Doctor Who: Fathers Day   Rewatch 
August 13, 2014 4:24 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The Doctor takes Rose back to the day her father died. Rose, in a moment of weakness saves her fathers life.

This action causes a paradox, something which the Time Lords would normally have dealt with.
Because of this a race of temporal predators, the Reapers, arrive on the scene and start to devour everything in the paradox, the Doctor stalls them by sacrificing himself, but Rose's father realises he is the cause of the paradox and throws himself under the car which was supposed to kill him, restoring the timeline to its original state.

This Episode Features
  • Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
  • Time eating monsters a bit like Weeping Angels from Blink or Chronovores from The Time Monster
  • 'I did it again. I picked another stupid ape.'

  • Originally Pete was to take a swig of wine before sacrificing himself, but this was removed because a correlation between alcohol and bravery was not thought to be a positive message
  • The Doctor tells Rose not to touch her infant self due to it causing a Paradox. Presumably he is just trying to avoid explaining the Blinovitch Limitation Effect as observed in Mawdryn Undead with the 1977 and 1983 versions of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
posted by Just this guy, y'know (7 comments total)
To this day I can't get close to a baby without hearing "DON'T TOUCH THE BABY!" in a Northern accent in my head.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:20 PM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Loved the story of Pete's death changing to a young woman with him in the last moments. Even if everyone couldn't live, at least he didn't die alone.
posted by RainyJay at 11:41 PM on August 13, 2014

This is a good episode, even if the Reapers are a super dorky idea, which is probably why they don't turn up more, even though they absolutely should.

This is a proper, simple emotional story about time travel that doesn't get told that often. I think the closest new who comes to this sort of thing again is in the Fires of Pompei.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 3:34 AM on August 14, 2014

Russell T Davies used the character Rose as an intro for the audience into NuWho and the main character arc for series 1 belongs to Rose. So at some point during the series Rose had to come to terms with her father and his death for her psychological journey to be complete. This episode did that very well.

I remember reading somewhere that this was one of Billie Piper's favorite episodes.
posted by cwest at 5:16 AM on August 14, 2014

The Reapers make no sense at all in the context of any other Who story ever; they come off as a sci-fi patch to give what would otherwise be a pure drama episode some urgency and risk factor. It's a credit to how good Father's Day is that the drama still works, and works well, even through the general haze of flying time monkeys.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:03 PM on August 14, 2014

I like the Reapers, and I miss RTD's concept of paradoxes having consequences. You could create them, but they'd tear up the universe, or you needed to balance them out with the power of the Tardis or something.

Moffat, good as some of his stuff is, LOVES his paradoxes. Everything is solved with a big red button thrown to the Doctor by a future incarnation of the Doctor who remembers being thrown a big red button. It's not clever anymore, Steven! (if indeed it ever was...)
posted by rikschell at 4:52 PM on August 14, 2014

This was one of the best episodes of the Eccleston era, in my opinion. The emotional impact was truly incredible.
posted by Telpethoron at 7:33 PM on August 14, 2014

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