The Way Through the Woods
Roots: There are references to Strictly Come Dancing, Charlie and Lola, Alfred Hitchcock, Record Breakers, Facebook, Lois Lane, Sherlock Holmes, Tony Robinson and Time Team, the AA, Winston Churchill, The Big Issue, Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”, Newsnight, Mad Men, HG Wells, Fantastic Mr Fox, Beauty and the Beast, Batman, Mary Poppins, Troy, Hector, Achilles and Cassandra.
Dialogue Triumphs: “I don’t have time not to be strange.”
Continuity: Reyn’s ship crashed on Earth ten thousand years earlier. He is a vulpine humanoid shape-shifter. His species lives for thousands of years. They fought the so-called Long War against an unnamed “substantial interplanetary empire” which neighboured the various planets they inhabited: they lost, but their species survived. They were conquered for a time, but then the conquering empire declined and they regained their freedom. His people’s ships learned from their travels and developed consciousness. They develop consciousness during a process called the Shift, during which they absorb information from people they encounter. If damaged, their drives can warp time and space.
The Doctor gives Amy and Roray triangular bronze-coloured homing devices. He knows of Reyn’s people and the outcome of the Long War.
Amy has no fillings. She pins the brooch to her jacket. Rory eats pie in the pub.
Links: Rory notes that he’s “sort of” been in the army and recalls being plastic (The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang). The Doctor notes that he may have accidentally kidnapped a history teacher (100,000BC) and an air stewardess (Logopolis). The Doctor hints that Sherlock Holmes was actually real (All-Consuming Fire, Happy Endings, Erasing Sherlock).
Location: Foxton, the Lake District, England, Autumn 1917 and late October .
The Bottom Line: By turns creepy, intriguing and rather sweet. The denouement is hugely satisfying and McCormack makes good use of the regulars, especially Rory.