Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Review: Doctor Who, Episode 4.6, "The Doctor's Daughter"

Stephen Greenhorn, who wrote last season's "The Lazarus Experiment" and created the BBC Scotland soap River City, returns with a fun but decidedly mixed effort that at its best feels like a Classic Who serial but at its worst suffers from having so many good ideas but not enough time to properly explore them in any depth. It should have been a two part episode to prevent every plot development from feeling rushed. It's also the kind of story that would have been better served in the hands of writers Paul Cornell or Steven Moffat. There are things to like about it, but there are also things to be disappointed by.

Warning: spoilers below, please highlight the white space with your mouse to read them.

Two factions of colonists come into conflict. The Doctor finds a resolution amidst much running up and down corridors. Yep, that's a Classic Who story, the Fourth Doctor's era in particular.

Despite showrunner Russell T Davies' promise that the episode "does exactly as it says on the tin", the Doctor's daughter, Jenny, is really more of a clone and her creation is less than satisfying. That said, I love the character herself and Georgia Moffett (the daughter of actor Peter Davison aka the Fifth Doctor) is absolutely perfect for the role. We just don't have enough time to get to know her because so much else is crammed into 45 minutes.

Her revival from seeming death paves the way for her future return or a spinoff, but it raises questions about her nature. If she's essentially a clone of a Time Lord, shouldn't her fatal wound have caused a regeneration instead of just reviving hours later? In "The Christmas Invasion", the Doctor is able to regrow a severed hand because Time Lords have an amazing healing ability within the first fifteen hours after regeneration. If Jenny was within the first fifteen hours after her creation, perhaps the same ability came into play, but shouldn't the Doctor have realized that? Her fate is sloppily conceived by Greenhorn.

I love the Hath, especially Martha's friend.

Martha is awesome once again. After she's left back on Earth at the end, I miss her already.

Donna wanting to use her feminine wiles during the escape is funny.

Next week's episode looks hilarious.

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