|Main setting:||Dame Kelly Holmes Close, Stratford, London, 27 July 2012|
|Premiere broadcast:||24 June 2006|
|Premiere network:||BBC One|
|Format:||1 45-minute Episode|
|Confidential:||The Fright Stuff|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Love & Monsters||Army of Ghosts|
|The Idiot's Lantern||The Impossible Planet|
|Another memorable moment|
Fear Her was the eleventh episode in the second series of Doctor Who. This story featured an unorthodox plot point by incorporating the prominent social issue of child abuse. Tardisode 11 served as its prologue.
The TARDIS materialises on Dame Kelly Holmes Close on the day of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. On the street, concern is divided between preparation for the Games, as the torchbearer will pass by on the final leg, and the continued disappearance of children from their garden. Rose also meets a ginger cat who walks into a cardboard box and disappears. Cars break down on the street. A council worker, Kel, states this has been happening all week.
The source of the problems is a small girl, Chloe, who can make people disappear by drawing them.
Wandering down one of the estate streets, Rose hears a noise from one of the garages and decides to investigate. As she opens the door a round, a fuzzy Scribble Creature flies out, hitting Rose square in the face. Rose swats at it helplessly. The Doctor arrives and deactivates it with the sonic screwdriver. He deduces from residual energy and the carbon of the scribble that had attacked Rose that the problem is alien in origin.
By talking to Chloe, he learns the disappearance is related to the Isolus, an alien life-form with four billion siblings, who had befriended Chloe; she has had a troubled childhood and an abusive father. The Doctor warns that the Isolus is desperate for love too, and will use the billions of people watching the Olympic opening ceremony to replace its family.
The Doctor returns to the TARDIS and locates the Isolus pod in the Close. However, a frantic Chloe draws the TARDIS and the Doctor, trapping them both in one of her sketches and forcing Rose to try to find the pod herself. She rationalises that the pod is located on the hottest spot on the street, and is able to dig it up with a pickaxe (to Kel's protestations). Meanwhile Chloe has caused the entire crowd at the Olympic stadium to disappear and is now set on making everyone in the world disappear. Rose realises she needs to offer the pod heat and emotion, which she does by throwing the pod towards the torch.
The missing children start to reappear, and Rose realises that so will the demon-like drawing that Chloe had made of her father. Rose and Chloe's mother calm Chloe enough to destroy him.
As the torch-bearer approaches the Olympic Stadium, he staggers, but the Doctor completes the run and lights the Olympic Flame. The heat of the flame and the emotion of the crowd power the pod, allowing the Isolus to return home.
As the Doctor and Rose walk off to watch the Games, Rose remarks that however hard "they" attempt, nothing will ever split up the two of them. However, the Doctor does not seem so sure, as he surmises that a storm is approaching.
- The Doctor - David Tennant
- Rose Tyler - Billie Piper
- Trish - Nina Sosanya
- Chloe - Abisola Agbaje
- Maeve - Edna Dore
- Tom's Dad - Tim Faraday
- Kel - Abdul Salis
- Driver - Richard Nichols
- Neighbour- Erica Eirian
- Police Officer - Stephen Marzella
- Commentator - Huw Edwards
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The first three children taken are Danny Edwards, Jane McKillen and Dale Hicks.
- Their parents greet them when they're restored, namely, Mr Edwards, Mrs McKillen and (the unseen) Mrs Hicks.
- Danny Fairweather carries the Olympic torch through Dame Kelly Holmes Close.
- The Doctor mentions (to Rose's surprise) that he "was a dad once." This has been implied numerous times by his status as grandfather to Susan Foreman.
- The Doctor lists three things necessary to travel the universe: wormhole refractors, a warp drive and a hand to hold.
People from the real world
- Dame Kelly Holmes Close is named after the British middle-distance runner who was knighted after winning the 800m and 1500m races in Athens in 2004 and who was involved in London's successful bid in 2005.
- The Doctor tries to remember the name of the torch-lighter in 1948: Mark? John? Mark? It's John Mark; the Doctor calls him a "lovely chap" and described his physical strength.
- Shayne Ward's new album is advertised just next to where the Doctor parks the TARDIS.
- The Doctor claims to be reasonably adept at squash and jokingly mentions Snakes & Ladders when asked "what his game is".
- The Doctor marvels over edible ball bearings.
- When the Doctor is in the kitchen with Rose and Trish Webber, he eats Orange Marmalade.
