Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown - The Doctor's Daughter

To celebrate the fact that 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, we are taking a look back at all of the episodes of the show which featured David Tennant as the Doctor. At the end of our look back we'll be asking you, the fans, to vote for what you think is the ultimate David Tennant episode of Doctor Who....
We continue with the next David Tennant episode.... The Doctor's Daughter
Read our previous Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown posts here.

35. The Doctor's Daughter

First Broadcast on 10th May 2008. Running Time: 45.10 Minutes. Viewing Figures: 7.3 million.
Written By Stephen Greenhorn.
Directed By Alice Troughton.
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner. Rating: 7/10.

The Doctor meets the most important woman of his life on the distant planet Messaline, in the middle of an endless war. And as General Cobb threatens genocide, Martha is kidnapped by the Hath, but the Doctor faces an even greater battle - can he find peace with his own child?

Production Notes:
After writing the 2007 episode, The Lazarus Experiment, Stephen Greenhorn was assigned The Doctor's Daughter by Russell T Davies after he read an interview in Doctor Who Magazine with Greenhorn in which Greenhorn stated the Doctor was a virtually unchanging character.
The idea of this led Russell to the plot of the Doctor clashing with someone who was in fact part of him, his genetic offspring, his very own child with her own conflicting thoughts and actions.

Greenhorn began work on The Doctor's Daughter in March 2007. In addition to the plotline about the daughter of the Doctor, Davies also asked him to work former companion Martha Jones in to the story. Martha was to join the Doctor and his current companion Donna Noble in the proceeding episodes, The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky, but she was to have a good reason to want to leave the Doctor and return home in this episode. The underground war and the Hath's method of communication were also Davies' ideas.

The Doctor's Daughter went through several changes during the planning stages, with the seven day war, Donna's investigation in to the numbers mystery and the final greenhouse scenes, all added at a later stage.

The Hath's enemies were originally to be called Takrans, but this was left out due to the ambiguous pronunciation of the name.
Even though they were to communicate only through bubbling and gurgling liquid, Greenhorn wrote the Hath dialogue out in full to give the actors portraying them an impression of how they should react.
Two lead Hath were named Peck and Gable after the Hollywood actors Gregory Peck and Clark Gable.

Jenny was to supposed to die at the end of the episode, having sacrificed herself to save her father, however she was allowed to live when she was given a reprieve by Steven Moffat who asked that she was kept alive.
This has since let to speculation from fans that Jenny would return to travel with the Doctor, however it's five years on since the transmission of the episode and the character has still not made a return to our screens.

The Doctor's Daughter was paired with Midnight in Production Block Six which was double banked with Turn Left. The director for Block Six was Alice Troughton, who had previously worked on Small Worlds and Out Of Time for Torchwood and Revenge Of The Slitheen and Eye Of The Gorgon for The Sarah Jane Adventures as well as directing many episodes of the likes of EastEnders and Doctors. Her most important task in pre production was the casting of the title role, The Doctor's Daughter herself. 

In the end, rather fittingly, the role ended up going to Georgia Moffett, who is indeed a real life daughter of a Doctor. Her father being the former Fifth Doctor Peter Davison.
Moffett had been acting from a young age and was best known for her role as Abigail Nixon in the long running ITV drama The Bill. 
Despite her family links to Doctor Who, Moffett says she was not much of a fan of the show until her son Tyler began watching the new series and she then became a fan whilst watching with him.
Moffett had originally auditioned for the role of Rose Tyler when the series made it's come back, but she lost out to Billie Piper. She also auditioned for the role of Robina Redmond in The Unicorn And The Wasp, the role which eventually went to Felicity Jones.
After meeting on the set of The Doctor's Daughter David Tennant and Moffett subsequently married and had two children together. Tennant also adopted Moffett's first child from a previous relationship, Tyler.

Work on The Doctor's Daughter began on 11th December 2007 at The Upper Boat Studios where the TARDIS scenes and the final scene of Jenny leaving Messaline were shot. 
Julie Gardener announced that she would be leaving her position as Executive Producer of Doctor Who and Head Of Drama for BBC Wales on the same day.
She would be replaced by Piers Wenger following the broadcast of the already announced 2009 specials.

The 12th December saw the scenes of Martha and Hath Peck recorded at  Aberbaiden Open Cast Colliery in Cefn Cribwr near Kenfig.
On the 13th December the crew set up the Hath camp at The Marble Hall in Cardiff City Hall, unfortunately this was being picketed due to school closures, and it resulted in Troughton losing several hours and many shots were forced to be postponed.

The action then moved to Celynen Colliers Institute and Memorial Hall in Newbridge, with work there commencingon December 14th and continuing from the 17th to the 19th. All of the scenes at the human encampment were shot there, and Troughton managed complete the rest of the Hath encampment material on the 18th. Later on the 19th, the cast and crew moved on to the Dupont Building at the Mamhilad Industrial Park in Pontypool. This was to provide the spaceship corridor, and recording there went on until the 20th. 
On 21st December, the scenes inside the greenhouse were recorded at Plantaisia in Swansea.

On 7th January 2008, the cast and crew of The Doctor's Daughter, returned from the Christmas holidays and resumed work and began filming scenes at Rhondda Heritage Park in Trehafod near Pontypridd, for the shots inside the tunnel where the Doctor find the secret panel. 

