TARDIS Thoughts: NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 8, "Father's Day"


NaBloPoMo: Series 1, Episode 8, "Father's Day"


It's Day 8 of the NaBloPoMo challenge for TARDIS Thoughts! Today's episode: Series 1, Episode 8, "Father's Day."

This episode is all about the relationship between Rose and her dad. The dad she never got to know because she was just a baby when he died. So, it's very emotional.

I find an interesting parallel in this episode to the Series 2 finale. This episode is bookended with lines by Rose introducing her father:

ROSE [OC]: Peter Alan Tyler, my dad. The most wonderful man in the world. Born 15th September 1954. 

ROSE [OC]: Peter Alan Tyler, my dad. The most wonderful man in the world. Died the 7th of November, 1987. 

And in the Series 2 finale, the first of the 2 episodes starts with Rose stating about herself (a moment that is recapped at the start of part 2):

ROSE [OC]: Planet Earth. This is where I was born. And this is where I died....This is the story of how I died.

Ok, maybe it's not a good parallel. But I just found the parallel of the intros interesting.

I liked the interaction between Rose and her dad in this episode. Shaun Dingwall does a great job playing Pete Tyler, a man with a lot of dreams and ideas, but who can't succeed at any of them, but who has a great heart. It made me very glad that my own father, who I am very close to, is still around. He got cancer about 15 years ago, and I was afraid of what would happen, especially since I was out of town on a church retreat the weekend he was supposed to get the surgery that would take the cancer out. I am happy to report that he is doing fine and is cancer-free now.

I have to admit, it was interesting seeing a younger Jackie, especially with that classic '80's hair...oh my.

And it's interesting how the episode contrasts the way Jackie talks about Pete to young Rose at the beginning of the episode and the way she treats him in the past. Apparently, they had marital issues due to Pete being kind of a good-for-nothing who Jackie thinks is cheating on her (considering that she flirted with the Doctor in the first episode of this series, I'd call this hypocrisy).

This episode also showed that Doctor Who does at least follow some of the supposed "rules" about time travel, like not letting your past self see your future self - an idea also invoked in Back to the Future Part II when Marty goes back to 1955 a second time and in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry and Hermione use the Time-Turner to go back in time and save Sirius Black. Granted, that Rose meets her own parents - and they find out she's their daughter - has got to be some sort of paradox too, but this is ignored. (Well, actually, this is ignored to a greater extent later with Amy, Rory, and River Song. A much greater extent).

As in the last episode, the Doctor is not the one who saves the day. Pete does that by accepting his fate is to die that day and running out in front of the car on purpose. The Doctor does try to save the day, but he admits that not even he can actually stop the creatures. It's the first time in the series the Doctor doesn't actually have the ability to save everyone, which is interesting indeed.

This episode does feature a funny scene where we learn that the Doctor is definitely not fond of Rose's mom:
JACKIE: What's happening? What are they? What are they?
DOCTOR: There's been an accident in time. A wound in time. They're like bacteria, taking advantage.
JACKIE: What do you mean, time? What're you jabbering on about, time?
DOCTOR: Oh, I might've known you'd argue. Jackie, I'm sick of you complaining.
JACKIE: How do you know my name?
DOCTOR: I haven't got time for this.
JACKIE: I've never met you in my life!
DOCTOR: No, and you never will unless I sort this out. Now, if you don't mind, I've waited a long time to say this. Jackie Tyler, do as I say. Go and check the doors.
JACKIE: Yes, sir.
DOCTOR: I should have done that ages ago.

I also liked the scene with the Doctor and the couple that are supposed to be getting married in the church, Stuart and Sarah:
STUART: Excuse me, Mister
DOCTOR: Doctor.
STUART: You seem to know what's going on.
DOCTOR: I give that impression, yeah.
STUART: I just wanted to ask
SARAH: Can you save us?
DOCTOR: Who are you two, then?
STUART: Stuart Hoskins.
SARAH: Sarah Clark.
DOCTOR: And one extra. Boy or girl?
SARAH: I don't know. I don't want to know, really.
DOCTOR: How did all this get started?
STUART: Outside the Beatbox Club, two in the morning.
SARAH: Street corner. I'd lost my purse, didn't have money for a taxi.
STUART: I took her home.
DOCTOR: Then what? Asked her for a date?
SARAH: Wrote his number on the back of my hand.
STUART: Never got rid of her since. My dad said.
SARAH: I don't know what this is all about, and I know we're not important.
DOCTOR: Who said you're not important? I've traveled to all sorts of places, done things you couldn't even imagine, but you two. Street corner, two in the morning, getting a taxi home. I've never had a life like that. Yes. I'll try and save you. 

If that doesn't show the Doctor can be considerate and nice, I don't know what does. Plus it shows that the Doctor hasn't had a chance for a "normal" life like the rest of us, which is kinda sad if you think about it.

