back to article Reg hacks see the woods or the trees In the Forest of the Night

El Reg's resident Doctor Who fans – Brid-Aine Parnell, Gavin Clarke and Jennifer Baker – have come together to discuss the plot of tonight's episode, In the Forest of the Night. Please note: THIS IS A POST-UK-BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Brid-Aine says: After the tentative forward momentum achieved in Mummy on …

  1. Robert E A Harvey

    I Wondered if the diassapeared sister had been the trees, or in charge, or summat. Which is why the younger one could hear voices?

    1. PassingStrange

      @Robert E Harvey: I suspect that's what the writer was thinking, but if so, he needed to work harder at it. As it was, it was an awful ending - no real explanation, just "magic" and a touch of "happily ever after" that, once again, would have been more in place on CBBC. Oh, and on a planet of 7 billion people, the pivotal individual just "happens" to be a pupil at Clara's school? Well - there was a vague hint of another Missy connection; but if it was meant to be significant, it needed laying on with a much, much bigger trowel.

      I don't make a point of going around discussing Doctor Who, but it's come up in conversation a couple of times, and I haven't yet spoken to anyone who claims to be liking the current series. And the plaint isn't Capaldi - it's the abysmal plots. I'd really love to know what the viewing figures look like - because I have a nasty suspicion they're nosediving.

      1. Graham Marsden

        @Passing Strange

        "on a planet of 7 billion people, the pivotal individual just "happens" to be a pupil at Clara's school?"

        Yes, just as Aliens keep invading Earth and, especially, London (unless it's Cardiff). It's cheaper. It's Dr Who, it happens all the time. Just learn to live with it.

      2. Carneades

        They're here:

    2. Whitter

      I thought it was a "thank you" from the shiny spotty chaps, but each to their own. Still a naff episode.

  2. the spectacularly refined chap

    This is getting a bit samey now

    OK, so you three don't like the new Doctor Who. Boo hoo. You don't need to keep telling us about it every week.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is getting a bit samey now

      OK, so you three don't like the new Doctor Who. Boo hoo. You don't need to keep telling us about it every week.

      It's not just those three. There are plenty of us who think this series is by and large tedious, over-sentimental, and selling short the classic series we knew and loved. Despite the best efforts of Mr Capaldi. Why the hell shouldn't we say so?

      1. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: This is getting a bit samey now

        There are plenty of us who think this series is by and large tedious, over-sentimental, and selling short the classic series we knew and loved.

        You mean like it has been ever since the reboot? It's simply following the same trajectory established by Russell T Davies - a classic British sci fi show transformed into mumbo-jumbo space opera and lacking any logical consistency. That isn't news.

        1. Tac Eht Xilef

          Re: This is getting a bit samey now

          Well ... that's the thing, isn't it?

          At the time you cringed at wheelie bins gobbling kids and old ladies, and Zoë Wanamaker's taut bottom speaking to you in ways you had never imagined before.

          Now those episodes look like classics...

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

            Re: This is getting a bit samey now

            Reality check guys. The classic series was at least as tediously hammy and fantstical in places as this one. It actuayll hasn't changed all that much.

            Masque of mandragora was repeated recently. It was a akk of the above. Didn't stop it being as entertaining as last nights was. Switch off your brains - kick back and relax, Relive your childhood - stop analysisng it.

    2. mafoo

      Behind the sofa

      I was behind the sofa, cringing at the awfulness of the ensemble of kids.

      I know it's family entertainment, but its not Sarah Jane Adventures.

      The whole setting around a school this season is just causing so many dire, annoying, child based plot points.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "OK, so you three don't like the new Doctor Who"

    No sane person does. HoFuCTAS.

  4. Frank Zuiderduin

    This thing's getting rotten

    No, I don't like this setup either. And if the short bit from the next episode is anything to go by, it's going to get worse.

    Clara Oswald never existed? Yeah, right.

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: This thing's getting rotten

      Another quick asspull in Dr Who to cover up poor writing - Classic Moffat!

      Sorry, let me correct that - Classic New Who!

    2. David L Webb

      Re: This thing's getting rotten

      Clara Oswald never existed? Yeah, right.

      Ah - that explains everything !!

