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Father's Day
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Series Number: Series 1
Story Number: 163
Doctor: Ninth Doctor
Companions: Rose Tyler
Enemy: Reapers
Setting: London; 7th November 1987
Writer: Paul Cornell
Director: Joe Ahearne
Producer: Phil Collinson
Broadcast: 14th May 2005
Format: 1 45-minute episode
Prod. Code: 168
Previous Story: The Long Game
Following Story: The Empty Child
"Time's been damaged, and they've come to sterilise the wound... by consuming everything in sight"
The Doctor



Rose reminisces about her father, Pete Tyler, whom she describes as "the most wonderful man in the world". When Rose is a little girl, her mother Jackie tells her about how Pete died on November 7 1987, the day of Stuart Hoskins and Sarah Clarke's wedding and how she wishes Rose could have known her father. Jackie tells the young Rose that nobody was there for Pete when he died and that the hit-and-run driver was never found...


In the the TARDIS, Rose hesitantly asks the Doctor if they can go back to the day her father died so that she can be there for him when he does. The Doctor says that he can do this, but he is more concerned if Rose can handle it emotionally. He tells her to be careful what she wishes for. In another flashback, we see that the Doctor and Rose have already witnessed Jackie and Pete's wedding.

The TARDIS materialises in 1987 on the street where Pete died. They stand on the pavement, Rose describing what happened as they watch it. Pete was late getting the wedding gift, and when he stepped out of his car to cross the road, an oncoming car ran into him, killing him almost instantly. When this happens, the Doctor tells Rose to go to Pete, but she is unable to go to her father's fallen body. By the time she recovers, the ambulance has arrived and he is already dead. She asks the Doctor if she can try again, and while the Doctor looks doubtful, he agrees.

Travelling back to the same moment, they wait around the corner from their earlier selves. The Doctor warns Rose to wait until her earlier self has left before going to see her father, or else it will create a paradox. However, as Pete steps out of his car and the other car comes hurtling around the corner, Rose pulls away from the Doctor, passing their startled earlier selves and knocking Pete out of the way. The earlier Doctor and Rose vanish, and while Rose is overjoyed at having actually succeeded in saving her father, the Doctor looks on aghast. Rose introduces herself to Pete, who remarks on the coincidence of her name with his daughter's. When Rose says she is attending the Hoskins-Clarke wedding, Pete offers her and the Doctor a lift, while, above the city, alien eyes scan the area hungrily.

At Pete's flat, Rose looks around and remarks on all the various bits and pieces of entrepreneurship that her father was involved in, including health drinks and solar power panels, which he will now have the opportunity to do. The Doctor is angry with Rose, implying that she had planned this from the moment she heard that the TARDIS was a time machine. Rose says there was no plan, that she just saw a chance to stop it and did so, and questions why it is all right for the Doctor to save people but not for her to save her father. The Doctor calls her a selfish, "stupid ape" and says that he knows what he is doing while she does not; the presence of two sets of them made that location a vulnerable point. His whole world was destroyed — did she not think it had occurred to him to try to change history if he had been able to do so? Rose protests that she did not change history, because Pete was nothing special. The Doctor counters that there is a man alive now who is supposed to be dead: the world is different because of that. The argument grows more heated, and the Doctor demands the TARDIS key back, leaving in a huff. Pete looks out of the kitchen at this point, thinking it was a lover's quarrel. Rose denies that she and the Doctor are a couple, and — following a moment of panic on Rose's part when Pete appears to gently flirt with her — the two go to the wedding.

As the Doctor walks back to the TARDIS, he is unaware that around the neighbourhood, things are swooping down from the skies and consuming people. He does, however, sense that something is wrong. When he gets back to the TARDIS and unlocks it with his key, he is startled to find out that it is just an empty box. He runs back to try and find Rose. In the meantime, Rose and Pete are driving to the church, and Rose is puzzled when anachronistic hip-hop music from The Streets starts playing over the car radio, and her mobile phone voice mail is filled with copies of the same message, "Watson, come here, I need you," the very first thing said over a telephone by Alexander Graham Bell. They are almost at the church when a car nearly collides with their vehicle and then abruptly vanishes, a car Pete recognises as the same car that almost ran him down earlier. As their car runs off the road, Rose reflexively calls Pete "Dad", but brushes it off when Pete asks her what she meant by that.

