Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E08 – Father’s Day

In the eighth episode of the first series of Doctor Who, Rose asks the Doctor to travel back to the moment her father died so she may accompany him before death. When she decides to intervene, she sets in motion a terrifying reality as the universe attempts to clean up her mess. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

YOU GUYS WERE NOT JOKING AROUND. Holy shit, best episode of series one? Like, ok…you all were aware, if you followed me during Mark Reads Harry Potter, that during the Time Turner scenes of Prisoner of Azkaban, I basically had a heart attack because I LOVE TIME TRAVEL MORE THAN MOST THINGS. While this show is certainly about that, it’s never really been a focus of any of the episodes. The writers have always focused on interpersonal relationships, satire, political thought, and historical nerdery.

Finally, we get an episode that deals with the mechanics of time travel. I’m certain this wasn’t the first one in the history of the show, but it was certainly the first I’d seen. First of all, a major high five to writer Paul Cornell, who knocked this story out of the park. It’s not an original idea to have a person try to change the past via time travel and I think we’ve all seen it attempted at some point. So where Cornell succeeds is by going straight for the heart and the mind at the same time.

It’s clear that the Doctor is very hesitant to satisfy Rose’s idea, and for good reason. The potential for paradox is far too great; at this point, we don’t know how one deals with a paradox if it happens, but we learn later exactly why he’s so serious about it.

Emotionally, Cornell sets us up to be happy for Rose when she intervenes during her second chance and saves her father, Pete, from being the victim of a hit-and-run. That moment of happiness at seeing the joy on Rose’s face, knowing she’ll get to learn about her father, lasts all of five minutes. And maybe that.

The strangeness starts happening almost immediately. I imagined that the universe was basically cracking at the seams due to the Butterfly Effect of keeping Pete alive. And then those THINGS. We don’t see them at first, but people start disappearing, including quite a few people who are supposed to be at the wedding that Pete was heading to.

But the most damning detail of it all is when the Doctor finds that the TARDIS is no longer a TARDIS. It’s an ordinary police box. WHAT IS GOING ON I DON’T LIKE ANY OF THIS.

The real treat of the way this episode is set up is that we know the Doctor will find out a way to reset time and fix all of this, so it allows Cornell to do literally anything he pleases with these characters, including kill them off. When the unnamed beasts descend upon the people in town, I expected a lot of screaming and running and not WINGED BEASTS EATING VICARS WHOLE. Like HOLY SHIT WHAT IS HAPPENING. And seriously, the CGI on those things was some of the best we’ve seen yet in the new series. They were completely terrifying and more so because there was no rhyme or reason to whom they attacked. The Doctor described them as a sort of “bacteria” who were trying to sterilize “the wound in time” that Rose had created. It’s here we learn exactly why the Doctor was so worried about Rose’s actions doing just this. His race, the Time Lords, actually had the power to fix paradoxes in time. And now he’s the last one, all by himself, and unable to repair the paradox.

Oh man, this is fucked.

After already losing it upon learning more about the Time Lords, I was surprised how much I continued to like other moments in this episode. That was a huge moment for me, since I know so little about Doctor Who, and yet Cornell is still able to make all the interactions between Pete and Rose just as fascinating. Their reunion ends happily, but doesn’t start off that way. In fact, Rose gets to see Pete and her mother, Jackie (OMG I LOVE YOU FOREVER JACKIE) fight fiercely outside the church. It ruins the idea she was always given of her father; I’m glad Cornell went there, despite how difficult it is to watch Rose’s heart break all over again. In a way, it all suggests that maybe Rose should never have gone to this place at all, that perhaps time was best left undamaged and unchanged.

When Pete realizes that somehow Rose is his daughter, it’s neat how readily he accepts it. (Though the fact that are flying monsters eating people outside is decidedly more strange than this, so whatever.) It was goddamn sad to see Rose unable to tell Pete the truth about what sort of father he was and I wondered if she would ever tell him before the past was reverted back to it’s normal state.

All that talk of paradox ended up being a bit useless, as it was Pete, not Rose, who ended up doing something to invite another monster inside. A bit about the Doctor’s anger: this is now the second time we’ve seen the Doctor furious with his companion. Two in a row, really. His comments about how typical this is of humans makes me wonder who else in Doctor Who history screwed things up as a companion to the Doctor.

Despite all this, it’s the Doctor who sacrifices himself to save those in the church (or at least to buy them more time). When the TARDIS and the Doctor disappeared, I actually feared this would be a double-episode. How on earth were they going to be saved without the Doctor? That falls on Pete, who notices something we’d been seeing the whole episode: the car that was supposed to kill him keeps re-appearing and disappearing outside the church. He puts together that he was always supposed to die and that dying now is the only thing left to repair time.

