May contain some small spoilers!
I’ve mentioned it many times on this website that my first doctor was the 5th one, he also was my only doctor till the 2005 series came around. I had fond memories about the show and the 5th doctor. I never went back to watch the all the doctors, for one, because than I had to purchase it all on DVD/Blu-ray. I didn’t have enough drive to go back and see it from the beginning. When the show returned in 2005, I sure as well wanted to be there from the start. Christopher Eccleston was an already familiar actor and how he portrayed the doctor was just FANTASTIC! Pun intended! 😊
At times he was a funny doctor, a more relaxed doctor but he also could be serious, devious, and even sometimes an angry but also a desperate doctor at times. Christopher Eccleston all merged these character traits into his portrayal of the doctor. From the very first episode I was a fan of him. His companion, Rose (Billie Piper), a beautiful girl working in a store, not much to look forward to in her daily life, suddenly gets the chance to travel with this doctor in a police box, a box which is bigger on the inside than on the outside. She sees the adventure; she has a few doubts but only a few because in almost nothing more than a heartbeat she leaves her boyfriend (and her mother) behind. I thought Rose and the doctor were a great pair, she may only have worked a menial job, Rose showed she wasn’t just a dumb blonde girl..although sometimes she did do some stupid things.
The first season…series is in fact more or less a complete story, it leads to the finale from the beginning in the first episode. In the 3rd episode “Bad Wolf” is mentioned for the first time. This theme is mentioned here and there throughout the first series. In that same episode the Time War is also mentioned and guest role for Eva Myles (Gwen Cooper in Torchwood). Back in the first episode where the Doctor and Rose meet by accident. She unwillingly, at first, has an adventure with him but very soon she seems to enjoy it, fighting against “living plastic”, against aliens. Nice moment in the first episode when Rose steps into the Tardis for the first time. In “The End of The World” the Doctor takes Rose to show her the end of the world, 5 million years in our future when the sun explodes. On a station nearby aliens come and watch this explosion. There is also one pure human, Cassandra, she is however nothing more than a piece of skin. Cassandra is more devious and has an explosive plan because her moisturizing, her operations cost a lot of money. The Doctor tells Rose that his home planet was also burned like earth, in a war and that he was the last survivor of the Timelords.
The 3rd episode, “The Unquiet Dead” we already touched upon lightly, an okay episode which is set in 1869 Cardiff, we meet Charles Dickens and together with him they must fight zombie-like creatures and yes, aliens are involved. The “Invasion of London”/ “World War here” are fun episodes where it seems that by accident an alien ship crashes in London, damaging the Big Ben. It starts when the Doctor brings home Rose figuring only 12 hours had past but in fact it where 12 months! Her mother thought she was kidnapped or dead or something. The aliens that crash disguise themselves as humans, in high places of the government. Because they are big aliens, they need people who are somewhat bigger. The alien race isn’t called the Slitheen but this is a family! They are not here to conquer the world, but to make profit. Fun story, aliens look horrific though, perhaps on purpose I don’t know but definitely not convincing. I have to say, when they portray them in CGI, the look a bit more real! Guest part for another Torchwood alum: Naoko Mori. Of course, later one there is another Torchwood alum, Jack Harkness, character which he of course reprises in Torchwood.
In “Dalek” we are, for the first time, re-acquainted with the Dalek. The Doctor and Rose lands in the middle of a museum in 2012. The owner of the museum is a collector in alien artifacts, among this, a Dalek! The Doctor’s arch enemies, he begs the collector to kill the Dalek, but he doesn’t listen. When Rose, pure out of pity towards the chained-up Dalek, puts her hand on it, it regains power and breaks loose, killing hundreds of people. One of the best episodes this season. In “The Long Game” the Doctor, Rose and her new boyfriend Adam go to the year 200.000 where humanity should be, according to the doctor, at its high point but what they experience is far from that. They boarded the space station Satellite 5. The editor, played by Simon Pegg, is the manager of the station but he does have a boss living above him, literally! A scary alien who has control over the humans. The Doctor almost loses the Tardis because Adam did something foolish, he is no longer welcome on the Tardis. This episode links with episode 12.
“Father’s Day” is also a wonderful episode, Rose asks the doctor to go and see her father at his death. But she does something stupid and saves him. As a result people starting to disappear, and creatures invade out universe who kill and eat humans. Doctor is really angry with her here and even considers leaving her alone but when he sees even more danger coming, he decides to go back. Nice episode, emotional scenes with Rose, her father and mother. Episodes “The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances”, a two-part story where we get meet Jack Harkness. The Doctor and Rose arrive in 1941, in London, in the middle of a war, World War II of course. There is a boy walking around asking everybody “Are you my mummy”, the boy is empty and when he touches someone, that person also becomes empty, with a gasmask on, grown into the face. Harkness is a conman, and a flirter, he sweeps Rose of her feet! What he wants to sell the Doctor, is what’s causing all these problems. Note – very entertaining two-parter, adding Jack is an extra plus I have to say – In series two there is an inside joke when David Tennant as the doctor wears a gasmask at one point and says: Are you my mummy!
In “Boom Town” we meet a member of the Slitheen family again. She has become the Mayor of Cardiff and she wants of this rock and doesn’t care if that means millions of humans die because of that. Jimmy and Rose seem officially to be over. Bad Wolf is mentioned again, The Doctor first seems worried but second later he thinks it is a coincidence. Tardis is vital in stopping a disaster. Some fun scenes between the mayor and the Doctor at dinner. In “Bad Wolf”, the Doctor, Rose and Jack are suddenly being pulled into a world, into games. The Doctor in a Big Brothers house, Rose on the weakest link, and Jack…well I don’t know what sort of a show he was in, anyway, he was naked in no time! An Entity/Woman who runs the place, has secretly trying to incorporate them into the games because it hopefully wouldn’t be noticed. For hundreds of years, she felt a dangerous presence, which turn out to be the Daleks, half a million to be exact. Daleks are Bad wolf.
The season finale is an episode which has everything, drama, comedy, action. It’s very emotional, not because of the Daleks of course but the decisions the Doctor makes toward Rose because he wants nothing more than to protect her. You know beforehand the Doctor is going to beat the Daleks, even if the odds are a 100 to 1, or in this case, a million to one, but anyway it is a good ending, Rose coming to the rescue…or was it the Tardis, or Rose AND the Tardis. In the last minutes we see the 9th Doctor transform into the 10th. I remember when I first saw this, I did think David Tennant was a bit of a disappointment to me, but this soon changed when series two started.
I also want to say something about the physical media, for the first time I watched the first series on Blu-ray. I have to say, even though, I believe, it is not a true HD transfer, the PQ is quite nice. However, I was disappointed by the SQ, the voices in comparison with the music and the action noise were quite soft. So, you had to turn on the volume, but with an action scene, often I had turn down the volume! Anyway, I really enjoyed watching the first series again, Christopher Eccleston is a fine actor and an even better Doctor Who. I will always enjoy this one and only series with him as the lead, one word: FANTASTIC!