Fear Her

Roots: The Magic Paintbrush, the successful London 2012 Olympic bid. Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. Chloe and Trish sing Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree. "Monsters in the closet" (Jungian psychology); The Exorcist (child possession and the creepy gravelly kiddy-whisper); ET (friendly alien gets stranded and a child helps him get home); Batteries not included (children protecting tiny alien spaceships); Who Framed Roger Rabbit (particularly the graphite monster) and other cartoon-live action crossovers; The legend of Icarus and Daedalus; Vision-on and Art Attack (super-fast drawing). The Doctor mentions Club Med. The Doctor, claiming to be a police officer, refers to Rose as his assistant Lewis (Inspector Morse). The Doctor and Chloe both do the Vulcan hand gesture from Star Trek. Father's Day (the scene where Mickey's friends disappear from the playground is similar to the disappearances here).

Goofs: The Doctor asks Rose if she is "deducting" when the correct word would be "deducing". Surely the Doctor would know such things.

Whilst it's clearly daytime in Dame Kelly Holmes Close, it's clearly night in the Olympic Stadium.

When the Stadium disappears, Huw Edwards says that there were 80,000 spectators and 30,000 athletes. When it reappears and the crowd are watching the Doctor with the Olympic Flame, he says that there are 80,000 athletes and spectators. Did 30,000 stay vanished?

Why doesn't the stadium disappear when Chloe draws it? [Perhaps it only takes life forms, in which case why do the kids' clothes disappear along with them?] And why doesn't the picture of the Isolus mother and the solar flare come to life? [Perhaps because she's drawing them whilst Chloe is unconscious.]

Why does the pod need the Olympic Flame to re-energise? Why not any old flame, like from an oven? [It also needs love.]

Why does Rose believe that the Doctor hadn't come back to reality? He wasn't snatched in the street, so why should he reappear there?

Dialogue Disasters: A lot of the dialogue sounds like it comes from a second-rate childrens' program.

Continuity: The TARDIS materialises in a position where the Doctor cannot physically get out of the doors, but then rematerialises the other way around.

The Doctor loves crunchy ball bearings and says that nobody else in the entire galaxy has ever bothered to make edible ball bearings. He can detect the residual energy and ion residue caused by the childrens' disappearances without any equipment (perhaps by looking at the effect on the hairs on the back of his hand and from the smell). He says that he's not a cat person and says that it's because of events in New Earth (though the sixth Doctor had cat badges in his coat and the seventh Doctor adopted a cat in Human Nature (book)). The sonic screwdriver can deactivate and shrink the scribble monster. He tells Chloe that he's useless at drawing - stick men are about his limit, although he draws the Olympic torch rather too well for that. He puts his fingers in a jar of marmalade and then tastes it without realising he's committed a social faux pas.

The Isolus is lonely. Their journey lasts a thousand of "your" lifetimes. The Isolus mother jettisons millions of spores in deep space. They are empathic beings of intense emotion. Their need for each other sustains them. They travel inside pods which ride the heat and energy of solar tides and take thousands of years to grow up. They play games using their ionic power to literally create make-believe worlds in which to play, enabling them to feed off each others' love. This power is capable of using graphite drawings to snatch people from the real world and containing them in the buildings. The process leaves traces of ionic energy. A solar flare can scatter one pod off from the rest of the family, which numbers about 4 billion.

Links: The Doctor mentions cats threatening him whilst dressed in nuns' wimples (New Earth). He also requests parley in compliance with the Shadow Proclamation (Rose). The Doctor says that he was a dad once (either a reference to Susan's parents or to Miranda from Father Time. The context of the comment is about bringing up kids - suggesting the latter).

Extras: This story has an episode of Doctor Who Confidential. The BBC created a one-minute trailer called a "Tardisode" for each episode of series two, which was available to download on your mobile or watch at the BBC website. They also made a commentary track available online, and with the red button during the digital repeats. Neither is still available online.

Location: Dame Kelly Holmes Close and the Olympic Stadium, London, 2012

Future History: There is an East London police authority and an East London Council in 2012. Papua New Guinea surprise everybody in the Shot Put at the 2012 Olympics and Huw Edwards commentates on the opening ceremony for BBC News 24, with Bob in the Stadium.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor loved the opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympics so much he went back to watch it again.

The Bottom Line: 'You don't know what it is to be alone.' Fear Her has some ambitious themes about loneliness, showing the Isolus, Chloe Webber, the Doctor and Rose as people struggling to cope with it. However, this comes across less effectively than it should because it is written and acted like a program that's "just for the kids" like many lower quality childrens' dramas. As a result, this adult viewer completely lost interest in all of the characters except the regulars.

Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray

Other Guides to this Story

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