The end of this episode isn’t particularly surprising and it was hinted pretty heavily that Pete needed to die by the car. But that’s why Cornell makes it so awesome: the teary goodbye he has with Rose and Jackie totally seals the deal and you don’t care that you saw it coming all along. It was a nice touch that the flashback of Rose’s now changes to reflect that a mysterious young woman stayed with Pete until he died. He no longer died alone.


  • I’m now so obsessed with this Bad Wolf stuff that I immediately noticed it on the rave poster. WHAT IS IT OH GOD STUPID MYSTERIES
  • The Doctor’s theme of every person being important is so wonderful. It’s almost like this super positive form of existentialism. I dig it.
  • “I know what you’re saying, and we’re not going there. At no point are we going anywhere near there. You aren’t even aware that “there” exists. I don’t even want to think about “there,” and believe me, neither do you. “There,” for you, is like…pfft, it’s like the Bermuda Triangle.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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155 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E08 – Father’s Day

  1. Blabbla says:

    This fucking episode, god damn ;_;

    oh and hate those flying things. they are pretty silly, even by Who standards

  2. Karen says:

    Long comment is going to be loooong. But I can’t help it. This episode is easily my favorite from series 1 and in my Top Five episodes of all of Doctor Who. The monster/peril of the week is really just ok, but OH MAN, THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. THE ISSUES! THE DRAMA! THE TRAGEDY! Love it. (I may or may not have typed this comment out beforehand and then have been F5ing this page all morning… lol. THAT is how much I love this episode.)

    The fact that Rose just impulsively rushes out to save her dad’s life shows that streak of rash selfishness that Rose has been known to show from time to time. Without really thinking, she just decides that she can’t watch her dad die again, and jumps out to save him. And for the Doctor this calls into question the person he thought Rose was.

    The Doctor: I should have known. It's not about showing you the universe. It never is. It's about the universe doing something for you.

    But I think that both the Doctor and I know that this wasn’t some grand plan. Rose just couldn’t stand to stand by and watch her father die again when there was something that she could do to save him. That line also shows a bit of the Doctor’s insecurity, I think. He’s hurt because he thinks that maybe Rose is with him not because she likes being with him, but because she wants to use him for the Tardis. And when he’s just learning to care about people again after the Time War, that hurts. A lot.

    This episode also features an intense argument between the Doctor and Rose and showcases a bit of Rose’s bratty side again.

    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. Give me the key. The Tardis key. If I’m so insignificant, give it me back.
    Rose: Alright then, I will.
    Doctor: You’ve got what you wanted, so that’s good bye then.
    Rose: You don’t scare me! I know how sad you are. You’ll be back in a minute. You’ll behanging around the Tardis, waiting for me. And I’ll make you wait a long time!

    Ouch. That fight hurts. They know just how to hurt each other. But it feels real. Real people in relationships (not just romantic, friendship and familial relationships too) hurt each other like that. They go for the weak spots because they know how best to hurt you.

    <img src=" Who screencaps/1x08Rosesmirk.jpg">

    And don’t you just love that smug smile on Rose’s face when she thinks that the Doctor is coming after her because he’s realized that he was wrong? LOL. I love her.

    But in spite of all of that, the Doctor doesn’t want Rose to have to lose her dad again. He knows from the beginning that the easiest way to fix this would be to have Pete die like he was supposed to, but he does everything he can so that Pete won’t have to die.

    Another thing I love is that this episode deals with the disillusionment that comes with meeting your heroes. Rose grew up idolizing her dad because she didn’t know him, but when she does meet him, she discovers that he was just a man who made mistakes like everyone else. I can identify with that a bit too. As a kid you kind of think that your parents are perfect and can do no wrong, but as you grow up, you see that they’re screwed up humans like we all are. And that fight between Jackie and Pete hits home too. Even when you’re no longer a kid, you hate to see your parents fighting. But after she deals with that she realizes that Pete might be ordinary, but he’s still her dad and that makes him, “the most wonderful man in the world”.

    I love that moment when Rose tells Pete what kind of a dad he was. Of course he was the perfect dad in her mind. He was always there for her and loved her so much. But Pete knows that he’s human and he wouldn’t have been that dad. But then he goes and shows that he IS a good dad.

    Pete: It’s my fault all this has happened.
    Rose: This is my fault.
    Pete: No, love, I’m your dad. It’s my job for it to be my fault.

    Then this bit, where Pete shows the he might be an ordinary man, but he’s a hero too just makes me cry all over again.

    Pete Tyler: Who am I, Rose?
    Rose Tyler: You're my Daddy.

    He’s her daddy, so he is going to give up his life to save the world. And then in that last bit, at the end, Rose is able to do something for her dad and to be there with him when he dies so he’s not alone.

    In conclusion this episode pulls at all my emotional heartstrings and I LOVE IT FOR DOING SO.

