"Fear Her" was another story with a paper-thin plot just when the series ought to be toughening up if we're really about to face an "Army of Ghosts" resulting in "Doomsday". There were some nice ideas in the episode, such as the scribble monster, but when the thing you remember most is the multi-layered joke about parking the TARDIS, rather than any psychological fear, then there is a need to scribble a different script. This was already a different script, however, as episode eleven was originally the slot intended for Stephen Fry. His story was postponed until next year but now doesn't have the time to contribute. It occurred to me, the day after transmission, that maybe what I found momentarily funny on Saturday evening might contain some metaphorical truth about the series itself. The TARDIS is stuck on Earth, the Doctor can't get out/away so he needs to do a ninety degree turn... just like the programme.
The story borrowed from all over the place. "Survival", Sylvester McCoy's swan song, figured prominently at the beginning with a supposedly typical street, though it was too busy to be believable, unearthing mysterious disappearances of its youthful inhabitants and even featured a real, rather than animatronic, moggy! The cat was revealed to have been a bit of a diva in "Doctor Who Confidential" afterwards. Maybe they should've bought some tins of Whiskas like good ol' Sly back in 1989! With Chloe seemingly capturing individuals in her drawings, the obvious influence on "Fear Her" is the children's novel "Marianne Dreams" by Catherine Storr. The motivation of the aliens, in this episode, bore more than a passing resemblance to the ambition of the Gelth in "The Unquiet Dead", as well; as the number of individuals imprisoned in the artwork escalates, initially, to a stadium crowd, with a final desire to seize the entire population of the planet.
It was all just a little dull, however, and when "Confidential" talked about the fear factor in "Doctor Who", illustrating it with clips from the classic series, it only served to make "Fear Her" feel even weaker. Hartnell, looking totally dishevelled and distraught, and frantic to return to his ship at the climax of the original "Doctor Who" story, takes some beating. And, Russell T Davies, during the discussion, getting the name of my all-time favourite story wrong doesn't endear me to him either. It's called "Fury FROM the Deep", Mr Executive Producer and Chief Scribbler!!! Finally, I think it even less likely that Shayne Ward will still be in the public eye in the year 2012, never mind have a Greatest Hits album as the poster in the above picture indicates, than a planet can orbit a black hole!