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New Series Episode 8:
Father's Day

Plot

The Doctor takes Rose back to the 7th of November 1987, the day her father Pete was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Rose intends to merely comfort the dying man, but on the spur of the moment decides to save Pete's life instead. Her well-intentioned interference in time summons forth the Reapers, flying monsters who begin to consume the planet -- and it also has a catastrophic effect on the TARDIS.

Production

During the wilderness years between 1989 and 2003 when Doctor Who was no longer in regular production, Paul Cornell was at the crest of the wave of fans who took control of the franchise. Cornell had been active in fandom for some time, earning numerous credits in fanzines and Doctor Who Magazine. But it was his debut novel, 1990's Timewyrm: Revelation, which charted the revolutionary, boundary-shattering course which would become the hallmark of the then-nascent Doctor Who: The New Adventures range from Virgin Publishing.

Cornell's second novel, Love And War, introduced enduring companion Benny Summerfield, who would eventually be spun off into her own series of books and audio plays. He subsequently wrote No Future, the first Doctor Who: The Missing Adventures novel Goth Opera, the highly-acclaimed Human Nature, and the fiftieth New Adventure, Happy Endings. Later, Cornell penned The Shadows Of Avalon for BBC Books' series of Doctor Who novels as well as two titles -- The Shadow Of The Scourge and Seasons Of Fear (the latter with his wife, Caroline Symcox) -- for Big Finish Productions' line of Doctor Who audio dramas.

Meanwhile, Cornell established a writing career away from Doctor Who as well. He published two novels -- Something More and British Summertime -- and contributed scripts to a number of television programmes, including Coronation Street, Casualty and Children's Ward. And for a time it appeared that Cornell would be the driving force behind the adventures of a Ninth Doctor played by Richard E Grant: in 2003 he was asked to write The Scream Of The Shalka, an animated BBC webcast originally intended to spearhead an ongoing series. Further plans for this Doctor, however, were scuppered by the announcement that Doctor Who would be returning to television in 2005 under the aegis of executive producer Russell T Davies.

In his pitch document for the new series, developed in the fall of 2003, Davies had indicated one story (denoted simply as “Rose's father”) which would be predominantly a character piece, with minimal effects work. His idea was that it would feature Rose repeatedly observing her dad's death in 1987 while the Doctor, in 2005, hears the chronicle of the man's life from Judy (as Rose's mother was called at this point). Davies was very familiar with Cornell's work, and was well aware that his Doctor Who novels -- particularly Human Nature -- were lauded for their grasp of the human element of the Doctor's adventures. Davies therefore asked Cornell to develop his “Rose's father” idea into a script.

Cornell made various changes to Davies' concept. In particular, he wanted to incorporate a monster into the story. At the same time, Head of Drama Jane Tranter was complaining to Davies that his season outline was lacking in this very respect. Cornell therefore created the Reapers, moving the adventure away from its effects-lite origins. Originally, Cornell envisioned the Reapers as having the traditional cowl-and-scythe appearance of the legendary Grim Reaper; subsequent drafts saw this concept migrate more towards a bestial appearance. (Special effects company The Mill largely hewed to this latter depiction, although they made the Reapers' tails scythe-shaped in tribute to Cornell's original idea.)

Cornell also drew on established Doctor Who mythology -- specifically, the Blinovitch Limitation Effect (first mentioned in 1972's Day Of The Daleks), which foretold potential disaster should an individual appear more than once in the same time and place -- in making the Doctor and Rose a more proactive part of the story. One scene excised from Cornell's script would have featured younger versions of Jackie's Chinese neighbours, Bau and Ru, who had appeared in Aliens Of London earlier in the season. Although not mention onscreen, Cornell gave the driver of the car which kills Pete the name Matt.

Given the title “Wounded Time”, Cornell's story formed part of the third production block alongside Dalek, directed by Joe Ahearne. Most of the filming took place in and around St Paul's Church in Grangetown, Cardiff, which served as St Christopher's; this spanned November 11th to 18th, 2004. On November 19th, the boardroom of the HTV Wales building in Culvershouse Cross was used for the registry office, while the set for the Tylers' flat (now redressed for its 1987 appearance) was erected for taping in the same facility's Studio 1. Taping on this set continued on November 22nd, the same day that street scenes were filmed on Hoel Trelai and Hoel Pennar in Ely.

