Recap: Doctor Who S30 E6 "The Doctor's Daughter"

Attractiveness. It runs in the family.

Donna: Not what you'd call a natural parent, are you?
The Doctor: They stole a tissue sample at gunpoint and processed it. It's not what I'd call natural parenting.

In which an important and fascinating new character shows up... but not for long.

Martha is saying goodbye, but the Doctor's hand-in-a-jar violently teleports the TARDIS to an alien planet. (In case you're wondering why he keeps that thing next to the control panel, there's a very good reason for it.) Since the "Doctor Detector" only does that sort of stuff in rare situations, it could only mean two things: either the Doctor himself is on that planet, or something exactly like him.

The planet, called Messaline, is inhabited by two different species: Humans and Hath (walking fish). Only five seconds after stepping off the TARDIS, the Doctor and his companions are held at gunpoint by human soldiers, and the Doctor is ordered to put his hand into a strange machine. There is some whinging, and then out of the machine steps a very pretty blonde girl — fully dressed and made-up, able to wield a gun, played by Peter Davison's daughter and snarky to boot.

The machine is for cloning, made for creating soldiers for either side of the planet's inhabitants. The hand-in-a-jar made the TARDIS arrive a bit too soon, which caused the Doctor's DNA clone to be on the planet in the first place. The Doctor realises that this is, for all intents and purposes, his daughter now. He's extremely freaked out by this and tries his best to see her as a thing: a clone, a temporary echo, a "generated anomaly". Donna calls him out on his Jerkass behaviour and shortens "generated anomaly" to "Jenny", which the girl likes as a name. She merrily calls the Doctor "Dad". Jenny shows herself to be a remarkable soldier, implanted with all the instincts and history knowledge she needs for combat, much to the Technical Pacifist Doctor's aggravation.

They all travel together to the humans' base. Along the way, Martha is kidnapped by the Hath, but Jenny causes an explosion, meaning the Doctor and Donna can't get her back. Here the storyline splits.

The Doctor and Donna are locked up in jail because the Doctor opposes the commanding General's plan to wipe out the Hath, and Jenny is tossed in for defending them. She tries to get to know the Doctor a little, and quickly points out that if he was a soldier, and if he has killed, and if he won a war... what's the difference between them? She has two hearts like he does, and she just wants to live for what she feels is right. Before that happens, they find out that the humans are fighting the Hath for control of the Source. Jenny kisses her way out of jail, and frees the Doctor and Donna. They remain one step ahead of the humans, trying to get to the Source.

Meanwhile, Martha finds out the same from the Hath, and decides that the quickest way to get to the Source is over the top of the planet. Escorted by her new Hath friend, she travels the dangerous planet, avoiding swamps and fires. Her friend saves her from some form of alien quicksand and dies in the process, but Martha makes it to the Source... just as the Doctor and company arrive at the other door.

Of course, they're followed by various Humans and Hath, both shooting at one another as well as our heroes.

The Doctor finally explains to Donna why he's being so cold to Jenny: he used to be a father (and grandfather), before the Time War, when he murdered every person of his species. Seeing Jenny just reminds him of all this.

Donna, who has been noticing weird plaques above all the doors, uses her Super Temp powers to put 2 and 2 together and figures out that the colony is not more than a week old. The mutual histories were merely warped by continued use of the cloning machine. The Source, originally thought to be a mythical creator, is actually a terraforming device. The Doctor explains this to the mostly-bewildered clones before throwing the Source to the ground, destroying it. This subsequently releases the terraforming gases onto the planet's surface.

Perhaps justifiably, the human General tries to shoot the Doctor. Jenny steps in front of him, Taking the Bullet, and dies in his arms. The Doctor has the chance to shoot the General in revenge but doesn't. Instead, he demands that "this world of human and Hath" be founded on "the man who never would" harm another soul. After a few minutes of waiting for regeneration, a heartbroken Doctor, Martha and Donna leave. Martha says "There is no regeneration. She's like you, but maybe not enough," to which he replies "She was too much like me."

Travelling back to Earth, Martha expresses her happiness at not being involved in any more death and destruction and warns Donna about the dangers of companionship. Donna laughs it off, and she and the Doctor head back out into the wide galaxy, while Martha goes off to help out Torchwood Three for a while. Just before the credits roll, however, it turns out the Doctor didn't wait quite long enough. Jenny wakes up and, much like her father, rambles on for a few minutes as she takes the last spaceship on Messaline to head out and travel the stars.