    A couple of things that make this episode more than just a sob fest:

    1) Nine and Jackie’s relationship

    The Doctor: Jackie Tyler, do as I say! Go and check the doors!
    [she scoffs and leaves; he smiles]
    The Doctor: I should have done that a long time ago.

    2) DOCTOR WHO RICKROLLS US. Lol. Rick Astley is playing in the scene where Rose and Pete are driving to the wedding.

    • pica_scribit says:

      This. Just all of this.

    • thirty2flavors says:

      I totally agree about the meeting your heroes bit. I remember first watching this episode and cringing at the realistic brilliance of having Jackie and Pete's relationship be so not at all what Rose must have imagined for years and years, and the suggestion that of course Jackie would romanticize it after his death and tell Rose that everything had been perfect and wonderful. It's so sad but also so honest.

    • psycicflower says:

      I agree with all of this, especially about parents and relationships and how real people aren't all constant love and grand declarations.

      Aside from the trauma of the Time War, I also think the Doctor is hurt by Rose's action in this episode because it's so soon after Adam and his selfishness.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Actually, it's The Streets in the Netflix version. Very weird that it is different!

    • exbestfriend says:

      I love everything about your comment.
      And re: the bratty argument, I think The Doctor is also being pretty bratty there trying to lord the TARDIS over Rose. It's like he is saying she can't play with his toys anymore because she doesn't play with them the right way. And it is a reconfirmation that the Doctor is starting to need Rose around the same way that Rose wants to be around him. I really love the relationship that Nine and Rose have.

      • Karen says:

        Oh I'm not knocking Rose. I adore her. she is my favorite Companion of all time I love that she has that sassy streak. But yeah, the Doctor is trying to lord the TARDIS over Rose. I agree. And I think it's because he is doubting Rose's intentions in traveling with him. Basically, they're both kind of jerks here and I love it.

        • exbestfriend says:

          Oh, I wasn't trying to imply that you were knocking Rose. I just love Nine & Rose's older brother/younger sister dynamic especially when they are bickering. They need each other, but they won't admit it, but it isn't a love/lust thing and they don't see eye to eye on everything and I imagine they get into those snippy fights with each other all the time, but this one was big and even then when Nine figures out just how wrong everything is he runs to help her immediately and this is totally a run on sentence, but I don't care. It's great.

    • workworkwork says:

      >> Pete: No, love, I’m your dad. It’s my job for it to be my fault.

      This is one of my favorite lines in the whole episode and Shaun Dingwall really sells it. I lost my father back in 2001 and I still tear up when Pete and Rose have this conversation.

      When I was teaching a class in science fiction as literature I would use this episode to talk about the theme of time travel and how writers use it to express how humans relate to time. (The other example was the Torchwood episode "Out of Time".)

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      I want to frame this comment, because it is perfect.

    • csq says:

      THIS. It's a great episode and I agree with all your points and thoughts.

      I have to admit that I spent more time reading your reply, than I did Mark's entry lol

  3. thirty2flavors says:

    I think this is my favourite episode of season 1. I love love love it.

    ALSO THE SHOW RICKROLLS THE AUDIENCE, Doctor Who you are everything I wanted and more.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. We are ~Brain Twins~, Kali.

      ALSO, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I think that it is ~fate that Mark watched this episode on your birthday.

      • thirty2flavors says:

        THANK YOU.

        <img src=>

        I think it is ~fate~ as well. I mean, imagine if it had been The Long Game, that is like the only episode I've only seen once.

        • Karen says:

          omg. Hannah! And Bambi! Series 4 starts Jan 27th, according to wikipedia. I AM EXCITE.

          • thirty2flavors says:

            YESSS I knew it was January but didn't know an airdate (BRITAIN WHY DO YOU CLOAK YOURSELVES IN SUCH MYSTERY)! That is so exciting. BUT THEN IT WILL BE OVER D:

          • trash_addict says:


            …I am also excite.

        • Vicki Louise says:

          I love LOVE Secret Diary! Itv2 keep teasing me by showing little flashes of the new series, why must you be so mean itv2, GIVE ME A PROPER TRAILER ALREADY!!!

          • thirty2flavors says:

            Secret Diary is fabulous! I just watched it for the first time this year and adored it. I already loved Billie Piper thanks to Doctor Who but I love her even more now. Plus, she is just gorgeous.

        • Vicki Louise says:

          And happy birthday also 🙂

    • monkeybutter says:

      I don't actually know you, but I hope you continue to have an awesome birthday!

  4. BklynBruzer says:

    Kudos on picking up all the "Bad Wolf" references, I didn't pick up on those until the show made it blatantly obvious.

  5. pica_scribit says:

    Floods. Of. Tears. I cannot watch this episode without a soggy tissue clutched in one hand. This is the episode that broke my heart and won me over to the series completely. R.I.P. Pete.

