FATHER’S DAY

Sue: I definitely remember this one, Neil. I can tell you what happens right now, if you like. I’m pretty sure I watched it more than once when we lived in the caravan, it was that good. And I didn’t even like Doctor Who back then.

Father's DayThis is the story of Pete Tyler.

Sue: He reminds me of Dennis Waterman. If they ever decide to bring back Minder, he’ll walk it.

Rose wants to visit her dead dad.

Sue: I’d love that. That would be such a wonderful thing to do, don’t you think?
Me: I couldn’t think of anything worse, to be honest.
Sue: Oh, what do you know? You never visit your dead dad, and he’s still alive. I couldn’t think of anything better to do with a time machine, even if it is stupidly dangerous. Even I know that.

As the title sequence does its thing, we end up discussing the pros and cons of interfering with your own timeline.

Sue: If you could travel back in time, Neil, what advice would you give yourself?
Me: I’d say, whatever you do, don’t make your wife watch Doctor Who with you. Leave the poor woman alone. Oh, and that cushy job you’ll want to leave someday – you might want to give that a bit more thought, too. What about you? What would you tell yourself?
Sue: I’d tell myself not to smoke.
Me: Understandable.
Sue: That way I’ll never meet you because I won’t need a light. I’m joking. I wouldn’t change a thing, even the Doctor Who bits, although I’d probably skip the trip to Guernsey.

The Doctor takes Rose to her parents’ wedding.

Father's DayMe: Does this remind you of your 1980s wedding, Sue?
Sue: A bit. My hair was similar to Jackie’s, but I wore a grey suit; 1940s retro was all the rage back then.

Sue married her first husband the same day Madonna married Sean Penn.

Sue: I’ll never get those six weeks back.
Me: They should have called your first husband Ian. Oh wait, they did.

Rose asks the Doctor if it’s okay for her to watch her father die.

Sue: That’s taking it a bit too far. I can’t believe the Doctor is actually going along with this. It’s insane.

The Doctor takes Rose to November 1987. ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ by The Communards is playing on a radio somewhere.

Sue: Can you see what they did there, Neil? Subtle.

Father's DayA camera pans across some very familiar graffiti, which Sue fails to notice because she’s busy noticing something else.

Sue: I think I’m going to cry.
Me: Already? But Pete hasn’t died yet.
Sue: I’m talking about those posters behind Rose. The ones warning about the dangers of another Tory government. I mean, talk about rubbing it in.

Luckily, we have a box of tissues handy and Sue dabs her eyes.

Sue: ****’s sake.

Rose watches Pete become the victim of a tragic hit-and-run accident, but she can’t bring herself to watch him die.

Sue: Good. Because I wouldn’t have believed it if she had. This is a terrible idea.

Rose convinces the Doctor to let her have another go. Unfortunately, Sue is so busy complaining about how stupid he is for agreeing to this request that she fails to notice the Bad Wolf graffiti for a second time.

Father's DayMe: Look! There! On the smiley face!
Sue: I still don’t understand how this Bad Wolf thing is supposed to work. Have we ever seen Rose acknowledge those words? Even once? How is this supposed to work?

Rose rushes into the street and saves her father’s life.

Sue: If I could go back in time, I’d probably throw my first husband under a car.

Rose has broken the laws of time.

Sue: How the Doctor didn’t see that coming is beyond me. I mean, what did he expect? The Doctor is an idiot. I mean, Adam wasn’t as dangerous as this, and the Doctor dumped him like that – (clicks fingers). Literally.

Rose’s dad is more like Del Boy than Terry McCann.

Sue: There’s no future in solar panels, chick. Not when the Tories are in power. Just ask Nicol. Her renewable energy business is completely ****ed now.
Me: Give it a rest, love.

The Doctor finally loses his rag with Rose. “My entire planet died. My whole family. Do you think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?” he yells.

Sue: Did it never occur to you to go back and check whether those things actually happened or not? Because they didn’t. You’d think he’d check, wouldn’t you?

