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The Doctor's Daughter

ShowDoctor Who / Series IV / Episode 7
First Broadcast2008/08/10 - 19:30 (Link: ABC Details)
Related LinksDr Who Guide
Previous EpisodeThe Poison Sky
Next EpisodeThe Unicorn and the Wasp

The new series of Doctor Who has broken some new ground, but has mainly built on what we knew. Here was a chance to introduce something ground-breaking and for mine, they blew it.

The title and the promo for this week's episode implied we'd meet the Doctor's daughter. Whether the Doctor had children is something long speculated about, but never fully addressed in the series. It was never even clear that Susan was his actual grand-daughter, or whether her calling the Doctor "grandfather" was just a term of endearment.

So when it became apparent, very early in the episode, that the Doctor's daughter was the result of a tissue sample and some form of cloning, it was disappointing to say the least. This kind of ruined the episode for me. Upon reflection it wasn't too bad - fairly standard stuff - but with the added tension of the Doctor originally denying Jenny was his daughter before gradually accepting her. And then she was killed off.

Some interesting ideas are explored during the episode. Is Jenny a Time Lord? Is the Doctor a soldier? This seems to answered in the affirmative: the Doctor strategises, has a weapon (the sonic screwdriver), fights to stop the fighting - all things that Jenny says are just like her. The TARDIS bringing them to Messaline is explained as detecting Jenny - hence the Doctor's hand appearing in the first scene - however they arrived too soon and caused her creation - a paradox.

There was an explicit admission from the Doctor that he had a child in the past, but his family was lost in the Time War. And the episode was saved by the final scene where Jenny did regenerate (or at least resuscitate) with the same golden streams of energy that followed the Doctor's most recent regeneration. Hopefully she'll be back.

Most of the coverage of this episode makes a big deal of the fact that Jenny is played by Georgia Moffett, who is the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the fifth Doctor. Her best friend at school was the daughter of Colin Baker, who played the sixth Doctor.