#962 – Doctor Who-esday: In The Forest of the Night
Clara Oswald has really grown beyond the Impossible Girl. Last series she was a great help to the Doctor on all of their adventures. This series has really added much more to Clara’s character. She deeply questioned the Doctor in Into the Dalek, made the tough choice in Kill the Moon and played the role of the Doctor in Flatline. She’s been much more than just another companion.
In In the Forest of the Night, which felt like a continuation of The Caretaker, we again find Clara trying to balance her life with the Doctor and her love for Danny Pink. In The Caretaker Clara seemed like a victim of her emotional whims. In In the Forest of the Night, Clara was much clearer about her reasons for liking the Doctor and loving Danny. She loves Danny because of his selflessness with the children and she likes the Doctor because of the miraculous things he can show her.
I don’t know who she’ll choose but, from the preview of next week’s episode, it looks like she may not even have a choice.
Here are some other thoughts I had while watching In the Forest of the Night.
You don’t need a phone to communicate, do you?
Maebh is perhaps my favorite child that’s ever been on Doctor Who. She didn’t seem impressed by the Doctor nor overcome by her situation. She also gave us some deep insight for life in our digital world. Sometimes it seems like we can’t communicate without a phone. How can we possibly expect to communicate with others if we can’t text them, tweet them, call them, tag them or email them? We were created for relationships and community, which require actual communication. Communicating with a phone is a great way to enhance a relationship, but cannot provide a foundation. To build that foundation we still need to communicate with each other face-to-face, over a cup of coffee or while watching a baseball game.
Be less scared. Be more trusting.
Maebh was a fountain of good advice this episode. She followed up her thoughts on interpersonal relationships with some encouragement about our attitudes. In her phone call to the world Maebh encouraged everyone to fear less and trust more. Our ability to fear less is connected to that which we trust. If we trust God, the all-powerful and all-loving creator of the universe, then we should have no reason to fear. Perhaps that is why the Bible is filled with commands to “Fear not!” For truly, if God is for us then who could be against us? If we’ve placed our trust in God then what do we have to fear?
I don’t want to see more things; I want to see the things that are in front of me more clearly.
Danny had a couple lines in this episode that made Clara’s heart melt. I’m not in love with the man, but the line above still gave me pause. I always think about the wonders I would get to see in the universe if I traveled with the Doctor. Focusing on all the wonders “out there,” though, keeps us from seeing all the wonders right in front of us. God’s marvelous and glorious works surround us all the time. The wonder of a supernova isn’t any more wonderful than a sunset or the honest worship of a child. I agree with Danny. There may be wonders “out there” but there are just as many right here, as long as we have eyes to see them.
This has been a strong series for Doctor Who and its end begins next week. I hope the final two episodes are as strong as the first 11. A lot of that seems to hinge on who Missy is and how she is connected to the Doctor.
What did you think about In the Forest of the Night?