On the 8th and 9th January it was back to the Mamhilad Industrial Park, this time at the Johnsey Estates, to record the material in the tunnel where Jenny dodges the laser beams. A stunt gymnast was used to make it appear as though Moffett was doing backflips and cartwheels through the beams.

The scene where the TARDIS materialises was filmed on 10th and 11th at the Barry Shooting Range on Barry Island. 

Work on the episode was completed on 18th January 2008 and was the scene of Martha's return home, at Mark Street in Cardiff. The same day, pick-up shots from the greenhouse sequence were filmed at Roath Conservatory in Cardiff. And an insert of the toy mouse exploding was filmed at Upper Boat on the 24th January.

Jenny - The Doctor's Daughter
Jenny was an artificially created Generation 5000 soldier cloned from the Doctor's DNA on Messaline, effectively making her his daughter. She was militaristic and driven, but she and the Doctor gradually warmed to one another, and Jenny quickly learned to take on board his morals and compassion. 
When the Doctor exposed the truth on Messaline to both the human and Hath soldiers, General Cobb of the humans tried to murder him, but Jenny took the bullet instead and apparently died. Heartbroken, the Doctor, Donna Noble and Martha Jones left Jenny interred on Messaline, but she was revived by the gaseous compound released by the recently activated third-generation terraforming device the humans called the Source.
Stealing a shuttle from the humans, Jenny took off into space, hoping to have adventures just like her father's.

Hath No Fury
The Hath were a piscine life form. Some Hath travelled with humans to the planet Messaline, but their shared colony ship crashed and, over a seven day period that seemed like centuries to those involved, a war raged between the two races.

Martha Jones teamed up with a Hath called Peck to survive Messaline's harsh surfaces whilst the Doctor and Donna Noble tried to stop the war. 
While Martha was separated from the Doctor and Donna she rescued Hath Peck and restored him to health and they formed an uneasy alliance with one another. Together they crossed the surface of the planet to try and get to the Doctor faster than going through the damaged encampments, but when they got caught in a bog Peck pushed Martha to safety but at the cost to his own life.

Hath Gable was the Commander of the Hath on Messaline. He led his troops to the Source and got there at the same time as the humans got there, and the Doctor revealed the truth to them all. Gable agreed to a ceasefire after the Doctor's daughter, Jenny, was murdered by human leader, General Cobb. Gable and one of the other humans, Cline, were present when Jenny's Time Lord DNA, boosted by the source, enabled her to heal her body and she stole a shuttle and escaped in to the stars before their startled eyes.


The Doctor: I don't know where we're going, but my old hand's rather excited about it.
Donna: I thought that was just some freaky alien thing. You telling me it's yours?
The Doctor: Well.
Martha: It got cut off - he grew a new one.
Donna: You are completely impossible.
The Doctor: Not impossible. Just.. a bit unlikely. 

Martha: Where did she come from?
The Doctor: From me.
Donna: From you? How? Who is she?
The Doctor: Well she's... well....she's my daughter.
Jenny: Hello Dad.

The Doctor: Why did you do that!?
Jenny: They were trying to kill us!
The Doctor: But they've got my friend!
Jenny: Collateral damage. At least you've still got her. He lost both his men, I'd say you came out ahead.
Donna: Her name's Martha! And she's not collateral damage, not for anyone! Have you got that, GI Jane?!

Stephen Greenhorn's previous Doctor Who adventure, 2007's The Lazarus Experiment, also dealt with genetic manipulation.

Terraforming is a method of artificially accelerating planetary processes and evolution to bring life to a lifeless planet or moon. It's been seen before in such movies as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Aliens.

This is the fifth TV adventure to be partially set in a theatre, following 1977's The Talons of Weng-Chiang, 2005's The Unquiet Dead and 2007's The Shakespeare Code and Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks.
The Eighth Doctor adopted a daughter called Miranda, created by author Lance Parkin for the range of tie-in novels published by BBC Books.
You probably didn't catch much of it, but all the Hath dialogue was fully scripted. Bits you may have missed include: "It's better! It's better!"; "This is a human, but not an enemy. She shows our brother kindness. We must show kindness in return," and "You saved me. I won't let you die!" Along with a bit of mild profanity...

In case you're wondering, a female Time Lord is called a Time Lady. Amongst the ones we've encountered so far are Rodan in 1978's The Invasion Of Time and Romana (first seen in 1978's The Ribos Operation).

The TARDIS and the Doctor's hand detected the presence of a Time Lord (or Lady) before Jenny had been created. The TARDIS then arrived at the planet so she could be created... hence detecting her presence in Time and Space. Timey-wimey stuff!
Jenny's impressive acrobatics in a corridor full of deadly laser beams was inspired by Britney Spears' Toxic video.

Donna describes Jenny as G.I. Jane - a reference to the 1997 action film starring Demi Moore as a trainee Navy SEAL.


  • David Tennant - The Doctor
  • Catherine Tate - Donna Noble
  • Freema Agyeman - Martha Jones
  • Georgia Moffett - Jenny
  • Nigel Terry - General Cobb
  • Joe Dempsie - Cline
  • Paul Kasey - Hath Peck
  • Ruari Mears - Hath Gable
  • Akin Gazi - Carter
  • Olalekan Lawal Jr - Soldier