Doctor Who

Season 4 Episode 9

Forest of the Dead (2)

11
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 07, 2008 on BBC America
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
534 votes
28

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

The Doctor and Donna lead them into very frightening position. While creeping through a derelict library that has more than books among its shelves, the duo have to face Shifting shadows, scary Nodes, and a ravenous Data Ghost.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Infinite loop, sonic screwdriver - SPOILERS

    9.5
    Great episode, as everyone has said. SPOILERS ahead. I just want to point out something about River's screwdriver. It's in an infinite loop: never was invented, never will be destroyed. Because the Doctor didn't invent it. He got it from River, already fully formed and modified. But River got it from him, meaning he must have invented it, right? But he didn't invent it; he got it from her. Etc. In other words, the screwdriver was never invented. It has been, is, and always will be in an infinite loop. Who put it there? Did anyone?



    I'm not saying that's a continuity error, necessarily--and even if it is, I don't care. It's something I don't think even the Doctor could explain. And that makes it really weird and worth remembering.moreless
  • Forest of the Dead

    9.5
    Forest of the Dead was a superb follow up to "Silence in the Library" and I really enjoyed watching because the character development and story lines were amazing. It was interesting to see River gain The Doctor's trust by whispering a single word in his ear, and it was so cool to later find out what it was. I liked the idea of The Library and the little girl. Donna was off on her own figuring out what was happening from a different place. It was sad to see the guy she thought she invented actually be real but unable to call out to her. I liked the way The Doctor realized he didn't just give River the Sonic Screwdriver for nothing. The ending was amazing and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • An amazing episode filled with surprises, twists and turns. Great acting by Catherine Tate.

    9.6
    What an episode. I was impressed with the creativity of Steven Moffet- not sure about the spelling. From the beginning of the episode you know that you are going to be in for a ride. The idea of an entire world with no other purpose other than to share knowledge in incredible. I found myself empathizing with more than one character. I even found myself proud of Donna. I am not a big Donna fan, but I think that she was really good in this episode. She demonstrated a moving show of compassion for another character. There are twists and turns and things that were completely unexpected. I don't want to give anything away here- so its hard to write this without being specific. I think the only way to fully appreciate this episode is without spoilers.



    The only thing that I wasn't really happy with was the very end. I kinda felt a bit cheated there. But, I guess its another day for Doctor Who where everybody lives!- Wait, is that a spoiler?moreless
  • stephen moffat just saved Season 4 which has been mediocre.

    9.4
    wheels within wheels and you think they might have written themselves into a corner but it all works out and it's great TV. some of it's silly. some of it's melodramatic, but it works.



    this one leans more towards being a mystery/thriller (ala Blink) and maybe has some of the creepiest moments of any of the new series. surreal jump-cuts with Donna in the beginning are riveting.



    i was starting to think the show was on its last legs. leave it to Moffat to bring GOOD WRITING back to the series.



    this is up there with Blink. maybe not so perfectly realized but up there.moreless
  • The real Doctor

    9.0
    Obviously thius chapter written by Steven Moffat should be one of the best episdodes of the entire series, in Planbet of the Dead we attend to the real Doctor and we take a look of how he really is, a lonely time traveler, I relly liked how Moffat show us this imposible men.



    The chemestry of Donna and the Doctor is gettimg stronger as quickly as were approaching to the season finale, I dont know how tis is gonna end but I think that the finale will be as epic as this season.



    Beware of spoilers its fun not to know what is on the end ;)moreless
Alex Kingston

Alex Kingston

Professor River Song

Guest Star

Steve Pemberton

Steve Pemberton

Strackman Lux

Guest Star

Colin Salmon

Colin Salmon

Dr. Moon

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • River's story ends with the line 'everybody lives'. This was also said towards the end of The Doctor Dances (which was also written by Steven Moffat).

    • Donna's wedding dress used in this episode, is the same dress used in the episode The Runaway Bride, the 2006 Christmas Special.

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Professor River Song: (voice-over) Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call, everybody lives.

    • Professor River Song: (voice-over) When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it will never end. But, however hard you try, you can't run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies, and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it.

