I liked “In the Forest of the Night” more than I expected to. For an episode that takes place entire on (or, for a hot second, around) Earth, it felt Whovian enough. Even though it involved so much Mr. Pink, (am I the only one who hates him?) he came in tolerable doses.
I really liked Maeve, who feels like an indigo child or a horror movie kid right away. I knew the funny way she was running with her arms swatting in front of her face would come full circle, though that annoyed me every time she ran. I liked how precocious she was. I don’t understand how the disappearance of her sister left her strangely clairvoyant, and prophetic, but whatever. She was cute and a bit creepy, and that made her interesting to me.
Maybe it’s because I watch too much SVU, but I was certain her sister was dead. When the tree magic brought her back at the end, I was pleased to see she looked like a teenage runaway.
What I have a problem with is Mr. Pink yelling that Maeve was on medication and emotionally unstable in front of her other classmates. While it seems that everyone knew full well of Maeve’s trauma, I found this disrespectful, especially for a teacher. As a foil for Clara who was ready, willing, and able to run off with the Doctor and investigate, I think Danny failed on this account. He removes the children from the Tardis and leads them through a forest of danger, when he could’ve stayed and protected them. He’s not as perfect as everyone thinks her is.
I did like the philosophical question he brought up, and I even agree with him. Spending time with certain people can be worth more than any adventure. I was worried, though, that he talked Clara out of watching the solar flare. I’m happy to see that she was still interested in that experience of a lifetime.
My other major problem comes in the form of Clara kissing Danny in front of the Coal Hill students. That is not appropriate behavior! Let alone the fact that they whole school already thinks they are in love. This is an HR nightmare, you guys.
Oh, let’s not even start on how every year 8 student has been on the Tardis at this point. It bothered me when the Doctor brought Courtney aboard, and it bothered me slightly less this time… but not so little that I wouldn’t mention it.
I do like the trees acting as a giant shield around the earth for an intense solar flare. I like that Doctor said that humankind will simply forget, as that is our superpower.
Now, the finale, THAT looks interesting. I’ve been thinking about the origin of Clara a lot lately. Back int he Matt Smith days, Clara was so interesting to me– popping up in different times as slightly different people. Clara’s life as a school teacher with her regular boyfriend is so painfully boring to me. Looks like she’s going to get exciting again!