      Missy is a female version of the Master - but not the Timelord "Master". She is the female replacement for the Master from the second Doctor's "The Mind Robber".

      All the series since Clara was introduced (and possibly earlier) have been fiction written by Missy. Unfortunately the aliens were only able to find a second-rate hack to replace the Master which is why the episodes have been so bad :)

  5. J 7

    'twas total crap.

    The science doesn't even work. We all know what caused Tunguska, and it wasn't a coronal mass ejection

    As for the kids.......aaaargh please shoot them

    Given the school setting for this series, maybe they should consider bringing back Ian Chesterton and Barbara White. THEY knew how to keep children under control

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      We all know what caused Tunguska, and it wasn't a coronal mass ejection

      Actually, that was fair enough. People who have actually studied it are not willing to say they know what it was, only offer a probable explanation.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      We all know what caused Tunguska, and it wasn't a coronal mass ejection

      That's not at all how I interpreted it, I understood that as meaning that the trees were there to minimize the damage to the planet from the air-burst (which they did by absorbing the energy of the explosion).

      The examples given were all extinction level events which were averted by the trees, not all CMEs.

      The actual premise of the episode was quite interesting, I thought, although the execution was awful and the ending was abysmal.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not that we (by "we" I mean the collective "we" here) don't like the new Doctor Who, I think it's a more the case that we are desperately disappointed with it and wishing it was half decent in some way. We just want it to be better than it is, because we know it can be.

    This series is just so... lacklustre. It's not very well written (at all) with stories and characters that are just so bland it's hard to invest any emotion, sympathy or empathy in them. This whole series just feels so forgettable

    Peter Capaldi is a good actor as is Jenna Coleman, as indeed are all the adults in it (all the kids just have that over the top stage-school feel to them). Steven Moffat is an excellent writer and producer (of other things just, sadly not for Doctor Who)

    This episode, had nothing at all of interest, no characters to give a crap about, no tension, no drama, no fun, no laughs no emotion, in fact no "energy" at all.You can level many things at Doctor Who since it started but lacking emotion or energy generally hasn't been one of them.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Steven Moffat peaked at series 3 of Coupling, everything since then has been on a downward trajectory. And I'm not alright with that, because Joking Apart and Coupling were genius and Capaldi and Coleman are decent actors, hell Coleman must be because she has to play a different character every episode, but the Who since Xmas have been bobbins.

  7. J 7

    the truth is it

    was really boring

    plotless shit

  8. Red Bren
    Thumb Down

    Was it just me?

    Or was anyone else hoping the earth (or at least humanity) would be destroyed? At least that way, we might get an episode where an alien, who can travel to almost any time or place in the universe, might do something that doesn't involve humans. But no; it seems that the rebooted Dr Who universe is so small and empty, that anything of any cosmic consequence has to happen to the earth, or it's dominant species.

    I wasn't convinced that Peter Capaldi was the right choice to play the Doctor, but he's grown on me. However this incarnation of the Doctor seems stunted and diminished - despite his 1300 years of experience and timelord intellect, it's his female, human companion who solves everything now. It feels like a clumsy attempt to overcompensate for the passive, intellectually limited companions of the past. If they wanted a strong and smart female character, why not be bold and cast a woman to play the Doctor? I'd find him losing his testicles more believable than losing his character. There's nothing to suggest a regeneration couldn't result in a swaping of gender, it's even been hinted as a possibility, it just hasn't happened yet in the same way that tossing a coin can give you a run of the same result.

    I like much of Moffat's work, including some of the Dr Who episodes he's penned, but it seems he's at his best in small doses - Sherlock and Jekyll being my favourite examples of where he delivers small, self-contained masterpieces. But under his long-term stewardship, Dr Who seems to have run out of ideas. Even the opportunities offered by later scheduling are being squandered; every ending is a happy one; every problem can be solved by love, rather than (or in preference to) science; and nothing has to be explained, be it extinct-bar-one creatures that can lay eggs bigger than themselves without losing their virginity, or missing siblings that turn up out of the blue in a magic shrubbery.

    I know this is supposed to be a kids show, but there are plenty of shows that explore the human relationships. This show should be opening young minds to questions about the universe and our place in it.

    1. DropBear

      Re: Was it just me?

