New Series Episode 26:
Fear Her


In 2012, London is gearing up to host the Olympic Summer Games. But in a neighbourhood along the route of the Olympic torch, children are vanishing in broad daylight. Investigating, the Doctor and Rose come to believe that the person responsible is a young girl named Chloe. But how can a seemingly ordinary child possess power of such magnitude? And who will be her next victim?


For the initial run of the new Doctor Who series, the production team were able to commissioning no more scripts than were necessary to make up the season. This caused difficulties midway through production, when other obligations caused Paul Abbott to abandon the episode he had been working on, and executive producer Russell T Davies was forced to write Boom Town at short notice. For the 2006 season, however, Davies and his team had the latitude to develop more than the requisite number of scripts. That way, they would have an episode ready to be inserted into the schedule should another writer run into difficulties; otherwise, it could simply be held over until the third season.

One writer approached to develop a reserve script was Matthew Graham. Graham had created the time travel series Life On Mars (with Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah) and the postapocalyptic drama The Last Train, and had also written for programmes such as Hustle and Spooks. Meeting with Davies and executive producer Julie Gardner in late August 2005, Graham suggested a storyline in which the Doctor and Rose are faced with a man who has discovered how to drain things of their beauty, leaving his planet a sterile grey landscape. Davies, however, preferred his own suggestion: an episode in which the eerie nature of paintings or illustrations plays a major role. Graham agreed to develop this notion further, in a script which would be intentionally low-budget to ensure its versatility. Graham was commissioned on August 31st.

The Isolus was inspired by the titular villains in the 1978 version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

For the Isolus, Graham was inspired by the spore-like realisation of the titular villains in the 1978 version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. He was also eager to set his story in a normal, believable environment, drawing on the typical young fan's desire to see the TARDIS materialise on their street. Graham initially called his script “Chloe Webber Destroys The Earth” and then “You're A Bad Girl, Chloe Webber”, but both of these were rejected by Davies as being too lengthy. Ultimately, it was decided to call the episode Fear Her, despite the fact that this felt like a deviation from the Doctor Who norm.

Meanwhile, Stephen Fry had been pencilled in to write a story referred to as “The 1920s” for the eleventh slot of Doctor Who's 2006 season. By November, however, it had become clear that Fry's script would be too expensive -- especially late in the production schedule -- and the decision was made to postpone it until 2007, when it could be properly budgeted. (Ultimately, however, it was dropped altogether because Fry was too busy on other projects to carry out the necessary rewrites). With the development of Graham's story already well under way, “The 1920s” was replaced with Fear Her. Although “The 1920s” had originally been intended to be part of the season's sixth recording block, its loss (and difficulties with The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit) had resulted in a rearrangement of the latter part of the production schedule. Fear Her now joined The Idiot's Lantern as Block Four, directed by Euros Lyn.

The principal location for Fear Her was Page Drive, in the Tremorfa area of Cardiff, which posed as Dame Kelly Holmes Close; many scenes in the Webber home were also filmed in a house on the same street. Cast and crew worked on Page Drive from January 24th to 27th and again on the 30th and 31st. Due to the frigid temperatures belying the story's summer setting, dialogue was introduced regarding the Isolus draining heat from the area. Also filmed on the 27th were the Doctor's run up the Olympic Stadium steps and shots of its empty interior (actually Cardiff's Millennium Stadium), as well as footage of the torchbearer running through London streets (recorded near Cardiff City Hall). Originally, Lyn had hoped to cast Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes herself as the torchbearer -- taking his cue from Graham's script -- but she was committed at the time to appearing in the reality series Dancing On Ice.

There was hope that Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes might be cast as the torchbearer

Four days at the regular Doctor Who studio space of Unit Q2 in Newport then followed, from February 1st to 4th. The principal sets were the TARDIS and Chloe's bedroom, as well as the stairs and landing in the Webber house. On February 6th, several locations around Cardiff were visited, including Chapman's Removals & Storage Yard (the area where the TARDIS materialises), St Albans Rugby Club (for the Doctor lighting the Olympic flame) and finally back to Page Drive. This left only various pick-up shots to be completed. These included the pod landing in the Olympic torch, filmed on Blenheim Road in Pen-y-lan, Cardiff on February 10th, and material at Unit Q2: Chloe drawing (actually performed by art student Tinate Bilal) on the 15th, the cat entering the box on the 22nd, and the TARDIS scanner on the 23rd.

For his TARDISode, writer Gareth Roberts envisioned a Crimewatch-style report on the children's disappearances -- but done in a more sensationalistic, American style, to connote Fear Her's 2012 setting. Great difficulty was encountered in actually finding a suitable name for the faux programme which would avoid any trademark problems. Ultimately, Roberts opted for CrimeCrackers because its rights were already owned by the BBC, and permission could be sought for its use. Filming for the TARDISode occurred during production on the episode itself, on January 31st at Page Drive. The 54-second installment concluded with a shot of the drawing of Chloe's father.


