Doctor Who - The New Series

1.08: "FATHER'S DAY"

TX: 14 May 2005

Written by: Paul Cornell

Directed by: Joe Ahearne

Running time: 42' 10"

Location: London, England

Date: 7 November, 1987 AD

Monsters and villains: The reapers (monsterous bat-like creatures).

Plot Synopsis: Rose travels back in time to stop her father from dying, but in doing so she creates a massive temporal distortion that summons the reapers, terrible beasts that feed on chronological disturbances. As they sweep across the globe, the Doctor realises that even he cannot stop the complete destruction of humanity.

Bad Wolf Reference: A poster for a club called Energize has "Bad Wolf" graffiti on it.

Trivia: (1) Writer Paul Cornell is the author of several Doctor Who novels and created Bernice Summerfield, a companion who became so popular that she span off into her own range of books. He also wrote The Scream of the Shalka, 2003's Flash-animated Doctor Who series for the BBC website. This starred Richard E. Grant as an alternative ninth doctor.

(2) The anachronistic music playing over the car radio is by The Streets, a pseudonym for hip-hopper Mike Skinner.

(3) The working title for this episode was "Wounded Time".

Spoiler Synopsis: Rose convinces the Doctor to take her back in time to the day her father, Pete, was knocked down and killed. He agrees, but afterward she asks him to show her again. He takes her back to see the scene from a different angle (one where they can see themselves watching) and this time Rose runs out and knocks him out of the way. Pete thanks her for saving his life and takes her and the Doctor away to his house.

The Doctor is furious at the effect her actions may have had on the timeline, and not without reason: elsewhere in London strange things begin to occur, as people vanish into thin air. The Doctor heads back to the TARDIS whilst Pete takes Rose to a church where he is supposed to attend a wedding with his wife, Jackie. It emerges that Jackie and Pete are fast approaching divorce, and Jackie assumes that Rose is his latest bit on the side.

The Doctor reaches the TARDIS to find it completely hollow, like a prop from a movie, whilst a hideous bat-like beast spies on him from above. Recognising the signs, the Doctor runs to the church where Rose is, arriving just in time to see more of the bat creatures appear and begin devouring the guests. The survivors flee inside the church and block the doors to stop the monsters from getting in whilst the Doctor explains what they are: reapers, creatures that feed on chronological disturbances, obliterating everything to cleanse reality. The Time Lords used to be able to hold them back, but since the Time War, there is nothing to stop them. They will feed on the people first, then the trees, then the Earth itself until nothing is left. The survivors soon realise that there is nobody left outside the church; they are the last humans.

Pete figures out that Rose is his daughter, and that she pushed him out of the way of the car because he was going to die. They have a heartfelt conversation whilst the Doctor inspects the keys to his TARDIS and notices that they are glowing - the TARDIS is out there somewhere! He tries to call it back, but Rose makes the mistake of touching her younger self, allowing the reapers entry to the church. They dive on the survivors, including the Doctor, who is eaten.

The remaining few people manage to escape and hole up in another part of the church. Pete looks out of a window and sees the car that was originally going to knock him down driving around and around the church, appearing and disappearing at random. He realises that in order to heal the tear in time he must die and runs out to meet the car as it races down the road. He is knocked down and fatally injured as Rose and the other guests look on. He dies in Rose's arms and the disturbance is resolved; the reapers vanish and Earth is restored, along with the Doctor and the TARDIS. The Doctor comforts Rose as they walk away, leaving a mystified Jackie who cannot remember meeting her own grown up daughter...

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Sources: - The Internet Movie Database - Outpost Gallifrey - A Brief History of (Time) Travel