    • Donna: I made up the perfect man. Gorgeous, adores me and hardly able to speak a word. What does that say about me?
      The Doctor: Everything. (off Donna's look) Sorry, did I say 'everything'? I meant to say 'nothing'. I was aiming for 'nothing', accidentally said 'everything'.
      Donna: What about you? You alright?
      The Doctor: I'm always alright.
      Donna: Is 'alright' a special Time Lord code for 'really not alright at all'?
      The Doctor: Why?
      Donna: 'Cause I'm alright too.

    • (The Doctor wakes up to find himself handcuffed and River preparing to hook herself into the mainframe)
      The Doctor: Oh no, no, no! Come on, what are you doing? That's my job!
      Professor River Song: Oh, and I'm not allowed to have a career, I suppose?
      The Doctor: Why am I handcuffed? Why do you even have handcuffs?
      Professor River Song: (grinning) Spoilers.
      The Doctor: This is not a joke. Stop this now! This is going to kill you! I'd have a chance, you don't have any!
      Professor River Song: You wouldn't have a chance and neither do I! I'm timing it for the end of the countdown. There'll be a blip in the command flow. That way it should increase our chances of a clean download.
      The Doctor: River, please, no!
      Professor River Song: Funny thing is, this means you've always known how I was going to die. All the time we've been together, you knew I was coming here. The last time I saw you- the real you, the future you, I mean- you turned up on my doorstep with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Verilian to see the singing towers. What a night that was. The towers sang and you cried. You wouldn't tell me why, but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the Library. You even gave me your screwdriver. That should have been a clue. There's nothing you can do.
      The Doctor: You can let me do this!
      Professor River Song: If you die here, it'll mean I've never met you!
      The Doctor: Time can be rewritten.
      Professor River Song: Not those times. Not one line. Don't you dare! It's OK. It's OK. It's not over for you. You'll see me again. You've got all of that to come. You and me, time and space. You watch us run.
      The Doctor: River, you know my name. You whispered my name in my ear. There's only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name. There's only one time I could…
      Professor River Song: Hush now. Spoilers.

    • The Doctor: You know what? I really liked Anita. She was brave, even when she was crying, and she never gave in, and you ate her. (The Doctor removes the visor's tint to reveal a skull) But I'm going to let that pass just as long as you let them pass.
      Possessed Anita: How long have you known?
      The Doctor: I counted the shadows. You only have one now. She's nearly gone. Be kind.
      Possessed Anita: These are our forests. We are not kind.
      The Doctor: I'm giving you back your forests but you are giving me them. You are letting them go.
      Possessed Anita: These are our forests. They are our meat.
      The Doctor: Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I like, that is not a safe place to stand.

    • Anita: It's the little girl. The girl we saw in the computer.
      Strackman Lux: She's not in the computer. In a way, she is the computer. The main command node. This is CAL.
      The Doctor: CAL is a child? A child hooked up to a mainframe? Why didn't you tell me this? I needed to know this!
      Strackman Lux: Because she's family. CAL. Charlotte Abigail Lux. My grandfather's youngest daughter. She was dying. So we built her a library and put her living mind inside, and a moon to watch over her, and all of human history to pass the time, any era to live in, any book to read. She loved books more than anything and he gave her them all. He asked only that she be left in peace, a secret, not a freak show.
      The Doctor: So you weren't protecting a patent. You were protecting her.

    • Ella: Mummy… Joshua and me. We're not real, are we?
      Donna: Of course you're real. You're as real as anything. Why do you say that?
      Joshua: But, Mummy, sometimes when you're not here… it's like we're not here.
      Ella: Even when you close your eyes, we just stop.
      Donna: Well, Mummy promises to never close her eyes again.

    • Miss Evangelista: Your physical self is stored in the Library as an energy signature. It can be actualised again whenever you or the Library requires.
      Donna: The Library? If my face ends up on one of those statues…
      Miss Evangelista: You remember the statues?
      Donna: Wait, no… just hang on… so this isn't the real me? This isn't my real body? But I've been dieting!
      Miss Evangelista: What you see around you, this entire world, is nothing more than virtual reality.
      Donna: So why do you look like that?
      Miss Evangelista: I had no choice. You teleported, you're a perfect reproduction. I was just a Data Ghost, caught in the wi-fi and automatically uploaded.
      Donna: And it made you clever?
      Miss Evangelista: We're only strings of numbers in here. I think a decimal point may have shifted in my IQ. But my face has been the bigger advantage. I have the two qualities you require to see absolute truth. I am brilliant and unloved.
      Donna: If this is all a dream, then whose dream is it?
      Miss Evangelista: It's hard to see everything in the data core, even for me, but… there is a word. Just one word. CAL.