      Sigourney Weaver as the next Doctor...? Hmmm, intriguing idea...

    2. qwarty

      Re: Was it just me?

      Since the Dr Who Universe continues to move further and further from our own place in the multiverse, yes I'm all for the destruction option. Perhaps that way the Doctor can be encouraged to find his way back to our universe where he lived for the first 8 incarnations.

      The notion of a sex-changed Doctor regeneration is such a bad idea. The concept that a strong female character needs to be based on a 2000 year old male is both ludicrous and insulting to women and why, apart from perversity and 'because you have the power to', would you want to introduce such an idea into a series aimed at children and adults?

      Incidentally I would very much like to see a female timelord take over as the lead character in the series. Not with the baggage of the history and character of the Doctor himself but an interesting woman in her own right with a different attitude to the role of traveller in space and time. The Doctor needn't die but a long vacation would be a smart move.

      1. PatientOne

        Re: Was it just me?

        I thought they'd set things up with the Doctor's Daughter for a female timelord to be around. Or for a spin off series.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Was it just me?

      "I like much of Moffat's work, including some of the Dr Who episodes he's penned, but it seems he's at his best in small doses - Sherlock and Jekyll being my favourite examples of where he delivers small, self-contained masterpieces."

      Yes, I think that sums up the entire problem with the whole of the reboot series, most obviously this current series. Stories are too short and end up with a hurried solution in the last few minutes and no clear back story to link the episodes into a coherent series. And no, a "surprise" in the very last episode "explaining" the back story isn't good enough if there are no clues to allow the viewer to work it out for themselves over the span of the series.

      Back in Ye Olden Days, the episodes were half the current length but the story ran across several episode or even the whole series with a cliffhanger at the end of each episode. This gave time to develop the characters and work though a proper plot with a decent lead up to a solution.

  9. frank ly


    I imagine that spoken by River Song in her most teasing and archly playful voice.

    Coat: The long brown one, nearly touches the floor.

  10. Arnold Lieberman
    Thumb Up

    Aaaahhhh River Song

    Something for the dads...

    1. Vociferous

      Re: Aaaahhhh River Song

      I'll drink to that!

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Aaaahhhh River Song

        Only with beer-and-a-bottle-of-scotch goggles on

  11. Anonymous Coward

    On the up side

    At least there isnt too much of the cloying, saccharine, melancholy, over the top, heart string pulling that went on LAST season; that REALLY got on my nerves.

    So sugary, will no one think of the children(s teeth).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mistress Missy...

    Or is it Mistress Poppins?

  13. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Prepare for disappointment

    Thus far any Moffat-related story that features elements of an arc has ended in disappointment. There was a nice build-up with the Silence, the oldest secret in the universe (Doc-tor Who!) etc., but what did we get?

    I'd like to be disappointed about my disappointment but the odds aren't good.

    [Yes, I woke up grumpy.]

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Prepare for disappointment

      Is this a story arc or a story precipice? Nothing this series has prepared us for the whatever it is that's going off in that trailer for next week.

  14. Whitter


    Looks to me as if the "Doctor's" soul-searching has been his attempt at electing similar from Clara, before she abandon's her humanity (At least, I think that's Pink's point in so far - to show what Clara should be but isn't). But the point made above that the "arcs" of new-who have been poorly handled, though many of the episodes have been fine in their own right. Not this one though: Bloomin' awful it was.

  15. Chris King

    Gallifrey 90210

    Like most folks, I feel that Capaldi was a good choice to replace Matt Smith, but they've lumbered him with some seriously bad scripts. Jenna Coleman has gone from "Little Miss Smug Deus Ex Machina" (how many times did she have to save Smith ?) to "Little Miss What The HELL Am I This Week ?" - and in the middle of this we've got Mr Pink as the lamest "Tin Dog" yet.

    The whole thing seems to revolve round a compulsive liar, a 2,000-year-old cradle-snatcher and a passive-aggressive whiner. Sounds like a great mix for a US-style sitcom. Maybe that's the market Moffat's aiming for now, I don't know.

    The bit at the end annoyed me too. I think they *might* have got away with bringing Maebh's big sister home as a thank-you for helping the trees do their job - because lets face it, the Pudding Brains In Charge would have killed everybody by breaking out the Agent Orange.

