8.10: In The Forest Of The Night – DWO Spoiler Free Preview

DWO’s Spoiler-Free preview of episode 8.10: In the Forest of the Night:


Doctor Who has always featured character arcs. Go right back to the very beginning of the programme in 1963, and watch as the Doctor changes across his adventures with Ian and Barbara. Compare the man they find in the Junkyard at Totter’s Lane with the one that they’re lazing around with at the beginning of The Chase two years later, and you can track his journey along the way rather easily. They’re not always so prominent in the ‘classic’ era of the programme, but they’re there, from Jo, to Tegan, to Ace. Once you reach the 21st century period of the programme, the focus has been shifted much more to the characters, and every season is crammed with lovely character arcs, right from the start.


That said, it’s a real delight watching the arcs unfold across Season Eight this year. I’m not talking about the little hints and glimpses that we’re getting of ‘Missy’ and the ‘Promised Land’ scattered through the stories, I mean the story of our three regulars - the Doctor, Clara, and Danny. It’s been great watching their story unfold over the last ten weeks, and it’s rather brilliant that every story this year has managed to turn and evolve their relationships to each other very definitely, without ever making it feel forced, or hitting you over the head with the point. In The Forest of the Night continues this tradition, giving us perhaps a greater glimpse at Danny’s real character than ever before, and putting him under the spotlight in the same way that last week’s Flatline did for the Doctor.


A lot of the praise for how well all of this is working needs to be laid at the door of the three lead actors in this series - Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, and Samuel Anderson. It really is becoming increasingly difficult every week to find new ways of saying how brilliant the three of them are, and there’s not letting up in this episode. The only way to describe it is to say that we got chills at DWO when watching a scene of the Doctor and Clara together, because you simply know that you’re watching two masters at work. Simply stunning.


But what of the story itself? There’s been a lot of buzz around Frank Cottrell Boyce joining the programme with this story, especially after the seasons’ other new writer - Jamie Mathieson - has provided two very well received episodes for the run. Boyce doesn’t fail to deliver, giving us a story which manages to play on various fears, and do so while presenting us with logical explanations for them. The characters are all absolutely nailed, and the idea at the heart of the story - that the world wakes up one day to find the entire planet shrouded in a thick forest - is completely right for a Doctor Who tale.


Another new face joining the series this week is director Sheree Folkson, who comes in all guns blazing, and managing to make the forest look gorgeous in every shot. It’s amazing how just a few scatter objects that we can relate to as ‘every day’ - a traffic light here, one of Trafalgar Square’s lions there - can help to create the idea that we’re still very much in the heart of the city here, while also feeling remote and trapped. The use of light in this episode is especially nice - playing through the trees in every scene to create something really rather magical.


Five things to look out for:


1) “I can fight monsters, I can’t fight physics…”
2) All of this has happened before…
3) “A tree is a time machine”
4) Another London landmark gets destroyed
5) "You. Have you got a name, at all?"

[Sources: DWO, Will Brooks]

Live + 7 Figures

Live +7 figures are now available for the first four episodes of the current series of Doctor Who.

The Live+7 figure are a measure used by the BBC to estimate the total audience for a programme. Unlike the official BARB figure, it includes not only those who watch the BBC One broadcast and those who time-shift it, but also those who watch the repeats on other UK channels and those who watch the programme on i-Player. The total figure is an estimate of the total number of unique viewers who watched the episode, in the UK, within one week on broadcast.

EpisodeLive + Same DayRepeatTime ShiftiPlayerTotal Live+7
Deep Breath6.81 (63%)0.46 (4%)2.53 (23%)0.97 (9%)10.76 million
Into the Dalek5.16 (62%)0.40 (5%)2.21 (27%)0,50 (6%)8.26 million
Robot of Sherwood5.26 (64%)0.44 (5%)2.03 (25%)0.51 (6%)8.25 million
Listen4.82 (62%)0.37 (5%)2.14 (27%)0.48 (6%)7.80 million
BBC Average(85%)(6%)(7%)(3%)

Gareth Roberts no longer writing City of Death book

CrossCult-LogoAuthor and scriptwriter Gareth Roberts, writer of several Doctor Who books and scripts over the past 20 years, has this evening announced on Twitter that he is no longer working on a novelisation of the 1979 Doctor Who serial City of Death, the most-watched story in the programme's history. Instead, the book will now be written by author and former BBC Doctor Who website editor James Goss. Goss's previous work includes the Torchwood novel Almost Perfect, the Tenth Doctor audio book Dead Air, and being one of the first authors to pen a novel for the Twelfth Doctor with the recent The Blood Cell. He also worked as producer of the animated Doctor Who serials Scream of the Shalka and The Infinite Quest.

