×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is this David Tennant's weakest Doctor Who episode of all time?

Every Doctor Who fan has a strong opinion about which Doctor is the best, but David Tennant is easily one of most popular actors to take on the role. However, despite being beloved, even Tennant's run wasn't immune to the occasional dud. One such episode is the season 2 outing "Fear Her," which is often voted as one of the weakest episodes of the New Who era, and by far the weakest from Tennant's time on the show.

Is "Fear Her" really that bad? According to user ratings on IMDb.com it is. The episode not only ranks as Tennant's lowest rated outing, it's also the 11th worst rated episode of the 2005 reboot overall.

The 11th episode of season 2, "Fear Her," is a low budget outing centered around a young girl who is possessed by a tiny alien that makes whoever she draws disappear. It is heavily implied that the girl, Chloe, is a victim of child abuse at the hands of her father, which gives the story some weightiness to counterbalance the fact that Rose and the Doctor get attacked by an actual scribble monster at one point.

The episode is also notable for being set during the 2012 Olympics in London, which has left it feeling rather dated since it was filmed in 2006. However, even though Doctor Who missed the mark on what the London Olympics would actually look like, seeing the Doctor carrying the torch remains a highlight of an otherwise scattered hour.

"Fear Her" wasn't intended for the adult Doctor Who audience, which could explain the negative reviews

Doctor Who is one of the last remaining family shows on television. The sci-fi series is meant to be enjoyed by everyone, and as such it can go from being incredibly dark (think "Blink") to utterly silly from week to week. "Fear Her" was never meant to appeal to the adults in the audience, according to the episode's writer, Matthew Graham. Instead, it was supposed to be a sillier episode aimed at the show's younger fans.

In a 2011 interview with Den of Geek, Graham looked back on his debut Doctor Who episode, and shared that despite the less than positive reception from older fans, he's still proud of the season 2 outing. He told the publication that showrunner Russell T. Davies told him to "write this one for your son," who was seven at the time. And that's exactly what he did.

"What we had set out to do right from the start with 'Fear Her' was tell a story that was aimed very much at children. For children, not really for adults, not really for the older Doctor Who fans," Graham said. "It was aimed at the kids, because 'Army Of Ghosts' and 'Doomsday' were coming up, and they were going to be very big, very dark and very traumatic. And Russell wanted a playground adventure."

The writer went on to explain that the response he received from children who watched the episode was positive. It wasn't until he ventured online that he realized how much older fans seemed to dislike "Fear Her." Ultimately, Graham still loves the episode, despite it routinely ranking near the top of "worst of lists," because as he told Den of Geek, the child-like outing wasn't meant for adults, and as long as younger members of the audience enjoyed it, then "Fear Her" did its job.

Looper Newsletter
Endless Entertainment In Your Inbox
By submitting my email, I agree to the privacy policy