by Chris Miller
What makes a Nu-Who episode awful? I don’t have a list, but I’m pretty sure you can just list everything wrong with Fear Her and build a solid list.
1) Annoying kid √
2) Lame monster √
3) Irredeemable cheesy finish √
Fear Hear had all of the above. But the worst offense is that the episode is truly dull, despite the council employee (played valiantly by Abdul Salis) doing his best to inject some much needed humor.
The episode opens on a quiet neighborhood opening day of the 2012 London Olympics, preparing for the Olympic torch to pass by. Some boring stuff happens and then a kid disappears. At this point any possible suspense has been wiped out, as it is all but reveled that Chloe (the neighbor girl that won’t leave her room and loves to draw) is the culprit.
DW10 and Rose show up for the opening ceremonies. They are quickly distracted by several missing kid posters and begin to investigate. DW10 notices that it’s colder than normal, somehow. I’m sure that won’t be important later. The Doctor begins to detect an energy signature with his hands, because apparently he can do that now. Chloe continues to talk in an annoying voice to her drawings. I think maybe she drew a cat, or something. I’m not sure; I think I might have nodded off a little. At some point Chloe starts to draw something and then scribbles it out. This results in the ever so frightening scribble monster that takes a solid fifteen seconds for Doc Ten to deactivate or whatever you do to scribbles that come to life. If another attacks, he can always erase it.
After a strange leap of logic, they figure out that it must have been Chloe. There is a quick tacked on back story, where Chloe’s dad was abusive and died. I suppose this was designed to create sympathy. As with most everything else this episode tried to do, it was an utter failure. She drew her dad on a closet wall for no apparent reason other than some bizarre, nonsensical moment at the end of the episode. Chloe turns out to be possessed by some alien flower thing that got knocked off course by a solar flare. It is explained that these things have a family of millions and create make believe worlds to entertain themselves. I’m not sure why this space flower doesn’t do whatever it normally does to create an alternate reality, instead of relying on a child to draw people. Also, the bizarre whisper talking Chloe does when the space flower is talking made me want Chloe to draw the writer, director and producer of this episode and then throw that drawing into the passing Olympic torch. Chloe draws the Olympic stadium and steals everyone there. The acting of the announcer is beyond atrocious. You would think he was describing someone getting a skinned knee and not tens of thousands of spectators and athletes vanishing in thin air.
Doc and Rose head back to the TARDIS to find the flower pod to send the space flower home. Shockingly (not actually shocking at all), Chloe follows them and then heads back home to draw the TARDIS and Ten. Now Rose has to save the day all alone. She figures out the ship is in a filled in pothole. She digs out the ship, while Chloe is drawing the whole world. (Quick philosophical aside: If Chloe draws the whole world; wouldn’t Chloe and the space flower also disappear into the picture? Is that its end game?)
The ship doesn’t run on heat alone (aha! That’s why it was important for the Doctor to be able to detect that the temperature was slightly below normal), it needs…love? Thankfully the awful announcer mentioned that the torch is a symbol of love so that Rose knew to throw the ship into the torch, because that all makes tons of sense. The drawing of the dead, abusive dad comes to life and the only thing that can stop him is Chloe and her mom singing. Everyone begins to reappear, except for the Doctor...until the torch bearer falls down and DW10 is there to pick it up and carry it to the stadium.
This powers the alien flower’s ship into space and we assume home. It was all truly dreadful. It was boring, poorly written and poorly acted. GFY, Fear Her. And GFY, Rant9* for making me watch this episode again.
* Editor's Note: You are most welcome.