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Rose’s Dad and the Reapers
This episode by Paul Cornell is definitely a Rose story. It’s about her meeting her dad in 1987 before he got hit by a car that kills him. It’s a story about breaking the laws of time when involved in history.
Rose saves her dad from being killed and the Doctor becomes angry, as it causes a paradox. Not only does it cause a paradox, but it also allows the Reapers to enter and to devour everybody out of time.
This is a real tear-breaker of an episode that is marvellously written by Paul Cornell. Paul would go on to write my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ audio CD, ‘Circular Time’, with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa in it.
Billie Piper delivers a lovely and strong performance as Rose Tyler in this episode. Rose goes through an emotional journey in meeting her father, seeing her parents argue and seeing herself as a baby.
Rose was told stories about her dad by her mum and it was interesting when she goes back in time to meet him. She finds he is not what she expected him to be and didn’t get on well with her mum.
Christopher Eccleston is brilliant as the Doctor in this episode. Chris delivers a mixture of emotions in his performance as the Doctor, when interacting with Rose from being happy to sad and being angry.
The argument scenes with the Doctor and Rose are pretty intense, concerning saving Pete’s life and changing history. It was touching when the Doctor and Rose apologised to each other in the church.
I like the scene where the Doctor reassures the couple getting married at the church that he’ll try to save them. It was a nice little moment that demonstrates the Doctor’s compassion and love for life.
Shaun Dingwall guest stars as Pete Tyler, Rose’s dad. I really liked it when Pete meets Rose and discovers that she is his grown-up daughter. He doesn’t know at first but soon gradually works it out.
Pete is delighted to see his grown-up daughter, though wonders why she came back in time to meet him. He soon realises that he was meant to die and takes the blame for it when Rose blames herself.
Camille Coduri returns as Jackie Tyler, Rose’s mum. It was interesting to see how Jackie told her daughter Rose as a girl about her dad and how she and Pete did not get on with each other in 1987.
Mickey Smith makes an appearance as a little boy in this episode. I was quite surprised to see him in this episode. It was very surreal when little Mickey runs into Rose and hugs him, echoing the future.
The Reapers are bat-like monsters who ‘come to seal the wound’ after Rose saves her dad. They’re pretty vicious and terrifying creatures when they come to attack as they make an awful, scary sound.
The 1987 setting of this episode is interesting. It feels familiar, yet there’s something different about it as ‘the past is another country’. Rose notices how ordinary the day is with her dad’s death in 1987.
The final scene where Peter Tyler makes the ultimate sacrifice is pretty emotional and upsetting. It was very touching when Pete says his goodbyes to Rose and Jackie before going off to die at the end.
‘Father’s Day’ is a very sad and emotional story for Rose Tyler. This is a very good episode with fantastic performances from Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston and well-written by Paul Cornell.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 3 of ‘The Complete Series 1’, there’s a commentary with Billie Piper; Sean Dingwall; producer Phil Collinson and writer Paul Cornell. On Disc 5, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Time Trouble’.
‘Father’s Day’ rating – 8/10
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