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Father's Day

Also In This Section: Doctor Who

Rose Tyler

Rose travels back in time to meet her long-dead Father, but the Tyler family finds itself battling the Reapers.

Rose (Billie Piper) wants to see the day that her father died, as she never got to meet him, and asks the Doctor to take her there. The Doctor grudgingly agrees, and lands in London on November 7, 1987, as Rose and the Doctor approach the street corner where Peter Allan Tyler (Shaun Dingwall) is getting out of his car, only to be struck by a passing motorist and never knew what hit him. Rose wants to see it again, and the Doctor allows her one more glimpse as he materializes the TARDIS again in a new location and the two see their earlier selves watching. But this time, Rose makes a decision, and heads out into the street to knock her father out of the way. Pete is now alive, and takes Rose and the Doctor back home with him, somehow wondering why he feels he knows this strange girl.

The Doctor is extremely cross with Rose, wondering if somehow the fabric of time might be in jeopardy. Elsewhere in the city, strange things begin to happen; people suddenly start vanishing for no apparent reason, including at a local playground where a young boy, Mickey Smith, is rocking on the swings. While the Doctor heads back to the TARDIS, Pete takes Rose with him to a wedding at a local church that he will be attending. Once there, Rose meets Jackie (Camille Coduri), a younger version of her mother, who wonders if this is the latest girl Pete has latched onto. In fact, Pete and Jackie are in the middle of severe marital problems that are about to lead them to divorce.

At the TARDIS, the Doctor discovers that the police box is a hollow frame, while something terrifying watches him from above. The Doctor arrives at the church just as strange alien creatures begin materializing and attacking the bridegroom's father and the vicar, while the Doctor has everyone go inside and bar the doors. The alien beings are Reapers, parasites that act like antibodies, destroying anything and everything that exists in wounded time until all trace of any paradox is destroyed. The Reapers are attacking things in reverse sequence; first, the most recent additions to the planet, its people, and then other things that are older, until it destroys the entire world. London, and in fact all of planet Earth, is now an empty shell, and the only survivors are locked in this church while the Reapers fly about the building.

Inside, Pete surmises the truth about this young girl he's met, and has a day of reckoning as she reveals she saved him because he was supposed to die today. The Doctor notices his TARDIS key is glowing, indicating that somehow, somewhere, the TARDIS still exists, and he begins to use the key to call it back. However, when Rose touches the baby version of herself, it allows the Reapers to break into the church -- and destroy the Doctor! Their hope gone, Pete, Rose and Jackie -- who now also knows who this girl is -- flee with the last survivors. Barricading themselves in, Pete realizes there is only one thing he can do, as he spies the same car again and again, the one that was supposed to have hit him in the first place, circling the church but disappearing and reappearing at random. Pete leaves the church, runs outside... and allows the car to strike him. As he dies in Rose's arms on the pavement, the Doctor and the other people reappear and the Reapers vanish -- time has been cleansed and all trace of the paradox is gone. As the Doctor and Rose leave, we discover that history has resumed its normal course, except on a slightly different tangent... Pete died, but gave his life heroically so that others, including his daughter, might live.


Thanks to Outpost Gallifrey for the story synopsis.