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"Hello dad!"
The Doctor's Daughter
Series: Doctor Who TV stories
Series Number: Series 4
Story Number: 193
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Writer: Stephen Greenhorn
Director: Alice Troughton
Producer: Phil Collinson
Broadcast: 10th May 2008
Format: 1x45 minute episode
Prod. Code: 193
Previous Story: The Poison Sky
Following Story: The Unicorn and the Wasp

The Doctor's Daughter was the sixth episode of the fourth series of the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who. It was significant for introducing only the second-known genetic relative of the Doctor seen in a televised episode. Additionally, that character's fate at the conclusion of the episode left — in a way atypical of most guest characters — obvious narrative possibilities for her return to the programme.

From a production standpoint, it was notable for its ironic casting. In giving the part of Jenny to Georgia Moffett, the production team had cast the daughter of an actor who had played the Doctor to play an on-screen daughter of the character.



The Doctor, Donna and Martha crash on the distant planet Messaline, which is in the middle of an endless war. While there the Doctor meets the most important woman of his life; his daughter, Jenny. But as General Cobb threatens genocide, and Martha is kidnapped by the Hath, the Doctor faces an even greater battle – can he find peace with his own child?


The TARDIS is flying out of control, Martha and Donna are having trouble keeping their balance. The console emits smoke and sparks while the ship bucks violently hurling its occupants about. The Doctor notes that his severed hand is bubbling furiously.

Finally the TARDIS lands on the planet Messaline, almost immediately upon exiting the ship armed men seize the Doctor. Realising that they have "clean" hands (meaning that they have not yet had tissue samples taken; these leave a tell-tale scar) they force the Doctor to use a machine which takes his diploid cells, splits them into haploids and produces the titular Jenny.

At once a skirmish with the Hath breaks out, in the chaos Martha is kidnapped by a Hath soldier and Jenny triggers an explosive tunnel collapse which prevents the Doctor and Donna from rescuing her. Notwithstanding, the Doctor attempts anyway, but the soldiers seize him and demand he be brought to General Cobb.

General Cobb explains that originally the humans and the Hath came to this planet to share it, but he claims the Hath lied and they have been at war for many, many generations. Cobb and the soldiers recount what superficially appears to be a creation myth, a story of how The Goddess created the universe, looked at her work and sighed. According to the human's religion, that breath was captured in some form which is now referred to as "The Source. The humans believe that The Source is lost somewhere in the maze of tunnels they show the Doctor on a holographic map and that recovering it could allow them to effectively exterminate the Hath.

Meanwhile, Martha has convinced the Hath to trust her by helping one of their injured. The Hath are showing her an identical holographic map and bubbling, and although the exact nature of what they are saying is not known to the viewer, Martha appears to at least partially understand.

While trying to use the Human holographic map to see where Martha has gone, The Doctor inadvertently reveals a previously unknown route to the "Temple" where the Humans believe The Source is located. The Doctor's manipulation of the map has also revealed the full map to The Hath. The Doctor tries to dissuade Cobb from locating the Source, which he intends to use to commit genocide. Cobb however refuses to listen and orders The Doctor and Donna to be imprisoned, as well as Jenny as she came from The Doctor. The Hath also go on the warpath.

The Doctor is displeased by the notion of Jenny being his daughter, dismissing her as a mere soldier. As he plots to stop Cobb Jenny compares The Doctor to a General, noting that he makes plans and strategies. The Doctor claims this is false but is not able to clearly demonstrate why. When He uses his sonic screwdriver to augment Donna's mobile, in order to call Martha. Jenny draws comparisons between the device and a weapon, saying that both are implements used to achieve purposes. The Doctor again dismisses the idea.

Meanwhile, Martha and the Hath she healed, Peck, are studying the tunnels, Peck manipulates the controls and is able to convert the map into a three dimensional projection, delighting Martha. Noting that the distance above ground is shorter than the distance through the tunnels she plans to beat both the humans and the Hath to The Source.