  6. StarGirlAlice says:

    This was the first ever episode of Dr Who that I watched when it was tv. And I love it. I even used it as an example in one of my philosophy seminars last year when we were discussing time travel and the grandfather paradox!!

  7. Maya says:

    I loooooooooove this episode, even though it isn't my favorite (THAT WOULD BE THE NEXT TWO FAVORITE DOCTOR WHO EPISODES EVER PERIOD ZOMG CAN'T WAIT). I love how it establishes the rules for why not to mess with your own timeline in a serious terrifying but awesome way.

    And Pete <3333333333333 forever.

  8. katherinemh says:

    I love love LOVE when The Doctor is talking to the couple. "Street corner, two in the morning!"

    Also, "Now, Rose, you're not going to bring about the end of the world, are you?"

    • Yes! The Doctor with baby Rose and the bridal couple were my favorite scenes in this episode.

    • kelseyintherain says:

      Lol, I love all the scenes with baby!Rose and Mickey.

    • sabra_n says:

      RTD likes the "street corner, two in the morning!" story so much he made it the "origin story" in Bob and Rose – which is a totally adorable romance I highly recommend, by the way. 😛 Penelope Wilton (who played Harriet Jones, MP) is heartbreakingly wonderful in it.

  9. Randomcheeses says:

    Toddler Mickey: Cutest thing ever.

    Baby Rose: Close runner up.

  10. NB2000 says:

    My heart broke for the whole Tyler family in this episode, I've never liked Rose much and I'm usually quick to blame her for things but even I can't do that here. I'm sure most of us would have wanted to do something similar in her shoes and she didn't know what would happen if she changed things.

    "I think I just imprinted myself on Mickey like a mother chicken." I KNOW what she's referring to (thank you psychology A-level) and I KNOW this episode must have been in written in something like 2004, long before Twilight was inflicted upon the world but…*shudder* Thank you SMeyer for RUINING ALL THE THINGS.

    • Lolua says:

      That bit about the imprinting will stick with me now, coincidental though it may have been. o_O

      This is my favorite Nine episode.

  11. who cares says:

    Go on it was good enough for Lady Di.

  12. Albion says:

    Paul Cornell is a fantastic writer and this episode is one of my favourites. The ending always makes me cry ;__;

  13. diane says:

    This is an episode that bears rewatyching once in a while. It was a lot mor eintense this time around.

  14. monkeybutter says:

    I have somehow never seen this episode, so now I have to take back what I said about Rose not screwing everything up…oh well! The Doctor should have known better than to let her watch her father die twice. The initial paradox couldn't have happened if he weren't given to sentimentality the way humans are. Sheesh.

    Such a sweet episode. It's my new favorite so far.

    • liliaeth says:

      Yeah, it's one thing to hold back from saving your father once, but to be able to do it a second time… that's just too much to ask for.

  15. kytten says:

    Oh, I love pretty much everything about this episode, it's so good- including the utter un-romance of the real relationships in it.

    Bad wolf just keeps popping up doesn't it? You keep asking what it means, but I'm not going to tell you, hah.

  16. psycicflower says:

    I love how amazingly 80s-tastic the wedding is.

    I am so easy for time travel so I love when Doctor Who goes there and starts dealing with changing the past, paradoxes, alternate time lines, etc. But even aside from that this is a great episode.

    The importance of just one ordinary person, I love that about Doctor Who. It’s a show about the fantastical and the amazing possibilities of time and space and yet there’s always this underlying hope, wonder and good in the everyday and ordinary, and every now and again it surfaces for just glorious moments like it does in this episode.

    It’s hard to feel like Rose did something wrong when she’s just so happy about the silliest little things about her Dad. Through out the episode I go back and forward between you idiot and feeling so bad for her. I mean when she's making up memories about Pete it's clear that she's thought about what it would be like to grown up with her Dad a lot and it breaks my heart. I also love how they don't idealise Pete or Jackie or their relationship. They're real people who fight and have problems and worry about money. It''s obviously sad that he has to sacrifice himself but Pete’s so positive about it, that he had more time, got to say goodbye, got to see Rose grown. To him it's not some woe is me angst fest, it's a blessing.

    I hate when anything bad happens to the TARDIS.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    Why yes, I am stanning for the idea of sentient TARDIS.

    This episode is the reason I always associate Rose’s Theme with sadness. It’s a melancholy enough piece already but this episode really seals how bittersweet it sounds for me because there’s so much of Rose’s theme in the Fathers Day piece.

    I wanted to post these yesterday but I've been down the country the past few days visiting family and barely managing a phone signal never mind the internet.
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  17. Openattheclose says:

    I'm sorry that he died and all, but the groom's dad in this episode was so mean in the beginning. I know he thinks his son is making a big mistake, but there is a time and a place for convincing your son not to get married and at the church waiting for the bride is not it. Sorry, that just really bothered me on my re-watch. Still, I loved his phone, and I remember my Dad having one just like it.

