Doctor Who: Father’s Day

Rose and the Doctor return to the day her father was killed in a car
accident. You just know she’s going to try and interfere…

Cast

Christopher Ecclestone as the Doctor
Billie Piper as Rose
Shaun Dingwall as Pete Tyler
Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler
Robert Barton as Registrar
Julia Joyce as young Rose
Christopher Llewellyn as Stuart
Frank Rozelaar-Green as Sonny
Natalie Jones as Sarah
Eirlys Bellin as Bev
Rhian James as Suzie
Casey Dyer as Young Mickey

Written by Paul Cornell

Directed by Joe Ahearne

Original Airdate

Originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom on the
14th of May 2005

Synopsis

The Doctor takes Rose to 1987, before her father dies. When she
saves his life, things take a turn for the worse.

High Point

‘Street corner. Two in the morning. Getting a taxi home. I’ve never
had a life like that.’

Low Point

‘Just tell me you’re sorry.’ A little too sentimental and easy for my
liking, I thought their relationship had taken a bigger hit than that.

The Review

Going back and changing something in your own past? Been done.
Bringing about the end of the world as a result? Slightly rarer. Four out
of six for originality.

The effects are up to their usual standards. Some nice
rippling around things disappearing and appearing which just finished
it off beautifully. Five out of six.

I can’t complain about the story at all. We’ve got mortal
peril for large numbers of people, enormous amounts of tension, good
backstory references and some great characterisation. It almost feels
wrong to do this, but I’m going to give it six out of six.

The acting kept up with the story and served it well, but
wasn’t so stunning as the story really deserved. Five out of six.

Given the nature of the story, it had to have strong emotional
response
, and it did. My sister cried. It should tug at the
heartstrings of anybody watching. Six out of six.

The production had one glitch that I noticed, although it
was generally excellent. Four out of six because of that.

Considering the overall score didn’t take very long as this
is one of the best so far. Five out of six for an excellent episode.

The grand total for this week is a very respectable thirty-five out
of forty-two, continuing the series’ high scores. It’s nice not to have
been seriously let down by any of the episodes yet.

16 replies on “Doctor Who: Father’s Day”

  1. y42 says:

    Yes I do
    Seeing as how the preview made that perfectly clear ;-)

    Now, to run away before I read the review for next week’s show… you time traveling bastiches youz!

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Yes I do

      Seeing as how the preview made that perfectly clear ;-)

      Now, to run away before I read the review for next week’s show… you time
      traveling bastiches youz!

      Not time travel, I’m just on the right side of the Atlantic for a change!

      • y42 says:

        Re: Yes I do

        Not time travel, I’m just on the right side of the Atlantic for a change!

        But how would stating that truth be funny or clever? : )

  2. codejnki says:

    Earth again
    Again we have a show set on Earth. Not that I’m complaining, but I think this in some way plays in to the whole bad wolf thing and had better pay off in the end.

    • Eldhrin says:

      Re: Earth again

      Again we have a show set on Earth. Not that I’m complaining, but I think this
      in some way plays in to the whole bad wolf thing and had better pay off in the
      end.

      The thing that doesn’t bug me about this is that it’s so tied to Earth. During
      the third Doctor’s exile it annoyed me immensely (I didn’t see it live at the
      time, but I’ve seen stories on video and DVD and repeats since), but that’s
      because they took the TARDIS out of it, they took time travel out of it and had
      him driving around in that silly car and it became something not quite right…
      although this series repeatedly brings us to Earth, we’re always exploring
      different times and different events and seeing a great deal of interesting
      things. They don’t need to go anywhere else yet!

      Of course, I’m hoping they get round to that eventually – Rose can’t want to
      visit Earth’s history and future all the time.

    • zonk3r says:

      Re: Earth again

      Again we have a show set on Earth. Not that I’m complaining, but I think this in some way plays in to the whole bad wolf thing and had better pay off in the end.

      BTW, i didn’t catch the reference to bad wolf in this episode. perhaps it was a little more hidden, i dunno. anyone catch it?

      • dubbayoo42 says:

        Re: Earth again

        Again we have a show set on Earth. Not that I’m complaining, but I think this in some way plays in to the whole bad wolf thing and had better pay off in the end.

        BTW, i didn’t catch the reference to bad wolf in this episode. perhaps it was a little more hidden, i dunno. anyone catch it?

        It was on one of the posters with the happy face, shown shortly after the Doctor and Rose land. It was shown a second time when they landed the second time.

    • dubbayoo42 says:

      Re: Earth again

      Again we have a show set on Earth. Not that I’m complaining, but I think this in some way plays in to the whole bad wolf thing and had better pay off in the end.

      Every episode is set on or around Earth, that was announced long, long ago when the series was in production (or earlier perhaps). Russell Davies wanted it that way so viewers always had an attachment to the story with the location. Season 2 will see some extra-terrestrial travels.

  3. J_W_W says:

    Monsters
    I do wish they would have just had people vanish randomly, instead of getting “eaten” by monsters. I felt that was a little weak. I really liked the bit with the car winking in and out of existance. I think the same tension could have been maintained if people were just disappearing randomly without the monsters.

