“I’ve traveled to all sorts of places, done things you couldn’t even imagine, but you two. Street corner, two in the morning, getting a taxi home. I’ve never had a life like that. Yes. I’ll try and save you.”
Billie Piper said at Gally this year that “Father’s Day” is her favorite, which just made me love it even more, if that’s possible. Rose’s trip back in time to meet her father is Doctor Who at its most personal, but also its most expansive, because the way this show views one ordinary life is the way it views all of them. Everyone matters. Rose doesn’t think that saving her dad’s life would change all that much, but growing up with him would change her, and she’s already saved the Doctor, who saves whole planets. This is why time travel is so complicated—the biggest moments in history depend on people who might never be remembered.
There might be someone new on board, but this episode belongs to Rose and the Doctor from the minute they open the TARDIS door. A few weeks ago, Rose asked the Doctor to hang back so she could take the first step into history; now the two of them step out together while their guest waits inside. This is their game. Brought together by their mutual frustration with literally everyone, Rose and Nine lean on each other, hold hands, tease mercilessly, and charge into danger. The costume designers could not have picked a better week to dress Billie Piper like a late 90s pop star. Her updo sings the song of how done she is with you. Rose asks the right questions. She won’t put up with people who aren’t interested in lending a hand. And when she doesn’t do what the Doctor says, he likes it, because nobody tells Rose Tyler not to stand up against oppression.
“They always throw it on Valentine’s Day because Doctor Who fans are available.”
That’s what actor/ writer/ comedian Toby Hadoke said on Friday night to a packed room full of Whovians. Fair play, Toby. But if you’re not going to surround yourself with people who love something enough to fly across the country and talk about it, what exactly is the point of Valentine’s Day?
Last month, and at the very last minute, I joined Kim and Sage of Head Over Feels to spend a long weekend at Gallifrey One, a Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles. Kim, Sage, and I are dividing and conquering our recaps of the experience. First up, Kim documents our insanity on the journey to LA.
“Hello. Are you in pain? My name’s Rose Tyler. I’ve got a friend—he can help. He’s called the Doctor. What’s your name?”
Most of Rose’s early days with the Doctor have been spent defending the people around her against the aliens who would harm them—or, in the case of the Doctor, against aliens who just have a different perspective. She fought for Mickey and Gwyneth and Harriet Jones, and on the earth’s last day, she stood there and watched her planet burn and remembered its people. Rose is so incredibly human, in a way that the Doctor needs. But she’s also traveled the stars, and that puts her in a unique position to get things done.
One of my coworkers started Doctor Who last month. I’d just left a screening of David Tennant’s Richard II (gold. nail. polish) when I saw his “Doctor Who: it’s happening” Facebook status and promptly offered the constructive comment “SHUT YOUR FACE.” Other friends chimed in with their own excitement, but when my coworker finally responded to the thread, all he said was, “Kelly, I was waiting for your comment.”
I think I’ve been found out. I want to share this show with everyone. If we spend any time together, I’ve probably got a gateway episode all picked out for you, which I will never, ever bring up in conversation, because that’s too much pressure. You can’t watch Doctor Who for anyone but yourself. But if you ever decide you want to watch it for yourself, I’ll be at your place within the hour with ice cream and a personalized guide to ruining your life the British sci-fi way.
“You told me the name you chose was a promise. What was the promise?”
Craig Ferguson said it best: intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. The Doctor is the one who makes people better. He couldn’t even handle calling himself the Doctor and fighting a war at the same time, because war doesn’t fit who he promised to be. (more…)