The Doctor storms off in a huff.

Sue: That’s right, leave Rose behind in 1987. I’m sure that won’t make things worse.

Meanwhile, at a church that’s about to host a wedding, the father of the groom is telling his son that it isn’t too late to back out.

Sue: Isn’t that what your mum said to you the day you married me?
Me: Yes. By phone.

Father's DayWhen the Doctor returns to his TARDIS, he finds an empty box.

Sue: It this because Rose has created a paradox? You’d think the Doctor would have known this would happen. This is his area of expertise, after all.

Pete drives Rose to the church. Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ is playing on the car stereo.

Sue: Can you see what they did there? Very subtle.
Me: They were spoilt for choice when it came to choosing pop songs from 1987 to use here. I checked before we watched this episode because I thought it might come up. They could have played ‘(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight’ by Cutting Crew, ‘Here I Go Again’ by Whitesnake, and my own personal favourite – ‘China in Your Hand’ by T’Pau. You know, because he drops some china.

The car that was supposed to kill Pete won’t go away – it keeps appearing and disappearing as it takes ghostly laps around the block.

Sue: It’s just like Back to the Future, but instead of a swish DeLorean, it’s a shitty Morris Marina travelling at 20 miles per hour. That is so British.

Meanwhile, outside the church.

Sue: So did they call off the wedding when Pete died in the other reality, or did they still go through with it? I bet the reception was a barrel of laughs.

Jackie mistakes Rose for Pete’s mistress, and it isn’t long before the couple are rowing in the street.

Father's DaySue: Now this reminds me of my first wedding.

Putting aside some questionable decisions made by the Doctor, Sue can’t praise this story highly enough.

Sue: It’s very clever. I don’t understand why the old series didn’t do a story like this; it seems so obvious in retrospect. Everything about it works: the performances, the script, the direction, the little background details. It doesn’t get much better than this. Even you like this one, Neil. I know you do.

In a nearby playground, a child is scared out of his wits when everyone around him vanishes into thin air.

Me: That’s Mickey.
Sue: At least he’s played by a decent actor this week.

And then the Reapers attack.

Sue: Scary bastards, aren’t they? They should do another time paradox story and bring them back. They could be air support for the Weeping Angels.

A Reaper kills the father of the groom.

Sue: Good. I never liked him. Hang on a minute, I thought they made people disappear. This one is ****ing eating him!

Rose wants to know if she’s responsible for all this death and mayhem.

Sue: Of course not, pet. It’s probably some other time travellers mucking about down the road. Of course it’s your fault, you numpty!

The Reapers have left a trail of devastation in their wake.

Father's DaySue: This is very bleak. Like a 1970s Public Information Film sort of bleak. I’m surprised they got away with showing the empty prams and children’s shoes. This means the children were eaten, Neil. That’s horrible.

Pete realises that Rose is his daughter.

Sue: That took a huge leap of faith, but they’re running out of time, so fair enough. However, if I’d have written this, I’d have had Jackie walk in on them while they were hugging. What do you think, Neil? … Neil? Has your bottom lip gone? It has, hasn’t it?
Me: I’m just thinking about the election. It’ll pass in a minute.

Meanwhile, the no-so-happy couple, whose wedding has been interrupted, tell the Doctor how they first met: outside the Beatbox Club, at two in the morning; Sarah had lost her purse and didn’t have enough money for a taxi home.

Sue: For a minute there, I thought she was going to admit that they did it up against the bins.

Pete wants to know what the future holds.

Sue: (As Rose) It’s great. We’ve got a Labour government and everything.
Me: Just don’t mention Iraq.

Father's DayPete wants to know if he’ll lose his hair.

Sue: Typical male. That’s always the first thing they worry about, isn’t it, Neil?
Me: Stop looking at me like that.

The Doctor tells Rose that she mustn’t touch her younger self, no matter what happens, because this episode was made when things like the Blinovitch Limitation Effect still meant something, damn it! And then the Doctor tells Rose to apologise for being such a bumbling idiot.