- The Doctor invokes the Shadow Proclamation.
- The Isolus are beings that can draw power from other beings' extreme emotion.
- Humanoid catkind are mentioned, and the Doctor cites them as the reason he's no longer a "cat person".
- The Doctor shows that he can do the Vulcan salute from the American science-fiction show Star Trek.
- Papua New Guinea surprises everyone in the shot put at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
- Fear Her replaced an unwritten script originally allocated to Stephen Fry.
- This is the first televised Doctor Who story to deal with actual child abuse, although there is a possible allusion to the subject in The Empty Child.
- No characters die during this episode, a rarity for the series.
- In 2009, Doctor Who Magazine [which?] conducted a reader poll to rank the first 200 Doctor Who stories in order of preference. Fear Her ranked 192nd out of 200, earning it the dubious distinction of being the lowest-ranked story of the 2005-present revival. In another DWM reader poll in 2014 where the first fifty years of Doctor Who stories were ranked, Fear Her was also the lowest-ranked story of the revival, this time ranking 240th out of 241st. (DWM 474)
- The London 2012 logo seen at the start is the bid logo, not the final logo of the games, which wasn't unveiled until after the episode was produced.
- The writer, Matthew Graham, noted on the DVD commentary that the scribble creature was never to be called a "scribble monster", as the Doctor would never call anything a monster.
- The idea of a child bringing things to life through drawings was also featured in the 1991 Eerie Indiana episode "Who's Who".
- The mini-episode TV: Good as Gold takes place during the Olympic opening ceremony. However, the circumstances are shown to be clearly different, with an athlete carrying the torch and and Weeping Angels involved.
- This story idea of the Tenth Doctor's involvement in the 2012 Olympics sparked a petition from thousands of fans all over the world wishing David Tennant to carry the Olympic Torch. However, it was not David Tennant, but Matt Smith who would carry the 2012 Olympic torch in Wales on 26 May 2012.
- In the real world, it was legendary rower Sir Steve Redgrave who finally delivered the torch to the Olympic Stadium in London, and a group of seven young athletes who lit the Olympic Flame. However, newsreader Huw Edwards did provide the commentary on the ceremony, and during one of the elaborate production numbers prior to this the sound of the TARDIS materialising was also heard. Also, the torch in this episode is at least similar to the actual one.
- 7.14 million
- When the Doctor and Rose walk down the lane, the road is perfect, with no blemishes. However, when the Doctor later picks up the Isolus pod, there is a clear paving spot.
- In a shot before the cat disappears, the white flowers in the ground behind Rose are obviously fabric.
- In the kitchen, the Doctor sticks one finger into a jar of marmalade and then into his mouth. Rose gives him a look and shakes her head and he freezes, but is then seen to have two fingers in his mouth.
- The Doctor uses his telepathy as he did in TV: The Girl in the Fireplace.
- The year of 2012 was previously featured in TV: Dalek. It is the home era of Adam Mitchell.
- Each of the kids reacts to coming back from being in their pictures just as people did in TV: The Idiot's Lantern when regaining their faces.
- The Doctor previously had a sensation in his hands in TV: The War Machines.
- During his eleventh incarnation, the Doctor would visit the 2012 Olympic Games once again in the company of Amy Pond. (TV: Good as Gold) He had previously visited 2012 on at least one occasion during or prior to his sixth incarnation (AUDIO: The Raincloud Man) as well as during his seventh, (AUDIO: Frozen Time) eighth (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon) and ninth incarnations. (TV: Dalek).
- In the far future, radio and television broadcasts concerning the 2012 Olympic Games could be accessed via the Gogglebox inside the Moon. (AUDIO: The Reaping, AUDIO: The Gathering)
- When the Doctor talks to Chloe about drawing, he says, "I'm rubbish. stickmen're about my limit." He is apparently lying. He did skilled drawings in A Journal of Impossible Things, and when Joan Redfern asks where he learned to draw, the Doctor, as John Smith, says Gallifrey. (TV: Human Nature)
Home video releases
- This story was released on a vanilla DVD (a DVD release containing no extra features) with Army of Ghosts and Doomsday.
- It was also released as part of the Series 2 DVD box set.
- BBC - Doctor Who - Episode Guide - Fear Her
- Fear Her at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Fear Her at The Whoniverse
- Fear Her at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Fear her at The Locations Guide