Doctor Who

Season 1 Episode 8

Father's Day

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 14, 2005 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
671 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Location: London, Earth Date: 7 November, 1987 Enemy: The Reapers
Rose requests a trip back to the day her father, Pete Tyler, died. Reluctantly, the Doctor agrees, but he realises he has made a mistake, when Rose saves Pete from being run over by a car. This has now changed the timeline, and Reapers are transposing themselves all over the Universe. However, this time, the Doctor doesn't have a plan…moreless

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  • Easily my favourite Rose Tyler episode!

    If you are someone who protests the way that NuWho includes stories focused on the companions and their families rather than just timey-wimey travels, then this episode is not for you. If, however, you like your timey-wimey with a dash of heart-wrenching emotion and just a touch of tight storytelling then Father's Day is just the thing for you. Through the story of Pete Tyler (Rose's deceased father) Paul Cornell tells a story of love, loss, and the dangers of meddling in time.

    There's not a whole lot more I can say about this episode. I've sung the praises of the Tyler family and complained about the design of the alien threat. There's nothing more to talk about, save the ending of the episode when Pete says goodbye to Jackie and Rose before rushing out into the street and stepping in front of the time-loop caught car in order to close the wound in time and destroy the Reapers. This scene could have bombed, especially the way it's drawn out with Pete saying an extended and choked up farewell to his wife and both versions of his daughter. Thankfully, the writing in this episode has allowed we as the audience to fall in love with Pete and so connect all the better with the top-notch acting of Shaun Dingwall, Camille Coduri, and Billie Piper as they beautifully portray the torn hearts of all their characters. Pete's thanks to Rose for giving him just a few hours with her made a lump rise even in my cynical throat and Rose sitting in the street beside her dying father made me get up and walk away for a moment. True, Rose causes terrible space/time problems with her decision and one could argue that will Pete becoming the 'reset button', she never suffers any I actually believe that, for once, she does. Rose saving Pete is not an example of what a horrible companion she is, but it does actually insert some real humanity into her. It's her dad and it's not like The Doctor explained the consequences of saving him to her. Besides, the ending where she has to watch him die despite all of her efforts is her 'punishment'. (I'm not saying she learned from the experience or anything, but I am congratulating Paul Cornell for having the guts to actually give Rose Tyler fallout from her decisions).

    Father's Day is a great episode that not only explores the theory of paradoxes and the Butterfly Effect, but delves into the hearts of a family and allows us to connect with them in a way we hadn't before. It had its problems (the most notable being the obligatory alien threat and the old-things-repel-reapers plothole) but for the most part it delivered with storytelling and characters. I give this episode a 7/10. Some people may complain about the emphasis put on the companion's family but if there would be more stories written that are the calibre of this one, I would not protest should this motif be continued.

  • Paradox

    An interesting and impactful episode, although one of the show's few plainly nonsensical time travel stories. Also contradictory to the Doctor's canon opinion on time travel.
  • Father's Day

    Father's Day was a superbly entertaining episode and I really enjoyed watching. The story was intriguing and it was great to see the Doctor conflicted over Roses actions. It was great to see the consequences of changing the past with out care. I liked seeing Roses mother in the past with different hair and it was great to meet her father. I liked how it all played out though and there were some good lessons learned. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Rose wishes to be there for her father as he dies, but saves his life, releasing the Reapers from the Time Vortex. With the Doctor soon devoured by one, will Rose give up her lviing father to undo the paradox she created?moreless

    This episode seems to be the only episode that shows the weakness of Rose's character. She saves her father from being hit by a car with a second pair of her and the Doctor around, weakening time and space enough for the Vortex Reapers to emerge and devour the whole world. Due to the stupidity of Pete trying to prove that Rose is the same as the infant Rose, the two touch, strengthening the paradox and allowing a Reaper to kill the Doctor and leave only the option of pete giving his life to save the world, but not until he shows Rose that he trully was a good father despite his shortcomings.moreless
  • Not a big fan of the time paradox, but this episode is all about heart.

    This is a really good episode where the enemy is not as much out there as it is within ourselves. I'm not a fan of the time paradox, and whether crossing one's own time-line is possible or not, but they did a good job of not making this the heart of the episode.

    It is a little disappointing that this episode came so soon after Rose witnesses a stupid choice by others [namely Adam's selfishness from last episode]. Did she not learn anything about trying to make changes. It was good that they made it more spur the moment a gut reaction. There is a lot of emotion throughout, with the Doctor giving some tough love, but Shaun Dingwall who plays Rose's father does a nice job of showing a roller-coaster of feelings. This all adds up to a sad ending were you do feel Rose's pain.moreless
Shaun Dingwall

Shaun Dingwall

Pete Tyler

Guest Star

Casey Dyer

Casey Dyer

Young Mickey

Guest Star

Christopher Llewellyn

Christopher Llewellyn


Guest Star

Camille Coduri

Camille Coduri

Jackie Tyler

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • When everybody runs in the church during the initial reaper attack, Jackie picks up Rose's baby carriage. However, it is obviously empty.

