The Doctor's daughter (2008)

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This episode was first broadcast on May 10, 2008. A brief and somewhat spoiler-ish summary of the plot - well, the title says it all, really.

Like the fourth Doctor, this episode is full of ideas. Unfortunately, many of the ideas aren't that great. (Warning, spoilers ahead.)
At the beginning of this story the Tardis crew find themselves in the middle of a war, and a major plot point is that this has only gone on for seven days, with each new generation of soldiers dying within the hour. I still don't understand how this is supposed to work. If the mortality rate is really that high, where are all the bodies? And, come to think of it, where's all the fighting? All the fighting that we get to see in the episode should be survivable for a couple of days at least, and most of the people we meet at the beginning of the episode are still alive at the end.
Another major plot point is that the soldiers have a terraforming device that can instantly make the planet inhabitable, but miscommunication between the generations has caused all information about this device to mutate into misunderstood myth. Again, I'm unsure how this is supposed to have happened. Why would anything that anyone told the next generation be so drastically different from what they themselves had been told only minutes before? Why isn't there a manual? Why doesn't anyone take notes?

There are two deaths in this episode, though one of them doesn't stick, and both give the impression that they've been put in to lend some depth to an otherwise emotionally flat story. (More spoilers ahead, obviously.)
First there's the Hath. Now, I've read several reviews that made fun of a fish-like creature drowning, but I don't think that's what's going on here. To me it seems that the creature is being pulled under by quicksand, which I suppose could happen to a fish - especially to a human-sized fish with arms and legs. The manner of its death is strange, though. Martha falls into the quicksand, the Hath jumps in after her, pushes her towards dry land without apparent effort, and after that just goes under without a struggle. Weird.
The second death is even weirder. The Doctor's daughter is being shot by someone who is probably aiming at her father and has no real reason to kill either the Doctor or her, she collapses without any visible injury, she's pronounced dead by a medical student who makes no effort to either examine her or help her, and her father can't be bothered to stick around for her funeral.

Still, the episode isn't a total loss, since we get:

Listening to the incidental score I thought I recognised a couple of fragments of the theme music of the 1981 TV version of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' - which would be a nice touch, since both Georgia Moffet's parents were in that.

My verdict:

Quite good, actually.

Forgettable fun - not to be examined too closely.

More about Doctor Who

An introduction:
On-site link, opens in this window Doctor Who reviews: introduction

More "quite good, actually" Doctor Who:
On-site link, opens in this window Doctor Who reviews: quite good, actually

More Doctor Who with David Tennant:
On-site link, opens in this window Doctor Who reviews: 2005 - now

Similar stories:
On-site link, opens in this window Doctor Who reviews: space opera

More about this episode

Episode guides:
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Episode reviews:
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