Monday, 27 October 2014

DW 08-10: In the Forest of the Night

A Guide to Classic Who references in New Who episodes.

The ninth episode of series 8.  The trees of Earth engulf the planet overnight.

Warning: May contain Spoilers for

"In the Forest of the Night"

Viewing Order

  • 7-06 "The Bells of Saint John" (Suggested viewing - reintroduction of character, plot connection)
  • 8-01 - "Deep Breath(Suggested viewing - reintroduction of character.)
  • 8-02 - "Into the Dalek" (Suggested viewing - introduction of character.)
  • 8-07 - "Kill the Moon"  (Suggested viewing - character arc.)
  • 8-08 - "Mummy on the Orient Express"  (Suggested viewing - character arc.)


[1ST] - First appearance in Doctor Who.
[NEW] - Stuff seen previously in the New Series.
[OLD] - Things that first appeared in the classic series (or the film.)  Episode List.
[INJ] - In jokes.

  • [OLD]  It's supposed to be bigger - Sgt Benton had a similar reaction upon first entering the TARDIS in the Third Doctor story "The Three Doctors."

  • [NEW]  Last of his Kind - In the universe anyway.  This wasn't the case in the original series.

  • [OLD]  Trees - The relative intelligence and ability to communicate of trees is discussed in this episode. In the Sixth Doctor story "The Mark of the Rani," set in 1820, the Rani planted mines that turned into anyone who stepped on them into trees which retained some level of consciousness.  In "The Doctor, The Widow & the Wardrobe" the sentience of the trees on the planet visited are forced to flee due to deforestation. And by the time of "The End of the World" (the year 5,000,000,000) descendants of Earth trees had gained sentience become humanoids.

  • [NEW]  2016 AD - The Doctor appears to be referring to the year this story is set, although could just be forgetful and estimating.  Often the stories set on current Earth aren't necessarily set now, but a little later.  For example, there are many references (especially in official by external sources to the Third and Fourth Doctor stories being set in the 80s although they were filmed in the 70s.  This allowed for the "reality" of invasions of Earth not being disrupted by the fact that they never happened.  Later stories (especially the Fifth Doctor story "Mawdryn Undead") contradict this.  With the new series, the first episode "Rose" was set around the date of that episode's broadcast in 2005, her next visit to modern London it was 2006 and remained a year ahead for the rest of Russell T Davies's time as show runner (until "The End of Time part 2).  It is unclear if this has continued in the Moffat era, but this may suggest it is now two years.

  • [NEW]  What are the round bits for - A continuing question.

  • [INJ]  It's not a Magic Wand - A common complaint about the use of the Sonic Screwdriver in the new series is that it's become a magic wand.  Rather than just a screwdriver, it has shown a lot of abilities to bypass little problems with boring solutions (unlocking doors, examining patients).

  • [OLD]  Solar Flares - These astronomical events have featured a number of times in the new and old series.  They cause Earth to be abandoned in the 29th or 30th Century ("The Beast Below" and the Fourth Doctor story "The Ark in Space.").  They also disrupted communication between Mars and Earth ("The Waters of Mars") and by Earth satellites ("Bad Wolf").  In 1930, the worst one for a thousand years was used going to be used as an energy source by the Daleks ("Evolution of the Daleks.")

  • [NEW]  Like the one that destroyed the Bank of Karabraxos - The Doctor is referring to the solar storm from "Time Heist."

  • [NEW]  Missy - Another appearance.  Now that wasn't surprising.

  • [INJ]  The Human Superpower: Forgetting - Well, that fixes a whole lot of plot holes.

The 10 Rules to Doctor Who.

10.  TARDIS:  No time travel shown.  Little travel at all.  [1]
9.  Meeting Yourself:  No one tries.  [X]
8.  Non-sequiturs:  Yes.  [1]
7.  Serious/Frivolous:  Of course.  [1]
6.  Series Final:  Still not the series final.  [X]
5.  Companion:  Contemporary British female companion.  (Contemporary London setting)  [1]
4.  Emotionless:  The trees are accused of being non-sentient.  They display love however. [.5]
3.  Title Spoilers:  Not particularly. [0]
2.  The Threat:  We don't really get more information than the Doctor, but he does work it out first.  [.5]
1.  Last of It's Kind:  Just the Doctor (Clara refuses to become one) and he isn't dangerous in this episode (although Danny treats him as such).  Another drawback of being the last of your kind is there's no one to ask when your TARDIS won't start.  [0]

Score:  5/8.

~ DUG.
YEAR TWO is coming.

The Time Crash blog was created to help New Who fans understand Classic Who references - and to know if something isn't a reference but a new idea.  If there's a reference I missed or a subject that you feel needs more explaining, please comment.

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