While we Whovians wait for our dreams of future and past, our jaunts into space, or our forays into the dusty past that come with the new seasons, we make do with revisiting our memories through our choice of media. While most of the older episodes we watch are one we love and can quote line for line, there are some that we watch just to catch up on the storyline and then we promptly forget them. Sadly my dumb ass decided to write a blog about vintage New Who, and now I get to review the pile of dreck that is Fathers Day.
Now to be fair Paul Cornell did a wonderful job writing this. Aired May 14th 2005, Fathers Day is the story of Rose and her wish to be with her father on the day he died. In theory this is a wonderful idea which could have been a fascinating and wonderful story. Instead we end up with an overwrought, forced sadness that brings out the beginning of Whinny Rose. The dialogue though well written, feels heavy and overtly trying to pull on your heartstrings by the end of the episode. The actions and emotions become so intense that you have a hard time taking them seriously.
Christopher Eccelston does a decent job as the Doctor this episode. He plays the concerned and caring friend well, even to the point that he keeps trying to give Rose what she wants even when it becomes dangerous to himself. I’ve found that Eccelston does serious better then happy Doctor, but still feels like a performance. I will admit he does do a great job portraying a friend trying to help, even going back to the scene several times which can lead to major problems in any time stream.
Billie Piper…oh dear gods….her performance this episode just drove me bonkers. After watching this slow motion train wreck of an episode, I damn near didn’t watch another episode of the new Who. Because of her. Because of Whiny Rose. Dear Lords of Life, I understand that she just watched her dad get smashed by a car and that will make anyone a mess. But Rose just took it so far. The constant need to do it again, to try and save him and whining the whole time that she needed to save her dad even though it was destroying the time line around them. The pitch of her voice and the way it just grated against the ear drums made me want to smash my head into the wall just to shut her up.
Shaun Dingwall plays the goodhearted but bumbling Pete Tyler. His performance is solid, and he really does well portraying a guy that just can’t seem to get it right. He really does love his wife and family, and he wants to do the best for them, yet somehow everything he tries to improve his lot in life seems to put him farther behind. After being pulled from certain death by his just born daughter, (yeah know it sounds weird but hey it Doctor Who. Wibbley Wobbley Timey Wimey) he takes the Doctor and Rose to his home and we start to see the fractures in the illusion that Jackie Tyler, played as always by the very talented Camile Coduri, has been weaving for her daughter about Pete. He’s not perfect, he is not superhuman like Rose has grown up to believe. He just a bloke with all the faults blokes have.
During all this the time line is collapsing, Which brings us to the Monster of the week. I don’t really know how to describe them. Keepers of time, the bacteria of time, they look like a cross between gargoyles and spiders. CGI all the way through they were disappointing. They clean up the time line by destroying everything inside the wound of time. Again wasn’t a bad concept but could have been handled allot better. They trap all the players in a church, where we go through much more emotional issues. Rose finally starts to understand how she can’t save her dad, and the emotional backlash on that brings on another bought of whining that gets worse when the Doctor is killed by one of the Time Keepers. Pete finally catches on to what is happening and runs out of the church and into the car that keeps circling the church in a time loop. This fixes the time line and everything is put right. There by becoming this weeks lamb for the slaughter and keeping up the tradition started in the Unquiet Dead.
The special effects in this were…okay. The CGI was kind of clunky but for the time was decent. The red lens and wavy eye shots are decent even to this day. There wasn’t that much to rant or rave about because this episode really depended on character development and interactions. There it does okay…but it could have done sooo much better.
The soundtrack was used as a heavy bludgeoning tool. Demanding that you feel sad, demanding that you chuckle, demanding that you realize what a tragedy Rose is going through because her mom lied about the relationship between her mother and father. The demand that you cry because she finally has to go to her father when he dies. It really was overused, pulling on heartstrings, sometimes to the point of distraction.
Final Thoughts. Was it good TV? It had its faults, but this episode is okay for the average viewer. My personal hatred of this episode comes from the way Rose is portrayed and how much whining Rose does. Is it good Doctor Who? Again good if forgettable episode. The writing was good but could have been better. The acting was okay, but should have been spectacular. This was a highly emotional situation that most people would lose their minds over and Rose acts like a spoiled child. I know I’m nitpicking but GODS SHUT UP ROSE!!! YOUR NOT THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE!!
Till Next Time My Fellow Whovians.