Sue: He’s the one who should be apologising. It’s his stupid fault for letting her watch her dad die. TWICE!

If only the Time Lords were still alive.

Sue: Oh, for ****’s sake.

And then Rose touches her younger self and the Doctor is eaten by a Reaper.

Sue: He’ll have to take her back home after this. She’s a bloody liability.

Pete knows what he has to do to put things right.

And that’s when I stopped taking notes for a while. Because I was too busy concentrating on not crying. Look, it’s been a tough week and I’ve got a lot on my mind, okay? But it was a hopeless battle in the end, because I eventually broke down when a five-year-old version of Rose appeared in a flashback. You see, she looked just like Nicol at that age, and… and…

Sue: Here, love, have a tissue.

Sue is handling this a lot better than I am, but even her bottom lip is quivering a bit.

Sue: How good is this? It definitely doesn’t get any better than this.

Pete Tyler slips away.

Father's DaySue: (Singing) I could be so good for you. Love you like you want me to…

It’s a defence mechanism, I think.

Sue: At least it isn’t a hit-and-run any more. The car is still there. God knows where the driver is, but they’ve definitely changed history. Do you think that matters, Neil? … Neil? Oh, come on, love, let it all out. There, there.

 

The Score

Sue: Well, that was cheerful. It must be the saddest episode of Doctor Who I’ve ever seen. Unless you count the one where David Tennant leaves; I’m still getting over that.
Me: A solid six out of 10, then?
Sue: I’d give it an 11 if I could.

10/10

Sue: I think that was the episode that got me into new Doctor Who. Before then, I was only watching it because you were watching it and I didn’t have much choice. But that one really got to me. And just think – if I hadn’t liked new Doctor Who, I don’t think I would have agreed to watch the old ones with you.
Me: So this is all Paul Cornell’s fault?
Sue: Pretty much.

And on that bombshell…

Wedding

 

Next Time

 

56

Comments

  1. Lorcan  May 14, 2015

    How did I not notice the reaper in that last photo straight away

  2. dm  May 14, 2015

    This isn’t necessarily my favourite of the season (god knows what is), but it is what I tend to show non fans- because it’s neat, moving and, despite some weirdly dated monster POV shots, very well put together. I’m surprised there was no note of Sue laughing at the 1987’s just the Isle of Wight line. Eccleston is on top form there- in a recent interview he says he regrets how he pitched some of the comedy in this season (I disagree entirely, I think he does ‘goofy uncle doctor’ better than just about anyone) but that bit is spot on.

  3. Anniew  May 14, 2015

    Do you think it was this episode that inspired Missie?

    What can I say guys? It’s like being with you on the sofa chuckling away at the comments, handing out the tissues.

  4. Sean Alexander  May 14, 2015

    10/10 indeed!

    Father’s Day is, of course, magnificent. Yes, there’s the occasional plot hole (why do the original Doctor and Rose vanish once the second Rose rushes past to save her father’s life? Why does the hit-and-run car now circle the church instead of the place where the accident first happened? Are we really meant to believe that Jackie Tyler is meant to be 20 years younger?) but it would be a hard heart indeed to put those ahead of the emotional heart-tugging of Paul Cornell’s script. This is perhaps the purest distillation in series one of the new show’s mandate – clever sci-fi with a human heart. Nobody puts a foot wrong, and Joe Ahearne’s direction (as with Dalek) is magnificent.

    I don’t even have a particular problem with the Doctor’s naive indulgence to not only take Rose back to see her Dad, but even stand around watching his final moments without it once occurring that she might just find temptation too great. This is after all someone still deep in survivor grief about the end of his own civilisation, so granting someone the kind of wish he’d probably let himself indulge is, for me, perfectly in character with this damaged and fragile Doctor.

