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11 January 2015 @ 04:14 pm
NuWho Rewatch: Fear Her  
About halfway through Fear Her I was wondering why it was generally rated so poorly and then everything started to go down hill.

Up until the moment where Rose throws the pod at the Olympic Torch Bearer, Fear Her is really going pretty well. There are good performances, particularly from Abisola Agbaje as the child, Chloe and Nina Sosanya as her mother. The setting of the cul-de-sac is actually quite a nice idea, an enclosed space with a small cast of characters but not quite as cut-off as your average base under siege. The effects of the drawings coming to life are well done.

And then, well, there are, I think two problems. Firstly the story doesn't know where to end so we have first the repair of the Isolus space craft, and then defeating the drawing of Chloe's Dad, and then the final reappearance of the Doctor. The problem is we don't go into this thinking there are three problems to be solved, we think there is just one, the space craft so each subsequent problem-then-resolution feels tacked on and somewhat arbitrary.

We are a year away from Doctor Who's "clap if you believe in fairies" moment but this is definitely prefiguring that. It doesn't help that the Olympic torch seems like a quixotic choice of unifying force (though it is interesting that, come 2012, the Olympics themselves and the torch relay were considerably more enthusiastically received than one might have predicted in 2006). However, given the set up for the story I wasn't too bothered by the idea that the outpouring of emotion might power the Isolus space craft. However the fact that the drawing of Chloe's Dad (whose bringing to life is not well explained) is then dispelled by singing songs together begins to stretch patience and credulity and when that is followed up by the torch bearer stumbling and the Doctor picking it up - well it all becomes a bit "give me a break".

This is all a shame because I think if you dropped the second two resolutions you wouldn't have a bad little story although, like The Idiot's Lantern, it isn't trying to do anything beyond being a Doctor Who story.

A potentially nice story spoiled by not knowing where to stop. The first real disappointment of the rewatch.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/136667.html.
 
 
 
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on January 11th, 2015 05:43 pm (UTC)
I also like this rather more than other fans, although I think your criticisms are valid.

I haven't seen it for years, but I think it did feel more like old Doctor Who, which might explain why I like it more than some fans did. The Doctor/Rose relationship has fewer romantic overtones, IIRC, and I felt the Doctor and Rose were generally more likeable than in other stories of this season - Rose shaking her head at the Doctor for eating jam out of the jar in the kitchen instead of them taking over the Connolley's house in The Idiot's Lantern. It was also small scale, which I like, with some good jokes.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on January 12th, 2015 12:14 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure it felt that much like traditional Who to me. The grounding in every day life was very modern Who. But you are right that the Doctor and Rose treat Trish much better than the Connolleys - which of course highlights, in a way, the Doctor's increasing tendency to act like judge and jury on people's character.