Father’s Day

Of all the 2005 episodes, this was the one I enjoyed the least, but only because it was a bit too “girly” for me and emotion-based rather than Doctor-centric. But it was absolutely the right decision on RTD’s part to do an ep like this for the general audience and to establish beyond doubt that this New Who is not just action adventure. Emotional Realism was never the Classic Series’ strong point and, though we got the occasional flash of it, it was never an integral part of the mix like it is now. Even The Sarah Jane Adventures has more emotional realism than the Classic Series and that’s for kids! Which just goes to show how television has changed since the days of Tom’n’Lis…

doctor-who-complete-history-38And what could be more emotionally realistic than what Rose does here. Be honest, which of us, if we were in her position, with access to Time Machine, wouldn’t want to go back to a missed opportunity or see a dead relative one last time? I certainly would. And how many times have we heard celebrities being asked the old “if you had a time machine, where would you go?” question, never mind former Doctors? And what a brilliant way to tap into the whole idea of “audience identification”. Nice one Mr Cornell, even if the Doctor really is a bit of a div for trusting Rose not to rescue him second time around. And him storming off in a huff, well that isn’t going to help much is it, especially since it’s not really Rose’s fault for bringing about the end of the world half as much as it is his…

As for the edit, almost the only things I took out were the overhead POV shots of the Reapers flying over the city, bar one. They’re only there to build tension and intrigue the viewer but the “Monster’s POV Shot” is a bit of a Dr Who cliche, so I wanted to do something a bit different. And anyway, we know bad shit is gonna go down soon because Pete isn’t dead, so when they finally turn up at the church I wanted it to be as big a shock to us as it is to Rose. So once Dr Eccles leaves Rose at Pete’s we stick with him instead of cutting away to other characters, all of which helps knock off the standard ten minutes where the story isn’t actually moving forward.

It’s interesting to note the similarities between this and The Time Monster, as they both feature the Dr effectively getting killed. What a shame Kronos wasn’t more like a Reaper…!

Fathers Day by Adrian Salmon DWM437


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