To compel the Doctor to realise that Jenny is actually his daughter. Donna uses his stethoscope to show him that she has two hearts, proving she is the same species. The Doctor, however, insists that Time Lords are defined by their shared tragedy and therefore Jenny is not a Time Lord. Jenny is confused by this and in the explanations the Doctor is forced to admit that he killed during the Last Great Time War. Jenny empathises, again comparing him to herself.

The Hath use a battering ram to create a short cut, in the meanwhile Martha and Peck reach a hatch and escape to the austere surface. Back with the Doctor, Jenny seduces the guard and enables the party to escape their cell. Outside the cell, Donna notes a plaque of eight numbers. As they travel she continues to notice more plaques, writing them down she realizes that they are counting down as they get closer to The Temple.

The party encounters a corridor of deadly lasers, while Jenny holds off Cobb's men by shooting without killing, the doctor disables the lasers. As she tries to follow the Doctor and Donna, who have already passed down the corridor the lasers reactivate and she is seemingly trapped. However, she astounds the Doctor and Donna with a display of acrobatics through which she traverses the lasers without injury.

On the surface, Martha falls down a scree into quicksand, Peck leaps in to saves her, but begins to irresistibly sink, himself. Martha is devastated and weeps bitterly as the wind howls and her friend disappears beneath the surface.

Jenny questions the Doctor and Donna's relationship which both are adamant, is purely platonic. Donna flippantly says they save planets, rescue civilisations, defeat awful creatures and also do quite a lot of running. This leads to a conversation about Jenny's future and to her happiness the Doctor wants her to come with him. After Jenny runs ahead to scout, the Doctor explains to Donna his previous parenting, the pain of losing the Time Lords and his family, and the fact that he is reminded of them when he sees Jenny. That is why he has been having a hard time dealing with her. Donna is sure that having Jenny in his life will help him heal those old wounds though.

The Doctor, Donna, Jenny and Martha are reunited in the temple, which the Doctor realizes as the original and fully functional colony spaceship. This puzzles him as the ship is obviously well maintained; it should have run out of power by now. The Doctor reads the ship's log, learning that the city was built by robots.

Donna stares at a digital clock on the wall, suddenly she has an epiphany. The numbers are dates; the city was built in sections outward from the space-ship. Comparing the date on the clock to her notes, realizes that the clock shows it is seven days since the ship landed. The Doctor realizes that the term "generations" is relative, the technological reproduction system of the Humans and the Hath allow twenty generations in a single day.

As both armies close in, they next discover "The Source", a terraforming device which would make the environment outside more hospitable. Thus, despite the belief that the source kills, it actually brings life. The Doctor, now surrounded by both armies, declares the war over and smashes the source to release its gases and start the terraforming process. Both armies lay down their weapons in awe of the new planet forming around them.

However, Cobb tries to shoot the Doctor out of malice, but Jenny sacrifices herself by shielding him, and is shot in the heart. When Martha examines the wound, she sees that it is fatal. Jenny dies, shortly thereafter, in the Doctor's arms without regenerating.

After he lays her head gently on the ground, the Doctor holds Cobb at gunpoint but does not pull the trigger, saying, “I never would”. He asks both armies that they let the idea of a man 'who never would', be the foundation of the Hath-Human society that must now emerge. The Hath and Humans ask the Doctor to allow them to give Jenny a proper funeral, to which he sadly agrees.

Later, the Doctor concludes that Jenny's creation was the reason the TARDIS had brought them to Messaline, they had just gotten there a little too soon. They then created Jenny, creating an unending paradox. He returns Martha home, and Donna resolves to stay with the Doctor while Martha leaves.

Meanwhile, back on Messaline, Jenny breaths a cloud of green gas and revives as the Doctor had hoped would happen if she was given enough time. She escapes Messaline in a shuttle and resolves to travel the universe, saving planets, rescuing civilizations, defeating creatures, and to do an awful lot of running just like her father.


