The Doctor's Daughter
|193 – "The Doctor's Daughter"|
|Doctor Who episode|
Jenny firing a gun at a pipe to slow down the soldiers.
|Directed by||Alice Troughton|
|Written by||Stephen Greenhorn|
|Script editor||Lindsey Alford|
|Produced by||Phil Collinson|
|Executive producer(s)||Russell T Davies|
|Incidental music composer||Murray Gold|
|First broadcast||10 May 2008|
Set on the planet Messaline, the episode features Georgia Moffett as Jenny, the cloned daughter of the series' protagonist, the alien time traveller the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant). The plot of the episode involves two factions of clones descended from a group of human and alien Hath pioneers, each of whom are seeking to wipe out the other side with a lost artefact called the Source, while the Doctor also comes to accept Jenny as his real daughter.
Continuing where "The Poison Sky" left off, the TARDIS takes the Doctor, Martha, and Donna to the planet Messaline. As they emerge from the TARDIS, they are met by soldiers working for General Cobb. The soldiers force the Doctor to stick his hand into a progenation machine, which uses his DNA to generate a female soldier who becomes the Doctor's daughter. They are soon confronted by the other occupants of the planet, the Hath. The Hath attack, taking Martha hostage. The Doctor's daughter causes an explosion that seals off the corridor they are in, trapping Martha on the other side. The Doctor and Donna are taken to see General Cobb in the command center, and along the way Donna names the Doctor's daughter "Jenny" because the Doctor calls her a generated anomaly.
On the other side of the corridor, Martha tends to an injured Hath and earns their trust. The Hath take her back to their command center. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Donna meet with General Cobb. The General explains that, initially, they were meant to live with the Hath, but a dispute arose over something called "the Source". Both sides believe that this Source is the breath of their Creator, and the Doctor inadvertently reveals its location to Cobb. On the Hath side, Martha also unknowingly interprets the location of the Source and the two sides prepare for battle. Cobb tries to convince them to join the fighting, but imprisons them when they refuse. Jenny uses her feminine charms to incapacitate the guard and they escape their cell.
The Doctor initially dismisses Jenny as an echo of what it means to be a Time Lord, but as they spend more time together he begins to accept her. The Doctor confides privately to Donna that he is resistant to Jenny coming with them in the TARDIS because she reminds him too much of Gallifrey and everything he lost in the Time War. Donna also becomes intrigued by a series of numbered plaques that she notices in each room. When they reach the location of the Source, it turns out to be a terraforming device within a colonising spaceship. Donna realises that the plaques represent the dates each part of the building was completed, which was a mere seven days previous. The humans and Hath have bred so many generations through the progenation machines that their own history has degraded into myth. The original cause of the conflict is determined by the Doctor to have been the death of the mission commander.
Meanwhile, Martha has been making her own way with one of the Hath to the Source. They are traveling on the surface of the planet when the Hath chooses to sacrifice itself to save Martha from quicksand. Devastated, she reunites with the Doctor and Donna near the Source shortly before both armies arrive. The Doctor declares the war to be over and releases the terraforming agent. Everyone present lays down their weapons except for Cobb, who tries to shoot the Doctor. Jenny steps in the way and takes a bullet to the chest, and the Doctor holds her as she dies. After mourning the loss of his daughter, an enraged Doctor picks up Cobb's gun and holds it to his head, but refuses to shoot him. He angrily throws the gun aside and declares that the humans and Hath should build their new society based on peace.
Jenny's body is taken to be given a proper burial, and the Doctor and Donna take Martha home. Martha says she can't handle the death and devastation any more and warns Donna that life with the Doctor can be dangerous. Donna nevertheless resolves to stay with the Doctor indefinitely. As Donna leaves them to walk on their own, the Doctor and Martha reminisce and Martha expresses her sympathy to the Doctor about losing Jenny. He and Martha share a hug before she runs inside her home. Meanwhile, on Messaline, Jenny suddenly revives. She then commandeers a rocket and leaves the planet.
Russell T Davies has stated that this episode "does exactly as it says on the tin". Jenny's death was originally to take place in what Davies called "a Generic Spaceship Room", but producer Phil Collinson suggested filming the scene at Plantasia botanical garden in Swansea. Having Jenny come back to life at the end of the episode was Steven Moffat's idea.
