“Father’s Day,” Doctor Who, Season 1, Episode 8

This show’s entry follows the style of Dan Harmon’s story circle.

Dan Harmon's story circle

It’s probably harsh to say that I hate this episode. I never particularly thought it was a strong episode, and I think that Rose having a father who is missing growing up is almost sadder than getting to know him. He’s always been this kind of force in the back of her mind. I lost my father to Octobers ago; I lost my mom last December and I would do anything to get them back. So I understand Rose a lot more.

I would break the laws of time to have either of them back for a minute.

Father’s Day

1) In a zone of comfort

It starts with Rose as a child, remembering her mother telling her stories about how great her dad was, even though he was not. Her mother is telling stories about them like they are fairytales, building him up to be something in Rose’s mind that she could remember favorably, when he was no good, always trying some kind of scheme and running him and her mom out of money all the time.

2) They desire something

The desire in this episode is simple. Rose wants to see her dad. She knows when and where he died and she has access to a time machine. At first, she plans to go to him so that he doesn’t have to die alone, but she misses her chance waiting too long and wants to try again, and that’s when it all goes wrong. She races out at the wrong time, passing herself and the Doctor who are still standing on the street, and then saves his life instead of being there for him when he dies.

3) Enter an unfamiliar situation

Rose gets some time here with her dad, a time that she never would’ve had before. She’s able to talk to him about his schemes and talk to him about his relationship with her mother and how strained it is. She avoids being found out for who she is, but she confuses Pete because he trusts her implicitly and doesn’t seem to understand why he would just leave the house and later give her the keys to his car without thinking.

4) Adapt to the situation

At the same time, creatures begin to patrol the streets. They hang on the side of buildings giant black-winged monsters and attack people. They are wraiths who want to set time right. They get people in their backyards, and get people as they try to walk to a wedding. At the wedding Pete and Rose meet her mother Jackie who has baby Rose with her. Pete had been on his way here with the wedding present when he met his fate originally.

I just put that together “Pete Rose” really? Coincidence, right?

5) Get what they desired

Rose has her dad, however, people around, in a church at a wedding, and doing yard work start noticing it get cold, the Doctor can’t get back into the TARDIS, and the car that killed her father keeps showing up. Rose meets herself as a baby and sees her mom and dad fight. They love each other, but this is what they are really like,

6) Pay a heavy price for winning

As Rose lies about how good a father Pete was as she grew up, he figures out who Rose is. The creatures arrive to collect Pete and they hide in the church until Pete figures out he has to sacrifice himself.

When Rose touches the baby version of herself, it’s like the last straw, and the demons can get into the church. The Doctor being the oldest thing there, sacrifices himself to slow them down. Rose now has her father, but she’s lost the Doctor and she is stuck in time. The Doctor has put a heck of a lot of faith in Pete, that he’ll figure it out, and do the right thing to fix this.

He runs to the car that killed him and takes the hit, and the creatures vanish.

7) Return to their familiar situation

Now Jackie’s bedtime story has changed and an anonymous Rose comforting him is a part of it, having been there as he dies.

8) They have overall changed

Rose has learned how fragile time is, but is better for having met her father.

I will admit, for now, this episode makes me cry more than any of the rest of them do.

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