At the church they meet Jackie, who is carrying an infant Rose. Jackie eyes the adult Rose suspiciously, thinking that she is another one of Pete's affairs. Jackie and Pete get into a shouting match, Jackie accusing Pete of being a failure with all of his business schemes that never succeed, and threatens to divorce him. Rose is upset when she realises that her parents' marriage was not the idyllic one she believed it to be. As Jackie and Pete make up slightly, her anxiety fades. However, it is at this moment that a young Mickey — who has witnessed all the children in a local play park disappear — runs around the corner, yelling about monsters. The Doctor runs towards Rose from the opposite end of the street, shouting for her to get in the church. Rose looks up and screams as she sees gigantic winged reptiles with multiple arms materialise in the sky above.

The creatures swoop downwards, killing the vicar and the groom's father before the Doctor manages to usher the rest of them into the church. He says that the walls of the church are old and will stop the creatures for a while. When Jackie demands to know what is going on, the Doctor explains that there has been a wound in time and the creatures are like bacteria taking advantage of it, to sterilise the wound by consuming everything in sight. With great satisfaction, the Doctor orders Jackie to do as he says and make sure all the doors and windows are secure. Rose asks if this is her fault, and the Doctor does not answer. Pete overhears this and looks concerned.

The Doctor looks out the back window of the church, and sees the car that was supposed to run Pete down appearing and disappearing as it circles the church, the driver repeating the actions he never got to complete. Pete notices the car, and the Doctor tells him quickly not to worry about it. Pete goes to talk to Rose, and wonders aloud why he instinctively seems to trust her. He remembers she called him "Dad" and when he looks at her, he observes that she has his eyes and Jackie's attitude. Pete deduces that Rose is really his daughter, all grown up. They tearfully embrace as the creatures continue to batter against the church doors, trying to get in.

The Doctor, meanwhile, is ensuring that the doors and windows are sealed when he is cornered by Stuart Hoskins and Sarah Clarke. They recognise that he is the only person in the church who appears to know what is going on and nervously enquire whether he can save them. Sarah (who is obviously pregnant) insists that they are nothing important, but the Doctor begs to differ once he hears the story of how they met. He has never had the lives these two people have; they are two ordinary people with a potentially happy future, and that makes them special. He promises he will do everything he can to save them.

Pete is delighted at how Rose has turned out. The two have a conversation in the vestry about the future and time travel, but Pete is worried when Rose is strangely vague about what he is like in the future. Jackie comes in with the young Mickey, and is jealous again when she thinks Pete is flirting with Rose. Pete tries to explain who Rose is, but Rose tells him not to let Jackie know. In the main hall of the church, the Doctor is looking after the infant Rose. The adult Rose shows up and is about to touch her infant self when the Doctor pushes her away, telling her that any new paradox would allow the creatures access. When Rose tells him she is not stupid, the Doctor apologises for snapping. He was not really going to abandon her, but confesses that he has no idea what to do. When the Time Lords were still around, paradoxes like this could be repaired but now this church and places like it are probably the only places in the world where people are still alive, the creatures having eaten everyone else. Rose sincerely tells the Doctor she is sorry and the Doctor smiles, hugging her. In the midst of the hug, Rose feels the TARDIS key glowing hot in the Doctor's pocket. The Doctor realises that this means that although the TARDIS's interior dimensions were thrown out of the wound in time, the ship is still linked to the key and he can summon it back.

The Doctor uses a mobile telephone battery in conjunction with the sonic screwdriver to charge up the key, and the shadowy shape of the TARDIS begins to materialise slowly around it. While this is still going on, he tells everyone not to touch or disturb the process — once the TARDIS has fully materialised, he can try to repair the damage.

Pete has another talk with Rose, asking her whether he was a good father. Rose lies, saying that Pete was always there for them, told her bedtime stories every night and took them on picnics in the country on weekends. Pete knows that he is not that kind of man, and begins to understand why Rose travelled back in time. The Doctor tells Rose that when time is sorted out again, everyone will forget what has happened, but what Rose changed will remain changed. Pete, by now, has realised that he is supposed to be dead and his survival is jeopardising everything. Rose tells Pete that the fault is hers, but Pete replies that he is her father — it is his job for it to be his fault.

Jackie overhears Pete, and demands to know how Pete can be the adult Rose's father. Pete tells her who Rose is, but Jackie does not believe him. Pete takes the infant Rose from Jackie to get her to compare the features. Before the Doctor can stop Pete, the infant Rose is thrust into the adult Rose's arms, causing a paradox, which allows one of the creatures to materialise within the church. The Doctor rushes forward, pushing the others behind him, saying that he is the oldest thing in the room. The creature swoops down and devours him instead. It then flies towards the still-materialising TARDIS, and when they meet, the two blink out of existence. Rose picks up the now cold TARDIS key and concludes that the Doctor is dead.