    And with regard to what was in the charts, I believe T’Pau was indeed No. 1 with China in Your Hands the Sunday after this episode was set – which must be some kind of meta genius on Cornell’s part.

    • Anonymous  May 14, 2015

      We’re told why the car is there now, aren’t we? It’s linked to Pete, trying to complete the job it’s destined to do.

      And we’re told that the other Doctor and Rose disappear when their redundant time line no longer exists.

      • Sean Alexander  May 14, 2015

        No, we’re not – not explicitly. Pete makes a comment about how the Doctor had ‘worked it all out earlier, but was trying to protect him’ but the car’s presence around the church does suggest that some other force – contrary to the reapers – is in fact trying to get the proper timeline back on track.

        And nobody explains why the first Doctor and Rose disappear, but that explanation is probably just as good as any other.

        • Chris-Too-Old-To-Watch  May 15, 2015

          Why do we have to be told the explanation for everything? Just accept that’s what happens when someone’s future descendent saves them from certain death. After all, nobody really knows do they?

        • Nathan  May 16, 2015

          Original Rose’s past had her dad dying alone after a hit and run outside the shops. This was am ongoing trauma for Rose and I think an important factor in joining the Doctor once she found out he had a time machine.

          New Rose’s past had her dad die after an accident outside the church. Not a hit and run and he didn’t die alone. She has known this from an early age, it was always this way.

          It’s not a plot hole, we just have new alternative lead characters from this episode forward πŸ˜‰

  5. Dave Sanders  May 14, 2015

    I was afraid Sue might have found this one had dated, now that Stephen Moffat has made about three careers’ worth out of deconstructing the entire mystique of time. But no. Let’s let Douglas Adams have the last word on the episode: you can revisit it again and again and be sure of never meeting yourself, because of the embarrassment that usually causes.

  6. Robert Dick  May 14, 2015

    Blimey! My brother and his wife got married on the same day as Sean and Madonna too. Bucking the trend of the day, they’re still together.

  7. Glen Allen  May 14, 2015

    I had the same experience rewatching that one this week, but I didnt have tissues so my dressing gown is covered in snot now. Thanks for that Neil.
    I only meant to watch a few bits and ended up sitting through the whole thing.
    I’ve just had to stop myself from diving into The Tomorrow People blog. I need to cherish it so I’ve digested the Father’s Day ep, and now I’ll have several glasses of vino before devouring A Man For Emily…which has to be one of the err most ‘interesting’ episodes of TTP. I vaguely recall ‘Momma’ and a ‘Doodle pin’ I think.

    Wish me luck. I’m going in later tonight!

  8. Dave Sanders  May 14, 2015

    A brief word of warning: the final thing I read on my iPad before turning in last night was Sue and Neil on A Man For Emily, which intrigued me enough to want to hunt down the episodes on the internet and check them out the following day. Next morning, however, the iPad was defunct and refused to turn on, having expired during the night for no explicable reason. Unless, to paraphrase a different Neil, it had killed itself rather than be used by me for THAT.

    • Dave Sanders  May 14, 2015

      Oh, that’s a relief – there’s a reboot function on the iPad that Apple doesn’t bother to tell you about. So the threat of The Tomorrow People didn’t kill it, just put it into a coma. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse.

  9. Ratbag  May 14, 2015

    I have nothing to add, except that it was a Vauxhall Chevette, not a Morris Marina. [/pedantic bastard] πŸ˜‰

    • Neil Perryman  May 14, 2015

      It’s Land Rover-gate all over again.

      • Ratbag  May 14, 2015

        Yeah, sorry about that. πŸ˜€

      • Jazza1971  May 14, 2015

        Tricky things, cars.

  10. matt bartley  May 14, 2015

    Pretty much perfect this episode. Shame RTD robbed it of all its impact the next season, but it’s not like he made a habit out of incessantly bringing back characters beyond necessity or diluting emotional highpoints of the series…

  11. Sean Alexander  May 14, 2015

    Seeing as no one else is going to say it, I will. All the best to Nicol and her very worthwhile business enterprise (she’s managing director, dontcha know?).

