Father’s Day

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    Craig @craig

    Rose asks the Doctor to take her back to the day her father Pete Tyler died in a hit and run accident, but when she saves him she creates a paradox. Flying creatures known as Reapers appear and attempt to treat the wound in time and space by consuming everyone in it.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Re-watching these, ten years on, is fascinating.  At the time what I brought to them was fond memories of classic Who (interwoven with all the stuff I’d watched since, amongst which Buffy was probably the strongest thread), and hope – each week almost with crossed fingers willing it to be good enough to do justice to the legacy and to ensure that it would not again fall into the abyss.  Now of course I can see how those early episodes echoed through the series that followed, and the anxiety is not really a feature – it’s established itself all over again and whilst not every episode has been good some, including this one, have been, well, fantastic.

    I cried all through it first time round, pretty much.  Ten years on – yep, same.   Such a powerful idea, bringing into emotional focus all of the time paradoxes that have been giving me a headache since I started watching/reading sci fi and fantasy.  Rose’s denial – how could one man’s death or life change anything, he wasn’t important.  The Doctor’s assertion that ordinary people are the most important thing of all.

    The opening voice over reminded me of Danny Pink’s (first) demise – Clara protesting about how drab and ordinary a day it was, how boring.  ‘It was ordinary. People just kept walking with their iPods and their shopping bags. He was alive, then he was dead and it was nothing. Like stepping off a bus’.   The ordinariness is important again in the very poignant scene where the doctor asks the bride and groom how they met, how it all came about.

    I loved the fact that the place of refuge was the traditional sanctuary of the church, but that this was nothing to do with it being a holy place, protected by any kind of god, but just because it was the oldest place around there, thus the hardest for the Reapers to get into.  Who has always had a kind of humanist perspective both because of the value the Doctor places on ordinary people (when he isn’t ranting about stupid apes) and because the Doctor as Saviour is so ungodlike – he gets it wrong frequently, doesn’t know everything even when he thinks he does, and suffers from bouts of arrogance, bitterness and sheer bad temper.  This bit reminded me of part of one of the scariest books I ever read – Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising.  It’s a kids book, but it’s truly unnerving, and at one point as I recall (and it’s probably 30 years since I read it, if not more) the central characters are in a church, at Christmas,with the forces of evil howling around them.  God is no use to them – I can’t actually remember what happens next, just that moment, with the vicar realising he has nothing to offer that’s any use against these forces.

    Pete’s final sacrifice was very Sydney Carton.  It is a far far better thing, etc.   He’s been a bit of a rubbish husband and dad but he’s good enough to know that and to grasp the extraordinary complexities and paradoxes of the situation quicker than anyone except the Doctor.

    Jackie, as always, is fab.  With HUGE hair.

    Best so far, without a doubt, and for me marked out one of the things that was going to be so different about new Who as opposed to classic Who.  It was going to make me cry.  A lot.

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    Possibly the strongest episode of series 1. Emotionally it’s got a heart, with personal consequences for Rose and those she loves. And a time-travel paradox plot, without getting confusingly complex and losing those new to such concepts. Access to a time machine doesn’t allow free reign to change things however you choose. If you create paradoxes, they can come back to bite you, quite literally it seems.

    The 80’s setting was well created, without doing anything over the top- something the BBC can do well. Most places would need to source 80’s clothes, but I picture the props department there just digging out clothes they’ve had there since the 80’s 🙂

    The creatures coming to cleanse time are perhaps the weakest part. The CGI is reasonable, but they don’t blend with the scenes that well and as a consequence don’t have that much menace. And I don’t think that, as a concept, they sit that well with the overall lore, not having made an appearance earlier (or since).

    winston @winston

    @tardigrade  This is one of my favourites form the first series. The story of Rose trying to save her Dad and change her history is something most of us can understand. Which one of us hasn’t thought about doing this. “If I could go back in time I would change…….” But this episode points out the “rules of time travel” pretty clearly. You can’t change the past without consequences. The creatures were just the physical proof of those grave consequences. I agree about them not fitting in to the “lore “of Doctor Who but overall the emotion of this story made me forget about the creature and concentrate on the family of Rose,Pete and Jackie.


    tardigrade @tardigrade


    I agree about them not fitting in to the “lore” of Doctor Who but overall the emotion of this story made me forget about the creature and concentrate on the family of Rose,Pete and Jackie.

