Man, I hated this episode. It’s not often I can truly say that about an episode of Doctor Who, since for the most part, all of the episodes are excellent, well-written, well acted stories. In this case however, no. Just……no. I liked the idea of what they were trying to put across, but I don’t think it was done very well. Frank Cottrell Boyce is a great writer, so this wasn’t the case of a poor writer putting out a poor product, which made it all the more disappointing.
The gist of the episode is that trees have taken over London, turning the city into a gigantic forest, complete with roaming animals (including a tiger, an allusion to William Blake’s poem, The Tyger), all to protect the Earth from a massive solar flare that would utterly destroy it. In the middle of all this, Clara, Danny, and a group of school kids on a field trip are trying to avoid being eaten by wild animals or destroyed by massive solar radiation. One of the students, Maebh, gets lost, and Clara and the Doctor have to find her. It turns out she hears voices, her sister Annabelle jumps out from behind a hedge (she’d been missing, which is what everyone thought was responsible for Maebh being borderline schizophrenic)…..it was a fucking mess.
I got bored halfway through it, which hasn’t ever happened to me before. I just wanted it to be over, and I was again sick of the Clara/Danny relationship, especially when he started getting stroppy about not wanting her to be alone with him, as though she was shagging him on the side or something. I just want him and this entire ridiculous plot line to go away. Thankfully the previews for the finale look good, hopefully erasing the stink of this episode. I gave it a 3/10, and that might be a bit generous.