Doctor Who Series 4 episode 6 review - The Doctor's Daughter

Review 10 May 2008 - 11:57
The Hath on the warpath in The Doctor's Daughter.

Spoilers aplenty in our review of this week's Doctor Who...

Plenty of spoilers here!

Tonight’s rather good - though badly plot-holed - effort from writer Stephen Greenhorn (who also wrote last season’s The Lazarus Experiment) and director Alice Troughton was once again undermined by incessant music telling us when to cry, when to be excited, when to reflect…we’re lucky series composer Murray Gold hasn’t got a ‘bouncy spring’ player in his orchestra, or they’d probably punctuate the jokes with ‘twang’ effects, Carry-on style.

Producer Phil Collinson at least spares us the ‘rimshot sting’ on punchlines. Collinson is doubtless a very busy man indeed, but he really ought to make time for the extras in his DVD collection, where he’ll find a phalanx of interviewed movie composers saying, over and over again, that a good score is just as much about when there isn’t any music. Silence is also an instrument in a score, creating tension, letting the actors perform and the story breathe, and maximising the effect of music when it comes.

I know I’ve moaned about this before, and I’ll stop moaning about it when they stop washing Who senseless with a score that should accentuate the story but instead becomes - by repetition - meaningless muzak.

Okay then.

Last week’s end-of-episode Tardis hi-jack lands the Doctor, Donna and semi-reluctant passenger Dr. Martha Jones in very familiar Who territory – a dank and fairly cheap series of underground tunnels, where they are almost immediately set-upon by the human contingent in an eternal war that is being fought with the liquid-breathing – but actually rather nice - ‘Hath’.

Desperately in need of back-up troops, the soldiers force the Doctor’s hand into a cloning machine, which the breakneck pace of the show dictates must produce a fully-formed (and fully dressed) female spin-off Doctor-clone within ten seconds. The nameless, fully-trained blonde that emerges is played by Georgia Moffett, the daughter of fifth Doctor Peter Davison.

Why Donna and Martha are not cloned is never explained, but it certainly would have cost the show focus to have two Tate-style whingers running about, so let’s be glad of it. A skirmish with the sinister-looking Hath erupts immediately, and Martha is taken prisoner by the liquid-breathing aliens whilst the Doctor and Donna are led to General Cobb (Excalibur’s Nigel Terry, who puts in a customary first-rate performance).

Cobb informs them that the humans are engaged in a relentless war that has gone on for generations following the Hath betrayal of a mixed human/Hath colony centuries ago. Cloning machines now fuel a war that apparently will never have an end until the ‘source’ is found – a mythical and potent object which the warriors associate with God.

The Doctor discovers a hidden section to the map that both sides are using, inadvertantly sending the humans and the Hath on collission course. Our Gallifrean hero wears his pacifist credentials on his sleeve, and when he objects to Cobb’s genocidal intentions, is locked up along with Donna and his impromptu progeny, whom Donna has named ‘Jenny’ and who is now feared to share the Doctor’s peace-loving ideals.

Over in Hath-land, Martha Jones wakes up next to her wounded captor in the debris of an explosion, relocates his shoulder (having had some difficulty finding it) and instantly makes a friend of the aliens, who aren’t nearly as nasty as they look.

In fact the monster of The Doctor’s Daughter is really the war-like Cobb, who equates peace with victory at any cost. The fine points of the Doctor’s pacifism are discussed whilst trapped in the cell, where Donna begins to see a logical pattern in the apparently banal number-plates that are riveted onto the walls of the underground complex.

However, it’s not another ‘big bad wolf’ scenario, and Ms. Noble is destined to solve it by episode’s end. In the meantime, the Doctor’s course is clear – escape and bring peace where there’s war. Writer Greenhorn gets them out of the cell with a rather lazy 'seduction ploy', and by the inclusion of the classic ‘dumbest guard in the world’ character, but never mind – our heroes are free, and suddenly the Doctor realises that his ‘daughter’ shares old assistant Leela’s trigger-happy habits. Despite his reluctance to accept the Moffett character as any part of himself, he starts handing out lectures - and actually seems to be softening…

I’m tempted to theorise that it’s the medium budget episodes of Who that satisfy most these days. The confined corridors and straightfoward matte painting that greets Martha when she escapes to planet Messaline’s rather gothic surface aren’t budget-breakers, and a story like The Doctor’s Daughter has to stand on the quality of its ideas and writing…which, for the most part, it does.

I am biased, being a tremendous Baker-ite; this episode is quite redolent of Baker-era Who, with plenty of dark and cheap corridors to run down and two under-manned warring factions for the Doctor to bring peace to, if he can. But the dizzy pace of the series doesn’t relapse into John-Nathan Turner-style languidness, and the make-up and design of the Hath is excellent. They could have walked straight out of Bioshock, and it’s almost a disappointment that they’re so nice.

Donna’s role as the Doctor’s conscience is beginning to take shape, and I must admit that it’s refreshing to have an assistant who therefore serves a purpose other than needing to be rescued and asking ‘What’s that, Doctor’. Tate has toned down the grating voice a tad, which is welcome. Hopefully Tennant will eventually stop shouting too – it’s a dramatic tool that (like excessive music) becomes meaningless if over-used.

