Sunday, February 19, 2012

Doctor Who: Father's Day

Episode 8 of season one of Doctor Who deals with the common trope of "changing the past," especially when it comes to interfering in one's own timeline.


This was an interesting episode in that we got to travel into the past to see the death of Rose's father.  At first, Rose just wants to go back in time to be with her father as he dies, having been killed by a hit and run driver.  As the scene unfolds, Rose cannot bring herself to be with her father, but just watches him die from a distance.  She asks for a second try, but when the time comes, she cannot help herself, she rushes past herself and the Doctor (the previous versions) and pushes her father out of the way of the oncoming car, saving her father from death.  She has changed the past, her father survives.  But, as any sci-fi fan will no, all hell is about to break loose.  You cannot mess with history in this way, especially when it comes to your own past (Back to the Future anyone?).

The Doctor, of course, goes on a condescending tirade against Rose, calling her just another "Ape."  He had thought her smarter than that, but in the end he just has another stupid human ape.

The "all hell breaking loose" comes in the form of really cheesy computer animated dinosaur-bird type creatures who are devouring all of time (including the people).  Rose, her father, mother, and a select few are holed up in a church where they were supposed to be attending a wedding.  The "old" walls of the church serve as a protection agains the creatures.

At one point, when one creature manages to get into the church, the Doctor, in a reversal of his M.O., i.e., sacrificing someone else, he actually sacrifices himself, offering himself to the creature as the "oldest thing in here."  His sacrifice is pointless though and is to no avail.  In the end, it is the sacrifice of a human that will set things right.  Pete, Rose's dad, must submit to death by throwing himself in front of the car that was originally meant to kill him, thus healing the wound in time.

Couple of notes.  In this episode, the Doctor seemed really helpless, he literally had no solutions, nothing that could heal the wound in time that Rose had caused.

When the doctor seemed to have a solution, a way to make the Tardis appear in the church and thus bring salvation, the Doctor, like a good authoritative preacher, stepped up to the church pulpit and announced the "good news" of coming salvation.  Unfortunately, like I have noted before, all of the efforts of the Doctor in this episode came to naught and in the end it was the sacrifice of Rose's dad that brought salvation.

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