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Review of Father’s Day (9th Doctor)

Posted by: Whochick

Review of Father’s Day (9th Doctor)
Father's Day - Episode 1.8

Father’s Day is my favorite episode from season one. That choice wasn’t a logical one, so much as a visceral one it seems. If you want to know more about my reasoning (or lack thereof) go forth into the spoilery section!

Episode: Father’s Day by Paul Cornell
Rating (1 to 5): 4.5
Baddie: Reapers (although their name isn’t mentioned in the episode.)
Rose is Trapped: In the church
The Doctor is Trapped: In the church
The Doctor Enjoys: Telling Jackie what to do.
The Doctor Dislikes: Stupid apes. The situation.
Doctor-y Strangeness: He’s never had a life like Stuart and Sarah.
Scary Stuff: Reapers eating everyone…Including The Doctor! Eek!
Does someone local help out?Pete Tyler, Rose’s Dad.
Bad Wolf? On an “Energize” poster, on a wall that the camera pans past.
What we learn: The Doctor needs to explain a few things to his companions, like temporal theory, or what to do when encountering his mortal enemies. Pete got Jackie’s name wrong at the wedding. Jackie really sugar-coated her stories of Pete. The Doctor’s whole family died along with his planet, and he can’t go back and save them. The Doctor can sort of sense the Reapers. The older something is the stronger it is. There used to be laws stopping this kind of thing from happening. Rose’s Dad is smart.
The Doctor’s Death Wish: The Doctor actually dies. It isn’t permanent, but it does save Rose and the other people in the church.
The Doctor Apologizes To: Rose, for implying that she’s stupid. (Actually, Rose apologizes to him, too.)
My Favorite Bits: “We’re not a couple. Why does everyone think we’re a couple?” The use of the first phone call (even if it’s not quite right). “Jackie Tyler do as I say. Go and check the doors.” “Now, Rose. You’re not going to bring about the end of the world, are you?” The image of Rose that appears at the top of this post. The fact that Pete Tyler recognizes Rose.

Observations and musings:

This episode is very Rose-centric. We see her as a child, and we even go back and meet her dad. And Oh what an eye-opener he is. Pete Tyler seems to be where she got her ability to adapt to The Doctor’s lifestyle. He manages to recognize who she is, even though it is impossible for her to be there. Once The Doctor is gone, he figures out how to solve the problem that they are faced with, even though that problem is so far outside of anything he has previously encountered. Just as The Doctor before him, Pete Tyler dies to keep Rose safe. When The Doctor dies, Rose is devastated. By the time her father actually dies, The Doctor is back. In the end, she did change time. The hit and run driver stayed, and Pete got to have someone stay with him as he died. I wonder how much time actually passed between this episode and the next. One would think that Rose would need some time to recover after this.

The Doctor. Oh, The Doctor. He doesn’t explain the consequences of messing with time to Rose, and then he breaks his own rules to make her happy. The only reason that they were there in the first place had to do with The Doctor’s desire to make Rose happy. He tries to fix the problem, and keep her Father alive at the same time. Then, when it all goes to hell, he dies for her. Luckily, that part wasn’t permanent. Get the feeling that The Doctor cares about Rose? Maybe his judgment is a wee bit impaired when Rose is involved? (Just possibly…) I mean, he takes her back to the same timeline for goodness sake. Then they have a fight and he storms off to the TARDIS like he’s going to leave her in 1987. Riiiiight. She knows him pretty well, doesn’t she? She knows that he isn’t going anywhere. In fact, the moment that he realizes that there is something wrong with the TARDIS, he goes running off to make sure that she is okay. Good thing that he does.

In this episode you look at Rose’s parents and a little light seems to go on in your head. (Rather like the “a ha!” reaction people have upon meeting my parents for the first time.) You can see where she came from. No wonder she is the way she is. She has Jackie’s attitude, and Pete’s mental agility. What did you think of Rose’s attempt to keep The Doctor from saying what’s on his mind when they are first in Pete’s apartment? Quick! Keep up the guided tour of Pete history! Like he was only giving her that look because Pete assumed that they were a couple. (Strange how that keeps happening…) This episode is particularly interesting to go back and watch after you have seen Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel. Give it a try and see for yourself. Did anyone else notice that Baby Rose looks a bit nervous when Rose is talking to Jackie for the first time? Young Mickey certainly has good survival instincts. This episode is sort of a celebration of the “Father” it seems. Well, there you go. See you next week for “The Empty Child.”

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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.

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