Freema Agyman acquits herself well in a moment of tragedy on the planet’s surface (how does an alien with scuba-breathing equipment on drown, by the way?), and we see that the ‘problem’ – the BBC clearly believe there was one – with Martha Jones was that she had been under-written and under-motivated; they’re not making the same mistake with Tate, and I do feel sorry for Agyeman in that respect.

The BBC, unwilling to take Who canon so far out of its roots as to have the Doctor regenerate female, has literally split off part of his character into Moffet’s new and equally nameless Gallifrean. There is early promise in The Doctor’s Daughter that Moffett will join the Tardis crew, at which point we know her death is inevitable – assistants are announced and feted a year before the series goes on air. Greenhorn cunningly uses this to convince us that Moffett’s death at Cobb’s hand at the end of the episode is for keeps (more about the future of Moffett's clone-Doctor here).

It isn’t. Putting an audience through the wringer with a character’s death, only to revive them later, is admittedly a pretty cheap trick; but this is outshone by the big surprise at ‘Jenny’’s career-choice at the conclusion of The Doctor’s Daughter. Wow.

Daughter interestingly showed a tender – and very hurt – side to the Doctor which we rarely glimpse, particularly in his initial denial of Moffett’s validity as his own flesh and blood. It was also interesting to hear the Doctor refer to his previous child (or children, since Carol Ann Ford played William Hartnell’s granddaughter originally).

It wasn't clear from the writing just how the Tardis had been summoned/hijacked into this episode at the conclusion of The Poison Sky - Daughter's end-of-episode post-mortem was a clumsy, dated flourish that, to boot, shed little light on the matter. Oh well...

Next week, the Doctor and Donna meet Agatha Christie – let’s hope it’s better than Black Orchid.

Check out last week's episode, The Poison Sky, which was reviewed by Simon and Martin.

Doctor Who interviews at Geek...

Peter Davison
Louise Jameson
Elizabeth Sladen
Sophie Aldred
Nick Briggs

 

Not yet rated

Disqus - noscript

On the subject of Murray Gold's score: hear hear! At last someone who has expressed and articulated my own convictions on this matter. Gold's music is horribly unsubtle and unsubtly horrible. Someone needs to rein in this man's predilection for underscoring every single moment as if the audience is too insensitive to know what to feel or think.

Well I pretty much hated DAUGHTER, but with qualifications: first I liked the pacifist "throw away your guns" message which is a great thing to be saying to children - even if it was delivered with the subtlety of a brick. Secondly the acting was uniformly excellent. This though was not enough to save the show as the questions of the plot were too easily solved and glibly wrapped up. Indeed the last few scenes with the Source and Jenny's "death" were a rip-off from the 2nd STAR TREK film. Characterisation was dull and obvious and can we PLEASE have just one episode where people don't bang on and on about how extraordinary the Doctor is and how he changes people's lives etc. It would surely be better to just let us work this out for ourselves. The series threatens to become pompously self-reverential if this carries on.

My least favourite episode of the 4th season thus far. Let's hope Agatha Christie and a giant alien wasp can provide a welcome contrast next Saturday.

On the subject of Murray Gold's score: hear hear! At last someone who has expressed and articulated my own convictions on this matter. Gold's music is horribly unsubtle and unsubtly horrible. Someone needs to rein in this man's predilection for underscoring every single moment as if the audience is too insensitive to know what to feel or think.

Well I pretty much hated DAUGHTER, but with qualifications: first I liked the pacifist "throw away your guns" message which is a great thing to be saying to children - even if it was delivered with the subtlety of a brick. Secondly the acting was uniformly excellent. This though was not enough to save the show as the questions of the plot were too easily solved and glibly wrapped up. Indeed the last few scenes with the Source and Jenny's "death" were a rip-off from the 2nd STAR TREK film. Characterisation was dull and obvious and can we PLEASE have just one episode where people don't bang on and on about how extraordinary the Doctor is and how he changes people's lives etc. It would surely be better to just let us work this out for ourselves. The series threatens to become pompously self-reverential if this carries on.

My least favourite episode of the 4th season thus far. Let's hope Agatha Christie and a giant alien wasp can provide a welcome contrast next Saturday.

شات خليجي  شات خليجي 
 Ø¯Ù„يل مواقع  دليل مواقع 
موقع شات موقع شات
مواقع دردشة  مواقع دردشه اغاني
وطرب  اغاني وطرب  
دردشة صوتية دردشة صوتيه 
دليل منتديات دليل
منتديات
  مواقع اعلامية
مواقع اعلامية  Ù…واقع
راديو مواقع
راديو