  12. Mike Bond  May 14, 2015

    I don’t get the whole “sterilizing the wound” thing. If changing history is what bought the reapers in in the first place, how does them eating everyone “sterilize” the situation in any way?! It would perhaps make sense if their victims weren’t important people, but we’re emphatically told by the Doctor that they are!

    • Sean Alexander  May 14, 2015

      Yes, that’s always been a sticking point. Sterilising the wound means the end of all life on Earth, and perhaps beyond. But given the physical nature of the reapers then I’ve always assumed these are far from being benign ‘fixers’ who are correcting an anomaly in the timeline. The constant reappearance of the car that kills Pete is presumably fulfilling that function anyway, so perhaps the reapers are opportunists who thrive on anomalies to establish their own control? Some aberration of creation post-Time War that have only come into being as a result of the removal of the guardians or Time Lords or both. Given the later anomalies of the Moffat era where the rule ‘time can be rewritten’ has become pretty much sacrosanct, it’s a surprise the repairs have never reappeared – unless the weeping angels now fulfil their mandate by feeding off the potential energy of their victims who would otherwise lead linear lives…?

  13. Mike Trytek  May 14, 2015

    Sue’s first husband looks a bit like Ian Rush.

  14. Nathan  May 14, 2015

    “God knows where the driver is, but they’ve definitely changed history. Do you think that matters,”

    Of course it matters. Because this is where the Doctor dies, and then replaced with an alternative version who arrives with a different Rose who was brought up believing her dad died differently to the original one…

  15. Nick Mays  May 14, 2015

    The wedding pic. O.M.G! Sue’s parents – it really IS Jon Pertwee and Dennis Taylor!!!

  16. Jon  May 14, 2015

    As usual, Sue hits the nail on the head. One of the best stories.

  17. encyclops  May 15, 2015

    No one wants to hear this, and I know it makes me a horrible person, but I’ve never been a fan of “Father’s Day.” I really couldn’t stand it the first time around, then liked it a bit better the second time around, so maybe it’ll keep growing on me.

    In 2015 I certainly applaud the intention, which is to tell an actual human story about time travel, but maybe it’s that back when I first saw it, I thought: that’s not what Doctor Who’s for. Pretty much every TV show or novel or film (starting with Back to the Future, as Sue mentioned) does the grandfather paradox in some form or another. It (the concept, I stress, not the episode) feels like an Olympic athlete riding a tricycle. And then we have the Reapers, who look and function like the Myrka, strapping a goofy monster onto a story because hey, it’s Doctor Who, you gotta have monsters. It felt like Doctor Who written by someone who doesn’t know anything about the show, which made it inexplicable that this was coming from Paul Cornell.

    It makes a little more sense to me now, fitting in with the overall Rose arc and showcasing the greater humanity and depth of the new series which became clearer in retrospect. It’s still not my favorite, or even my favorite Paul Cornell — “Human Nature”/”Family of Blood” is the one that chokes me up — but I can see the appeal.

    • Dave Sanders  May 15, 2015

      That’s working on the basis that Doctor Who is ‘for’ any particular purpose – done well, it isn’t and should never be that predictable.

      • encyclops  May 15, 2015

        Well, exactly: to me this was about the most predictable time travel story imaginable.

        I’m not saying I was right; just trying to fathom what the hell my problem was on first viewing.

  18. encyclops  May 15, 2015

    Also: to me it’s obvious why the Doctor tolerates mistakes from Rose more readily than those from Adam. He’s in love with her.

    • Matt Blanchette  May 16, 2015

      Or, rather, the writer is. There’s a reason “Rose” is an episode title, but “Adam”, “Jack”, “Martha”, or even “Donna” aren’t.

