On our audio commentary for In the Forest of the Night, writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce very kindly gave us some of his thoughts and behind-the-scenes tidbits about the episode - download HERE or use the player below. You can find just some of the gems the writer gave us below, though you can find even more on the commentary itself.
• I was interested in the limits of the Doctor’s power. A few times in the last series we’ve had comments about using the sonic as though it was a magic wand. I liked the idea of pitting him against something that everyone in the audience would realise instantly was immune to the sonic. Trees have no moving parts. There’s no circuitry in a tiger.
• In the first drafts I tried to sell this red herring that the Doctor thought the whole thing - the solar flare, the forest, the tiger - was aimed at him personally. That someone was out to get him. There’s still a line in there about messing with the fabric of time which was originally a reference to that possibility. But we’ve got rid of all other trace of that strand and Steven nudged me towards something much more direct and emotional about who saves who. Or who saves Who!
• By the way “messing with the fabric of time” is a quotation from the record producer Tony Visconti who used it to describe the effect of The Eventide Harmoniser which he used on David Bowie’s album - Heroes.
• The young actors were asked to improvise a bit when they auditioned. I used some of the lines they improvised in the final script.
• The thing I’d most like to say is - whatever the result - I had the most fantastic time doing this. I have loved Dr. Who since I was a little boy. My script was a kind of thank you note.