Writer: Paul Cornell
Director: Joe Ahearne
Producer: Phil Collinson
Companion: Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)
Series: 1, ep 8
Summary: Rose convinces the Doctor to take her back in time to see her father’s death. But what she really wishes to do is change history so her father doesn’t die. The Doctor is upset because now Rose has created a paradox. This disrupts her mother’s relationship with her mother completely because her mother thinks her father cheated on him and she is a child from another lover. It also attracts monsters who come to destroy the paradox.
Review: This is one of my favorite stories from Eccleston’s era. I’ve heard some people use this episode as an example of why Rose was a bad companion. Here’s my counter-argument. This is different from what happened with Adam in “The Long Game”. Adam was altering time for personal gain. Rose’s desire is not personal gain, but wanting to meet the man she never knew. She never even got to give her father a Father’s Day present or spend any time with him. Another thing that makes this different is what happens after Rose makes her mistake. Unlike Adam, she doesn’t pass the buck and tell the Doctor this is his fault because he was given an opportunity. Rather, she helps to put history back together. She takes full responsibility for her actions. Paul Cornell is one of my favorite writers for Doctor Who, and this is one of the reasons.
Continuity: An “Energize” poster advertising an upcoming concert has the words “Bad Wolf written over a smiley face. The Doctor mentions that Rose initially refused to travel with him until he said the TARDIS was a time machine, suspecting that this was her plan all along. When the Brigadier traveled with the Doctor in “Mawdryn Undead”, he met his past self and touched him,, resulting in a cataclysmic release of energy. This is why the Ninth Doctor doesn’t want Rose to touch the baby version of herself. This is the second time the Doctor has met himself at an earlier point in the same regeneration. The first was when the Third Doctor did it in “Day of the Daleks”. The TARDIS also reverted to a Police Box with no interior in the audio drama “The Eternal Summer”.
Trivia: This is Paul Cornell’s first televised story. It is also his only TV episode not based on one of his audio dramas.