      • frankymole  May 17, 2015

        A certain writer is clearly in love with Image of the Fendahl, though. Not only an Adam, a Mitchell, a Jack, a Martha (Tyler, no less), a Max (neither Hadrojassic or Capricorn), not to mention the place influenced by centuries near a time rift…

        • encyclops  May 17, 2015

          A very sensible position to take, I’d say. Team Fendahl!

  19. Chris-Too-Old-To-Watch  May 15, 2015

    Obviously a firm favourite with most viewers: I’m afraid I’m in the “Yeah, OK, but not outstanding” category (approx. 8/10) for me. Probably because I was never a huge fan of Rose (sorry), so wasn’t really moved by her dad’s death and all the “I never knew him” angst. Enjoyable, but not terrific.
    I always assumed that “putting things right” was down to the car keep re-appearing, and that the Reapers were allowed in by the time paradox, and taking advantage of the creation of a new time line.

    But next week….ooh Captain is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?

  20. Jollygooner  May 15, 2015

    It’s a very good self-contained episode. It affected me greatly when I first saw it because my own father had passed away suddenly in 2003 and as anyone who has lost a beloved parent knows, these things can take a long time to heal. I still ‘get something in my eye’ when I return to this episode. It’s not perfect, is predictable and yes the reapers do look a little dated now but it’s a story worth telling and on an emotional level it’s a solid 10 for me as well.

  21. Mike  May 15, 2015

    Back when it was announced that the series would be coming back in 2005, I remember my biggest concern at the time was over the casting of Billie Piper as the companion. It conjured up nightmare-ish flashbacks of Bonnie Langford as Mel. Like most people at that time, I thought of Billie as a former teen pop star who’d had a couple of big hit singles (none of which were my thing) a few years before, and who was now only famous because she was in a tempestuous marriage to Chris Evans; one that the tabloids obsessed over (Cheryl wouldn’t marry Ashley Cole until the following year). I was really expecting Billie to fall flat on her face when the series began and that it would be because of her that it would not be renewed.

    How wrong was I?

    She had me from ‘Rose’ onwards and week after week she just kept getting better and better; whilst conversely I found Eccleston increasingly annoying as the series unfolded. However, this was the episode that clinched it for me. From this point on I actually didn’t care what the Doctor was doing, or what alien he was stupidly gurning at in that week’s story. No – I wanted to see what Rose was up to. Being moved to tears watching ‘Doctor Who’ was a new sensation for me at the time, and it was Piper’s performance in this that did it (well, pretty much the whole Tyler family actually). Of course with hindsight, little did I know then just how many times I’d end up blubbing at an episode (Donna’s departure practically dehydrated me!), but this was a first. Until this point I hadn’t realised how much I’d emotionally bonded or engaged with the show, or how I actually cared so much about the character of Rose, that she could make me cry.

    Yes, it’s the most obvious time travel choice a companion might make and there are the plot holes mentioned in previous comments, but to me it’s still a wonderfully emotionally raw episode. An episode that still has me sobbing every time I watch it. I can’t fault Sue’s score in the slightest.

    • Nick Mays  May 15, 2015

      Good points, well made. Just one slight issue I’ll take you up on – Billie’s marriage to Chris Evans wasn’t “tempestuous”. Both have said that it was a marriage for mates – they both really needed at friend at the time. They used to call each other “Big Mate” and “Little Mate”. They parted amicably and have remained friends ever since. In fact, I think Chris Evans set up a trust fund for Billie’s kids, which was perfectly okay with her husband Laurence Foxx.

      I think the tabloids were obsessed with it (a) because of the age difference and (b) because Evans had at that time been going through some very public meltdowns. He said that his marriage to Billie saved him.