    I love Jackie so much! And little Mickey clinging to Rose, haha! I love the episodes that actually deal with time travel instead of just using the time travel as a vehicle to get to their next adventure.

    Also, Rose and Nine's "break up" at Pete's is so sad for me. I think the Doctor is more mad at himself, because he KNOWS he shouldn't have even given her the opportunity.

  18. Thennary Nak says:

    I love love love this episode. I still get emotional over Pete's sacrifice even though I've watched the episode many times already.

    I think that really jumped out at me watching the episode the first time was when the beasts were taking victims that some of the first was a mother with a baby. I'm so used to having mothers with children and young children in general being avoided to be shown as victims from sci-fi and fantasy shows. I actually rather like the idea that when everyone in the world is in danger you are shown that they really do mean everyone as it really makes whatever is happening seem more real and scary.

  19. Matthew says:

    In answer to fannish questions about why the Reapers (which is the name of the creatures, although they're not named in the episode) don't appear any time there's a paradox, Paul Cornell made the point that it's a pretty extreme situation. Pete is alive when he shouldn't be; Rose saved him because he died,but if he doesn't die there's no reason to save him; and there were two versions of her and the Doctor present when she did it. It's all those things together that make a weak point that the reapers can burst through. Later on, the two versions of Rose touching just makes things worse.

    The implication is that the changes to the timeline that result from turning up somewhere in history and getting involved are generally safe, even without the Time Lords around, and that the Doctor has sense of impact of what he's doing.

  20. Hypatia_ says:

    If you were wondering "Why can't the Doctor just go back in time and do ::whatever::?", this episode provides a nicely non-metaphysical answer: Because of the Killer Cosmic Time Bats, that's why.

  21. azurefalls says:

    Awesome episode.
    Also: the track, Father's Day, on the score, is like HEAVEN IN YOUR EARS. Seriously. Mad props to MGold, love that man.

  22. echinodermata says:

    So I know it's an unpopular opinion, but I just don't care for this episode nearly as much as others do. I mean, it works for me – it's funny and has an interesting story and brings out some uglier sides of these characters, which I appreciate, but I would never include it as one of my favorites, or even one of my favorites for season 1.

    I think it's partly because I love the weird time travel stories as opposed to the sort of stories where the characters just end up in the past/future, so I think of this episode as being wasted potential plot-wise. I get that the heart of this episode is about emotional development and the characters, but I ultimately feel unsatisfied.

    But hearts for Jackie!

  23. Lemone says:

    I think that a good deal of the people who don’t like The Long Game do so because it’s not Father’s Day. Both episodes represent fantastic television, but TLG doesn’t have that ooey gooey universially identifiable emotional center that FD does. FD is especially effecting to those who have lost their Dad —or anyone really— at a young age as well. You always wonder what might have been.

    I love this episode. It’s one of the ones where Billie Piper’s acting really shines through. It’s hard to believe that a former pop idol could have such talent.

    For me, this episode is all about Pete and how he realizes what’s going on and what has to happen by degrees. He has that talk with Rose and he knows she’s lying, knows that it’s far too idealic for Rose just telling a white lie to avoid saying ” you were a craptacular dad,” and then we see him looking out the window of the church, at that car trapped at time… The look on his face when it dawns on him gives me chills every time.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      RIGHT. So sad.

      What did Billie Piper used to do? I'm unfamiliar with her.

      • calimie says:

        (I tried embedding it but it didn't work)

      • barnswallowkate says:

        She was British Britney Spears. A lot of her music videos are on YouTube and they're spectacularly 90s.

      • kytten says:

        She was briefly a bubblegum popstar; and then she married Chris Evans (a radio dj/tv personality, usually considered pretty much an insufferable wanker) and disappeared for a bit.

        When it was announced she was going to work in acting, we all groaned a bit, and then we were pleasantly surprised.

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          &gt;When it was announced she was going to work in acting, we all groaned a bit, and then we were pleasantly surprised.

          I hold my hand up to that. When I heard Christopher Eccleston was the Doctor, I was so excited by the statement of quality that casting made. Then they announced Billie Piper, and I was like, Oh dear, they've blown the casting budget and can't afford anybody decent!

          Boy did I have a healthy diet of humble pie to eat after that!

    • Openattheclose says:

      Personally, I don't really like the Long Game because I find it boring, not because I have a huge great love of Father's Day. I get what you mean, and that may be true for some, but I just didn't like it.

      • thirty2flavors says:

        Yeah, I don't find Long Game bad in a "this offends me!" way, but I find it bad in a "well…. there is no reason I would ever want to see that again" way. Just dull and forgettable, I guess. It is one of the few episodes I've only ever seen once and will probably never see again.