TARDIS material was recorded at the usual Doctor Who studio space of Unit Q2 in Newport on the 23rd. More street sequences were completed on November 25th (at Loudoun Square in Butetown, Cardiff) and 26th (at Llanmales Street, Grangetown). On the latter day, the playground scene was also recorded at Grange Gardens in Grangetown. The story's final title of Father's Day was not conceived by Davies until shortly before the season began, in February 2005.

Sources

Original Transmission
Date 14th May 2005
Time 7.01pm
Duration 42'55"
Viewers (more) 8.1m (17th)
· BBC1 8.1m
Appreciation 83%


Cast
Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston
Rose Tyler
Billie Piper
Jackie Tyler
Camille Coduri
(more)
Pete Tyler
Shaun Dingwall
Registrar
Robert Barton
Young Rose
Julia Joyce
Stuart
Christopher Llewellyn
Sonny
Frank Rozelaar-Green
Sarah
Natalie Jones
Bev
Eirlys Bellin
Suzie
Rhian James
Young Mickey
Casey Dyer


Crew
Written by
Paul Cornell
Directed by
Joe Ahearne
Produced by
Phil Collinson
(more)

1st Assistant Director
Gareth Williams
2nd Assistant Director
Sean Clayton
3rd Assistant Director
Dan Mumford
Location Manager
Lowri Thomas
Unit Manager
Llyr Morus
Production Co-ordinator
Jess van Niekerk
A/Production Accountants
Debi Griffiths
Kath Blackman
Continuity
Pam Humphreys
Script Editor
Elwen Rowlands
Camera Operator
Martin Stephens
Focus Puller
Mark Isaac
Grip
John Robinson
Boom Operator
Damian Richardson
Gaffer
Mark Hutchings
Best Boy
Peter Chester
Stunt Co-ordinator
Lee Sheward
Stunt Performers
Crispin Layfield
Seon Rogers
Bean Peel
Art Dept Co-ordinator
Gwenllian Llwyd
Concept Artist
Bryan Hitch
Production Buyer
Catherine Samuel
Set Decorator
Liz Griffiths
Supervising Art Director
Stephen Nicholas
Standby Art Director
Julian Luxton
Property Master
Adrian Anscombe
Construction Manager
Andrew Smith
Standby Props
Phill Shellard
Trystan Howell
Graphic Artist
Jenny Bowers
Wardrobe Supervisor
Yolanda Peart-Smith
Make-Up Supervisor
Linda Davie
Make-Up Artists
Claire Pritchard
Steve Williams
Casting Associate
Kirsty Robertson
Assistant Editor
Ceres Doyle
Post Production Supervisor
Marie Brown
On Line Editor
Matthew Clarke
Colourist
Kai van Beers
2D VFX Artists
David Bowman
Sara Bennett
Simon C Holden
3D VFX Artists
Chris Petts
Jean-Claude Deguara
Nicolas Hernandez
Mark Wallman
Andy Howell
Dubbing Mixer
Tim Ricketts
Dialogue Editor
Paul McFadden
Sound FX Editor
Paul Jefferies
Picture Publicist
Francine Holdgate
Finance Manager
Richard Pugsley
Original Theme Music
Ron Grainer
Casting Director
Andy Pryor CDG
Production Accountant
Endaf Emyr Williams
Sound Recordist
Ian Richardson
Costume Designer
Lucinda Wright
Make-Up Designer
Davy Jones
Music
Murray Gold
Visual Effects
The Mill
Visual FX Producer
Will Cohen
Visual FX Supervisor
Dave Houghton
Editor
Graham Walker
Production Designer
Edward Thomas
Director of Photography
Ernie Vincze BSC
Production Manager
Tracie Simpson
Associate Producer
Helen Vallis
Executive Producers
Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Mal Young


Working Titles
Wounded Time


Media
DVD Releases
Doctor Who: Series 1 Volume 3 (2005; single disc)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series (2005; boxed set)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA
Doctor Who: Series 1-4 Box Set (2009; boxed set)
Buy: UK

Updated 17th October 2009