    Maybe they need someone to come up with better scripts, someone like (say) Dan Freeman. Check out "The Minister of Chance" - imagine a Time Lord with no TARDIS, no sonic screwdriver and a bad-tempered companion who frequently refers to him as "Tosser!" and you get the idea. The title character doesn't have any convenient plot holes to get him out of trouble, he has to THINK his way out of peril - more like the Classic Doctors.

    They're trying to raise money for a movie version, but it looks like their KickStarter is going to fall badly short of its target. Shame really, because the "podcast" version was rather good.

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Gallifrey 90210

      Hmm, interesting. Thanks, I've just backed the Ministry of Chance project even though it looks like it might fall short. At the very least I hope to get updates on the state of the show.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Gallifrey 90210

      "and in the middle of this we've got Mr Pink as the lamest "Tin Dog" yet."

      I can't help but think that Mickey[1] regenerated into Danny.

      [1]Mickey, as in Rose/Billy Piper episodes for those who have tried to forget him.

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Vociferous

      I wont upvote anything Torchwood, because that raises the risk of Gwen Cooper. She may be the most obnoxious whiny bimbo character I have ever seen, in any language, any genre, and the that she so blatantly was the writer's pet that they not only kept pushing her to the front but killed off all character who got more interesting than her (which was everyone) didn't endear her to me either.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Downvoted for inappropriate image link.

  17. graeme leggett

    Fandom reaction - splitting

    Going by Gallifreybase, this one proviokes a similar reaction to Rings of Akhetan. The voting curve isn't a single peak but has more in common with Cisco's logo.

    Thematically, there's a tie-in with the Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe with its sparkly vegetation-based lifeforce.

    Personally, not one of the stand-outs of the series but may have more meaning once the end of the series is reached. The seasons's themes have been 'choices', 'sacrifice', and 'lies' so this story may have partly been to round off/fill-in some elements as an intro to the finale.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is the the writers?

    Birnam wood, great dramatic device in Macbeth, Tolkiens forest of huorns at dawn in the battle of Helms deep. The story concept of an emergent forest on a global scale could make for a great story, not a dreadful idea if well written with some thought to plausibility.

    What we were given was poorly crafted story telling with apparently no attempt to help the viewer suspend disbelief beyond a few sentences of pseudo-scientific babble. Some recent survey claimed more Americans believe in Bigfoot than accept the idea of the Big Bang and this kind of unnecessary random magic in place of science just encourages a wide sub-culture that accepts ignorance and irrationality.

    Not quite as badly written as "Kill the Moon" imo (having watched Dr Who live missing few episodes since Unearthy Child I'm pretty tolerant but KtM got my worst ever episode to date vote).

    That makes two examples of desperately bad writing this series. My wife regarded this episode as the worst of series even more so than KtM and in the brief discussion afterwards including my 16yo currently studying for GCSE we got onto the topics of dysfunctional teens, poor writing and the likelihood of the offending writers having passed a GCSE in any science subject.

    Wondering it its about very untalented writers chosen to write for the series or the heavy hand of editing, either way the editorial team needs to wake up. The reviewer is quite correct this is bottom of the barrel material.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    It's all gone to pot

    Dr Who used to be quite good but since Tom Baker left it has all gone downhill.

    (I'll get my coat)

    1. Stephen W Harris

      Re: It's all gone to pot

      Old series; Tom Baker was "my Doctor". Although I think McCoy could have been the best if he'd been given the chance. He re-introduced some of the mystery around the Doctor.

      New series... I immediately liked Ecclestone. He was great. It made a good reboot and made me a fan of the new series. Disliked Tennant when he started, but got used to him within a few episodes. Smith was too young but he grew into the role (seriously, look at him standing up to the Atraxi in his first episode and thinking "cute, kid"; compare to almost any of Series 7; Journey To The Center Of The TARDIS; in just 2 years he'd grown up).

      Capaldi I'm actively disliking. His character is an arsehole. Not Colin Baker levels of dislike ('worst Doctor ever!'), but definitely the worst of the new series.

  20. J 7

    Vociferous - I said Torchwood moralities - not Torchwood characters. I see one person has followed the link and understands......

