For an Earth episode, especially one with a strangely disjointed narrative with dueling MacGuffins, Fear Her is okay. There’s not a very high bar for the Earth episodes so getting to see David Tennant and Billie Piper doing an ad for the 2012 Olympics in London. They show up—six years into Piper’s future—to watch the games, but land of a street where kids have been disappearing lately.
It’s a bit of a race to see who’s going to take the lead on the investigation—Tennant or Piper, as she’s finally coming into her own (again)—and we quickly learn there’s something weird going on with (only Black kid on the block) Abisola Agbaje. By we in this case, I mean the audience, because we find out right away Agbaje is vanishing kids and turning them into living drawings or something, while her mom, Nina Sosanya, doesn’t want to see there’s a problem.
But it also doesn’t take Piper and Tennant much time to figure it out either. And once they do, the episode kind of spins its wheels but in a fairly nice way. Tennant’s good with the family drama and Piper’s effective worrying about the missing kids.
And Euros Lyn’s directing so when the episode gets around to putting Agbaje in danger, it’s well-executed danger.
The big twist is… fine. It’s not actually a big twist and the show can’t figure out a way to pretend otherwise. Then writer Matthew Graham (an experienced TV writer and show creator—the great “Life on Mars”) just does some wonky fan service, Anglophilia thing. Before some padding with Tennant and Piper being such great pals because just as Piper feels like they’re going to be a great team forever… Tennant feels a great disturbance—and fears something terrible is going to happen.
Then we get the very spoiler-y preview of the season finale.
Again, it’s a qualified okay episode—it’s an Earth episode without the bad stuff but also without any of the good stuff in the actual good Earth episodes. It’s nice getting Tennant and Piper just doing a regular adventure.