TARDIS Thoughts: Series 2, Episode 11 - "Fear Her"


Series 2, Episode 11 - "Fear Her"


Hello there! Here we are at Series 2, Episode 11, "Fear Her."

This episode was kinda weird to watch, because, well...it's about the 2012 Olympics:


Now, to the original viewers of this episode in 2006, this wouldn't have been so weird. But here I am watching it in September 2012 (it's October now but I watched this in September), literally just a little over a month since the 2012 Summer Olympics ended. So it's just kinda weird to watch it so soon after the actual event being portrayed. 

Despite this being an episode that was supposed to be lighter than the Series 2 finale, I found it to be a bit creepy. See, the episode is about this girl, Chloe Webber, who is being used by an alien entity, and the episode has a lot of the marks of those "demon possessed child" stories. The whole scene where the Doctor tries to talk to the entity inside Chloe reminded me very much of a scene where a priest or pastor might try to cast a demon out of a child. Not that I have actually seen any movies of this kind (movies like The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose); I hate horror movies. But I have read Frank Peretti's spiritual warfare-focused novels This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, and I think those have scenes like that.

I do have to admit there were some lighter moments in this episode, like when the guy laying the asphalt in the street gets angry about Rose using his shovel to look for the Isolus pod. The Doctor and Rose posing as police officers is pretty funny too. Also, there's this freeze frame bonus: the sign next to where the TARDIS parks at the beginning of the episode says "No parking in front of these gates":


Also, when the TARDIS initially parks, the Doctor parks it wrong, making the door face the wrong way:



Anyway, the Doctor and Rose are in town to see the Olympics. Rose, a native Londoner, is pretty excited about the Olympics being in her city. The Doctor then gets nostalgic about his own previous experiences at the Olympics, particularly the 1948 London Olympics when he had some kind of cake with "ball bearings you can eat" (it seems he was referring to cakes topped with metallic dragée).

Things get scary however once Rose sees a "missing child" flyer, and the two learn that some children have gone missing on that street recently. Masquerading as police officers, the two try to get information from the people on the street. It seems that not only have children been disappearing, but cars keep breaking down in the middle of the street. This worries the people, especially since the Olympic Torch is supposed to pass down the street, meaning the street has to look its best.

Enter young Chloe Webber, a lonely girl whose room is dark and full of drawings. It turns out that she seems to be the source of the trouble, and even her mom is afraid of her. Rose also discovers a scary, almost demonic drawing hanging up in the closet, which Chloe says is a picture of how she sees her late father in her dreams. The Doctor decides to get to the bottom of this and uses his special telepathy powers on young Chloe so he can address whatever entity is using her body:


This is when we have that scene I mentioned that reminded me of a "pastor trying to cast out a demon" scene. Despite being fairly facetious throughout most of the episode, the Doctor gets REALLY serious in this scene. And it works, because he finds out what's going on: Chloe is being used by an Isolus, an empathic alien life form that generally travels through the universe with its billions of brothers and sisters on an endless journey through space. Having crash landed on our planet, the Isolus empathized with the also-lonely Chloe (who misses her dad, even though he abused her when he was alive). The Isolus, out of its intense desire for companionship and love, causes Chloe to draw real things and people, which then disappear in real life and become living drawings, providing friends for the two lonely souls.

Unfortunately, since the Isolus is accustomed to traveling with billions of siblings, this prompts the Isolus to use Chloe to steal not just some neighborhood kids, but also the Doctor, the TARDIS, and the whole crowd at the Olympics Opening Ceremony. This not being enough, the Isolus prompts Chloe to draw a picture of the Earth (the assumption being that this would trap all the people on the Earth in a drawing).

The Doctor being out of commission, Rose has to solve this one on her own. She manages to find where the Isolus pod is and brings it to Chloe. However, they also need heat and a symbol of love in order to get the Isolus pod back into space. The Doctor helps out on this one, drawing the Olympic Torch from inside his drawing, and pointing to it. Rose notes this - realizing that Chloe didn't draw the Torch - and remembers that the torch bearer is set to come down that street. When the Torch bearer does come down the street, Rose throws the pod into the torch, which sends up a powerful flame before settling.

This act brings back all the kids, the cat Chloe had stolen, and the Olympics crowd.  Rose also realizes that, with the children coming back, the demonic-looking drawing of Chloe's dad will come to life too. However, she and Chloe's mom are able to calm Chloe down enough to make that monster go away too.

However, the Doctor and the TARDIS are still missing. Rose begins to worry about where he could've gone. Then, all the sudden, while watching the TV at Chloe's house, she sees the Olympic torch bearer falter and fall. But then who should appear on screen to take up the torch, but...the Doctor himself!

We get to see the Doctor, to the bewilderment of the commentator, carry the Torch all the way up to the big Torch at the stadium (NOT the actual Olympic stadium btw; they used a stadium in Cardiff to film this at). There he lights the big Torch and bids the Isolus be free and return to space.


The Doctor and Rose then reunite and they start to head off to go see the Games, watching some fireworks in the distance. Rose says confidently that nothing can ever split them up, but the Doctor doesn't sound so sure...and comments ominously, as he looks up into the sky, that a storm is brewing.

Now that I think about it, this was a lighter episode than the Series 2 finale. Still, it was creepy in many ways.

One thing I thought of during this episode was the similarity between the picture of the Isolus's mother that Chloe draws and the Kisenian flower from Sailor Moon R The Movie

Ok, maybe not that close. But I thought of it.

Also, apparently the Doctor's "prediction" that Papua New Guinea will surprise the world in the shot put turned out to be false in the end in real life. Well, the Doctor's not perfect.

My initial impression of David Tennant as the Doctor changed in this episode. I had this impression of him as an absent-minded guy with a seemingly perpetual bedhead, and not at all like the b.a. Doctor the Ninth Doctor seems to be. But he's actually growing on me. Who knew?

Rose was also great in this episode, solving much of the mystery on her own. I was proud of her!

Oh, and who knew the Doctor was a Trekkie? Apparently he is, as he flashes the classic Vulcan salute in this episode with pride:


Interestingly, given the fact that the Doctor essentially gives Chloe her life back by saving her from the Isolus, the "live long and prosper" connotation of the Vulcan salute is very symbolic here IMO.

Oh, and the Doctor finally gets some of that cake with edible ball bearings that he loves in the end, courtesy of Rose. How nice of you, Rose! (Though where she got the cake I'd like to know...they never left that cul-de-sac, right?)


So, creepy "demonic possession" connotations aside, I did like this episode. It's worth a watch!  

Screencaps are from the website Sonic Biro. Kisenian Flower pic from TinyStar Screencaps Sailor Moon R Movie Gallery.

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