Fear Her Reviewed

I have to confess something; Love & Monsters did very little for me, coming after such a brilliant two-parter as The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit it was, to say the least, a big let down. So when I saw the trailer for Fear Her I thought we were in for the same sort of let down again, and while I do feel that this weeks episode was much better then the last, I still have to admit to being only half entertained.

Throughout the history of Doctor Who, the Doctor and his friends have come up against many alien threats, and many terrible times, but they usually made you feel as though the world was really in great danger.

Fear Her seemed as if it was another “out of the norm” story for Doctor Who, while it was not a bad story, it seemed as if it would have made a better comic book adventure for DWM then it would have for TV. The threat just wasn’t enough to get the blood pumping and to make you really feel the rush of the adventure. In fact it sort of seemed as if the rush was set at the pace of normal life, as if this was a normal earth problem. Sure the whole world was in danger of disappearing into a kids drawing, but really – they did this on “The X-Files” and at least made it scary (a Season 9 X-Files story, by which time its generally agreed that the good ideas had been used up.)

This isn’t to say that this story was bad, because I really felt you could enjoy this story for what it was, just a quick stop off adventure before the big life-altering adventure of the next two weeks.

While I didn’t sit there this week saying to myself “when will it end?” I did find myself saying “where’s the proper monsters?” The last time I saw a proper monster in Doctor Who would have to be this years Cybermen story; at least there they were a real threat, they made you fear to look around the corner. Fear Her didn’t really strike me with fear, I saw a little girl do a fine exorcist impression and drawing some lovely pictures.

What has happened to this series? Everything was going off with a big bang, fans new and old were swept off their feet, then two weeks in a row we got episodes that should have happened in series nine after all the ideas have run dry. Would Stephen Fry’s one-time rescheduled story have been a more exciting and entertaining piece to watch? You know that the powers that be need to realize that when you have a hit show, spending a few extra dollars to make it even better is usually a good idea.

I don’t want to sound like I am bashing this show or even this story, I really have been impressed this season and I love David Tennant who easily made me forget Christopher Eccleston – but in a good way, now Christopher is among the greats to have left the part. My point is that as the series draws closer to the end I would have expected a build up in the tension, or the threats. Each week should test the Doctor and Rose’s expertise in saving the world, or dare I say alien worlds as well. Maybe it’s simply that the Earth is starting to become the boring place that we live on, where before it used to hold so much promise.

One of the beautiful and very attractive things about this show was the idea behind it. You have an extraordinary man, with an extraordinary ship who can tae you anywhere in the universe that you can imagine. He had brilliant friends and they would always have the most entertaining and scary adventures. With an idea like that, one that could make you forget the budget of the show, your imagination was endless. Now the kids watching this show seem to be stuck with an Earth bound imagination, and stories that seem to have scrapped the bottom of the barrel.

As I write this I feel terrible. I am a huge fan of this show and these words are not easy. I don’t wish to bash the ideas and the team who work so hard to bring us this show, as I have been very pleased, but somehow things are standing still. Next week looks like a much-needed improvement, and I hope that it makes us all hide behind the sofa. But this review was meant to be about Fear Her, so with that I’ll give my finals words on the matter.

Fear Her may not have been of the quality we were spoiled with earlier in the season, but nonetheless there is still something to enjoy here. This adventure may have put the entire world in danger, but it doesn’t feel as powerful as when the life of a single woman was in danger in Tooth and Claw. That said this story feels like just another day in the life of the TARDIS crew, perhaps it is akin to a day at the mall for us ordinary folk, a day when the real threats are sleeping.

Brian A Terranova


Doctor Who and me go way back. I first discovered it on my local PBS Station WHYY in the suburbs outside Philadelphia when I was a young kid; though I am uncertain of the exact age.

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