Production crew

to be added


  • Once again the Doctor and Donna are mistaken for a couple.
  • Messaline has relatively high radiation and an earth-like atmosphere.
  • Once again there is reference to the Doctor's children and family.
  • Jenny's regeneration/rejuvenation closely resembles the Seventh Doctor's regeneration into his eighth incarnation, both were shot and then both recovered in a morgue. Both also exhaled gases in similar manners as the process ended. The manner the gas was exhaled is also similar to the unexplained gas or energy that came from the Doctor's mouth following his regeneration from Ninth Doctor to Tenth Doctor. It was also vaguely similar to the post-regenerative healing the Doctor went through following his battle with the Sycorax, as Jenny was probably in the first fifteen hours of her life, making it possible. Or it could have been a healing trance like Inferno
  • On the other hand it may be the result of using the terraforming agent, as the gas Jenny exhales and the gas released from the Source are identical; the Doctor himself says that the agent is "for bringing life". This matter, as of now, has not been conclusively resolved.
  • Just like Rose Tyler, Donna expresses interest in staying with The Doctor "forever".
  • Jenny takes the ship's shuttle.
  • Cobbs claim that he wants to wipe the last stinking Hath off the face of the planet is similar to the Ninth Doctor's statement with regards to the Daleks.
  • This is the second time that the Tenth Doctor has cradled someone while they die the first was The Master in Last of the Time Lords
  • When the Doctor is brought to General Cobb, there is a running count of generations of clone soldiers that have been killed being spoken aloud. As they arrive, the count has reached generation six hundred and sixty six, the number of the Beast.

Story notes

  • Russell T Davies has stated that this episode "does exactly what it says on the tin". Stephen Greenhorn's episode has the Doctor facing a dilemma unlike anything before, and it is wildly different to "The Lazarus Experiment". He also said that his episode was designed by Russell to "change the Doctor" in a big episode that will have "a real impact on him" and that, in terms of the series continuity, it will be a "lasting impact".
  • Stephen Greenhorn wrote The Lazarus Experiment which coincidentally was also the sixth episode of the series it was in and also followed a two part story by Helen Raynor that featured a returning enemy.
  • Georgia Moffett is the real-life daughter of Fifth Doctor actor, Peter Davison. In 2004 Georgia was considered for the role of Rose Tyler and had also auditioned for a role in The Unicorn and the Wasp. Her appearance comes not long after her father guest-starred in Time Crash.
  • Jenny's impressive acrobatics in a corridor full of deadly laser beams was inspired by Britney Spears' Toxic video.
  • The two Hath named in credits would appear to be named after famous actors; "Hath Peck" drawing his name from Gregory Peck, and the "Hath Gable" taking his from actor Clark Gable. Whether this is deliberate or a mere coincidence is uncertain.
  • Donna Noble came up with the name Jenny after the Doctor said she was a "Generated Anomaly".
  • According to the BBC Podcast Russell T Davies said the original intention was to kill Jenny off at the end of the episode. It was Steven Moffat who expressed the desire to bring her back to life.
  • This episode is one of several that were not featured in the official Series 4 trailer.
  • According to the book companions and allies, it was the source that brought Jenny back to life although this may be incorrect.
  • This is one of the few televised story titles to incorporate the name "The Doctor" (not counting two early occasions where the incorrect name "Doctor Who" was used). The only other times "The Doctor" appeared in an individual episode title was "A Holiday for the Doctor", episode 1 of the 1966 serial, The Gunfighters, and The Doctor Dances from the 2005 series.
  • The mark on the back of the hand that the Doctor gets after being processed seems to be of similarity to the mark on the back of the hand acquired by those infected with "Empty Child Syndrome". (DW: The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances)
  • Donna's surprise aptitude with mathematics foreshadows her later transformation in to DoctorDonna.


  • Final BARB ratings - 7.33 million viewers
  • Sunday night BBC3 repeat - 0.95 million viewers

Filming Locations

  • Barry Island, Barry Shooting Range (Tunnel sequences)