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's time to dump the script writers and get in some proper sci-fi script writers.

    Doctor Who needs to be more darker for the adult audience. It is after all being shown 8:30 pm-ish

    Also the TARDIS needs to leave Earth and actually go to other worlds otherwise might as well be called TARDOE (Time And Relevant Dimensions On Earth).

    1. rh587 Silver badge

      Not sure it needs to be darker. Just go back to basics. The stand out episode of this season for me has been Listen - good old monsters-under-the-bed creepiness.

      Not dark or adult, just a common fear of the dark.

      That said, I do wonder why they are showing what is ostensibly a family show (and really quite light a breezy with no especially gruesome or dark bits) at 8.30pm. What happened to Who being 7pm Prime Time viewing?

  22. trance gemini

    Some vapid netheads ...

    ... still wouldn't be satisfied if every episode was written by isaac asimov, produced by arthur c clarke, directed by stanley kubrick with laurence olivier as the doctor and marilyn monroe as his sidekick

    don't know who any of those people are? aww bless - but fear not, the bbc are remaking a hardcore sci-fi classic next year especially for you! it'll blow your little socially-networked minds with its gritty realism and rollercoaster story about the hazards of lunar terraforming whilst under alien attack from intergalactic reptiles and mechanized avian cyborgs ... it's called 'the clangers'

    in other news... 'professor' brian cox has just proved the existence of trans-dimensional wormholes by sticking his head so far up his own ... transmission interrupted

    1. Chris King

      Re: Some vapid netheads ...

      Ah yes, the Clangers. Xenophobes who developed space rocket technology to blast alien invaders out of the sky, and the Soup Dragon wasn't much better, assaulting the Iron Chicken for non-use of utensils...

    2. Stephen W Harris

      Re: Some vapid netheads ...

      The Clangers? They've already been on Doctor Who. "The Sea Devils";

  23. J 7

    " if every episode was written by isaac asimov, produced by arthur c clarke, directed by stanley kubrick with laurence olivier as the doctor and marilyn monroe as his sidekick"

    now that would be a neat trick, a real program "from the dark side" considering they're all dead.....

  24. ukgnome

    I'm looking forward

    to El Ref's take on those other programs that has been running for 50 years or more.

    Although I doubt blue peter and panorama provide the same sort of trollish link bait.

    1. ukgnome

      Re: I'm looking forward

      aagghhh again my crappy iPhone has changed my text, and as I use the app on the weekend I can only blame the app.

  25. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Is it just me?

    Slightly worried that I might be judging this series of Who too harshly while everyone else LOVES IT I trawled a few other reviews.

    From the Grauniad, "Good research skills on the part of FCB (Frank Cottrell Boyce). The Tunguska blast of 1908 was a real thing that actually happened."

    A real thing. That actually happened.

    1. JCB

      Time for my pill, please, Nurse

      Yes, saw that Guardian review too, and I am not quite sure which irritated me more, the review or the blatant non-science nonsense in the show. Yes, it's a kids' show (apparently) and I am a fully qualified grumpy old man, but I do remember my O-level work. I'll forgive a forest that grows overnight and a killer solar flare, but the Tunguska event wasn't a solar flare, and the oxygen from the trees ain't going to protect anyone.

      They were taking the piss out of special needs schoolkids in the show and the show takes the piss out of perfectly normal kids watching. No half decent SF plays fast and loose with science the way Dr Who does these days. Kill the Moon was taking the piss the same way with the moon putting on weight and bacteria getting oversized just because their host was Bi-i-i-ig.

      The atmosphere won't expand because trees are converting CO2 to O2 and it is charged particles that could protect the earth, not a mass of neutral atoms.

      Time for my pill, please, Nurse.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me?

      When he says "a real thing that actually happened" it means he found it in Wikipedia without too much trouble. He even included the link for us which was nice of him.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Is it just me?

        I know we aren't supposed to take WHO seriously, but the concept of saturating the atmosphere with oxygen will just make it MORE flammable, not less.

  26. 4ecks
    IT Angle

    I see parallels here

    If you substitute "Dr Who episode" for "Windows version" ...

