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"Fear Her" is an episode of the Britishmarker science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 24 June 2006.

The episode takes part on the day of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, almost exclusively on a fictitious cul-de-sac named after the British athlete Kelly Holmes. While originally only intending to visit the ceremony, the Doctor and Rose investigate a child with the ability to make people disappear by drawing them.

Plot

The TARDIS materialises on Dame Kelly Holmes Close on the day of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. The neighbourhood is preparing for the passing of the Olympic torchbearer, but the mood has been destroyed by the inexplicable disappearances of several local children. A council worker, Kel, also mentions that cars have been breaking down momentarily all day. The Doctor and Rose investigate and realise that the source of the problems is a solitary 12-year old girl, Chloe Webber, who is able to cause people to disappear by drawing them. The Doctor hypnotises Chloe and finds that she is possessed by an immature Isolus, an alien life-form used to traveling through space with a family of billions and which has crashed its pod to Earth due to a solar flare. The Isolus has befriended Chloe as she had a troubled childhood and it relates to her loneliness. Besides snatching people, this has also caused Chloe to draw a life-sized, exaggerated figure of her late violate father, which briefly has become animated.

The Doctor explains that if they can find the Isolus pod and provide it power, the alien will leave Chloe. A frantic Chloe draws the Doctor into one of her paintings, forcing Rose to try to find the pod herself. She rationalizes that the pod is located on the spot on the street where cars have been breaking down, and is able to dig it up with the council worker's help. With Chloe having already caused the entire crowd at the Olympic stadium to disappear and now intent on making everyone in the world disappear, Rose tries to find out how to power the pod. Thanks to visual indications from the Doctor's "picture", Rose understands that she needs to offer the pod heat mixed with emotional strength, which she does by throwing the pod towards the Olympic Torch. As the missing children start to reappear, Rose realises that so will the demon-like drawing that Chloe had made of her father. Rose and Chloe's mother are able, though, to calm Chloe enough and the - unseen - monster disappears.

As the torch-bearer approaches the Olympic Stadium, he staggers, but the Doctor completes the run and lights the Olympic Flame, allowing the Isolus to peacefully leave Chloe's body and return home. As the Doctor and Rose walk off to watch the Games, Rose remarks that however hard they attempt, nothing will ever split the two of them up. However, the Doctor becomes uneasy and surmises that a storm is approaching.

Continuity

The episode, with its stand-alone nature, has very few links to other episodes: Torchwood is again mentioned, on the television during the scene where Chloe abducts Olympic spectators. The Doctor invokes the Shadow Proclamation which was an intergalactic code used in "Rose" to gain an audience with the Nestene Consciousness, and mentions that his dislike of cats stems from "being threatened by one in a nun's wimple", which occurred in "New Earth". The Doctor also tells Rose that he was once a father; Susan Foreman, the Doctor's granddaughter, was one of the First Doctor's companions.

Production

The episode was an overcommissioned episode, which replaced a planned but unproduced script by Stephen Fry. Early drafts of this episode were titled "Chloe Webber Destroys the Earth", and later, "You're a Bad Girl, Chloe Webber", with one such draft having the episode take place on another planet.

Due to Fry's script being dropped, production of some episodes of the second series had to be rescheduled, with "Fear Her" being produced alongside "The Idiot's Lantern". The episode was filmed during late January and early February 2006, with the cold temperatures experienced during filming being explained in the plot as part of the Isolus' endothermic nature. The majority of the episode, including exterior shots and Chloe's home, was filmed in the Tremorfamarker area of Cardiff, with a majority of the remainder filmed in the Doctor Who studios in Newportmarker. Dame Kelly Holmes, who was referenced in the episode, was considered for the part of the torchbearer, but was committed to Dancing On Ice at the time.

Cast notes

Nina Sosanya and David Tennant both starred in the 2005 BBC production of Casanova, also produced by Doctor Who producer Russell T Davies.

Broadcast and DVD release

  • Overnight viewing figures on first broadcast were 6.6 million, with a 39.7% audience share. The episode's final rating was 7.14 million.


References

  1. Russell, Gary: (2006). Doctor Who: The Inside Story. London: BBC Books. ISBN 0-563-48639-X. , p. 230.


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