“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.
I’m fascinated by the fact that Doctor Who is a family show. I’d like to know what kind of kid I would have been with the Doctor whispering in my ear. Probably a much cooler one: more curious, more compassionate, more willing to take a stand. Even when this show goes for the groundlings with Slitheen family fart jokes, it’s held up by the heart and courage of its characters. I don’t love the more “kid friendly” elements of this two-parter, because I’ve come to depend on Doctor Who to debunk the idea that kids need those elements to stay engaged in a story, but if they’re getting the message across, bring on the Slitheen. (more…)