    "Kill the Moon" = Vista = crap

    "Mummy on the Orient Express" = Vista + SP's = getting better

    "Flatline" = 7 = good

    "In the Forest of the Night" = 8 = nausea inducing, trying to merge desktop & mobile = Dr Who & S.J. Chronicles

    I wonder if it will continue with the next episodes?

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: I see parallels here

      A step too far. While I'm comfortable, encouraging even, of the El Reg commutards tapping their sticks on the TV screen saying, "Now look here" I don't want to dimple my monitor screen too.

  27. J 7

    If the trees were making that much oxygen you'd be getting spontaneous combustion occurring - yet fires were clearly not possible. Not only bad science, but contradictory

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Quite accurately described in "Forge of God" where hydrogen is harvested from the oceans to basically plant H-bombs every meter along the tectonic plate boundaries, releasing so much oxygen that the forests start to burn.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      When the tree was shown to be fire-proof it would have made more sense to say that the surrounding trees were communicating and somehow are able to expel CO2 to smother the flames. They are hyper-efficient trees and can store CO2 as well as convert some to oxygen or something.

      Slightly less disbelief to suspend I have thought?

  28. heyrick Silver badge

    Tree oxygen blanket

    So lots of oxygen is supposed to protect us from a massive solar fart? Wouldn't the end result be that depicted by the icon?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else notice the initial caption that said the school kids were having a sleepover in the "London Zoological Museum" and wonder wth this was only to see that when they left the museum the road was in South Kensington and they were walking past signs saying "Natural History Museum". My assumption is that they captioned "London Zoological Museum" because they want to market the program in the US and assumed Americans are unable to understand what "Natural History" means

    1. Chris King

      Just to add to the confusion, the interior museum scenes were actually shot in Cardiff, at the National Museum of Wales. It's quite a regular filming location for them, along with nearby Cathays Park and the Temple of Peace & Health.

  30. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "The Who writers tied this into actual events - Tunguska, Siberia, and Curuçá, Brazil, sci-fi and conspiracy theorists’ favorites. I’ll go with that and leave it there, and gloss over the hokey bit about all those trees generating more oxygen as some kind of air bag. More like hot-air bag in this case"

    Hot air bag might be even worse than no air.....

  31. User McUser

    I think the American broadcast was edited...

    For example, there was this exchange very near then end that seems cut short:

    Clara: "How will they explain this tomorrow?"

    Doctor: "You'll all forget it ever happened."

    Clara: "We're not going to forget an overnight forest!"

    Doctor: "You forgot the last time. You remembered the fear and you put it into fairy stories. The Human superpower -- Forgetting. If you remembered how things felt you'd have stopped having wars and stopped having babies."

    At this point in the "BBC America" broadcast it cuts away to a shot of the Earth, right before Clara presumably says "That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. You do know that humans have cameras, like fucking everywhere, yeah? Like in this very episode you literally saw children taking pictures with the cameras in their phones. Are you saying tomorrow we'll all wake up and say 'Why do I have so many damn pictures of trees on my phone? I sure made a lot of crazy Twitter posts with #overnight-forest-WTF?!' and we'll all just push delete and go about our business? Or ignore the fact that some kid didn't mass-call every phone on the planet? 'Say, did you get a weird phone call from some British kid about not hurting trees? Meh, must have been a wrong number!' Or will people just think it was some crazy Arbor day stunt? And furthermore, wouldn't extra oxygen just make *everything* burn worse? Shouldn't it have been the reverse, pumping as much CO2 into the sky as we can? And where are these glowy life-force tree-growing things when it comes to climate change, huh? Why don't they make the trees fix that shit for us? And why save humans at all? We're *terrible* for the environment, just the worst! You'd think that they'd try and kill us instead. Actually if that were the case your stupid speech about fearing the forest would actually make sense because teaching your children to fear something that is actively trying to kill them is entirely appropriate."

    Can anyone confirm?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: I think the American broadcast was edited...

      "You do know that humans have cameras, like fucking everywhere, yeah?" - images of anything we don't understand or believe is explained easily. PhotoShop.

      "I sure made a lot of crazy Twitter posts with #overnight-forest-WTF?!' and we'll all just push delete and go about our business?" - insane Tweets? That's hardly a rarity.