        • Openattheclose says:

          See, I actually didn't mind it that much the first time, but I tried to watch it again earlier this week because I am trying to re-watch at Mark's pace, and it.was.torture to watch. I actually fell asleep the first time I tried to re-watch it and I rarely ever fall asleep watching tv or movies. I was pretty tired though, but I think there are a lot of other Who episodes I would have been able to stay awake for.

          • thirty2flavors says:

            I marathoned s1 in probably about two days, so at the time it wasn't like I was going "THIS EPISODE IS TERRIBLE". Most episodes I later considered sub-par didn't stick out much in that first marathon, because my need for MOAR DOCTOR WHO meant that I didn't dwell on any one episode, I just skipped along to the next.

            But looking back, there's nothing in Long Game I want to see again.

  24. calimie says:

    I love this episode, it's easily one of the best of Nine, I almost teared up again just reading your review and the comments.

    Jackie is wonderful, I had forgotten how fantastic she is. I loved the way she created that image of Pete for Rose, even he was nothing like that. And then, when it counted, he was.

    I also like the conversation between the Doctor and the couple: a reminder that you don't have to save the universe every other week to be important, that ordinary lives are important and valued for their own right.

    BTW, LOL at Rose imprinting on baby!Mickey.

  25. Kaci says:

    Nine and Rose are my least favorite Doctor / Companion, so S1 holds very little appeal for me (which is why I'm so stoked for you, Mark, because if you like it this much already, I can't wait to see how much you like it once the characters I actually care about show up) but this episode gets me every time. I rewatched it last night in preparation of reading your review today and ended up crying like a baby. Pete Tyler, you're a star.

    When you mentioned "positive form of existentialism" all I could think of was a quote from Angel the series: "If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."

    • nanceoir says:

      I love that line from Angel, because whether or not anything we do matters, all that we know matters is what we do, and if we should accordingly, it won't matter if things we do matter.

    • Openattheclose says:

      You get an A+ fr the great Angel quote. Now I want to go watch "Reprise" and "Epiphany."

  26. Lily says:

    Mark, I don't know if you've said you noticed this, but in The End of the World, the Moxx of Balhoon mentions the "Bad Wolf scenario" to the Face of Boe.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      Impressively, Mark has noticed ALL the Bad Wolf references so far, including that first one. The next one's probably the toughest one to spot, though.

  27. kelseyintherain says:

    This was the first Doctor Who episode where I was actually crying. Just…augh, everyhing with Rose's dad. I HAVE DADDY ISSUES OKAY?

    Just reading this review puts me in dire need of some happy.

  28. Minish says:

    RIP Pete. For the little amount of time we knew ye, we grew to love you.

    This is a really good example of how episodes of Doctor Who can be as diverse as they want because of the format. In most episodes, we're riding the journey along with Doctor, uncovering the mystery as he does. In this episode, we know what's suppose to happen, but the story is driven by the emotions of the characters.

    Oh, Mark. If only I could tell you the shit for which thou art not prepared.

  29. Tauriel says:

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster here. 🙂 Hi Mark! I enjoyed your "Mark Reads Harry Potter" blogs – it was very refreshing seeing the series through the eyes of someone who's read it for the first time again.

    I won't spoil you for anything, but if you like time travel, you'll LOVE some of the episodes written by Stephen Moffat. That man REALLY knows how to use time travel as a plot device, rather than simply as a framing device.

    • calimie says:

      I'm afraid that's a spoiler in itself because it highlights a theme of a particular writer.

      • exbestfriend says:

        Yeah, but Moffat is credited with at least 13 episodes and he has worked on much more than that and since he is currently the executive producer of a show that has a time travelling police box, he should be good at using time travel. It's kind of like saying that Davies writes some really great alien planet episodes. Sure but there are so many episodes he is credited for, you wouldn't be able to pick out which ones to look forward to.

        But I am anti-spoiler in any form so I will agree that this tests the demarcation line.

      • Tauriel says:

        Please note that I said "SOME of the episodes written by Moffat". 😉 He's wrote quite a lot of them by now, so I intentionally didn't say which (or in which series).

  30. Vicki Louise says:

    Mark, is there a limit on how many characters a guest commenter can use? I just wrote loads of stuff but it kept telling me it was to long so had to delete half of it 🙁

  31. buyn says:

    Somehow this episode got a 2 out of 5 for scariness. Pfft, those Reapers were way scarier looking than the slitheen imo. Ah Pete, flirtin with his daughter. Oh how creepy.

  32. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    First Doctor Who episode to make me cry. One of the most emotionally charged episodes ever. This was new territory for the show. So much so that when it first aired, my reaction was uncertain. Oh, it was brilliant, wonderful, powerful, emotional drama…but was it Doctor Who? In the end, I concluded: It is now!