    Agreed- the creatures were peripheral to the emotional centre of the story, so any quibbles with them didn’t really detract from the main impact of the episode.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @tardigrade  @winston    When I watched this again recently, it came as a pleasant surprise how much I enjoyed it. I remembered having been really irritated by the Reaper monsters as I found the concept unconvincing. I would far rather have had a rational reason for why Pete’s death couldn’t be changed, which would have been easy to do given the importance of Rose in the universe. We saw this done much, much better in Turn Left.

    However, I did find that this time, I was better able to appreciate the character aspects of the story. I liked the examination of the way in which we rewrite our own history, as Jackie had essentially created a better Pete and a better marriage, free of a lot of the pettiness that seems to have been there in reality. Although Rose couldn’t save her father, she did allow him the chance to be, very briefly, that better Pete. I thought that was quite lovely.

    winston @winston

    @arbutus   @tardigrade           This episode showed us that the Doctor could get pretty angry and frustrated with his companion , although he is quick to forgive. I think Rose was much more the “puppy” to the ninth Doctor, scolded and forgiven because she didn’t know any better.She was after all  , only human.  The romantic type of relationship came later with the tenth but this early  pairing  was purely Time Lord and companion. The Doctor was lonely so he got a new puppy.

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    I can certainly see where you’re coming from. The Doctor needed distraction at this point in his life. The wounds of the Time War were too fresh. Plus he does seem to function better with a companion.

    I don’t know that I’d characterise the relationship as master / puppy though. Even at this point in the series, there have been a number of suggestions that there are some (unacknowledged) romantic feelings stirring, including the Doctor mirroring Rose’s father in how he puts his hand to her face in this episode, which seems uncharacteristically tender for the Doctor.

    I never found the romantic elements very believable though- it didn’t really seem an area where the writers were that much in their wheelhouse and weren’t willing to take it too far- I guess an interspecies relationship with a 900 year age difference had the potential to come off as somewhat creepy.

    ichabod @ichabod



    I guess an interspecies relationship with a 900 year age difference had the potential to come off as somewhat creepy.

    That potential is always there, IMO. I mean, how did you feel about that throwaway line in Zygon Inversion, where the Doctor says, “I snogged a zygon once — ”  WHAT?  It sure gave *me* paws, as it were!  I don’t think anybody’s gotten away with that kind of thing since the Greeks had Zeus snogging *everything*, what with him being an ageless God and all, and there’s this golden rain thing . . . Ah . . . hmm.  And the Doctor isn’t even a god, strictly speaking.


    ichabod @ichabod

    Damn.  Forgot to tick the box . . .

    tardigrade @tardigrade


    I mean, how did you feel about that throwaway line in Zygon Inversion, where the Doctor says, “I snogged a zygon once — ” WHAT?

    It refers I think to the events in The Day of the Doctor where the 10th Doctor kisses a Zygon disguised as Elizabath I. So not quite the same as deliberately kissing a Zygon in its natural form 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @tardigrade  Oh, yes, okay; thanks!  Only he goes on to say something about how you have to “touch between the fronds” or something, which doesn’t sound much like kissing an Elizabeth shaped Zygon to me . . . ?  More like, um, remembering how to, ah, persuasively touch an actual frondy Zygon thing like the “command center” Zygon thing he’s actually manipulating in the scene . . .

    It’s okay; I’ve been confused before and lived to tell the tale . . .


    tardigrade @tardigrade

    Here’s the quote:

    Clara: Doctor, do you want to be alone with that thing?
    The Doctor: It’s a command computer. You operate it by titivating the fronds.
    Clara: Are you enjoying that?!
    (Wet squelching)
    The Doctor: I snogged a Zygon once. Old habits…
    (Polyp gurgles)
    The Doctor: Still got the old magic.

    I took this as fairly tongue in cheek (his own, not the Zygon’s !). I think it’s his mastery of the technology that he’s most proud of, not an ability to titillate the Zygon computer via his titivations. The mention of snogging a Zygon, whilst true, was essentially still a joke in this context, or at least that’s how I preferred to think of it 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod


    Oooh, the wet squelching — thanks for that — ?  I am cracking up here, over the “old magic”.  Yah, let’s think about it according to preference . . . (hoo hoo hoo!!  My preference varies entertainingly).

