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Doctor Who Season 8, Episode 10 Watch: Trees And Romance Make For A Lackluster Episode

Last week on Doctor Who, an evil force was reducing everyone to two dimensions. This trapped The Doctor in his TARDIS and made Clara a Doctor for a day. Which only added to the complications between her adventure seeking and domestically romantic personalities. Well it doesn't get any easier this week, as Danny and some kids from Coal Hill Secondary School join in on an adventure, whether they like it or not, in the heart of the great forest of London.

”Farewell to the Ice Age. Welcome to the Tree Age.”

The big scoop this week is that Clara and Danny are on an almost equal level of truth by the end of this episode. Danny knows about Clara's duplicity involving The Doctor, and there's going to obviously be a nice, long talk about what Clara wants out of life. (Especially considering Clara's outlook on life and the questions she asks during a crisis.) For the most part, the two still look like they're going to be together for the rest of their lives, so there aren't any huge bombshells involving their romantic life. Danny even gives her time to think things through, grade some papers, and come back to him when she wants to talk. What that talk will be like, and what will come of it will probably have to wait until after the finale though.

On the adventure front, the big surprise is that there is no menacing presence or even an alien presence involved. As it turns out, the Earth is protecting everyone from a massive solar event, and apparently it has done this before in history. After a whole bunch of theorizing and mentions of trees being on Facebook, it turns out the planet is sentient and it's protecting us from massive “extraterrestrial impacts.” Cue the Ferngully music as everyone talks about why we're cutting down trees, even though they really have a good point. Seriously, let's be nicer to the trees guys. The nicer we are, the less we'll be seeing episodes like this telling us to be nice.

”Class project: save the Earth.”

This week's Doctor Who wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped it would be, but it was interesting enough. Not even the presence of a whole swarm of school children dampened the proceedings, but there was a definite lack of adventure... something that this season seems to lack on the whole. The relationship drama between Clara and Danny has taken center stage for the latter half of a season that started with some big events, and even bigger journeys.

We went inside a Dalek, saw a Tyrannosaurus traipsing about London, and we even went to the end of time and fought a mummy on the Orient Express. Yet every week, it comes back to Clara and Danny deciding whether they're going to stay together or not. It's ridiculous, and it should have ended after Clara's “Kill The Moon” meltdown. Don't get me wrong, substandard Doctor Who is still good TV, and Peter Capaldi is crushing it as The Doctor, but just when I thought Clara was getting interesting, they reduced her to a romantic pawn. We've only got two episodes left, so fingers crossed Steven Moffat has something up his sleeve for the finale.

Next week, there is A LOT going on. We're back to two parters, Missy and the Cybermen are coming into play, and...CLARA DOESN'T EXIST?! Lots of questions are going to be asked and hopefully answered as we dive into “Dark Water”.

The Forest

The Doctor's Notes

The solar flare is mentioned to be similar to the one that wiped out the Bank Of Kalabraxos in “Time Heist”.

This is the first time in a while we've seen a global news montage, which used to happen almost once a season during the Russell T. Davies era.

The government is mentioned to have an emergency committee known as “Cobra.” Is this a branch/competitor/replacement for UNIT, which will be returning next week?

Still love Peter Capaldi's cranky demeanor with kids.

They never did explain the altered attitudes and intelligence of the children. After going through that whole montage of showing them as bullies or derps, they just kinda let it go by the wayside. Was the Earth inspiring them to be better kids? Were those thought fireflies influencing them too, but they couldn't see them like Maeve could?

I miss the two parter structure that used to be built into a typical season. Some stories need to be given chances to breathe, and this one could have benefited from such room.

So Maeve's sister randomly reappears at the end. Happy ending for all, but where the hell was she all that time? Would have liked to had seen that thread play itself out. Maybe Maeve could be a new companion when she grows up?

Maeve's thought from “Miss” doesn't sounds like it came from “Miss Clara,” but rather “Missy.”

One final note... anyone else feel like this episode was a "Fear Her" redo? We've been getting a lot of pseudo remakes this season, which makes me wonder if we're going to see some "Doomsday" action in this year's finale.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.