    I also liked the “Watson, come here I need you” bit. That was a nice touch.

  4. graikor says:

    Wow.
    OK, the monsters were not as scary as I would have liked, and the Doctor did forgive Rose too easily, but I have to agree with Eldhrin’s score – especially the emotional impact.

    I have loved Dr. Who episodes before, but none has moved me the way Father’s Day did. Sure, the fact that I lost my father as a child made it resonate more with me (in point of fact, it eff’ed me up), but I imagine even someone whose parents are still very much alive would have been affected by the choices Rose and Pete made.

    • joe__gee says:

      Re: Wow.

      I have loved Dr. Who episodes before, but none has moved me the way Father’s Day did. Sure, the fact that I lost my father as a child made it resonate more with me (in point of fact, it eff’ed me up), but I imagine even someone whose parents are still very much alive would have been affected by the choices Rose and Pete made.

      I agree though. I never ever thought an episode of Doctor Who would make me tear up, but it did. I really can’t find flaw with the acting. T’was great all around. Perhaps I liked it even better because I watched it right after the detestable Enterprise finalĂ© (I keep going to thesaurus.com just to find new ways of saying HORRIBLE …)

      MAN why isn’t an American network showing the Doctor?!?!?!

      -Joe G.

  5. Nakhti says:

    Disrupting the time line?
    I asked this question on the last Dr Who discussion, but I’ll ask it again:

    What makes what Rose’s actions (saving her dad) so bad? Doesn’t the Doctor, in the very nature of his adventures, alter history in similar maners with his every action?

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Disrupting the time line?

      I asked this question on the last Dr Who discussion, but I’ll ask it again:

      What makes what Rose’s actions (saving her dad) so bad? Doesn’t the Doctor, in the very nature of his adventures, alter history in similar maners with his every action?

      Thats why they call it a paradox… ;-)

      I would probably chalk it up to the Doctor having some sense as a timelord as to what the right thing to do for the timeline is. Like in the one with the space station he new the timeline had gone wrong, but then again in the one with the ghosts he actually didn’t know what to do.

      My brain hurts now. Again, that’s why they call it a paradox.

    • pdavis says:

      Re: Disrupting the time line?

      What makes what Rose’s actions (saving her dad) so bad? Doesn’t the Doctor, in the very nature of his adventures, alter history in similar maners with his every action?

      I agree, the Doctor has never been one to worry too much about the future. As I recall though, there was one episode during the fourth Doctors reign I believe when he took one of the companions briefly into the future to show her what would happen if they *didn’t* intervene in the current situation. I believe the companions reasoning was that everthing in the future was fine when she left so if they *didn’t* do anything, it would be the same when they returned. I also recall him saying something about time fractures or some such and that they were basically on a different path if they didn’t take action. This goes against what I am hearing from this episode (about people being disappearing). Does anyone remember the name of the episode I am thinking of?

    • Kaki says:

      Re: Disrupting the time line?

      I asked this question on the last Dr Who discussion, but I’ll ask it again:

      What makes what Rose’s actions (saving her dad) so bad? Doesn’t the Doctor, in the very nature of his adventures, alter history in similar maners with his every action?

      I can think of a couple of differences. In this episode, not only does Rose change something, but it was something that affected her development. Moreover, the thing having happened was the only reason that they had come to that point in time. Moreover still, it was something that their past selves had witnessed happening.

      So we have a few possibilities. It could be that the Doctor never really alters anything that he knows will happen. There are lots of details to history, and so it could be that he travels between the lines of written history so that nothing he knows to have happened is ever really changed. But others have mentioned that he does occasionally change stuff, so this can’t be a hard and fast rule, but still a good guide. Perhaps he knows the types of things that stress the timeline less and only uses those types of changes.

      Or it could have to do with them having altered the reason they were there. If her father wasn’t dead during her childhood, perhaps she never would have met the Doctor. And even if they did meet, they almost certainly wouldn’t have come back to that day. So when he didn’t die, the first copy of them vanished. Maybe large parodoxical loops in time are not so stressful to it, but tiny loops are too much. Thus the first copy vanished, but not the second. This crazy rambling also has the support of when Rose held her infant self. That was too tight a loop for time.

      Or the thing with their past selves not having seen what they needed to see for their past selves to come back the second time and become them. There was a stress point there in the loop they traveled, an unstable equilibrium of both them and their inconsistant past selves. The equilibrium couldn’t last very long, and when it broke, it just happened to leave them and destroy the other them.

      Am I getting anywhere here?

      • Eldhrin says:

        Re: Disrupting the time line?
        Very possibly. It could be that altering your own personal timeline directly is
        what’s dangerous – hence why the Doctor can’t do anything about the outcome
        of the time war, because that intimately involves himself, why Rose can’t save
        her Dad, and why the fifth Doctor couldn’t go and save Adric. That fits rather
        nicely :-)

        It’s particularly easy to see that when she changed something right in front of a
        past version of herself… that’s gotta be a strain on the Universe under that
        theory.

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