    • The Doctor is very careful to avoid Rose coming into contact with baby Rose.

      This isn't the first time the Doctor has been concerned about this - although it doesn't apply (it seems) to Time Lords.

      In Mawdryn Undead The Brigadier comes into contact with a past version of himself, causing a sort of "temporal short".

    • (Unless Rose has 2 phones) Adam could have given back the phone to Rose in the TARDIS on the journey between 200,000 and Adam's own time.

    • This episode shows that changing history has violent ramifications. However this also implies that every time the Doctor or his companions saves someone's life (or kills them--cf. The End of the World) there is a risk of something like this happening--especially if they don't know the local history.

    • Rose's mum does not look 20 years younger as compared to Aliens of London/World War III which is supposedly 2006. Even with the big hair.

    • Although the TARDIS has changed into just a call box, the Doctor leaves it without locking it.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Stuart: Excuse me, Mister...
      The Doctor: Doctor.
      Stuart: You seem to know what's going on.
      The Doctor: I give that impression, yeah.

    • Rose: You can't tell her.
      Pete: Why?
      Rose: I mean, uh, I really don't want you to tell her.
      Pete: What, you don't want people to know?
      Rose: Where I come from, Jackie doesn't know how to work the time on the video recorder.
      Pete: I showed her that last week. Point taken.

    • new version of Pete's death
      Jackie: The driver was just a kid. 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, and she held his hand, and then she was gone. I never found out who she was.

    • original version of Pete's death
      Jackie: He died so close to home. I wasn't there, nobody was. It was a hit and run driver, never found out who. He was dead when the ambulance got there. I only wish there had been someone there for him.

    • (Opening of the episode)
      Rose: Peter Alan Tyler, my dad. The most wonderful man in the world. Born fifteenth September, 1954.

    • Rose: When time gets sorted out…
      The Doctor: Everybody here forgets what happened. Don't worry. The thing that you changed will… stay changed.
      Pete: You mean I'll still be alive. Though I'm meant to be dead. [pause] That's why I haven't done anything with my life. Why I didn't mean anything.
      The Doctor: It doesn't work like that.
      Pete: Rubbish. I'm so useless I couldn't even die properly.

    • Pete: Am I a good dad?
      Rose: You told me a bedtime story every night when I was small. You were always there. You never missed one. And, um… you took us for picnics in the country every Saturday. You never let us down. You were there for us all the time. Someone I could really rely on.
      Pete: That's not me.

    • Pete: Me and Rose were just talking.
      Jackie: Oh yeah? Talking? While the world comes to an end, what do you do? Cling to the youngest blonde.

    • The Doctor: Between you and me, I haven't got a plan. No idea. No way out.
      Rose: You'll think of something.
      The Doctor: The entire Earth's been sterilised. This and other places 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.

    • The Doctor: The police can't help you now. No one can. Nothing in this universe can harm those things. Time's been damaged and they've come to sterilise the wound. (pause; he walks over to Rose) By consuming everything inside.
      Rose: Is this because… Is this my fault?
      (The Doctor doesn't answer her, but just walks away)

    • Jackie: (about Rose) Another one of yours, is she?
      Pete: She saved my life!
      Jackie: Oh, that's a new one. What was it last time?
      Pete: I didn't even know her. She was a cloakroom attendant. (to Rose) I was helping her look for my ticket. There was three duffel coats all the same, somehow the rack… collapsed. We were under all this stuff.
      Rose: Were you playing around?
      Jackie: What's it got to do with you what he gets up to?
      Rose: What does he get up to?
      Jackie: You'd know!
      Pete: Oh, cos I'm that stupid? I play around and I then bring her to meet the missus? You silly cow.
      Jackie: But you are that stupid!
      Pete: Can we keep this stuff for back home, just for now?
      Jackie: What, with the rest of the rubbish? You bring home cut-price detergents, tonic water, Betamax tapes and none of it works! I'm drowning in your rubbish! (to Rose) What did he tell you? Did he say he's this big businessman? Cos he's not. He's a failure! Born failure, that one.

