Doctor Who
Father's Day

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 2 USERS: A+
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

The Doctor addresses the congregation, holding up the key: "The inside of my ship was thrown out of a wound, but we can use this to bring it back. And once I've got my ship back, then I can mend everything. Now, I just need a bit of power...has anybody got a battery?" Stuart offers his father's telephone -- when your father dies, all you have is words -- and the Doctor thanks him, holding the screwdriver to the battery: "And then we can bring everyone back." He looks around him at his charges, the people who are left, and Jackie stares around at the shaking doors. Three Reapers circle the church overhead.

Rose and Pete sit in the back, Pete with his game face on: "You...never said why you came here in the first place. If I had a time machine, I wouldn't have thought 1987 was anything special. Not 'round here, anyway." Rose unconvincingly tells him that it's just coincidence, just an amazing coincidence that they showed up when they did. That she saved him when she did. He doesn't believe her, and presses: "So, in the future, are me and her indoors still together?" Yeah. "Are you still living with us?" Yep! He nods, and smiles, and looks at her intensely. And he asks it. And it's not a question so much as a plea, and a trick, and a lie, and a fear. A wish: "...Am I a good dad?" The music goes soft, and sad, and Rose starts lying, her eyes full of love. And this love is for Pete -- not her "dad," but the man we know -- and that's the difference. That's the point of this trip: loving something real instead of a story. My friend Rachel once wrote about those memories, those false memories, that no matter how much pain, the truth remains that one connects you to the world, and the other cuts you off from it, and that's the final word. Rose can't be an adult, can't be a woman, until she can love Pete as he is. Until she can open up Jackie's wish, and all the lies they drew around it. Rose tels Pete, "You told me a bedtime story every night when I was small. You were always there, you never missed one. And, took us for picnics in the country every Saturday." His smiles starts to fall before she even says it: "You never let us down." Pete nearly, imperceptibly, shakes his head. Rose: "You were there for us all the time. Someone I could really rely on."They are silent, and he looks into her eyes, full of love, and pride, and sadness. And shame: "That's not me."

Rose stops smiling, and looks away, up at the front of the church, where the TARDIS is finally throbbing into existence, the key in her lock. The Doctor puts his jacket back on, grinning, and runs back up to the pulpit: "Right, no one touches that key. Have you got that? Don't touch it. Anyone touches that key, it'll be -- well. Zzap. Just leave it be, and everything will be fine. We'll get out of here. All of us. Stuart, Sarah -- you're gonna get married, just like I said." The Doctor grins at them encouragingly. Outside, the hit-and-run loop completes another circuit, as they wait for the TARDIS to fully show. The Doctor and Rose sit at the back, Pete behind them. Jackie casts them all a contemptuous glare over one shoulder. The Doctor starts: "When time gets sorted out, everybody here forgets what happened. And don't worry -- the thing that you changed will stay changed." He doesn't say this darkly, but he's still not quite forgiven the circumstance. "You mean I'll still be alive," says Pete, and Rose whirls around. "...Though I'm meant to be dead." The Doctor looks at her head, her neck. Rose looks at her father. Pete nods: "That's why I haven't done anything with my life. Why I didn't mean anything..." The Doctor tells him that's not how it works, but Pete's not having it. It's a compelling argument: "Rubbish. I'm so useless I couldn't even die properly." Rose watches Pete's face, as he realizes. "Now it's my fault all of this has happened." Rose jumps forward in protest, and he shushes her: "No, love. I'm your dad. It's my job for it to be my fault."

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