      And hey – he’s now a national treasure and Billie is a highly respected actress. πŸ™‚

      • Mike  May 15, 2015

        Thanks for your reply. I now know they parted amicably and all of that, but it was more the tabloids portrayal of their marriage that I was referring to as “tempestuous”. I’m obviously casting my mind back ten plus years, but most of the tabloid stories and photographs were of them sitting outside pubs getting gradually more drunk and then bickering with each other (which mates do). I recall that the tabloid agenda was initially “Look what nasty Chris Evans is turning pop princess Billie Piper into” and of course the age gap you mentioned. He was portrayed as leading her astray, and of course when they split – the tabloids had a field day peddling their rubbish. I didn’t know an awful lot about Billie Piper back then and I had (until she was cast in ‘Doctor Who’) zero interest in her. I was really just making the point that I was judging her at that time on what I was being fed by the tabloid press.

        What a revelation she turned out to be!!

  22. Richard Lyth  May 15, 2015

    I’d forgotten just how good this episode was – very emotional and beautifully written. Pete Tyler is a great character, so much better than when he came back in season two. I love how he pieces together what’s going on and how he has to put it right, so much better than if Rose just told him. Could have done without the Reapers personally, but I guess they were scared of the kids switching off without something scary to keep their attention,

  23. Neal  May 15, 2015

    This was one of my most anticipated episodes at the time because it was written by one of the “stars” of the NAs. Instead we got something that was schmaltzy and overly saccharine and continued to prove how selfish Rose was – at the cost of other people’s lives.

    Next to the Slitheen, the biggest disappointment of Eccleston’s run.
    Possibly *worse* because the writer had proved in the past that he could do better.

    I’d be curious to hear some of Neil’s reviews, in comparison to Sue’s and whether he agrees or disagrees.
    Especially for episodes where it’s rated so highly by Sue.

    • Matt Blanchette  May 16, 2015

      It made Neil cry, so, nope, he loved it. “Something, something, baby Nicol, weeps.”

      …speaking of which, why the heck did THAT point make you cry, Neil? :-/

    • frankymole  May 17, 2015

      Cornell had also just done Scream of the Shalka, which was no Human Nature in some critics’ opinions. I can’t really judge it myself as I find webcast animation hard to watch.

      • encyclops  May 17, 2015

        I haven’t made it through “Shalka” yet either. I’m not sure how I got through Goth Opera either. On the other hand, I thought Timewyrm: Revelation was as good as it was cracked up to be and of course Human Nature and Love and War are splendid. I’m not always buying what Cornell’s selling, but when he’s good, he’s fantastic.

  24. Roy Watson-Davis  May 15, 2015

    Odd one for me-quite enjoyed it when broadcast ‘live’ as it were, but found the 80’s tone unconvincing (they all looked to old for a start). Have found it less engaging with repeated viewings, but can’t really explain why. I think it is because the setting just doesn’t work as the actors, unsurprisingly, can’t make themselves look about 20 years younger.

    • Roy Watson-Davis  May 15, 2015

      ‘too’, obvs.

    • Chris-Too-Old-To-Watch  May 16, 2015

      Obviously not the ’80s. Hair was far too small, not nearly enough make-up, and not a shoulder pad, cropped, double-breasted jacket or high-waisted trouser in sight…….

    • Nick Mays  May 16, 2015

      It’s got several spelling mistakes.

  25. Nick Mays  May 16, 2015

    I re-watched this episode for the first time in a few years recently and I enjoyed it, despite the obvious drawbacks – Jackie and Pete look too old, the obvious plot devices (i.e. didn’t Pete and Jackie wonder who the Doctor and Rose were when they gatecrashed their wedding, or recognise them 2 years later?).

    Essentially, it’s very much a “Monkey’s Paw” morality tale – be careful what you wish for. When it was first screened, I wondered what the hell the Doctor was doing letting Rose see her father die and then taking her back to see it AGAIN. But now, with the benefit of hindsight and a few seasons and a better understanding of why the Ninth Doctor is so f***ed up after (believing) that he has committed mass genocide, his actions are understandable.

    He’s not thinking straight, he has formed an attachment to a very young human being who seems to embrace life, and yes, he is falling in love with her, even if maybe he is falling in love with the IDEA of her, of her love of life. And what do you do when you’re hopelessly in love? You do anything, give anything to make that person happy or, more truthfully, to make that person love you back. To make you feel better about yourself.