      "Or ignore the fact that some kid didn't mass-call every phone on the planet? 'Say, did you get a weird phone call from some British kid about not hurting trees?" - clever Greenpeace social advertising.

      "Or will people just think it was some crazy Arbor day stunt?" - no idea what Arbor Day is.

      "And furthermore, wouldn't extra oxygen just make *everything* burn worse?" - I asked this above.

      "Shouldn't it have been the reverse, pumping as much CO2 into the sky as we can?" - we either burn or we suffocate. Nice choices. I'd opt for the fireball. More dramatic.

      "because teaching your children to fear something that is actively trying to kill them is entirely appropriate." - interesting you raise this point. You call bull on the idea that we'd simply be unable to forget a global forest, yet we're quite capable of slaughtering each other in the name of ancient mythology. In God's name (other deities applicable) we teach our children to fear anything that is different.

      1. User McUser


        Nope, photo/video manipulation and drunken tweeting might be an explanation if only one person or a small to largish group had done it but the multiple petabytes of photos, video, and text that would be recorded should an event of that magnitude occur would be impossible to ignore or explain away.

        Apparently the equivalent of Arbor day in England is called "National Tree Week" if Wikipedia is to be believed.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: I think the American broadcast was edited...


      Earth forget all the Cybermen invasions including the Antarctic one in 1986

      The Loch Ness monster menacing the Thames

      The RAF putting down a Krynoid in leafy Surrey

      That time with the strange killer smog in London

      its happened a lot since 1963.

  32. JCB


    "My assumption is that they captioned "London Zoological Museum" because they want to market the program in the US and assumed Americans are unable to understand what "Natural History" means"

    Seems like a pretty stupid assumption to me. Why would anyone assume that an American would understand the term natural history any less than a Briton? It's in Merriam-Websters dictionary with no suggestion that it is foreign terminology. I'm assuming you know what a dictionary is.

  33. J 7

    how far is it by foot from the Natural History Museum to Trafalgar Square? They seem to have covered the distance remarkably quickly - and easily for a thick forest

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Google maps suggests it's 2.3 miles or 50 minutes on foot with the warning "Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths" - doesn't mention the bloody trees!

  34. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Thought of the day?

    Michael Grade. "Told you it was shite".

  35. Chris King

    Is The Moff going all religious on us ?

    A thought just occurred to me - not that this happens very often, so bear with me...

    Clara's wildly changing behaviour - have we got some sort of "Seven Deadly Sins" thing going on here, to go with the "Promised Land" story arc ?

    Lust - "PE". 'nuff said (that, and Strax seeing "lots of young men doing sport" during the brain scan in "Deep Breath". At least he thought it was sport...)


    Gluttony - eating a Chinese meal on the TARDIS then realising she's about to go out for another one ("Time Heist")

    Greed - wanting her cake and eating it. Running off with the Doctor, but stringing Danny along

    Sloth - leaving the kids exercise books in the TARDIS, probably in the hope the Doctor would file them away and lose them forever

    Wrath - "I'll slap you so hard, you'll regenerate !"

    Pride - well, she's been smug for most of her existence on the show !

    I haven't worked out anything for Envy yet, but there's probably a reference in there somewhere...

  36. trance gemini

    look mummy, look! i'm on the internet!

    yeah those technical inaccuracies just bummed the whole deal didn't they?

    i had the same thing with a mini-series called Inferno hosted by some dapper old dude called Dr. John something-or-other on Horror last week - i mean jesus, we were five or six episodes in and nearly all done, then our host, Dr. J, has to run the gauntlet from the power station control room back to something called 'the tardis console' that had been unplugged and chucked in a garage, so that he can power it up off the megawatt output of the power station running through a 13 amp kettle lead to jump back to an alternate reality where the nazis didn't win the war, and then, bloody hell, he gets trapped on top of a coolant tank half way with one of the 'superheatedmutantmonkeymenthatcanonlybestoppedbyfreezingCO2' creatures and guess what's casually hanging from the handrail of the walkway? a CO2 fire extinguisher!

    utter bollocks!

    well i'm never gonna trust that evil tv box ever again - up until then i thought it was a documentary

    i think this internet thing should be free for everyone - ISPs should just start charging for the amount of bullshit you upload

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: look mummy, look! i'm on the internet!

