Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Doctor Who episode "The Witchfinders". Read at your own risk!
Doctor Who went back to a disturbing time for Season 11's "The Witchfinders," and there was much to talk about afterward. Alan Cumming delivered a stand-out performance as King James, proving he should always be around. As well, though, the episode's Morax villains seemed to be fairly similar to a creature from the tales of Dr. Seuss, the Lorax. We're wondering if the Morax and Lorax connection was intentional, or mere coincidence.
It's easy to see how some viewers may have been confused, as there were some key similarities between its Morax and The Lorax created by Dr. Seuss. For starters, there's the whole rhyming name thing, which caused some confusion all on its own.
Also, both the Doctor Who villain and the Dr. Seuss do-gooder were obsessed with trees, and judgmentally appeared out of the ether when careless humans cut them down. The Lorax was a bit more chill than the Morax, however, which is an alien race that's been trapped on Earth for some time now.
The Morax were relatively harmless up until the prison containing them was effectively destroyed. That's right, some intergalactic alien species decided it would be a swell idea to disguise a Morax prison as a tree on Earth. To their credit, it worked pretty well for a while, until a villager decided to chop the tree down because it was annoying her. (That villager, Becka Savage, was played by Downton Abbey and Happy Valley star Siobhan Finneran.)
A Morax then invaded Becka, and the symptoms of which had her convinced she was possessed by Satan. (Possibly a nod to the mythological Morax, the President of Hell.) This led to the prosecutions of other women in the area for being witches, leading to their drownings. And all so Becka could draw attention away from herself.
The ruse worked for a while, but the Doctor realized the woman was likely behind what had happened. Obviously, The Lorax played out way differently, but maybe these two creatures are related in some way?
Luckily, The Doctor was able to best the Morax army before their king could be summoned. This spared Alan Cumming's King James, who would've driven The Lorax comparisons even further had he been possessed while rocking that stylin' goatee and bushy mustache.
Neither BBC America nor Doctor Who have confirmed the episode's inspiration actually was The Lorax, of course. But now that it's established that this dangerous species can be contained within random trees, it's possible they'll return to Doctor Who to keep fans speculating.
Doctor Who is still chugging along with Season 11 on BBC America on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET. The fall season is beginning to wind down, but there are still plenty of shows worth checking out before the end of 2018. See those shows at our fall premiere guide, or jump ahead to 2019 and see what's happening in the new year with our midseason premiere guide.