Myths and rumours

  • It was heavily rumoured Jenny would be Susan's mother, but this proved to be false.
  • Other rumours reported online included the possibility of Jenny being Rose Tyler's offspring (owing to both being blonde and also because of Rose's background appearances thus far in the season), which was disproven in the pre-credits teaser.
  • It was also rumored that Jenny was a clone, a hologram, an illusion or something of that sort. All of these proved to be false, to one degree or another. Technically Jenny is not a clone; she is actually the Doctor's Daughter, via asexual reproduction through a process similar to parthenogenesis.
  • The initial televised trailer showed Jenny kissing an individual on the mouth; due to the fast-cut editing of the trailer, the gender of the individual being kissed was not clear, leading to speculation, ultimately debunked by the episode itself, that Jenny would engage in a same-sex kiss - the character being kissed turned out to be male.
  • As Steven Moffat is credited with "saving the life" of the character by suggesting to Davies that she not be killed off (a claim Moffat has downplayed if not disputed), rumors emerged that the character may return either as a guest, a recurring role, or as a companion in 2010 when Moffat takes over. Although Georgia Moffett is on record as being willing to return to the role, as of early 2010 no announcement has been made regarding her character.
  • A related rumor to the above had Jenny returning for the Series 4 finale; except for a brief flashback appearance recalling her "death", she did not.

