Reviewed By: Mercury
Review Date: 12/6/18 12:17 pm
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Rose tells the Doctor she wants to go back and see her father at the moment he was killed. This happened in 1987 when she was a baby and she never got to know him except by the stories her mother told her which have painted him as a perfect man. She just wants to be with him when he dies. The Doctor is reluctant but thinks it will not interfere with history as he will be dying and she will not interact with any other people or events. Rose freezes, understandably, when she sees the accident so asks to go back again to try a second time. The Doctor feels sorry for her and agrees even though this means there are two Rose's and two Doctors present. Rose then suddenly decides to run out and save her father's life which causes the fabric of time to be damaged and creatures called Reapers appear. They attack things weakened by the damage to time and start to devour everyone.
In terms of dialogue quality, interest, entertainment and emotion this is top standard. The negative some viewers note is the concept of The Doctor agreeing to let Rose travel to this moment of her known history not once but twice. In my view the first time makes sense as it is not meeting her father in life which could change history, only holding his hand as he dies. Going back a second time is believable in the context that he feels very sorry for her but is slightly jarring when you see The Doctor and Rose are there twice so they are crossing their own timeline which is usually a no no. I would argue that The Doctor has got involved in known history plenty of times which could equally change history, in theory. The general impression given is that time CAN be altered so you need to be careful but interacting with people in Earth history seems acceptable despite this. Time travel is an impossible thing to get your head around if you think deeply about it. You can assume perhaps that when interacting with people in history you are simply part of that history and not altering it otherwise you could not ever interact with ANYONE. Yet it is also frequently said that changing even a small thing can cause major problems which seems contradictory. It is, as they say, "Wibbly wobbly timey wimey"! The timelines self repair at times and other times The Doctor has to act to repair them. Basically my point is I think it is not out of character for The Doctor to take Rose back to this moment at all and taking her twice was strange and risky but believable because of the emotion of it, because he never thought she would stop her Dad being killed and the plan seemed to be to wait until their other selves were no longer watching before she went to him. She just throws all that out of the window when she runs out and saves him and 9 had not predicted that.
The Reapers are basically the exact same thing as Vortisaurs from Big Finish audio adventures and other media. I think it is easy enough to say they ARE Vortisaurs and 9 just calls them Reapers as a common term used to describe them. They are good scary monsters and the idea of them is interesting. There are lots of great scenes and ideas which are fascinating and fun.
Eccleston is on top form with his darker, more intense side being his strength. Rose is given great character development too and her parents are also engaging and believable. The escalation of events is exciting and leads to really dramatic moments and the choice her Dad makes in order to set things right is emotionally impactful. Great stuff.