City of Death was originally scripted by producer Graham Williams and script editor Douglas Adams, from a story idea by David Fisher. Transmitted under the pseudonym of "David Agnew", the story gained over 16 million viewers in the autumn of 1979, but like Adams's other scripts for Doctor Who, rights issues meant that - unlike the majority of classic series stories - a novelisation was never produced under the original Target Books run.

In October last year it was announced that Roberts would finally be penning a novelisation of City of Death, following the success of his novelisation of Adams' scripts for the unfinished serial Shada in 2012. Roberts had become particularly known for his affinity with the Season 17 era of Doctor Who during the mid-1990s, when he penned three well-received books set during that season for Virgin Publishing's Missing Adventures range of original Doctor Who novels. Two of Roberts's Missing Adventures for the Season 17 TARDIS team are currently being adapted into audio plays by Big Finish Productions.

Roberts's novelisation of City of Death had originally been expected to be released this year - there is currently no information on when Goss's eventual version of the book may be on the shelves.

New books for Germany

CrossCult-LogoGerman book publisher Cross Cult is planning to release three new Doctor Who books in the coming months:

  • November sees the release of Gareth Roberts's adaption of Shada, based on a script by Douglas Adams. The novel can be pre-ordered on Amazon DE.
  • In December Cross Cult is going to release the children's book Wann ist der Doktor? Ein Wimmelbuch ("When's the Doctor? A search-and-find book"), featuring illustrations by Jorge Santillan. It can also be pre-ordered from Amazon DE.
  • Finally, the publisher announced that they secured the rights for the War Doctor novel Kriegsmaschinen ("Engines of War") by George Mann. It will be released in February 2015 and can already be pre-ordered.

Cross Cult, primarily known for its german translated Star Trek novels, started publishing Doctor Who novels in 2013, when they released the 2nd Doctor novel Rad aus Eis ("The Wheel of Ice") by Stephen Baxter. They went on to publish the 10th Doctor novel Wunderschönes Chaos ("Beautiful Chaos") by Gary Russell, and the anthology 11 Doktoren, 11 Geschichten ("11 Doctors, 11 Stories").

SHADA-HighResolution (Credit: Cross Cult) Wann ist der Doktor (German book)

Doctor Who Adventures Magazine: 357

This week's issue of Doctor Who Adventures magazine features an imposter in the Alien Babies comic strip. Could it be One Direction's Harry Styles making a surprise appearance?

In the magazine you can also find out how to invade your school with monsters and raise money for BBC Children in Need. All you’ll need is your head teacher’s permission. Included in the magazine is a monster to cut out and stick on your face.

Also this issue:
  • A look at the next two episodes, In the Forest of the Night and Dark Water.
  • Who is Missy and why does she keep appearing in the series?
  • Our favourite scares from this series so far.
  • Interview with Ellis George, who plays Courtney in the current series.
  • A round up of cool things to buy.
  • Exciting comic strip by Richard Cookson featuring the Doctor and Clara.
  • Draw a Cyberman!
  • Fact figures to cut out and keep.
  • Mega prizes, puzzles and posters!
The new issue of BBC Doctor Who Adventures, Issue 357, is on sale from 22 October – 4 November 2014, priced £3.99.

Inferno Fiction – Issue 18

Inferno FictionIssue Eighteen of the Fanzine Inferno Fiction is now available online featuring:
  • by Nathan Mullins PART TWO: The Cybermen have control of the TARDIS, but will the Doctor help his friends stop the threat from a Cyberman invasion?
  • by Michael Baxter Dr Who arrives in 1559 Derbyshire to possibly witness the last burning, of the last victim, Alice Marsh at the hands of the Bishop Snaith. Can the Doctor persuade the Bishop to spare her life?
  • by Julie Kay PART TWO: Vastra tells of her meeting with the stranger known as The Doctor and her journey through time and space to the Ryūkyū Kingdom at a disconcerting time in the Kingdom's history...
  • by J. Arthur Rodgers "A spaceman came travelling on his ship from afar, 'Twas light years of time since his mission did start, And over a village he halted his craft, And it hung in the sky like a star, just like a star"
  • by Sean Bassett ACT II: The Musical Extravaganza continues in ACT II as The Doctor's lives are told through song and verse...
  • by Thomas Ahearn Upon visiting his friends at 13 Paternoster Row, the Doctor is invited along to investigate the strange occupants of 22 Charing Cross Road...
  • by Samuel Marks PART FOUR: The Doctor and Romana must stop the Zeronaughts and put Time back on track but at what cost?
with artwork by Colin John