As with the series of Doctor Who last year, the final two episodes before the finale, have been much more small scale, and in some ways a little different. Last week we had a largely Doctor-less story, Love and Monsters, and this week we got Fear Her, a which is set largely in one single street, and where the threat is largely unseen, being an entity that has taken over a little girl.
As the episode begins, there have been a series of strange disappearances, children just suddenly vanishing into thin air with no explanation. Within the opening few moments, another disappearance occurs, with two boys playing football in a garden, suddenly reduced to one. We then see that another girl across the street has drawn a picture of the boy, and as we watch, the picture starts to move…
Essentially, I found this a fairly entertaining little story, although nothing that overly blew me away. There were some nice touches, for example when the TARDIS originally lands between two shipping containers, the doors open onto one of the containers, resulting in the Doctor having to dematerialise to turn it round. Also for fans, there was a pretty important, almost throw-away line during one exchange, where the Doctor says that he was a father at one time. Whilst some may say that this would be obvious considering that in the earliest episodes he is travelling with his granddaughter, however there have always been discussions in fan circles over the whole relationship in light of what we later discover about the Doctor’s life-span.
I have to say that in some ways, I found the Doctor Who Confidential that followed more entertaining, containing as it did a great demonstration of the old adage to never work with children or animals, with the team attempting to coax a performance out of the cat that appeared in the episode, whilst the cat was much more interested in the new surroundings, rolling on the ground or cleaning itself. Despite the use of fishing wire to guide the cat, and scarers to try and keep the cat on track, in the end they gave up to try again the next day! The episode was also notable in that it featured a lot more early Doctor Who than usual, including an interview with Waris Hussein the director of the very first episode, about the atmosphere he managed to produce. It was also notable in that Russell T Davies talks about some of the moments in the original series that really frightened him.
Both Doctor Who Confidential and Fear Her also hinted at what is to come next week, with now even the Doctor feeling that something major is coming. The trailer for next week also pushes all the right buttons, with a voice over by Rose, who says that this will be the last story she will tell, and the Doctor and Rose getting caught by Torchwood. In terms of the plot of the story we see ghosts appearing in the streets, and quite a few Cybermen too. However we also see someone get shot by what looks to be a Dalek extermination (although we don’t see a Dalek). The implication from a line the Doctor says in the trailer implies that the ghosts are something coming from another dimension, so this could well explain the Cybus corporation Cybermen. It could also explain the hinted at return of Mickey, and also the rumours that the Timelords are going to make an appearance next week – although perhaps finding out that the Doctor didn’t destroy his entire race during the Time War may be more interesting from the point of view of the character than parallel universe Timelords. Anyway, what with all the supposition and rumour flying around over the final two episodes, I’m sure I’m going to get a good deal of surprises before the series ends. Can’t wait!