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Jenny does not seem to bleed at all and when she dies and she should as the pressure her hand is putting on the wound would be lifted because of her body going limp when she actually goes. Very low blood pressure can account for no obvious bleeding out in this situation, also the Doctor didn't bleed when his hand was cut out, it may be something related to the residual regeneration energy.
  • The Doctor says he visited the Medusa Cascade when he was a small child of 90 and assuming the machines make the clones around 20 years old then shouldn't Jenny be a much smaller child. When he said that during "The Stolen Earth" it wasn't meant that he wasn't literally only a kid in relation to his current age Time Lords seem to go through childhood in a similar way to humans as seen in The Sound of Drums or any episode with Susan Foreman, the Doctor's Granddaughter. Besides which, the machines would logically go by biological age rather than counting the years.
  • When the Doctor runs to the door in the beginning, it is clearly shown that he goes out only with his blue suit. Yet in the next shot when the trio are outside, he has his coat on. The shot only shows the Doctor heading towards the door, and he has kept his coat near the door.
  • It appears that Jenny regenerates as a substance similar to the vortex energy or the terraforming gas escapes from her mouth. However her body does not change. She did not actually regenerate. The Doctor regrew his hand in The Christmas Invasion, as a Time Lord has great capacity for self-repair shortly after a full regeneration. It is more likely Jenny internally healed herself as she was probably within the first fifteen hours of her life.
  • During one scene in the tunnels of Messaline, the UNIT logo can be seen in the background. Perhaps UNIT had something to do with the tunnels of Messaline.
  • Jenny's clothes appear to have changed after Cobb shoots her. As RTD suggested in the commentary, in the future they have self-healing fabrics.
  • The TARDIS's telepathic circuits do not translate what the Hath are saying to the audience but Martha is able to speak to them and know that the Hath she travels around with is called Peck. The reason it was not translated to the audience is a choice by the producers to add comic relief that Martha is the only one who can understand them and translate what they are saying. For example when Peck swears and she tells him to watch his language. Also, it tells the audience that the Hath 'bubble' rather than speak in words.
  • All Jenny's knowledge and abilities were given to her by the machine she was born in. This may include her gymnastics skills. It is never explained why the other soldiers do not have the same ability. This is more likely a Time Lord ability than a human one. The Ninth Doctor has a similar ability shown in The End of the World where he momentarily increases his perception so as to dodge fast moving fan blades. The Doctor hasn't developed this potential talent to its fullest, but Jenny has (the physical aspects of her programming would help there). Similarly, the Master is more skilled than the Doctor at hypnosis and Susan was said in DW: "The Sensorites" to have a particular knack for telepathy.
  • It is not explained how Jenny would know how to fly a shuttle. Militants today even have some basic knowledge of how to fly an aircraft even if they aren't in a division that requires it. Its mostly just for emergencies so why should the colonists be any different.
  • Four apparent facts cannot all be true at once: (a) the war has only been going on for seven days; (b) General Cobb knows about The Source and its purpose only by hearsay passed on through the generations; (c) General Cobb is in his late forties or his fifties; and (d) offspring produced by the machine emerge with the bodies and personalities of human beings in their early twenties. If Cobb is as old as he looks, he ought to have been a member of the original landing party, in which case he would know what the Source really is. (Cobb was not in his forties or fifties. He was created by the machine to be a general and thus "born old".
  • If the war had only been fought for seven days that implied that no soldiers from the human side have survived past seven days otherwise they would know what happened. This is implausible.(There is constant fighting in close quarters, with huge numbers of combatants on both sides. It is quite possible.)
  • It's unclear why the progenitor would be set to create soldiers as it is a colonisation ship. It is stated in the episode that the machine was reprogrammed to create soldiers rather than colonists.
  • When Donna, Jenny and the Doctor are put in the cell no one searches them. This seems a major oversight. In addition to this the guard is standing right outside the door yet fails to hear the sonic screwdriver or the Doctor talking on his mobile phone. A very bad guard. But he does believe that they are pacifists and thus are no threat and have no weapons. The conversation on the phone was traced to The Hath as seen in one of the cut scenes
  • Near the end of the episode, a softbox light can be seen inside the TARDIS, lighting the set.(The TARDIS has lights.)
  • Immediately after Jenny was 'progenated', the soldiers ignore the Doctor, Martha and Donna - and don't bother cloning them. It's as if they know automatically that the Doctor is the only one who should be cloned. It would make more sense if the Doctor was cloned and as Jenny stepped out, the band of attacking Hath attacked immediately. They were preparing for an attack just before the Hath attacked, suggesting that they knew an attack was coming and had no time to process Donna or Martha. Moreover Cline appeared to prompt Jenny to see if she knew what she was doing just before the attack. All these factors probably distracted them from the processing of Donna and Martha.
  • Why are the clones 'born' with clothes? There's no reason a machine capable of fabricating a complete adult body wouldn't also be capable of fabricating clothes around it.
  • The Doctor has previously said that he can feel in his mind whether other Time Lords exist still, so why doesn't he feel Jenny still being alive? She is a Time Lord, and is very closely related to the Doctor. (She is not a Time Lord, as is stated explicitly. She is physically based on his DNA, but does not have Time Lord training nor all of the inherent mental connections.)
  • Even though it is just a small space shuttle Jenny seems surprisingly confident that she can travel the entire Universe with it. (She's just beginning the journey, she could certainly upgrade the shuttle or find another ship as the journey continues.)
  • The Doctor refers to the method of Jenny's creation as "not what (he calls) natural parentage". This is somewhat ironic, given that he was created in much the same way. By showing a young Master with the appearance of a child in The Sound of Drums, the current production team may have shown that they do not consider the Looms to exist in official continuity, at least not exactly as described in novels such as NA: Lungbarrow. In other words, the implication is that Time Lords reproduce sexually and always have.
  • The Doctor has killed several times before, why does he disapprove of Jenny's killing of enemies? He only killed when absolutely necessary, even going as far to spare his enemies death in The Family of Blood. Furthermore, to see such a trait in his own child disturbs him.
  • Even allowing for far-future science, how could a ball of gas the size terraform an entire planet? And, if we grant that it could, how could anyone possibly survive being in the same room when it went off, especially considering the rate at which it strips away topsoil? Clever nanites? But even then, where does the soil go? Far more outlandish ideas have been proposed in science fiction. People in the same room with it survive because it is designed to allow for that when it's initialised. As for the soil, it would have to be converted into something usable or harmless.
  • For that matter, why would it want to strip away the topsoil? Wouldn't that be counterproductive to the goal of turning the planet into one humans could comfortably live on? The topsoil's contaminated by the planet's high-ish radiation levels, and/or this is to give the Hath a better habitat by making it easier to create lakes.


DVD and Other releases

Series 4 Volume 2 DVD Cover

See also

External links

Series 4
Mini-episode: Time Crash  • Christmas Special: Voyage of the Damned

Partners in Crime  • The Fires of Pompeii  • Planet of the Ood  • The Sontaran Stratagem  • The Poison Sky  • The Doctor's Daughter  • The Unicorn and the Wasp  • Silence in the Library  • Forest of the Dead  • Midnight  • Turn Left  • The Stolen Earth  • Journey's End

Christmas Special: The Next Doctor  • Mini-episode: Music of the Spheres

This article uses material from the "The Doctor's Daughter" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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