الصحف السعودية الصحف السعوديه
الصحف الكويتية الصحف الكويتيه 
رياضه رياضه
موقع اللاعب موقع اللاعب 
موسوعة الاسرة موسوعة الاسره  مركز
تحميل مركز تحميل ابتسامات
ابتسامات 
مسجات جوال مسجات جوال 
دردشة بحرينية شات بحريني دردشة
بحرينية شات بحريني
  موضوع موضوع 
نسائية  نسائية 
ملابس نسائية ملابس نسائيه 
مجوهرات مجوهرات  مواقع
نسائية
مواقع نسائيه  Ù…كياج
وتجميل  مكياج وتجميل 
مواقع طبخ  مواقع طبخ 
صور مشاهير صورة الفنانة  صور مشاهير صورة الفنانة 
مواقع سعودية مواقع سعوديه  
مواقع شعر مواقع شعر
موقع الشاعر  موقع الشاعر 
مواقع زواج مجانية عربية  مواقع زواج محانيه عربية   بلوتوث
ومقاطع بلوتوث ومقاطع  
موقع قبيلة موقع قبيلة  
موقع هكر
برامج هكر موقع هكر برامج هكر 
 Ù…وقع سعودي
موقع سعودي    موقع برامج  موقع برامج  
قصص قصص  قصص اطفال
قصص اطفال
 Ù‚صص عاطفيه قصص عاطفيه
  
قصص واقعيه
قصص واقعيه

قصص جاسوسيه
 Ù‚صص جاسوسيه  قصص التوبه قصص التوبه 
 
تربية الاطفال  تربية الاطفال
شات مصري 
شات مصري  Ø§Ù„جن الجن
 Ø§Ù„طفل الطفل 
دردشة عربية دردشه عربية   
دردشة
دردشة
موقع كويتي
موقع  كويتي  
دردشة
كويتية شات كويتي 
دردشة كويتية شات كويتي   دردشة سعودية شات سعودي 
دردشة سعودية شات سعودي   دردشة قطرية شات قطري  
دردشة قطرية شات قطري  دردشة اماراتية شات اماراتي 
دردشة اماراتية شات اماراتي 
شات عراقي دردشة عراقية  شات
عراقي دردشة عراقية
  دردشة عمانية شات عماني   Ø¯Ø±Ø¯Ø´Ø©
عمانية شات عماني
  دردشة
بحرينية شات بحريني
 Ø¯Ø±Ø¯Ø´Ø©
بحرينية شات بحريني
الطب البديل والاعشاب
الطب البديل والاعشاب    الثقافه الجنسيه 
الثقافه الجنسيه  قصائد
مكتوبه قصايد مكتوبه
 
الاسرة المسلمة 
الاسرة المسلمة


موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه 


موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه 


موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه 


موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه 


موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
موقع دردشة شات دردشه   
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى


 Ù…نتديات موقع منتدى 
 Ù…نتديات موقع منتدى   
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى


 Ù…نتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى   
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى


 Ù…نتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى   
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى


 Ù…نتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى   
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى


 Ù…نتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى   
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى


 Ù…نتديات موقع منتدى  
منتديات موقع منتدى 
شات صوتي دردشة صوتية 

شات صوتي
دردشة صوتية


شات صوتي دردشة صوتية  
شات صوتي
دردشة صوتية
   شات صوتي دردشة صوتية  
شات
صوتي دردشة صوتية
  


موقع الفنان 
موقع الفنان  مواقع
انترنت  مواقع انترنت 
مواقع انترنت  مواقع
انترنت
  مواقع انترنت 
مواقع انترنت


دردشة موقع  
دردشة موقع    شات 
موقع  شات  موقع 
الانديه السعوديه  الانديه
السعوديه

color="#000000">مدونة غيور -
<font color="#000000">الارشيف</font>
- <font color="#000000">شات</font> -
<font color="#000000">دليل النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">مركز تحميل</font>
- <font color="#000000">خواطر</font> -
<font color="#000000">لك</font> -
<font color="#000000">الاسرة المسلمة</font>
- <font color="#000000">اعلانات النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">سوق النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">طب النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">سوالف النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">توبكات ماسنجر</font>
- <font color="#000000">رسائل وسائط</font>
- <font color="#000000">ازياء</font>
- <font color="#000000">مكياج وعطور</font>
- <font color="#000000">العناية
بالبشرة</font>
-
<font color="#000000">المطبخ</font>
-
<font color="#000000">الديكور المنزلي</font>
- <font color="#000000">تجهيز العروس</font>
- <font color="#000000">الحياة الزوجية</font>
- <font color="#000000">الامومه
والطفوله</font>
-
<font color="#000000">السياحة والسفر</font>
-
<font color="#000000">الصور</font>
- <font color="#000000">التصميم وبرامج
التصميم</font>
-
<font color="#000000">الماسنجر</font>
-
<font color="#000000">الكمبيوتر
والانترنت</font>
-
<font color="#000000">عروض البوربينت والاكسل</font>
-
<font color="#000000">كرسي الاعتراف</font>
- <font color="#000000">الالعاب
والمسابقات</font>
-
<font color="#000000">استراحه الاعضاء</font>
-
<font color="#000000">القصص والروايات</font>
- <font color="#000000">تعليم لغات</font>
- <font color="#000000">قصائد مرئيه</font>
- <font color="#000000">قصائد كتابية</font>
- <font color="#000000">شات غيور</font>
- <font color="#000000">النساء الاسلامي</font>
- <font color="#000000">النساء العام</font>
- <font color="#000000">Rose</font>

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