The Doctor’s Daughter

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Donna – with Martha along as an unwitting passenger due to the TARDIS’ unexpected takeoff – arrive in a war-torn underground world where the Doctor is immediately held at gunpoint by soldiers and subjected to a mechanical tissue sampling process that uses his DNA to create a new soldier – a young girl with a brilliant mind, two hearts, and, like the rest of the human soldiers, a genetically-programmed knowledge of the long war between the humans and the fishlike Hath. She immediately joins in a pitched battle against the Hath, and winds up saving her human comrades – but not before the Hath have abducted Martha. The Doctor’s “daughter” – to whom Donna gives the name Jenny – is locked up with the time travelers for fear that she’s been swayed by the Doctor’s promise to stop the humans from committing genocide against the Hath, and vice-versa. Jenny proves to be as resourceful, and ultimately as compassionate, as the Doctor herself…but when she becomes the key to ending the bloodshed, she may also find out whether or not she can regenerate.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Stephen Greenhorn
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Freema Agyeman (Dr. Martha Jones), Georgia Moffett (Jenny), Nigel Terry (Cobb), Joe Dempsie (Cline), Paul Kasey (Hath Peck), Ruari Mears (Hath Gable), Akin Gazi (Carter), Olalekan Lawal Jr. (Soldier)

The Doctor's DaughterNotes: Actress Georgia Moffett really is the Doctor’s daughter – just not this Doctor. She’s the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the Doctor from 1982 through 1984, and only recently reprised his role on TV in the Children In Need special scene Time Crash. She guest starred in one of Davison’s Big Finish audios, Red Dawn, in 2000, and in 2004 she auditioned for the part of Rose Tyler; she married David Tennant after his departure from Doctor Who. This title of this episode may or may not be a play on the classic production staff in-joke title of The Doctor’s Wife – a story title, fictitiously attributed to Robert Holmes, which was posted openly in the Doctor Who production offices circa 1985 by then-producer John Nathan-Turner in an attempt to find out which production staffer was leaking story details prematurely to fanzines. Though the mole in Nathan-Turner’s office was never pinpointed, some UK fanzines did indeed announce that The Doctor’s Wife was in production for the coming season.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: The Doctor’s Daughter doesn’t really break new ground in Doctor Who storytelling, though it does put on the record, at long last, the admission that the Doctor has had a family before (presumably including Susan, and almost certainly the lost family he discussed with Victoria in Tomb Of The Cybermen). That’s a mildly important continuity note, and the idea of him starting a new family is intriguing, though by the end of the episode, one gets the impression that the family ties will probably remain unmined as a story element: Jenny’s being set up to save the Doctor’s bacon somewhere down the road, or to get into trouble so he’ll need to help her out. Or both. I’m not saying that I would have preferred Jenny remaining dead at the end of the story. Even more unlikely than that is the thought that the Doctor, having learned that his cloned daughter has two hearts – like a Time Lord has – would leave her to her fate without waiting to see if she’ll regenerate like a Time Lord does. Come on. This Doctor was so desperate to simply know that another Time Lord existed in the universe, he was practically trying to get the Master to regenerate by sheer force of will. This same man wouldn’t stick around on the off chance that Jenny would regenerate? That’s a convenient plot non-sequitur that I just can’t get my head around.

And yet there are great moments – Donna talking about her travels (and talking about how she has no plans to jump ship from the TARDIS anytime soon, which is tempered a bit by the knowledge, even before the season began airing, that Catherine Tate won’t be with the show past this season), the Doctor declaring that the war is over, and Jenny’s music-video-inspired gymnastic flip through one of the colony’s security systems.

Other than that, The Doctor’s Daughter is a fine story with an interesting time twist that isn’t the same as, say, Dragonfire‘s, so that’s rather refreshing. There’s a hint of an Enemy Mine remake with Martha, or at least until that plot strand puts her on the surface and in a position to be reunited with the Doctor. The Hath are interesting creatures – fishlike bipeds with obvious gills and canisters of whatever fluid sustains them strapped to their faces like gas masks – and I think that they merit a revisit down the road, much like the Ood did. It just needs to be in a story that winds up making a little more sense than this one.