    It's another demonstration that Doctor Who can tell any story, in any genre, in any style, set anywhere in time and space. That's what sets Doctor Who apart and makes every single story uniquely memorable.

    To quote Steven Moffat, "Beat that, `Vets in Love`!"

  33. AlliAnne says:

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    I love how the doctor loves rose so much that he didn't suggest having her dad kill himself.

  34. jennywildcat says:

    I love, love, LOVE this episode so much!! Paul Cornell is such a brilliant DW writer – one of my favorites!

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

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    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    I had a really good gif of Pete and Rose from this episode… but Photobucket refuses to let me upload it 🙁 Oh well, I'll just pretend.

  35. rowanlee says:

    This is probably my third favorite episode of this series, and HOLY HELL I forgot how much it made me teary up. Doctor Who is one of those few shows that can make me cry, and this one comes terribly close. It's bloody heartbreaking. DW has that tendency- to be both intensely silly and deeply touching.

  36. quizzabella says:

    I love this episode (oh but so looking forward to the reviews of the next few ;)). What Rose did was really stupid, but put in the same position I reckon a lot of us would do the same thing. And oh those winged things picking people off – that's pretty scary given that it's a family show that went out at what 7.30/ 8 o clock ish?
    It's quite a telling episode regarding the relationship between the Doctor and Rose. He knows it's going to end badly but can't say no to her, and when he's angry I always took it as himself being angry at himself for letting it happen. He's pretty quick to forgive her when things are at their worst and they share a hug. But then that's the fun thing about Dr Who; you can interpret a lot of things in different ways.

    • kaybee42 says:

      probably closer to 6.30… I remember series 5 was messed around a bit but always started between 6 and 7. So yeah they normally get shown right after tea.

  37. doesntsparkle says:

    I think that this was the episode that turned me into a true fan. I liked the most of the sci-fi stuff in the earlier episodes, but the emotion in the episode really worked for me. Rose messing with time was kind of stupid, but I can't blame her for it.

    I thought that the paradox was created because there were two versions of the Doctor and Rose at the same place and the same time. So, if Rose would have saved her father the first time, there wouldn't have been giant space pterodactyls attacking. Anyway, thanks for saving the world Pete Tyler!

    Random Trivia: Simon Pegg was originally going to play Pete, but the timing did not work out so he was The Editor instead.

    • calimie says:

      there were two versions of the Doctor and Rose at the same place and the same time. So, if Rose would have saved her father the first time, there wouldn't have been giant space pterodactyls attacking.

      That's what I think too, the problem was that the first versions see them and they disappear. If Rose 1 sees Pete saved by Rose 2, she has no reason to go back and try again. Right?

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        True and I think the very dramatic nature of it is what "softened" that spot, as the Doctor said, and allowed those things to enter into the world and do their work.

  38. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E08 – Father’s Day | Mark Watches --

  39. fantasylover12001 says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes of Season 1 easily. I just loved the whole ep. Though I think some of my favorite parts was the part with The Doctor cooing at baby Rose about not messing up in the future and toddler Mickey hugging Rose and Jackie going "I pitty his future girlfriend" not realizing she's looking at his future girlfriend (of sorts…one of them anyway…oh never mind). Oh the fun of time travel, no? Also, Jackie's eighties hair was awesome.

  40. I keep hoping Jackie will adopt me, which probably is strange because I have the coolest Mum in the Universe (the Doctor has researched this and backs my claim. The psychic paper says so.)

    Oh, this episode makes me sob. Heck, even reading ABOUT it makes me sob.

    I think what I love about this episode is that the Doctor and Rose both royally screw up at various intervals. The Doctor sometimes has selective memory loss when he makes snide comments about human companions screwing up. (Hi Doc, remember the Gelth? NOT SUCH A GREAT IDEA, MATE!)

    Also: Pete forever, what a wonderful character. Doctor Who is so wonderful in that it doesn't fall into the familiar trope of, "Everything that goes wrong must be the dad or husband, because they have ALL THE SCREWUPS". Jackie and Pete were both imperfect, just like Rose and the Doctor are. What amazes me is that Jackie and Pete make us fall in love with them despite having far less screentime. Best Scifi parents ever? Heck yes.

  41. IsabelArcher2 says:

    Man, I really need to look out for this Bad Wolf stuff, because I've missed it every time!

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      You're not alone. I didn't notice until `the episode in which it's highlighted` (avoiding spoilers here) at which point I had to go back and find them. I'd noticed BAD WOLF spray painted on the TARDIS in AoL/WW3 – I'm not THAT unobservant – but I just took it as random graffitti. It seemed to more weird than the real life graffitti I see around here.

  42. Bad Wolf says:

    Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf.

  43. cdnstar says:

    Did you know that there is a livejournal community that exists solely for people to post pictures and accounts of them either writing or finding 'Bad Wolf' somewhere in real life? Trufax.

