In 2005, Paul Cornell wrote Father’s Day for the first series of the returning Doctor Who, starring Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper.
And the story of Rose meeting her long-dead father on the day of his death, saving him, and then seeing him sacrifice himself to save baby daughter did something to me that no episode of Doctor Who had ever done – brought me to tears. Not even Adric’s death did that. Not even Vincent And The Doctor could do it.
It might have helped that I had my own six-month daughter in my hands at the time back then. Thirteen years later she, and her younger sister are watching Doctor Who with me, third generation Doctor Who fans, with their mother, a recent convert. Rosa by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall, starring Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh and, as Rosa Parks, Vinette Robinson.
Because, yes this was the story of Rosa Parks we all know (even if Ryan got a significant aspect wrong the first time out – she wasn’t the first black woman to drive a bus) – it’s a story I have seen portrayed in film, read in books and comics and one presumed I was at least in some ways immune to.
And this twisty-turny story of a moment in time being preserved no matter the cost, with infinite butterflies being stamped upon, with human frailty strong at its centre standing up for half a century, managed to do it. The tears were down my cheek as the music kicked in. And I wasn’t alone it seems…
— Elleneff⭕️🚮 (@Elleneff) October 21, 2018
Have to admit I cried. Usually feel like a bit of a dick when I cry at Doctor Who but I feel justified this time cuz that struggle was and remains real #DoctorWho
— Susan Barnard (@mrssbarnard) October 21, 2018
Well I never thought I’d cry watching an episode of #DoctorWho but Rosa was an incredibly moving piece of Sci Fi.
— James Gardner-Martin (@Langnut) October 21, 2018
Doctor Who history episodes are usually a bit on the hammy/MOTW side. This one made me cry. Damn.
— Melinda Haunton (@melindahaunton) October 21, 2018
— Shona Hedley (@HedleyShona) October 21, 2018
— Laura -Dawn (@ldmacp1981) October 21, 2018
Well that #DoctorWho episode just made me cry. And think. We’re living in troubled times and it’s disappointing to see how far we still have to go.
— 🐥Count Chickula🐥 (@Lushchicken) October 21, 2018
Aw @bbcdoctorwho you just made me cry
— Dodie Browne (@dodemeister) October 21, 2018
— Jackson Hammond (@JaxonHmmnd) October 21, 2018
/ ~ Back later,
— 𝑨𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒆 𝑺𝒎𝒊𝒕𝒉. (@ARebelBelle) October 21, 2018
Doctor Who is making me cry so much
— mego🌟 (@mxgan97) October 21, 2018
doctor who made me sob, the cry better not pic.twitter.com/eg6nXON9Z7
— mollie/ the cry spoilers (@earpscorp) October 21, 2018
— Cole 🥀 (@x_TheCountess_x) October 21, 2018
#DoctorWho just made me cry like a baby. It is a human fight to ensure the freedom and safety of all cultures and nationalities, not just the fight of those marginalised! Thankyou Doctor Who for addressing the problem head on and not being afraid to express reality. #Equality
— Zac Grego (@zacgrego) October 21, 2018
When it’s the expression on Bradley Walsh’s face that tips you over the edge and makes you cry… whodathunkit?
What a great episode of #DoctorWho #RosaParks #Legend
And next week they appear to rematerialise back in good old Sheffield at Park Hill Flats 👍
— Katherine Hassell (@KHassell1974) October 21, 2018
That is the first time #DoctorWho has made me cry in a long, long time. @malorieblackman has always held a special place in my heart – Noughts and Crosses is one of my favourite books – and that was just stunning. Thank you, Malorie!
— Alexandra Snell 🤓 (@snellosaurus) October 21, 2018
doctor who made me cry those silent tears where i didn’t even realise i was crying until i felt my t-shirt getting wet.
— Cranners (@_Cranners) October 21, 2018
— Jenny (@JennyCole04) October 21, 2018
Next Sunday, spiders. Spiders shouldn’t make me cry, No promises though.