    BADWOLF @theimpossiblegirl69

    Re watched Christopher Ecclestons series yesterday and Fathers Day is by far one of my favourite episodes out of his series. Only making his apperance again in Doomsday all the more better. 🙂

    winston @winston

    Welcome  @theimpossiblegirl69  I like both your timey-wimey names. Chris was the first Doctor I watched and because of his work I am still watching Doctor Who,  all these doctors later. He was brilliant and I was sad to see him leave so soon. fathers day was one of my faves.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @winston  Yes, Eccleston was a breath of fresh air, and I was also disappointed by his early exit.

    Torchwood3 @torchwood03

    One of the greatest episodes of nuwho. Except for “Blink” Of course. So where is everybody from? I’m in Washington,USA

    TheDentistOfDavros @thedentistofdavros

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>@torchwood03 Hello nice to meet you and I have to say that Father’s Day is definitely high up on my favourite new series episodes along side Blink, Human nature, into the dalek, time of angels/flesh and stone, day of the doctor etc.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>I’m across the pond and am from Scotland! It’s amazing how far and wide around the world you can find fans of the show! It’s a sign of how brilliant it is!</p>

    TheDentistOfDavros @thedentistofdavros

    Sorry about all the strange text that appeared in that post not sure what that was all about!

    winston @winston

    @torchwood03    Howdy from Ontario Canada!   I take you mean the state and not D.C. although both are lovely this time of year. I think my daughter is right above you on Vancouver Island , also a great place. I really liked Fathers Day a lot as it gives us Roses family history and also the bad things that can happen if you mess with time. ChrisDoc was sooo angry and I liked him when he was angry.

    @thedentistofdavros  Howdy to you in Scotland, I would love to visit your country as my great Grandfather came from Glasgow as a homechild in 1893 and never made it back to his home land again.It sure looks beautiful.

    It is amazing and wonderful how many fans of the Doctor there are all around the world. The Doctor belongs to us all.


    Doctor 20 @doctor20

    Was the Doctor very angry at Rose when she changed history by saving Pete’s life; despite his death being fixed and that he wasn’t alive before? Did she really betray him? Did she planed this when he said that the TARDIS was a time machine? Did she lie to him that she wanted to go back in time just to see him, not to save his life? His own people died and planet burned during the Time War; since he has a time machine, would Rose expect that he go back and save them? When I watch that episode, he wasn’t that extremely angry. He didn’t yell at her, insulted her or smacked her; she didn’t take it seriously and smirked a lot. How could she be so selfish, reckless, stupid and disgusting? As punishment for her bad behaviour, he wanted to leave her behind and said goodbye; but she told him that she knew he wouldn’t.

    Was Pete’s death a fixed point in time? If it was, how come Rose saving him happened? Was it because it was in flux? Fixed points are timelines which cannot be changed.


    winston @winston

    @doctor20     Lots of good questions here. I think a fixed point in time is something that has to happen or time will “go crazy” or flying creatures come and attack. In other words Rose can stop her Dad from being killed but very bad things will happen as time tries to fix itself. As for Rose planning it all, I think she just wanted to see her Dad and when she saw him about to be hit by the car she saved him. Wouldn’t we all like to go back in time and save someone? Rose was also a fairly new time traveller and she had no idea of fixed points in time, she just wanted to save her Dad.

    The Doctor was very angry but he reallized that she was a young girl who made a mistake unwittingly and for a good reason ( Rose thought so anyway) so he forgave her.

    Doctor 20 @doctor20

    In the previous episode, another companion got kicked out for bad behaviour; Rose nearly became the same and so did another in the 2nd episode of Series 5.

    In The Long Game, Adam Mitchell tried to gain information from the future and transfer it to his personal timeline; the Doctor destroyed that before it could change history.

    In The Beast Below, Amy Pond choose to forget about the star whale and the truth about Starship UK; if she never choose to forget, the Doctor wouldn’t have to face a terrible choice between saving the people or the star whale; he choose to kill the star whale and save the people; however, Amy – discovering what the whale really is and what it does, was able to make the right choice to save both the people and the whale. Why did she choose to forget?

