That was one green episode of Doctor Who!
Not only was Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 10 showcasing a world overrun by trees, but there was also an underlying message about the environment; one even a non-environmentalist could understand. The earth does strange things for unknown reasons whenever it needs to protect itself.
It's no matter, really, but my personal enjoyment of the episode was increased due to my love of green and trees. If I awoke to a world such as that overnight, I would be overjoyed. Sci-fi books and movies about the possibility are always appealing.
But what about the hour itself?
It was a little bit confusing, to be honest. It didn't seem like all of the characters had a beginning, middle and end (assuming they aren't going to be back to share more about themselves). Doctor Who Season 8 has dramatically increased the number of times children are a part of the storytelling, and that makes sense given it's British demographics. There are an incredibly vast number of families with children who watch Who together.
That said, this particular bunch of children was quite pleasant. Clara and Danny had some students on a sleep away at the Museum and when they awoke Maebh was gone and the world covered in trees. I adored the logic of the children. In a flashback, Danny recalls Ruby in class. How do you find X (remember, he's a maths teacher). She informed him it wasn't missing. It was right there, at the top. Ahh kids.
More importantly,if the trees came up quickly one night, then why can't they go away as quickly? Indeed. With less than a day of an earth covered in trees, the authorities were first trying to burn them down (that was key) and when that didn't work, defoliation was called up so they could burn afterward.
Goodness how quickly we want to toss it all away. There was no inspection of why there were there. Thankfully the strange Maebh heard voices and hadn't taken her tablets.
What is it with you people? You hear voices you wanna shut them up, the trees come to save you, you want to chop them down.The Doctor
That was an interesting point toward the greater issue. For all of our talk about diversity, we want to fix and stop those who are different a lot more than we want to discover what causes them to be so.
Even so, I have absolutely no idea who the fireflies beings were, nor why Maebh's sister was home after a long disappearance after the solar flare. There were some genuinely dangling plots that could have used more attention, but they didn't distract from the overall enjoyment of the installment.
More than anything, the hour was to show us how close Clara and Danny have become and how Clara is being torn between the two men in her life. Unfortunately, from a viewer's perspective, she really doesn't have much of a relationship with either man. There just hasn't been the time to fully form a bond with Twelve or Danny.
Danny has seen all that he wants to see in life. He has no interest in an up close and personal view of the solar flare. Clara is still interested in all that The Doctor can offer. Danny wants a Clara who sticks close to home, doesn't lie and puts others ahead of herself. The Doctor needs a companion who can help him navigate his sticky moral dilemmas.
Yet above it all is this Missy person. I do so hate to talk about the coming weeks in a current review, but the next two installments constitute two parts of the season finale. Things look to go very wrong with Clara and it's difficult not to see this Missy pulling the strings.
Let's just meet her already. As much as I like Clara and enjoy Jenna Coleman, I don't want the show to become a showcase for her to question her loyalties to The Doctor and her blossoming (fully grown?) affair with Danny Pink. I'm just not interested enough in Danny Pink to care.
Yet, we're just two episodes out and we have no idea what Danny's background brings to the table other than grounding him. His great-great grandchild had a love of space because of Danny's stories, but nothing he has done to this point leads me to believe he'll be sharing tales with his kids. He seems far less impressed with The Doctor than anything else.
So what's missing from this story? I'm game for anything. Clara Oswald has never existed, she shouts in the preview. She was the impossible girl, so perhaps she really did pop out of nothingness and from the mind of Missy the unknown from the Nethersphere. So... not heaven?
Hit the comments with your thoughts on this installment, whether you believe any progress was made toward the promises of the big finale and remember, you can watch Doctor Who online to find other instances of the mysterious Missy in Doctor Who Series 8 as well as more expeditions with children!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.