    • Rose: I think he left me.
      Pete: What? A pretty girl like you? If I was going out with you…
      Rose: Stop. Right there!
      Pete: I'm just saying…
      Rose: I know what you're saying, and we're not going there. At no point are we going anywhere near there. You're not even aware that there exists. I don't even wanna think about there and believe me, neither do you. There, for you, is like… like, the Bermuda Triangle.

    • Rose: It's so weird. The day my father died. I thought it'd be all sort of grim and stormy but it's just an ordinary day.

    • Sarah: And I know we're not important...
      The Doctor: Who said you're not important? I've travelled to all sorts of places, done things you can't even imagine. But... you two... street corner, two in the morning. Getting a taxi home. I never had a life like that. Yes, I'll try to save you.

    • Pete: Now 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.

    • The 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.

    • The Doctor: My entire planet died. My whole family. You think it never occurred to me to go back and save them?

    • The Doctor: Your wish is my command. But be careful what you wish for.

    • The Doctor: I did it again. I picked another stupid ape. I should have known. It's not about showing you the universe. It never is. It's about the universe doing something for you.

    • The Doctor: The past is another country. 1987's just the Isle of Wight.

    • The Doctor: I've waited a long time to say this: Jackie Tyler, do as I say!

    • The Doctor: Just... tell me you're sorry.

    • The Doctor: So don't touch the baby!
      Rose: I'm not stupid!
      The Doctor: You could have fooled me!

  • NOTES (15)

    • On the DVD commentary for this episode, Billie Piper said this was her favourite episode from the first season.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: October 18, 2009 on CNBC-e.

    • In the original script, when the Doctor opened up the TARDIS it was meant to fall apart instead of just appearing empty. This was changed due to cost reasons, but writer Paul Cornell stated on the commentary he thought the change was an improvement.

    • Originally writer Paul Cornell envisioned the Reapers as having the well-known hood & scythe appearance of the Grim Reaper. However, later drafts saw this change into something less humanoid. Special effects company The Mill made the Reapers' tails scythe-shaped in tribute to Cornell's original concept.

      The Hood and Scythe creatures later appeared in Torchwood episode, 'Exit Wounds'.

    • Music: 'Never Gonna Give You Up' by Rick Astley, and then 'Don't Mug Yourself' by The Streets, playing in the car as Rose and Pete drive to the wedding.

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 8.06 million.

    • The church used in this episode is St Paul's Church in Grangetown, Cardiff.

    • The location where Pete Tyler is originally killed is Loudoun Square, Bute Town, Cardiff, which was also the same location used for the "big yellow truck" scene in "The Parting of the Ways."

    • Paul Cornell has previously written an adventure for the Ninth Doctor...but not Christopher Eccleston. Cornell wrote Scream of the Shalka, a fully Flash-animated internet-broadcast adventure produced by the BBC and featuring Richard E. Grant as the Ninth Doctor.

    • This episode was nominated for the 2006 Hugo award for "Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form."

    • The reptilian flying creatures are never identified as "Reapers" either on-screen or in the script. They are only given that name in the publicity material, presumably so that they could be called something. They bear a resemblance to the Chronovores, a creature from the original series' episode "The Time Monster." Writer Paul Cornell also used the Chronovores in his novel No Future.

    • The driver of the car is identified as "Matt" in the shooting script but not on-screen.

    • Working titles: "Wounded Time" and "Wound in Time."

    • Another "Bad Wolf" sighting: toward the beginning of the episode, as the shot pans left along the posters on the brick wall, the "Energize" poster on the bottom has been defaced with the words "Bad Wolf".

    • Described in the Radio Times Doctor Who special as: "there'll be trouble if you go trying to change history - as Rose discovers to her cost".


    • Suzie: There's no one from the Lamb and Flag...

      The Lamb and Flag was one of the regular settings in 'Bottom' a British sitcom of the early 1990s, and later a series of stage shows written by Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson.

    • Registrar: I, Peter Alan Tyler, take you, Jacqueline Andrea Suzette Prentice…
      Pete: I, Peter Alan Tyler, take you, Jacqueline… Suzanne… Suzette… Anita…
      Jackie: (to Registrar) Oh, just carry on. It was good enough for Lady Di.

      Jackie refers to the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles at St. Paul's Cathedral on July 29 1981 when she famously got his names mixed up when taking her vows.

    • Voice On Phone: Watson, come here, I need you.
      This is intended to be the first words ever spoken via telephone by inventor Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant Thomas A. Watson on March 10 1876. However, there is some debate as to the original wording of the message, whether Bell said he 'wanted' Watson or 'needed' him.

    • Rose: So you're a bit of a Del Boy then?
      Del Boy is the dodgy loveable hero in the BBC sit-com 'Only Fools And Horses' (BBC TV 15.9.1981 – 25.12.2003).