      " ISPs should just start charging for the amount of bullshit you upload"

      They do, it's called advertising

  37. Dick Emery

    Doctor Who for the ADD crowd

    No offense intended to those with the condition but really it seems we must be fed with less than 1 hour episodes with no cliffhangers but 'previews' of the next episode to get us to keep watching. The self contained episodes do not allow the freedom of old Who to introduce more interesting plot devices. Everything must be squeezed into one episode and everything runs at break neck pace with constant dialogue fired at you from all sides and lots of wizz bang effects.

    This is not Star Wars and even that had breathing 'space'.

    I find it very difficult to follow the dialogue these days too. The sound mix is horrendous with the soundtrack being very intrusive rather than complimentary. Murray Gold needs to pull back his grandiose montages and actually allow 'silence' to work it's magic. Sometimes I feel like I need to turn subtitles on!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Doctor Who for the ADD crowd

      To be honest it isn't really ADD (ADHD is the current term of reference btw) friendly either.

      To keep an ADHD's attention, it has to be interesting, doesn't matter if it's 5 minutes or 5 hours long, as long as it is compelling.

      I think I got about 4 minutes into this WHO, my wife was humming away and reading something else after two.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is Missy Clara?

    I've been trying to decipher the back story for a while (so have the writers by the looks of things) and I'm left with the conclusion after the teaser at the end of this week's episode that Missy = Clara.

    Clara screams that Clara never existed which would lead to many Glaswegians to say something along the lines of "Who do you think you are Missy"

    A perfectly normal phrase in Glasgow that looks like it may be used to tie the whole thing together.

    Comments from Missy about the doctor being her boyfriend link to the end of the 1st episode when the Doctor says to Clara that he's not her boyfriend...

  39. Carneades

    Almost there

    A much better episode all round. The essential plot about producing excess oxygen to combat the solar flare was silly, however, and unworthy of kids. Had a whiff of eco-saviour in there, somewhere, but they could easily have made the solution or the reason far more compelling and even believable.

    I thought the kids worked. Yes - some fought with their stage-school accents, but on the whole this was old-school Who and they acquitted themselves pretty well. But yes; the final reveal will have to be unheard-of astonishing to work, although I harbour (almost certainly forlorn) hopes that Clara will morph into Amy Pond…

  40. TRT Silver badge

    I was more worried about the complete lack of people...

    The rules:

    (1) You are not allowed on the streets unless you started your journey with a camera crew.

    (2) You are not allowed on the streets unless you are armed forces or police making a specific plot point.

    1. Hurn

      Re: I was more worried about the complete lack of people...

      I, too, noticed the lack of people. Wasn't bothered by it, however: budget doesn't allow for unnecessary extras.

      Still, with all the Underground entrance shots -- you'd think someone would have been shown exiting up the stairs, stopping, and looking around, scratching their head. Wouldn't have cost much.

      Other, unrelated things:

      Re: 'Merkins (I'm one of 'em) and the "Natural History" Museum:

      The phrase would "trigger" (in modern head shrinker parlance) the ugly feud between the Evolutioners and the Creationists - BBCA does NOT want to get involved in that argument.

      Re: Oxygen and "Airbag" effect

      Perhaps the original (flawed) script made some mention of the oxygen floating up and re-enforcing the ozone layer (getting "activated" somehow by the incoming charged particles), thus providing additional protection from the solar flare / CME. Unfortunately, the word "ozone" is also a trigger, and might kick off an Eco-Green vs Filthy Polluters battle, so the word had to go.

      In the BBC's quest for world TV domination by way of "dumbed down for the world" Doctor Who episodes, one lesson stand out clearly:

      Never alienate _any_ demographic groups.

      We see the results of this philosophy each week. Unfortunately.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I was more worried about the complete lack of people...

        Maybe... a lot of a lot of a lot of people turned into trees and then turned back at the end.

  41. TRT Silver badge

    And he is sooooo quick...

    to forget the wonderful, marvellous Jabe.

    God, I'd have been happy getting a splinter from her.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: And he is sooooo quick...

      Well you wood wooden't you.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: And he is sooooo quick...

        Something about rooting.

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