Doctor Who S8E10 - "In the Forest of the Night" Recap

A little girl named Maebh stumbles across the TARDIS in the middle of a forest-covered Trafalgar Square. Maebh claims something's chasing her so the Doctor lets her in. The Doctor calls up Clara and learns that Maebh is one of hers and Danny's students that had all gone together to an overnight stay at the London National History Museum. The entire world has been covered by forests in just a few hours. Danny's not happy to learn that Clara's still in touch with The Doctor but together, they lead the students to meet The Doctor in Trafalgar Square.

The Doctor thinks that the fabric of time needed to have been messed with for these trees to grow so quickly. Everyone boards the TARDIS and Danny looks through Maebh's notebooks. The Doctor is amazed to find pictures of an angry sun beaming down on trees. Clara tells The Doctor that Maebh, who is now missing again, has been put on medication to quiet the voices she began hearing after her sister Annabel disappeared a year ago. The Doctor is convinced that Maebh has a condition that allows her to be in tune to what's really happening.

The Doctor and Clara head out to find Maebh. She has been leaving a trail for them to follow of personal items. While following it, they encounter a government service team trying to burn a pathway through the forest but the trees control the oxygen so the trees can't catch fire. The Doctor says that Maebh's drawing shows a giant solar flare much like the one that destroyed the Bank Karabraxos. That event is happening presently and will strike the Earth but it doesn't explain why Maebh knows this.

Wild animals have escaped from the London Zoo, as the metal cages were torn open by the trees. The Doctor and Clara rescue Maebh from some wolves but then a tiger arrives, as it is chasing the wolves. Danny arrives in time to scare off the tiger and all of the students reunite with the group. Maebh runs again with her hands waving about and the students say this is a nervous tic she developed after her sister died. They all catch up to Maebh and she says she created the forest from a dream. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to adjust the local gravity, exposing multiple glowing firefly-like creatures. They communicate through Maebh and say they have persisted throughout time and were called there by Maebh and created the forest just as they have before. They said they didn't send her after the Doctor, though.

The Doctor releases the gravity and Maebh drops to the ground. The Doctor realises the the Earth is doomed by the solar flare and he can't fight physics. Clara tells the Doctor to leave so he can save the next world. The Doctor goes off in the TARDIS but then he has an epiphany and comes right back. He has realised that these flameproof trees have saved the earth before and they have appeared now just to save the planet from the solar flare.

The problem is that the government plans to use defoliating agents to strip the leaves from the trees to they can be burnt, which means everyone will die in the flare. The children put a message together that Maebh reads over the world's cellular networks cautioning everyone to not harm the trees and pleading with her sister Annabel to come home. The Doctor offers the group the opportunity to witness the solar flare's impact from the TARDIS but Danny says he'll take the children home, while Clara goes up with The Doctor. Danny knows Clara lied to him about her travels with The Doctor but he forgives her and wants to carry on with their relationship.

The Doctor and Clara watch the flare hit the Earth, as does Missy on her tablet, noting the surprise of this turn of events and how she loves surprises. The Doctor and Clara later watch the trees all disperse from her flat and The Doctor says that humanity will forget about this just as they have before but it would linger as little more than a fairytale of sorts. When Maebh and her mother return home, a set of bushes disappears that reveal Annabel waiting.

Doctor Who airs on Saturdays on BBC One.


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