    • The Doctor: A hundred years ago, massive power surge. All the teleports going at once. Soon as the Vashta Nerada hit their hatching cycle, they attack. Someone hits the alarm. The computer tries to teleport everyone out.
      Professor River Song: It tried to teleport four thousand and twenty two people?
      The Doctor: Succeeded. Pulled them all out. But then what? Nowhere to send them. Nowhere safe in the whole library, Vashta Nerada growing in every shadow. Four thousand and twenty two people beamed up with nowhere to go. They're stuck in the system, waiting to be sent, like e-mails. So what's a computer to do? What does a computer always do?
      Professor River Song: It saved them.
      The Doctor: (drawing a diagram on the table) The Library. Whole world full of books. Right at the core, the biggest hard-drive in history. The index to everything ever written, back-up copies of every single book. The computer saved four thousand and twenty two people the only way a computer can. It saved them to the hard drive.

    • The Doctor: Maybe tinting your visor is making a difference.
      Anita: It's making a difference all right. No-one's ever going to see my face again.
      The Doctor: Can I get you anything?
      Anita: An old age would be nice. Anything you can do?
      The Doctor: I'm all over it.
      Anita: Doctor. When we first met you, you didn't trust Professor Song- and then she whispered a word in your ear, and you did. My life so far, I could do with a word like that. What did she say? (after a pause) Give a dead girl a break. Your secrets are safe with me.

    • Professor River Song: You know when you see a photograph of someone you know but it's from years before you knew them? It's like they're not quite… finished. They're not done yet. Well… yes, the Doctor's here. He came when I called, just like he always does. But not my Doctor. Now, my Doctor… I've seen whole armies turn and run away and he'd just swagger off back to his TARDIS and open the doors with a snap of his fingers. The Doctor in the TARDIS. Next stop, everywhere.

    • Miss Evangelista: I suggested we meet here because a playground is the easiest place to see it. To see the lie.
      Donna: What lie?
      Miss Evangelista: The children. Look at the children.
      Donna: Why do you wear that veil? If I had a face like yours, I wouldn't hide it.
      Miss Evangelista: You remember my face? The memories are all still there. The Library. The Doctor. Me. You've just been programmed not to look.
      Donna: Sorry but… you're dead.
      Miss Evangelista: In a way, we're all dead here, Donna. We are the dead of the Library.
      Donna: What? What about the children? The children aren't dead. MY children aren't dead.
      Miss Evangelista: Your children were never alive.
      Donna: Don't you say that. Don't you dare say that about my children!
      Miss Evangelista: Look at your children! Look at all of them. Really look. They're not real. Do you see it now? They're all the same! All the children of this world, the same boy and the same girl, over and over again.

    • Possessed Proper Dave: Hey! Who turned out the lights?
      The Doctor: You hear that? Those words? That is the very last thought of the man who wore that suit before you climbed inside and stripped his flesh. That's a man's soul, trapped inside a neural relay, going round and round forever. If you don't have the decency to let him go, how about this? Use him; talk to me. It's easy. Neural relay. Just point and think. Use him; talk to me.
      Possessed Proper Dave: Hey! Who turned out the lights?
      The Doctor: The Vashta Nerada live on all the worlds in this system but you hunt in forests. What are you doing in a library?
      Other Dave: We should go. Doctor!
      The Doctor: In a minute. You came to a library to hunt. Why? Tell me why?
      Possessed Proper Dave: We… did not…
      The Doctor: Oh, hello.
      Possessed Proper Dave: We… did not…
      The Doctor: Take it easy. You'll get the hang of it. Did not what?
      Possessed Proper Dave: We… did not… come here.
      The Doctor: Of course you did! Course you came here!
      Possessed Proper Dave: We come… from here.
      The Doctor: From here?
      Possessed Proper Dave: We… hatched here.
      The Doctor: But you hatch from trees. From spores in trees.
      Possessed Proper Dave: These are our forests.
      The Doctor: You're nowhere near a forest. Look around you.
      Possessed Proper Dave: These are our forests.
      The Doctor: You're not in a forest. You're in a library! There are no trees in a… (realisation) library.
      Other Dave: We should go. Doctor!
      The Doctor: Books. You came in the books. Microspores in a million million books.
      Other Dave: We should go. Doctor!
      The Doctor: Oh, look at that. The forests of the Vashta Nerada, pulped and printed and bound. A million million books, hatching shadows.

