The Doctor and Donna join a group of archaeologists at a 51st century library. What caused the library to become abandoned? What are the Nodes? And what links the library to one little girl... See full summary »
The Doctor and Donna join a group of archaeologists at a 51st century library. What caused the library to become abandoned? What are the Nodes? And what links the library to one little girl? All they have is one warning - count the shadows. Written by
The character of River Song was originally created for the plot to make more sense. Moffat knew that the team of archaeologists would have to trust the Doctor, but that the Doctor's psychic paper could not explain and convince the team why he had appeared in a sealed-off library. Therefore, Steven Moffat intended for the Doctor to know one of the archaeologists. Later, he decided that this idea was too "dull", and instead opted to have one of them know him. See more »
When the Doctor and Donna are running down the corridor with the lights that are switching off, and Donna kicks open the door, you can plainly see that when they relax, there is still a crack of light coming through the door, indicating that there was no need to run in the first place. See more »
Close your eyes and tell me what you see.
[fade in to POV of drifting outside and above]
[the Girl looks down, sees herself suspended in the air, drifting above The Library]
Open your eyes again. Where are you now.
[as if this is obvious]
My living room, Dr. Moon.
When you close your eyes...?
I go to The Library.
[we see Dad seated behind Dr. Moon's right, concerned]
Go to The Library now.
[...] See more »
I suppose comparisons between this episode (and its follow up, Forest of the Dead - it's hard to review them separately, so most of my comments here apply to the two as a combined story) and Blink are inevitable given that they're both written by Steven Moffatt, both excellent, and both scary as hell. Even the beginning fragmentary warning "If you want to live, count the shadows" is a bit reminiscent of Blink's "Don't blink, or you're dead".
However, given that Blink tends to be pretty widely regarded as the best Doctor Who episode ever, there are far less promising ways to start a new one than evoking it. And overall, Silence/Forest doesn't come across as derivative at all. Both of them are very fast-paced and alternately terrifying, tragic, touching and funny, but beyond that the themes are very different. This story is a lot more complex and thought-provoking, packing in enough really interesting ideas and twists that even spread across two episodes, it keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat and never drags at all. It also includes some really top-notch performances from some of the cast, particularly in Forest of the Dead.
All in all, one of the best episodes (or pairs thereof) yet, and good reason to look forward to Moffatt taking over the series in 2010.
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