    Anonymous @


    welcome to you!

    well, I hate to make pun here, but I’ve forgotten why Amy forgets!

    hmm time for a re-watch!

    puro and son

    Doctor 20 @doctor20

    Two other people tried to change history and the Doctor stopped them?

    In The Aztecs,  Barbara Wright tried to persuade the Aztecs that their gods did not require human sacrifice. The Doctor said to her “You can’t rewrite history. Not one line.”

    In The Time Meddler, the Meddling Monk change the outcome of the Battle of Hastings by killing the Vikings and preventing the death of Saxon King Harold Godwinson, so that the Vikings would’ve been defeated and King Harold would’ve survived; resulting in Saxon victory and defeat of Viking king William the Conqueror.

    Anonymous @


    hi there, I think we welcomed you and I even tried to answer your questions? You’re doing very well with them! I think as I haven’t seen much of BG Who that you have a better grip of it yourself. Mum’s watched more than I have.

    I’m the impression that on most threads you are asking compound questions? 🙂

    I think you probably are half way thru answering them yourself!

    In answer to one question the doctor doesn’t like to change fixed points in history -hence the quote ‘don’t change one line’. With companions being thrown out I think that Rose had good intentions whereas that guy who had a brain upgrade was doing this to profit from his travels. He had no way of predicting what that would do to his own decade on earth. He was very selfish in my opinion. I think Martha was overlooked often. She did a lot of good when with a Doctor Ten.

    Still, as others here would comment, the Doctor also lies….a lot. Sometimes he will attempt to alter a fixed point like during The Waters of Mars. There were huge consequences to that, though.

    As for “don’t be childish” – you are right. Nothing wrong with that but each doctor has his own personality and some Doctors like Number Eleven really LOVED childlike behaviour but I don’t know if Peter Capaldi’s Doctor does ?

    @winston had some really great answers to your questions though so I hope that helps.

    from The Hybrid – Puro and Son

    Doctor 20 @doctor20

    Rose told the Doctor that she wanted to see her dad before he died, not see him and save his life.

    She told him that she wanted to be with her dad as he laid dying, so that he wouldn’t have to die alone. When they see him get hit by the car and dying on the road, the Doctor told Rose to go to him; but she didn’t. She asks if she could try again, but instead – she runs past her earlier self and saves him; then her and the Doctor’s earlier selves vanish.

    He told her not to allow their other selves see them, because it’d create a paradox; but she ignored that warning and did it, anyway. How reckless.

    Anonymous @


    when were you under the impression that the Doctor’s companion was not reckless?


    the Doctor is reckless too.

    one of the best stories ever is Ten’s love of Madame Pompadour. Rose is pretty reckless there too.

    Reckless is very much part of the descriptors of the show. Without the recklessness you wouldn’t hop into a Tardis. You’d be a Danny Pink who believed that there’s enough stuff on earth to get on with without spinning off into outer space.

    Anonymous @


    you said that Pete’s time of death was a fixed point so how could Rose saving him happen?

    she didn’t because he died.

    are you a new viewer?

    i guess the Hybrid is trying to work out whether you’re in your teens or a retired lady or gent who loves the BG stories.

    now that’s rhetorical because we’re all anonymous here!

    still, it’s interesting that you have brought up points about recklessness and fixed points – as if disobeying fixed points means ‘um ah’ someone has been ‘naughty’?

    to me naughtiness is a fixed point of the whole show. Without it there’d be no “idiot in a box” and no Doctor Who

    thankyou, Puros Son 🙂

    PS you might like to pop over to the thread on Doctor Who Memories. When mum first joined she explained how she came to love the show? It’s an awesome thread . Anyway we’re having fun remembering those older stories. Boy do I love them. Yesterday your comments made me prick up my ears in a good way, open the whole season 1 and 2 and watch a heap of Nine and Ten’s stories including Father’s Day so cheers for opening up those memories. I saw them last when I was only 6 and I was terrified. I had to have a night light! All coz of Dr Who!

    AmeliaG @ameliag

    One of my favourites of season 1

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