Story Title: Turn Your Back, Look Away and Blink
Author Name: Lumendea aka CharmingSlayer
Category: Doctor Who
Story Url: Story Link 1
Alternate Url: Story Link 2
Content Rating: All Ages
Length: 54,499 words
Story Summary: Rose Tyler has been living in her alternate world for five years until she encounters the weeping angels who send her back to November 1, 1913. The thing Rose doesn’t know is that she is now before the split of the universes and that a certain human John Smith is only miles away with dangerous aliens on his trail.
Another of my favorite DW fics, this story has been around for years but doesn’t get nearly the recognition it ought. I made reference to it recently, as it’s the only other story I’ve read that uses time travel to get a character into/out of Pete’s World; in this case, by sending Rose backward in time to before the parallel universes split.
In this story, Rose is living in Pete’s World, post-Doomsday, when she takes her lunch in a park which happens to have a minor Weeping Angel infestation. Next thing she knows, she’s in a field in England in 1913. As it happens, the Doctor and Martha – or rather, Professor John Smith and his family servant – are residing at a school nearby. Thus, Rose ends up becoming a part of the events in “Human Nature”/“Family of Blood.”
I enjoyed the way the author changes some things, but not others, in order to reflect those differences which would necessarily result from Rose’s presence. For example, poor Joan doesn’t have a chance when the girl of John Smith’s dreams shows up. And just as Martha the medical student suffered from the cultural expectations of that era, so too does Rose the Torchwood agent. (Although, clearly, Martha gets the raw end of the deal in that regard!) Hopefully without spoiling anyone, I think I can say that readers should enjoying seeing Rose get to test drive sharing the one adventure the Doctor could never have – that of a normal life on earth with the woman he loves – as well as having the opportunity to see why it really isn’t what either of them would ultimately want. In comparison to the romance between John Smith and Joan Redfern in canon, readers will find that things are both easier and more complicated for Rose and John Smith when it comes time for the fob watch to be opened.
I’ve re-read this story several times. Aside from the captivating plot, I’m also nuts about the characterizations and, most especially, the interactions between Rose and Martha, which feel very true to their characters. Their first encounter is not quite the same as that of Sarah Jane and Rose, because while Sarah Jane was devoted to the Doctor, she was never in love with him the way that Martha was. Although the fic includes a few, very minor technical mistakes on occasion (seriously minor: some comma issues or typos; probably less than you’ll find in this rec), those many, many captivating strong points are all that stand out in the end.
One of my favorite aspects to this story is that it doesn’t end too soon. There’s a lovely epilogue which takes place six months later, nicely bringing the story round full circle. In the end, the story has an intriguing concept which is executed with satisfying completeness. What’s more, thanks to the digging I did after reading this story, I’ve just discovered that there is a sequel and a short prequel drabble! This is just one of the three stories within the “Legacy of the Bad Wolf” series. The sequel, “Survivors of Gallifrey,” manages to play “fix-it” (my favorite fanfic game!) with everything through “End of Time.” It, too, is brilliant.
This is a repost/re-edit of a DW rec originally posted Sept. 20, 2011.