  • Action Girl: Jenny, Jenny, Jenny and Jenny. She was born to be a soldier and has the added advantage of being a Time Lady — what can you expect?
  • After the End: Subverted. The planet looks like it's the ruins of some apocalyptic war outside, but it's actually a brand new planet and the settlers never got around to filling them in.
  • Androcles' Lion: The Hath trust Martha because she helped one of them with a dislocated shoulder.
  • Badass Adorable: Jenny kicks ass while smiling and giggling.
  • Badass Pacifist: "I never would, Cobb. Remember that. I. Never. Would." Turns out the Doctor is even scarier when he isn't willing to kill...
  • Casting Gag: The Doctor's daughter is played by Georgia Moffett, who is the daughter of a former Doctor.
  • Cloning Blues: Averted. None of the clones have anything angst about being clones.
  • Covered in Mud: Martha doesn't have an enjoyable time getting to the Source.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Jenny, in the Doctor's arms.
  • Discontinuity Nod: The cloning machines are suspiciously reminiscent of the infamous "Looms" from the New Adventure novels.
  • Disney Death: Jenny appears to die but she comes back in the end. Granted, she is a Time Lady, but the audience (and the Doctor) are led to believe she does not possess the ability to regenerate.
  • The Doctor Grabs A Gun: The Doctor almost loses his control when Cobb shoots Jenny, but manages to restrain himself.
  • Exact Words: Cobb told the Doctor and his companions that the war with the Hath had gone on for "many generations". Turns it it had only gone on for roughly a week; the cloning machine can create hundreds of "generations" of soldiers every day. Also a bit of Fridge Horror when you stop and realize what that means — human beings (and presumably the Hath) don't really die that quickly or easily. Considering there's no one around to correct the mistaken mythology that the clones have all created, this means that every last person who was part of the original expedition died. Probably quite violently in the initial bout of mistrust-caused upheaval, and that the clone machines were initially used as a last resort by both the humans and hath to tip the balance when their initial numbers were getting very thin. It also means that both sides of the survivors of the initial expedition had gotten so mistrusting of each other that they literally programmed the clones to think fighting each other was their main goal and purpose for existing. Talk about brainwashing.
  • Fanservice: Georgia Moffett, meet tight T-Shirt and what appear to be leather pants!
  • Fish Person: The Hath are humanoid fish that use water masks things.
  • Forever War: The fight's gone on for around countless clone generations. In other words, Over seven days.
  • Future Imperfect: The human/Hath creation myth is actually their arrival by space flight on this planet. It might have to do with the "countless generations", even if the terraforming ship only landed there last week.
  • General Ripper: Cobb. Donna even calls him "General Nutjob".
  • Genius Ditz: Jenny in regard to her Time Lord senses, which she's initially unaware of. Her ability to flip through a corridor of deadly moving lasers clearly couldn't be done by a normal human being, or even a super soldier (none of them seem to want to try it). It's likely she was using something similar to the Ninth Doctor's ability to slow down his perception of time, which allowed him to move through fast-moving fan-blades in "The End of the World".
  • Good with Numbers: Donna names the trope, talking about herself, because she's a "super temp".
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Donna and the Doctor, yet again.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Jenny takes a bullet for The Doctor (she gets better).
    • Martha's Hath friend jumps into quicksand in order to get her out and he sinks (he doesn't get better.)
  • Internal Homage: Inexplicably fully-dressed clones previously appeared in "The Invisible Enemy"
  • Laser Hallway: Jenny uses She-Fu to navigate through one of these.
  • Like Parent Like Child: Jenny's final scene has her steal a ship and run away to the stars. Does that sound familiar, Doctor?
  • Meaningful Echo: "It's not impossible. Just a bit unlikely."
  • Mobile Fishbowl: The Hath breathe a nutrient liquid, and have to wear a mask containing a flask of it while in Earthlike atmospheres.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Or the title, technically. Jenny's only The Doctor's Daughter in a biological sense and she isn't born until this episode.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Doctor inadvertently reveals more of the map... leading to preparations for a war to get to the new-found temple. Whoops.
  • Not So Different: Jenny spends half the episode trying to convince the Doctor he's being a hypocrite because he was a soldier, in a war, and committed genocide to end it. On the other side of it, she discovers that she's more like a Martial Pacifist like him.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: Jenny was created from The Doctor's DNA. Justified since Time Lords can regenerate across sexes.
  • Punny Name: Donna bases the name "Jenny" on the Doctor's "genetic anomaly" comment.
  • Put on a Bus: Jenny disappears at the end of the episode, presumably to go off and have adventures of her own.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Martha falls into one. Her Hath friend gets her out.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: All the weapons, cloning machines and other technology both sides are using are remnants from before the war, and considering the war's been going on longer than anyone can remember, it's all in pretty good condition. A subversion, since "longer than anyone can remember" turns out to be not all that long.
  • Running Gag: "We're not a couple."
    Donna: We're not even the same species. There's probably laws against it.
  • Sequel Hook: Jenny's final scene has her stealing a ship to be a hero like her father.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: The Doctor and Donna (again). Cobb thinks Donna is The Doctor's woman.
  • Show Some Leg: Done straight (Jenny kissing the guard) and defied with the Doctor telling Donna to save her "wiles" for an emergency.
  • Skewed Priorities: Cobb tells the Doctor that "his woman" will die first if he causes trouble. They're more annoyed by someone else calling them a couple than the threat.
  • Stable Time Loop: The TARDIS sends them to Messaline because it's detected Jenny; it arrives a bit early, setting up Jenny's creation.
  • Super Soldier: The clones are born programed with military tactics and history.
  • Taking the Bullet: Cobb tries to shoot The Doctor and Jenny gets in his way.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Donna says she'll be with the Doctor forever — Rose said the same thing.
    • "Can't be much further..." — (falls in quicksand)
  • Truly Single Parent: The Doctor, of course. The "mother" so to speak is the cloning machine.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: The map scene is split between The Doctor with the humans and Martha with the Hath.
  • The Unintelligible: All we hear when the Hath "speak" is bubbly noises, but Martha seems to understand them — because of the TARDIS translator?
  • We Need a Distraction: The mouse is for distraction of guards.
  • Wham Line: "This war's gone on for seven days."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Jenny. It's worth noting if the date 60120724 is 24th July 6012, that this is a full 1000 years after we know various races have access to time travel. So Jenny conceivably could be anywhere (or anywhen) by now.
  • Worth Living For: Martha had hoped Jenny would be this for the Doctor. "There's always something to live for, Martha."

Alternative Title(s):

Doctor Who NSS 4 E 6 The Doctors Daughter