Steven Moffat defends Doctor Who episode In the Forest of the Night

The showrunner said the arborial adventure would "grow in stature over the years", adding that critics were wrong to suggest it was scientifically inaccurate

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Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has leapt to the defence of In the Forest of the Night, calling the less-than-popular series eight episode “beautifully and elegantly written” and predicting that it will one day get the credit it deserves.

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Penned by Frank Cottrell Boyce, In the Forest of the Night tells the story of the day the earth finds itself overgrown with sentient trees intent on protecting the planet from deadly solar flares, and was voted the worst of the series by almost a quarter of those who took part in a recent poll.

But asked which was his favourite adventure of Peter Capaldi’s debut run, Moffat said “I think I’d give a shout out to an episode that I think will grow in stature over the years because it’s so beautifully and elegantly written, In the Forest of the Night.

“There were people who thought it was maybe scientifically inaccurate – they’re wrong, I checked with the scientists – and any piece of television that includes the line of dialogue ‘catastrophe is the metabolism of the universe’ as a part of popular entertainment has to be… a beautiful episode!”

Speaking at the launch of seasonal special Last Christmas, Moffat praised writer Cotrell Boyce as “an absolute genius and a tremendously lovely man” and was pleased to note that his choice of episode met with applause from certain audience members, who he called “very wise” people.

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Doctor Who: Last Christmas is on BBC1 at 6:15pm on Christmas Day