children push on the doors and they exit the museum into a forest that is covering not just the whole of London but the entire world.

Clara calls the Doctor to tell him about the forest, but he already knows about it, and tells Clara she can pick up her missing pupil. Back inside the museum Danny is annoyed Clara has called the Doctor instead of the school and children's parents. He says his priority is looking after them, and Clara asks him where Maebh Arden is.

Danny and Clara lead the children through the trees back to the school, stopping at Trafalgar Square to pick up Maebh. Outside the TARDIS the Doctor is trying to scan the trees as Maebh watches a news report on her phone about the government's plan to create paths through the trees using fires.

Across London people are waking up to find trees outside their houses. Maebh's mum is worried about how she is going to collect her daughter from school.  

After letting one the pupils, Bradley, navigate Danny, Clara and the children arrive at the TARDIS. As a statue move due to the trees a branch breaks, and Ruby notices that it has no rings. The Doctor appears to say that as the trees grew overnight they have no rings. Clara tells everyone the Doctor will fix things, but he says he can't as this is a natural event. The Doctor goes back inside the TARDIS to try to communicate with the trees, followed by Danny, Clara and the pupils.

Maebh is still outside, and Clara tells the Doctor that Maebh, after losing her sister a year earlier, is on medication to help with the voices she keeps hearing. The Doctor realises that Maebh is tuned to a different channel and she can lead them to the centre of the forest. When the Doctor locates Maebh he and Clara go to find her. They find Maebh's phone.

Maebh is running through the forest and leaving various items, such as her phone, as a trail for the Doctor and Clara to follow. In the forest are a group of people trying to burn the trees. As the trees can control the oxygen in a localised area they do not catch fire. The Doctor shows Clara one of Maebh's school books that Clara had left in the TARDIS for marking. In it Maebh has illustrated a solar flare hitting Earth, similar to the one that destroyed the Bank of Karabraxos. The date on the school book is today.

Clara is worried when she hears a wolf howl. She says London doesn't have wolves, until the Doctor points out there is a zoo with a pack of wolves with gates that have probably been mangled by trees. When the hear Maebh scream they run and find Maebh being chased by two wolves. The wolves, terrified, run past the Doctor, Clara and Maebh. Moments later they see the tiger that the wolves were afraid of. They are rescued by Danny, shining a torch in the tiger's eyes, and the rest of the children.

When Maebh runs off, waving her arms, she is followed to a yellow light. Maebh tells the Doctor that it was her who made the forest appear. Ever since her sister, Annabel, went missing she has been looking for her everywhere. Instead of finding her Maebh finds thoughts, and the forest was one of them. Maebh starts waving her arms, saying the thoughts are moving too fast.

Using the sonic screwdriver the Doctor slows the thoughts down, and they appear as small lights. Maebh starts to talk in a deep voice as though possessed and tells the Doctor that it was the sun that called the trees, who were here before life and will be there after life has gone. When the Doctor releases the thoughts they all go and Maebh can't see them any more.

After what they have heard the Doctor and Clara interpret this as the trees trying to destroy life, and Clara asks the Doctor to use the TARDIS as a lifeboat and save whoever he can. Back at the TARDIS Clara tells the Doctor it was a ploy to get him back to his TARDIS and asks him to leave. There is no point taking the children away when there will be no planet left, Danny will never leave the children, and Clara does not want to be saved and be the last of her kind.

As the TARDIS leaves Danny and Clara start to take the children back home. In the TARDIS the Doctor realises the significance of a flame proof forest and returns to the forest and calls them all back to the TARDIS. Inside the the TARDIS the Doctor explains that the huge solar flare that is due, that has the power to destroy the Earth, has happened before. The Doctor explains that the trees are not the enemy, but they have appeared to protect Earth from the solar flare.

The Doctor offers everyone the chance to see the solar flare. On the monitor Maebh sees her mum and goes out to her. All the other children start to think about their parents. Danny looks after the children as the Doctor and Clara watch the solar flare from space. Back on Earth the new trees, no longer required, disappear. At Maebh's house one last plant disappears leaving her sister, Annabel.

 

Regular cast

Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman;

Guest cast

Danny Pink: Samuel Anderson; Maebh: Abigail Eames; Samson: Jaydon Harris-Wallace; Bradley: Ashley Foster; Ruby: Harley Bird; Missy: Michelle Gomez; Maebh's Mum: Siwan Morris; George: Harry Dickman; Minister: James Weber Brown; Neighbour: Michelle Asante; Emergency Services Officer: Curtis Flowers; Jenny Hill: Herself; Paris Reporter: Kate Tydman; Accra Reporter: Nana Amoo-Gottfried; Annabel: Eloise Barnes;

First showing

Channel Episode Title Date Viewers Position
BBC 1 (HD)10In The Forest Of The NightSat 25 October 20148:20 pm - 9:05 pm6.92M

Repeats (on the BBC)

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