Doctor Who/Recap/S28/E11 Fear Her

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The Doctor: It's graphite. Basically the same material as an HB pencil.
Rose: I was attacked by a... pencil scribble?

The Doctor takes Rose to see the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, landing in a small development outside of London. They quickly find a few things amiss: children and pets have gone missing, and a road crew, preparing for the running of the Olympic torch through the area, is baffled by a spot in the road that causes cars passing over it to stall out. As they examine the area, they are attacked by ... a ball made from squiggly lines?

After dealing with the ball, the Doctor uses his cheerful nature to quickly identify the problems coming from the home of Trish and her daughter Chloe. Chloe seems aloof and separated from the real world, focusing on drawings that cover her walls; Trish attributes it her troubled childhood with her dad years ago. Rose looks at the drawings and swears that she saw one move. Oh, and the Doctor off-handedly tells her (and reminds the audience) that he was a dad once. Rose doesn't look like she was prepared for that.

The Doctor quickly identifies that Chloe has been taken by an alien lifeform, an Isolus, normally part of millions travelling through space but stranded alone on Earth from a solar flare. To cope, it has formed a psychic bond with the lone and depressed Chloe, giving her the power to trap people and objects in pictures that she draws; it also allows her to bring such pictures to life, as briefly evidenced by the monstrous drawing of her father in the back of her closet. Fortunately, the solution is simple: they just have to find the Isolus pod, provide it power to reactive it, and the Isolus will have a way to rejoin its own family. Easy, right?

The Doctor and Rose go to the TARDIS, and while Rose waits outside, the Doctor finds a glass-made detector to locate the Isolus pod. There is a crash of glass, and Rose turns to find both the TARDIS and the Doctor have vanished.

Meanwhile, Chloe proudly hangs the new picture of the Doctor and his TARDIS on her wall.

Rose returns to the street and recalls the area on the road. Finding it warm, she gets the road crew's help to dig it out, finding the Isolus pod, no larger than her fist. Now she just needs a power source.

The broadcast of the opening ceremonies has started, but Chloe, still angry, draws out the entire crowd at the scene; the announcers are stunned when the entire crowd disappears. But Chloe is not done yet, and clearing away a section of the wall, starts drawing the entire planet Earth. Rose tries to get Chloe to stop but is unable to, but she spots the Doctor's picture on the wall, where the Doctor points to the Olympic torch. Rose understands, and races outside, throwing the pod at the passing torch. Though the Isolus has yet to leave Chloe, this act starts to reverse all of the other disappearances that Chloe had drawn: the children, the stadium audience...

...and soon, Chloe's horrific drawing of her father. As they flee from the animated figure, Trish and Rose are able to calm Chloe enough to dispel the drawing, leaving them safe.

Rose has yet to see hide or hair of the Doctor, despite the pictures being empty. Meanwhile, the torch runner approaches the stadium but stumbles, nearly dropping the torch before it is picked up by a familiar-looking man—the Doctor. The Doctor runs the last leg of the torch to the Olympic flame and lights it. Combined with the heat of the flame and the emotional response from the ceremony, the Isolus pod gains enough energy to leave the planet. The Isolus departs Chloe's body, says goodbye, and reunites with its pod before taking off into space.

Sometime later, the Doctor has reunited with Rose, saying goodbye to Trish and Chloe, and taking off to watch the Games together. Rose comments that their companionship can never be separated, but the Doctor fears that a storm is coming.

For the next five years, David Tennant was required to show up for the real deal, with even groups on Facebook asking for it. The Doctor will indeed be carrying the 2012 Olympic torch, however it's a different incarnation.


  • Abusive Parents: Chloe's dead/reborn-as-a-scribble dad.
  • Apocalypse How: After apparently not seeing a stadium full of people as enough, Chloe attempts to draw the whole earth.
  • Art Attacker: Chloe/the alien.
  • Big "Shut Up!": "FINGERS ON LIPS!"
  • Breather Episode: Word of God says that the first choice of Matthew Graham, the episode's writer, was a big, epic story with spaceships and whatnot, but RTD specifically asked for this episode to be light and kid-friendly to contrast with the dark season finale (not to mention that the special effects budget is starting to run low).
  • Continuity Nod: The solar flares from Frontios, and the Doctor as a parent from An Unearthly Child to The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
  • Creepy Child: Chloe.
  • Defictionalization: The Doctor will indeed carry the Olympic torch in Real Life. However, it will be carried by Matt Smith, the successor to David Tennant.
  • Everyone Lives
  • Full-Name Basis: The alien constantly refers to her as Chloe Weber.
  • Hope Spot: Rose manages to get the pod into the Olympic torch, and the alien goes home right before it traps the whole world in one of Chloe's drawings... but there's still no sign of the Doctor, and Chloe's drawing of her abusive father comes to life and tries to attack her.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Rose argues this as she and the Doctor discuss his sympathy for Chloe and the alien.
  • Posthumous Character: Chloe's father.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The Doctor and Rose stop briefly before they leave to point out the storm that's coming... half a decade prior. That's time travel for you.
  • Wham! Line: "I was a dad once" for Rose and for anyone who hasn't seen the classic series. Fridge Horror a few moments later, when you realize that the Doctor killed his own child(ren?) and grandchild(ren?) in the Time War.