    Of course, when it all goes tits up, the Doctor realises it’s all his fault. He berates Rose and stomps off in a huff – of course he’s not going to abandon her, he’s trying to work out how he can put things right. Of course, when he realises that things have gone massively wrong, he does all in his power to protect Rose and the other ‘stupid apes’ because that’s what he does. Maybe he even sacrifices himself to the Reaper because he feels that he deserves to die for allowing this to happen?

    So basically yes, the Doctor’s actions are illogical, but they also have a perverse kind of logic to them. It’s notable that after this episode, the Doctor is more focussed, more likeable and more like the Doctor we know and love. He’s had a second chance, a huge mistake has been averted by luck rather than his judgement (in fact, it’s Pete and Rose who work out what needs to be done)… and he’s never going to make this sort of mistake again.

    Father’s Day – or just afterwards in The Empty Child – is the point at which we truly get the Doctor back.

    • encyclops  May 17, 2015

      Nicely put, Nick — good calls on all of this, I think.

  26. Tom Keller  May 16, 2015

    Terrible episode. Mostly because of Rose. This just increased my loathing. How many deaths is she responsible for now? Between Dalek and this it must be near a thousand by now. Luckily, there are a pair of outstanding episodes right around the corner.

    • Sean Alexander  May 16, 2015

      Where does all this Rose-bashing come from? Let’s look at the facts – in Dalek her time travel augmented DNA regenerates a Dalek after she shows a creature she had no hitherto knowledge of some compassion. She doesn’t actively cause the deaths of anyone in van Statten’s museum, merely ignores the warning of clever-dick Adam who presumably thinks that touching the ‘metaltron’ will cause her to burst into flames, not incite mass murder.

      Then, Father’s Day in which she actually saves someone’s life (her father’s) only for again a hitherto unknown malevolent force to decide that such an action merits the wholesale murder of everyone on planet Earth (we assume, though it could in fact be little more than a square mile of London). Yes, her acts are selfish and on this occasion directly cause the situation, but is it really any different from the chaos the Doctor himself causes with his carefree wandering through the universe? And by the end of Father’s Day the only person dead is Pete Tyler, as he always was in the original timeline except this time having died heroically and with more meaning than the original hit-an-run scenario.

      • Chris-Too-Old-To-Watch  May 18, 2015

        I don’t think this is Rose bashing, per se, it’s just that some people – myself included – don’t like the character. Billie Piper does a good enough job, but Rose is the first in a (now) long line of companions who instantly fall madly in love with the Doctor and swoon all over him. I have always preferred the independent spirits of people like Sarah Jane and Donna. And RTD even managed to change Sarh so that she was revealed to be in love with him. Which definitely wasn’t in the original series!!

        • Sean Alexander  May 18, 2015

          Everyone’s entitled to their opinions on Rose and the direction the companion role has taken since 2005 (though I struggle to see Donna, Amy or Clara as characters who are ‘besotted’ with the Doctor in the sense Rose was) but the criticism on here is about how everything’s her own selfish fault, when if you actually watch the episodes there are very human, very believable reasons for the actions she takes. In Dalek she merely shows compassion for a wounded and lonely creature, with no possible way of knowing she is being manipulated. And in Father’s Day she does at least realise the ramifications of what she’s done and accepts the blame.

          • Tom Keller  May 20, 2015

            In Dalek and Father’s Day, she deliberately ignores the Doctor’s warnings, resulting in big body counts.

            And the Doctor forgives her for all this death in her wake, but punishes Adam for trying to make a bit of cash. Which, by the way, normal folks need to survive.

          • Nick Mays  May 20, 2015

            Tom… did a girl named Rose stand you up when you were a teenager? Just asking… πŸ˜‰

          • scribbles  May 21, 2015

            I don’t mind Rose making mistakes here, but it makes the Doctor look very hypocritical coming right after his ditching Adam for more or less the same thing.