    My favourite part of this episode is that we get to see the Doctor being fallible – he is unable to fix the problem, and it falls to Pete/Rose to do it themselves. Well, that and the fact that we're revisiting Rose's past, which is a great thing to help build her character but also to delve into the idea of constructed history, as well. Oh, that's a favourite topic of mine. But I do have to say that I loved toddler Mickey. So adorable.

  44. syntheticjesso says:

    Starting my comment before I watch the episode… the first (and only) time I watched this, I cried. WILL I CRY THIS TIME KNOWING WHAT'S COMING? Probably. It's been a stressful day, I'm all wrung out, so I will probably cry. Also, it has to do with dads, specifically a dead dad, so that will be extra UGH for me, because I love my dad <3



    Anyways! This is such a good episode, but I don't like to watch it because any story that has bad things happening to good dads makes me sad. MY DAD IS NEVER EVER ALLOWED TO DIE EVER, basically. But this is still a strong episode. I like seeing what happens when there is a paradox. So many time travel stories either handwave paradoxes away, or get really clever with the "well it wasn't really a paradox because this is what happened all along!" bit. I don't think I've ever seen something bad happen from a paradox, so this is kind of cool in that regard.

    Also, dang, when the Doctor disappears? It's amazing how quickly you get used to the idea that the Doctor fixes everything, and that you need him to fix it. The instant he was gone, I was thinking "Well how are they going to get out of this, then?" Well, the first time I watched the episode. This time around, I knew what was coming. But still, you get the idea. Having him out of the picture so that the puny humans save themselves was also a new thing.

  45. sablize says:

    I'm pretty sure the internet is going to explode when you find out what Bad Wolf is xD I love that you're so obsessed with it, because I didn't catch on until very, very late. And looking back I feel really dumb.

    OH MAN, NEXT EPISODE. Favorite two parter. Yep, it even beats The Impossible Planet and Human Nature two-parters. I'M SO EXCITED 😀

  46. syntheticjesso says:

    Okay, I can't find the Bad Wolf in this episode. WHERE IS IT? Can someone give me a time frame or something?

  47. totiebinds says:

    "Watson, come here, I need you."

    Other than some cool historical tidbits this show sometimes motivates you to look up and learn, man I thought that was the creepiest thing on this show until something something something soon. 😀 Mark, you are NOT PREPARED!

  48. forthejokes says:

    I haven't actually watched this episode in a while, but it is definitely my favourite of series one. Other than that, I have no particular order of preference for Eccleston episodes, as long as he says 'fantastic'

  49. kaleidoscoptics says:

    This is the one episode I cannot rewatch. I was four when my father died, and I know without hesitation that I would do exactly the same thing that Rose did.

  50. Fusionman says:

    Oh god this episode. This is one of the rare things in media that actually makes me cry. Seeing how Toy Story 3 is also on that list it's a honor.

    So now my random facts.

    A. In the BBC 3 airing of Rose some Graham Norton audio accidentally snuck in during a scene. He won't ruin a moment just this once either… Forgot to say this one earlier sorry Mark.

    B. The next episode is the first Moffat episode! That, Dalek and this episode sealed my eternal love for this Series.

    C. As I said during The Long Game Tom Baker AKA the 4th Doctor said that the Moffat episode that's next is the best episode of Doctor Who ever. Baker is also in the top 3 most loved Doctors just to let you know how cool that is.

    • rowanlee says:

      In the BBC 3 airing of Rose some Graham Norton audio accidentally snuck in during a scene. He won't ruin a moment just this once either…

      … bwahahaha, I'd forgotten that! Blimey, Graham, I love you, but what IS it with you and Doctor Who?

      • Fusionman says:

        Well he IS a fan. He even made a joke about it the second time.

        What's with his poor luck though? I don't know. BBC loves Norton more than Who?

    • Tauriel says:

      Not to mention that an animated ad for Graham Norton’s show “Over the Rainbow” pretty much ruined the most dramatic moment of one Series 5 episode (first part of a two-parter). BBC is so stupid sometimes…

  51. niamheryoumind says:

    "this super positive form of existentialism"

    I love this about Doctor Who. There is something so EXCITING about everything, even everyday stuff when you see it through his eyes.

  52. trash_addict says:


    Sick, I know, but I did get a bit of a giggle out of Pete just being a LITTLE bit pervy with her.

  53. Zoe says:

    Mark, I was just wondering what you're using to watch all of these, for some reason I think you said you were using something online, but then again that may be compltetly wrong as my mind likes to make things up sometimes! It's just it's been ages since I watched these episodes, and I was only young then anyway, so I'd love to watch along with you but can't seem to find anything.

  54. AngryAsian says:

    i am only just now catching up with the episodes & posts. am i the only one who thought rose was being a jackass???? i don't think i like her character, at all.

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