According to the DVD commentary, both Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper named this their favorite episode of Series 1, because of its emotional depth. [Source] I can see why!

Bad Wolf hint for this episode: the words "Bad Wolf" appear on one of the "Energize" posters shown soon after the Doctor and Rose arrive in 1987.

Also, ironically, this episode originally aired on May 14, 2005 - right after Mother's Day (which was May 8 that year). Interesting, huh?

Overall, a touching episode. Series 1 is heading to the finish line now - only 5 more regular episodes left, plus the Christmas Special!

Next episode starts John Barrowman's stint on the show as Captain Jack Harkness. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to it. Just seeing Barrowman on the Doctor Who Brit List special didn't give me a good impression. He came across as very camp. And I don't care for camp. I mean, maybe he was just being camp on purpose. But on the other hand, he could be like Robert Downey, Jr where the attitude he portrays in his roles is very similar to how he is in real life. (Compare some interview with Downey Jr to how he plays Iron Man some time - especially in The Avengers). We'll see. I know Jack is supposed to be this weird, kinda pansexual dude (he likes men, women, AND aliens), so that could come across as very awkward for my *cough* conservative tastes.

And I'll stop right there before I get some people mad at me. You who are smart - or know anything about Barrowman - can guess why. It's not that I don't want to say where I stand on certain *issues*, it's just that I am aware of what happens to people online who are perceived as, well, that, and I really don't want to deal with that sort of backlash.

See you guys tomorrow!


NaBloPoMo Special:
The Love of the Doctor and Rose Tyler
Part Eight: The First Fight

Since the theme of NaBloPoMo this month is "Love and Sex" (probably because of Valentine's Day), I feel compelled to write something about love in my posts. Hence, since I am exploring Series 1 and 2 in this challenge, I am going to write a little special essay throughout the month about the growing love between the Doctor and Rose. Please note I am in no way an expert on relationships.

So far in this series, one thing Rose and the Doctor haven't had that a lot of couples have sooner or later is an argument. A real, honest-to-goodness argument where voices are raised and harsh things are said.

That all changes in this episode. When Rose, without even thinking, changes history by saving her dad from death, the Doctor is livid. Even as she is excitedly showing him her dad's memorabilia, the Doctor won't even speak to her. Finally, he lays it on her hard:

DOCTOR: When we met, I said travel with me in space. You said no. Then I said time machine.
ROSE: It wasn't some big plan. I just saw it happening and I thought, I can stop it.
DOCTOR: I did it again. I picked another stupid ape. I should've known. It's not about showing you the universe. It never is. It's about the universe doing something for you.
ROSE: So it's okay when you go to other times, and you save people's lives, but not when it's me saving my dad.
DOCTOR: I know what I'm doing, you don't. Two sets of us being there made that a vulnerable point.
ROSE: But he's alive!
DOCTOR: My entire planet died. My whole family. Do you think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?
ROSE: But it's not like I've changed history. Not much. I mean he's never going to be a world leader. He's not going to start World War Three or anything.
DOCTOR: Rose, there's a man alive in the world who wasn't alive before. An ordinary man. That's the most important thing in creation. The whole world's different because he's alive.
ROSE: What, would you rather him dead?
DOCTOR: I'm not saying that.
ROSE: No, I get it! For once, you're not the most important man in my life.
DOCTOR: Let's see how you get on without me, then. Give me the key. The Tardis key. If I'm so insignificant, give it me back.
ROSE: All right then, I will.
(Rose hands over the key.)
DOCTOR: You've got what you wanted, so that's goodbye, then.
ROSE: You don't scare me. I know how sad you are. You'll be back in a minute, or you'll hang around outside the Tardis waiting for me. And I'll make you wait a long time!
Of course, in the end, Rose is totally right -- he isn't able to stay away from her. And it's a good thing too, because her little change in history causes these weird creatures to appear to mend the wound in time, threatening the whole world. Even though the Doctor admits even he can't stop them, he does his best, and sacrifices himself to the creatures to keep everyone safe. But before he does, he and Rose manage to reconcile:

