Doctor Who: Fear Her

On the whole, Episode 11, Fear Her, turned out pretty good. Spoilers follow, and some speculation, so be wary. And apologies for the more disjointed than usual style; I have a dose of flu and my mind is fuzzy.

Borrowing something of a metaphor from the episode itself, it showed plenty of talent, but the brushstrokes were a bit too broad.

The bit with the Doctor carrying the Olympic Torch was a bit too tacky for my tastes, even considering that it's a show that thrives on tackiness. The "monster" was alright, nothing special, nothing dreadful. Solid enough premise, even if the technobabble was pretty awful. I'd like it if the writers could come up with reasons that sounded vaguely plausible for the powers of the monster of the week, but I can live without it - they only have 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, that only having 45 minutes is showing, more and more. They've got to cram the plot, however flimsy it may be, plus the character development bits, plus a bit of arc-attachment in. And the arc-attachment really is starting to feel like things that are attached to the story arcs, not things that are part of them. The bit at the end where someone says something meaningful while staring into space has happened twice now, and it was too damn heavy the first time.

Things that look interesting: the Doctor's comment of "I was a father once", or whatever the phrasing was, and Rose's evident shock at it (although it wasn't followed up at all), Rose's growing ability to work stuff out, and also her need for reassurance that nothing will separate them - which we know from meta-story rumour not to be case, as well as the hints in the story. So far we have three definite indicators.

One, the Beast in the Pit said she'd fall in battle. Interesting turn of phrase, and we saw it brought up again in the preview for Army of Ghosts/Doomsday.

Two, in the otherwise vile and odious Love and Monsters, there was speculation about how the Doctor affects people around him, long-term.

Three, there was the Doctor's ominous "there's a storm coming", and not-quite-refusal to reassure Rose.

And then there was the comment in the trailer about the "last story" Rose can tell. So, Rose's time as a Companion is definitely coming to an end. It remains to be seen how, exactly, she gets written out - it's definitely going to be fairly spectacular, and I do suspect she'll survive it, if only because Russell Davies is far too fond of the romance subplots.

Posted by Drew Shiel at June 28, 2006 12:48 PM

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