10 Doctor Who Controversies That Divide Fans

8. In The Forest Of The Night

Doctor Who the Daleks
BBC Studios

Series 8's In the Forest of the Night has always been a controversial episode, but you might not realize just how much it split the fandom in two.

In 2016, this Twelfth Doctor story was voted the most divisive Doctor Who episode ever in a Radio Times poll, beating out fellow Twelfth Doctor stories Sleep No More and Kill the Moon, as well as the Sixth Doctor serial Vengeance on Varos. That's quite a feat - so what earned In The Forest of the Night this not-so-coveted title?

On the positive side, this Series 8 adventure was praised for its creative premise (the people of Earth wake up to discover that the planet has been completely covered by large forests) and its lighter, more fairytale tone, a refreshing contrast from the darker episodes of the series. Detractors labelled it aimless, threatless, and felt that there were a few too many silly moments, forcing then-showrunner Steven Moffat to jump to its defense, calling it "beautifully and elegantly written."

It's rare for the showrunners to jump into these debates themselves, proving just how divided viewers were on this episode. Perhaps a less plodding script and a few more standout scenes - like the Doctor's awesome deleted speech about the Untempered Schism - would've made this one more positive than polarising.

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WhoCulture Channel Manager/Doctor Who Editor at WhatCulture. Can confirm that bow ties are cool.