(The Doctor is talking to baby Rose in her carrycot by the choir stalls.)
DOCTOR: Now, Rose you're not going to bring about the end of the world, are you? Are you?
(Rose walks up.)
DOCTOR: Jackie gave her to me to look after. How times change.
ROSE: I'd better be careful. I think I just imprinted myself on Mickey like a mother chicken.
DOCTOR: No. Don't touch the baby. You're both the same person. That's a paradox, and we don't want a paradox happening, not with these things outside. Anything new, any disturbance in time makes them stronger. The paradox might let them in.
ROSE: Can't do anything right, can I?
DOCTOR: Since you ask, no. So, don't touch the baby.
ROSE: I'm not stupid.
DOCTOR: You could have fooled me. All right, I'm sorry. I wasn't really going to leave you on your own.
ROSE: I know.
DOCTOR: But between you and me, I haven't got a plan. No idea. No way out.
ROSE: You'll think of something.
DOCTOR: The entire Earth's been sterilised. This, and other place like it, are all that's left of the human race. We might hold out for a while, but nothing can stop those creatures. They'll get through in the end. The walls aren't that old. And there's nothing I can do to stop them. There used to be laws stopping this kind of thing from happening. My people would have stopped this. But they're all gone. And now I'm going the same way.
ROSE: If I'd realised.
DOCTOR: Just tell me you're sorry.
ROSE: I am. I'm sorry.
(They hug.)

The Doctor also gives Rose a chance at the very end of the episode to truly be with her dad as he's dying. Rose and her dad don't exchange a word in that moment, she just stays with him until he dies, and then she and the Doctor leave. And the party outside the church, including a younger Jackie Tyler, see her do so, which changes the story we see Jackie telling a young Rose at the beginning of the episode - instead of her father being hit in a hit-and-run, with no one with him as he died, it becomes a happier ending:

JACKIE [OC]: The driver was just a kid.
[Memory - Jackie's bedroom]
JACKIE: He stopped, he waited for the police. It wasn't his fault. For some reason, Pete just ran out. People say there was this girl, and she sat with Pete while he was dying. She held his hand. Then she was gone. Never found out who she was.

So, even though they had a fight - a fight which could've ended Rose's career as a Companion right then and there - in the end, the Doctor couldn't stay away from Rose. He clearly cares about her. Even Rose's dad sees it, mentioning to Rose after the Doctor is captured: "The Doctor really cared about you. He didn't want you to go through it again, not if there was another way. Now there isn't." He also shows he cares for her at the beginning when he agrees to take her back in time to see her dad when he was alive - they see her parents' wedding day in addition to the day her father died. Not only that, but he shows concern for Rose's own feelings in that same conversation:

ROSE: That's what Mum always says. So I was thinking, could we, could we go and see my dad when he was still alive?
DOCTOR: Where's this come from, all of a sudden?
ROSE: All right then, if we can't, if it goes against the laws of times or something, then never mind, just leave it.
DOCTOR: No, I can do anything. I'm just more worried about you.
ROSE: I want to see him.
DOCTOR: Your wish is my command. But be careful what you wish for.
That second line of the Doctor's is the key there. "No, I can do anything. I'm just more worried about you." He's more worried about how Rose will hold up seeing her dad alive than he is about how the trip there might affect time itself. And time is pretty important to the Doctor - remember, last episode he kicked Adam off the team for trying to change history. That shows a genuine level of concern on his part, which we haven't really seen from him thus far. Because frankly, he doesn't seem to care about anybody but himself, on the surface. He's all wrapped up in his war trauma and what not. Which, in part, is justified, given what he went through (though the details as of yet are hazy). But even PTSD - or whatever the heck he's got - is no justification for being the stuck-up, judgmental jerk Nine is a majority of the time. I mean, he's always talking about humans as "you lot" or "stupid apes," with a tone of arrogant disdain. Ok, sure, he's an alien - but it kinda maddens me that he's like that. It doesn't make him very likable at all.

But being with Rose is changing the Doctor. He's becoming more actually concerned about others' welfare now. He's becoming better. Which, unlike for the Dalek a couple episodes ago, is a GOOD THING.

Still, even though I'm not done with Series 1 yet, I'm not liking Nine as much as I thought I would. How did the Doctor go from this judgmental view of humans to considering Earth and its people precious? It must've happened somewhere in the regeneration from Nine to Ten, because Ten and Eleven are the only Doctors in the new series we ever hear say that quote (the one by my Kaufda badge).

I guess we'll see what happens next episode. Cause next episode we get the London Blitz...and the introduction of Jack Harkness. Hmm.


See you tomorrow for Day 9 of the challenge!

Note: To relieve some of the stress of this challenge, from next week's posts onward I am going to watch a bunch of episodes at a time, write posts for them, and schedule them ahead of time to post on the appropriate days. I made the decision to do this because with my current work schedule it's been tough for me to work in watching one episode every night after work and posting afterwards, especially since I've been getting off at 10pm every night (except tonight), with little to no time to watch the episodes before work. Part of me doesn't like the idea of writing posts ahead of time, because then you are putting a "posted on" date on something that you didn't actually write on that date, which seems a little dishonest. But maybe I'm just being ridiculous on that point; people do the scheduled post thing all the time. Anyway, just wanted to let you guys know ahead of time that I will be doing that. Cheers!

Quotes from The Doctor Who Transcripts. Picture from Sonic Biro.

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