Pete watches the car repeating its movement around the church through the window and knows what he must do. The Doctor had tried to spare him this, but with the Doctor gone, there is no longer any option. He tells Rose that he had these extra hours with her, and now he's going to do what a father is supposed to do to -- sacrifice himself for his child. He shows Rose to Jackie properly and Jackie finally recognises Rose as the grown up version of her daughter. Pete tells Jackie that she has to live to raise Rose, and the three embrace each other good-bye.

Pete grabs the wedding gift and runs out of the church, watching for the car as it materialises in its never-ending loop and when it does, steps in front of it. As Pete crumples to the street, the creatures screech and vanish...

By the church, the congregation, including Stuart's father, rushes out to see the aftermath of the accident. The Doctor, restored to life, tells Rose to go to Pete, and she does so. Rose cradles Pete's head and holds his hand as the driver of the car watches on, and Pete smiles up at her as he expires. The Doctor and Rose then walk, hand in hand, back to the TARDIS. Time has returned to normal, with only a few minor adjustments.

Jackie tells the young Rose that the driver, a young man, stopped and waited for the police. It was not his fault — for some reason Pete just ran out in front of the car. There was also a young girl there with him who stayed with him when he died, and then left. Nobody found out that she had been, leaving Rose to eulogise about Pete Tyler, her father... the most wonderful man in the world.




  • The Reapers are not mentioned by name on screen, they are however similar to Chronovores.
  • This shows a demonstration (though it doesn't name it) of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect; that crossing and affecting timestreams can have unforeseen effects.
  • Bad Wolf is scribbled on a poster on a brick wall in 1987.

Story Notes

  • This story had a working title of Wounded Time.


  • 8.0 million  


to be added.

Filming Locations

  • St Paul's Church in Grangetown, Cardiff. (For St Christopher's)
  • The boardroom of the HTV Wales building in Culvershouse Cross. (For the Registry Office)
  • Hoel Trelai and Hoel Pennar in Ely, Loudoun Square in Butetown, Cardiff and Llanmales Street, Grangetown. (The street scenes)
  • Grange Gardens in Grangetown. (Playground scenes)

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • 'Adult' Rose is clearly seen to have brown eyes, whereas the baby Rose has bright blue eyes. (It is possible for eye colour to change, see here) Almost all babies have blue eyes, hence the expression "baby blues".
  • Does anyone at all remember the Reapers? No, because when Pete Tyler jumped to front of the car, all the past events were reversed, so no one actually remember the Reapers. Except for Ninth Doctor and Rose
  • Why doesn't Jackie Tyler look any younger here than she does in episodes set in 2006? (Different people age at different rates. Jackie obviously looked somewhat old for her age.)
  • If Rose can remember Jackie telling her about the blonde girl who was by her father's side when he died, that means it is impossible to change the past because the past changes would have already taken place which contradicts many Doctor Who episodes. Rose's memory changed when the past changed. Previously she remembered Jackie telling her that no one was with Pete when he died.
  • The south of England suffered a severe storm in October 1987, only a few weeks before this episode is set. With it being the worst storm in nearly 300 years, one would expect to see some lingering signs of storm damage during the episode – missing tiles on houses, fallen trees or tree stumps. It is likely that the film crew and story writers didn't take the weather of a specific date twenty years ago into account.
  • When the Doctor is about to be eaten by the Reaper, Rose shouts "Doctor" then it cuts to a wide shot of The doctor and the Reaper, notice that the shadowy TARDIS thing is gone. The Doctor loset concentration when the Reaper was about to eat him, so the TARDIS disapeared.



DVD and Other Releases

Series 1 Volume 3 DVD Cover

See Also

External Links

  • Official BBC Website - Episode Guide for Father's Day
  • The Doctor Who Reference Guide detailed synopsis of Father's Day
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel): Father's Day
  • The Whoniverse Discontinuity Guide to Father's Day
Series 1
Rose  • The End of the World  • The Unquiet Dead  • Aliens of London  • World War Three  • Dalek  • The Long Game  • Father's Day  • The Empty Child  • The Doctor Dances  • Boom Town  • Bad Wolf  • The Parting of the Ways

This article uses material from the "Father's Day" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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