Original Transmission
Date 24th Jun 2006
Time 7.02pm
Duration 43'50"
Viewers (more) 7.1m (20th)
· BBC1 7.1m
Appreciation 83%

The Doctor
David Tennant
Rose Tyler
Billie Piper
Nina Sosanya
Abisola Agbaje
Edna Doré
Tom's Dad
Tim Faraday
Abdul Salis
Richard Nichols
Erica Eirian
Stephen Marzella
Huw Edwards

Written by
Matthew Graham
Directed by
Euros Lyn
Produced by
Phil Collinson

1st Assistant Director
Peter Bennett
2nd Assistant Director
Steffan Morris
3rd Assistant Director
Lynsey Muir
Location Managers
Gareth Lloyd
Gareth Skelding
Unit Manager
Rhys Griffiths
Production Co-ordinator
Jess van Niekerk
Production/Script Secretary
Claire Roberts
Production Runner
Victoria Wheel
A/Production Accountants
Debi Griffiths
Kath Blackman
Bonnie Clissold
Non Eleri Hughes
Script Editor
Simon Winstone
Focus Puller
Steve Rees
John Robinson
Boom Operator
Jeff Welch
Mark Hutchings
Best Boy
Peter Chester
Chris Davies
Clive Johnson
Camera Assistant
Penny Shipton
Stunt Co-ordinator
Dave Forman
Supervising Art Director
Stephen Nicholas
Art Dept Production Manager
Jonathan Marquand Allison
Standby Art Director
Lee Gammon
A/Supervising Art Director
James North
Design Assistants
Peter McKinstry
Al Roberts
Standby Props
Phill Shellard
Matthew North
Standby Carpenter
Silas Williams
Standby Rigger
Bryan Griffiths
Standby Scenic Artist
Louise Bohling
Set Decorator
David Morison
Property Master
Adrian Anscombe
Production Buyer
Joelle Rumbelow
Assistant Props Master
Paul Aitken
Props Chargehand
Phil Lyons
Props Storeman
Stuart Wooddisse
Practical Electrician
Albert James
Art Department Driver
Patrick Deacy
Specialist Prop Maker
Mark Cordory
Prop Maker
Penny Howarth
Construction Manager
Matthew Hywel-Davies
Construction Chargehand
Allen Jones
Storyboard Artist
Shaun Williams
BBC Wales Graphics
Costume Supervisor
Anna Lau
Costume Assistants
Lindsay Bonaccorsi
Kirsty Wilkinson
Make-Up Artists
Anwen Davies
Steve Smith
Moira Thomson
Special Effects Co-ordinator
Ben Ashmore
Special Effects Supervisors
Paul Kelly
Mike Crowley
Special Effects Technicians
Danny Hargreaves
Richard Magrin
Casting Associate
Andy Brierley
Assistant Editor
Ceres Doyle
Post Production Supervisors
Chris Blatchford
Samantha Hall
Post Production Co-ordinator
Marie Brown
On Line Editor
Matthew Clarke
Mick Vincent
3D Artists
Chris Petts
Jean Yves Audouard
Paul Burton
Jean-Claude Deguara
Nicolas Hernandez
Will Pryor
Matthew McKinney
Neil Roche
Chris Tucker
Mark Wallman
2D Artists
Sara Bennett
David Bowman
Melissa Butler-Adams
Joseph Courtis
Bronwyn Edwards
Michael Harrison
Simon C Holden
Russell Horth
Visual Effects Co-ordinator
Kim Phelan
Digital Matte Painter
Alex Fort
Dubbing Mixer
Tim Ricketts
Sound Editors
Paul McFadden
Doug Sinclair
Sound FX Editor
Paul Jefferies
Finance Manager
Richard Pugsley
Original Theme Music
Ron Grainer
Casting Director
Andy Pryor CDG
Production Accountant
Endaf Emyr Williams
Sound Recordist
Simon Fraser
Costume Designer
Louise Page
Make-Up Designer
Sheelagh Wells
Murray Gold
Visual Effects
The Mill
Visual FX Producer
Will Cohen
Visual FX Supervisor
Dave Houghton
Special Effects
Any Effects
Crispin Green
Production Designer
Edward Thomas
Director of Photography
Rory Taylor
Production Manager
Marcus Prince
Executive Producers
Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner

Working Titles
Chloe Webber Destroys The Earth
You're A Bad Girl, Chloe Webber

Updated 6th July 2014