Friday, May 10, 2013

Doctor Who-The Doctor's Daughter

                          With the doctor,Donna and Martha in a TARDIS spinning out of control, the doctor manages to stabilize it long enough to land it on the planet Messaline-where the trio are instantly met upon by armed troops and a gigantic machine removes a small layer of skin from his arm. From the door of a huge chamber in front of them, a young armed woman emerges. The doctor recognizes her as his daughter,the product of a DNA replication system that allows for generations of soldiers to be created on Messaline. And the reasoning is a war with fish like creatures called the Hath. During an ensuing battle Martha is knocked out and taken away by the Hath while the doctor and Donna are taken to a barrack to meet up with General Cobb,leader of this crew of human troopers,who promptly holds them in custody for their passivism. He claims that while they and the Hath once peacefully co-existed, they are now locked in arms against each other in search for something called The Source, an energy that the soldiers,both Hath and Human worship as a deity.  

               Meanwhile Martha saves the lives of one of the Hath,who begin to respond positively to her.  After the doctors new daughter,whom is given the name Jenny and Donna engineer an escape from Cobb's custody, the doctor meanwhile searches the soldiers computer records for evidence of additional tunnels in the colony. As they explore the tunnels,being flanked by soldiers continuing the war with the Hath,Donna notices a sequentially continual set of numbers above the door of each new area of the structure they encounter. Jenny uses her advanced abilities to break through the electronic frontier separating them from the main part of the chamber. By this time Martha and one of the Hath have discovered the same 3-D map the doctor used and found their way to a dark,inhospitable surface. Martha falls into a natural springs and is saved from death by her Hath companion,who sacrifices himself for her.

          After staving off Cobb and his troopers with Jenny's able hand,the doctor and Donna arrive at the control room of the surface area. Donna and the doctor are able to ascertain that the numbers they've been seeing are in fact dates. The temple of the Source,as it were is actually a spaceship that landed on the planet a week earlier. And the long war the troopers have been fighting has only lasted that long-while seeming longer due to their fast regeneration process,and the Hath originally just being helper robots trying to continue the original mission. While Jenny holds off Cobb's troops, the doctor and Donna find a garden area with a small terraforming device installed. Realizing the true nature of the mission when Cobb's troops arrive,Cobb shoots Jenny and appears to have murdered her. The doctor,after seeming to threaten Cobb with death himself,actually breaks the terraforming sphere-after which its natural process begins to bring the planet to life. A deeply affected doctor leaves his daughter behind to return Martha to Earth and continues on his mission with Donna,not knowing that Jenny has regenerated and taken off in an escape pod to go on a space/time mission of her own.

           Throughout this story,a lot of deep emotional areas of the doctors personality emerge. He is alternately concerned,frightened and hopeful for his newly created daughter Jenny-as most new fathers would be. Yet she is born fully grown and essentially bread as a solider,the doctor is hoping in his mind she will not self destruct due to her violent instincts she will not extinguish herself. Of course,as Jenny points out, the doctor could be interpreted as a soldier of sorts in his own right. The cycle of life and death deeply affects Martha to the point of tears when the Hath who saved her life is lost on the surface of Messaline.  The doctor is similarly moved when he believes his daughter has been killed by Cobb. Rather than killing Cobb,of course he spares his life to prove a point that their society can only survive if they discontinue killing for the sake of their imagined deity. Its the age old Doctor Who conundrum of creation science over creation myth that brings this brilliantly conceived story to life.
Post a Comment