    • Donna: I got your note last night. 'The world is wrong'. What does that mean?
      Miss Evangelista: No, you didn't.
      Donna: I'm sorry. What?
      Miss Evangelista: You didn't get my note last night. You got it a few seconds ago. Having decided to come, you suddenly found yourself arriving. That is how time progresses here, in the manner of a dream. You've suspected that before, haven't you… Donna Noble?
      Donna: How do you know me?
      Miss Evangelista: We met before. In the Library. You were kind to me. I hope now to return that kindness.
      Donna: Your voice… I recognise it.
      Miss Evangelista: Yes, you do. I am what is left of Miss Evangelista.

    • The Doctor: Sometime in the future, I just give you my screwdriver.
      Professor River Song: Yeah.
      The Doctor: Why would I do that?
      Professor River Song: I didn't pluck it from your cold dead hands, if that's what you're worried about.
      The Doctor: And I know that because…?
      Professor River Song: Listen to me. You've lost your friend. You're angry. I understand. But you need to be less emotional, Doctor. Right now...
      The Doctor: Less emotional? I'm not emotional!
      Professor River Song: There are five people in this room still alive. Focus on that. Dear God, you're hard work young!
      The Doctor: Young? Who are you?
      Strackman Lux: For heavens' sake! Look at the pair of you! We're all going to die right here and you're just squabbling like an old married couple!

    • Other Dave: Who is he? You haven't even told us. You just expect us to follow him.
      Professor River Song: He's the Doctor.
      Strackman Lux: And who is 'the Doctor'?
      Professor River Song: The only story you'll ever tell. If you survive him.

    • The Doctor: Know what's interesting with my screwdriver, very hard to interfere with, practically nothing strong enough. Well, some hair-dryers, but I'm working on that. So, there is a very strong signal coming from somewhere, and it wasn't there before, so what's new, what's changed?
      (He is met with silence)
      The Doctor: Come on! What's new?! What's different?
      Other Dave: I dunno, nothing. It's getting dark?
      The Doctor: It's a screwdriver. It works in the dark. Moonrise... Tell me about the moon, what's there?
      Mr Lux: It's not real, it was built as a part of the Library, it's just a Doctor Moon.
      The Doctor: What's a 'Doctor Moon'?
      Mr Lux: A virus checker. It supports and maintains the main computer at the core of the planet.
      The Doctor: Well, it's still active, it's signalling, look. Someone, somewhere in this library is alive, and communicating with the moon, or, possibly alive and drying their hair.

    • The Doctor: I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up.

    • Professor River Song: Doctor, one day I am going to be someone you trust completely but I can't wait for you to find that out, so I'm going to prove it to you and I'm sorry. I'm really very sorry.(she leans over and whispers something in his ear). Are we good? Doctor, are we good?
      The Doctor: Yeah, we're good.
      Professor River Song: Good.

    • Anita: (regarding The Doctor): You say he's your friend but he doesn't know who you are.
      Professor River Song: Listen, all you need to know is this. I trust that man to the end of the universe and actually, we've been.

    • Doctor Moon: You've done so much in seven years, Donna.
      Donna: Sometimes it feels more like seventy. Mind you, sometimes it feels like no time at all.

    • The Doctor: (about the Sonic Screwdriver) Something's blocking it.
      Professor River Song: Put it on red settings.
      The Doctor: It doesn't have red settings.
      Professor River Song: Turn on the dampers.
      The Doctor: It doesn't have dampers.
      Professor River Song: It will some day.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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