Georgia Moffett, who plays Jenny, is the real-life daughter of Fifth Doctor actor Peter Davison and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy actress Sandra Dickinson. David Tennant described the episode by saying "We get to see the Doctor's daughter, played by the Doctor's daughter." Moffett had previously auditioned for a role in "The Unicorn and the Wasp" in 2007. Her role as Jenny was not chosen because of her father; it was entirely coincidental, but nevertheless a "great PR coup" for the series. Moffett previously appeared alongside her father in the Big Finish audio story Red Dawn and drama series Fear, Stress & Anger. In Doctor Who Confidential, Peter Davison stated that, after he finished filming "Time Crash", he said to Georgia "[now] it's your turn".
Tennant (the 10th Doctor) and Moffett, who met on the episode, started dating some time after filming the episode, and married on 30 December 2011.
Broadcast and reception
Unofficial figures indicated that "The Doctor's Daughter" was watched by 6.6 million viewers, giving it a 38.4% share of the total television audience. The final consolidated figure was 7.33 million viewers. While most programmes received lower figures than the previous week, Doctor Who had increased its audience. The top rated programme of the day was still ITV1's Britain's Got Talent, although its audience was down by a million at 8.17 million. Doctor Who was the highest rated programme on BBC1 for the day and had the biggest share of any programme on Saturday. The episode received an Appreciation Index score of 88 (considered "excellent").
"The Doctor's Daughter" received mixed reviews. David Chater of The Times described it as "A wonderful episode – funny, exciting and strangely moving." Martin Anderson of Den of Geek! stated that it was "rather good – though badly plot-holed". He noted that it was yet another episode of Doctor Who "undermined by Murray Gold's incessant music". He also described the episode as "quite redolent of Tom Baker-era Who, with plenty of dark and cheap corridors to run down and two under-manned warring factions for the Doctor to bring peace to". For SFX's Ian Berriman, the running up and down corridors was reminiscent of Lenny Henry's 1985 Doctor Who spoof featured on The Lenny Henry Show. Berriman described the episode as "underwhelming", citing that because one "always suspect[s] she's a redshirt" it is difficult to care for Jenny. Although "reasonably diverting", Berriman argues that budgetary constraints make "the story feel so enclosed" and that the episode's plot, likened to "old-school Trek", seems too similar to that of the Sontaran two-parter immediately prior to this adventure because both involve "militarism" and "cloning". Newsround's Lizo Mzimba also notes the similarities with "The Sontaran Stratagem" and "The Poison Sky". Mzimba asserts that the episode's "biggest problem" is that it tries "to cram an enormous amount into 45 minutes" with most of the "interesting" and new ideas not getting "the attention they deserve" resulting in the audience not caring about either the human fighters or the Hath and thereby limiting a "sense of danger or menace".
Mzimba observes that, since her return in "The Sontaran Stratagem", Martha shares little onscreen time with the Doctor therefore reducing the emotional impact of her departure in this episode. He describes Moffett as "superb", with Berriman calling her "cute as a button". Berriman praises Tennant's performance, but Anderson suggests that Tennant shouts too much. Anderson asserts that "Donna's role as the Doctor's conscience is beginning to take shape" describing this as "refreshing" in a companion and noting that "Tate has toned down the grating voice a tad".
- "The Stars are Coming Out". Radio Times. No. 5–11 April 2008. BBC. April 2008. pp. 14–24.
- "Saturday 10 May 2008". Network TV Week 20. BBC Press Office. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
- David Tennant; Russell T Davies; Alice Troughton (10 May 2008). The Doctor's Daughter (Podcast; MP3)
- "Phil's Full Of Ideas! Executive Producer on Collinson's Series Four suggestions". Doctor Who: News. BBC. 14 August 2008. Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008.
- "Doctor Who in Wales – Plantasia, Swansea". BBC Online. Retrieved 6 June 2010.
- Wylie, Ian (2 April 2008). "Doctor Who: Tonight's New Series Launch". The Life of Wylie. Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2008.
- "Weekly Viewing Summary w/e 11/05/2008". BARB. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- Marcus (13 May 2008). "The Doctor's Daughter – Overnight Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- Times review 10 May 2008
- Anderson, Martin (10 May 2008). "Doctor Who Series 4 episode 6 review – The Doctor's Daughter". Den of Geek!. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
- Berriman, Ian (10 May 2008). "TV REVIEW: Doctor Who 4.6 "The Doctor's Daughter"". SFX. Future Publishing. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
- Mzimba, Lizo (5 May 2008). "Lizo reviews sixth episode of Dr Who". Newsround. BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
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