Doctor Who—Season 1

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great relaunch to a classic series

Might be intimidating to new viewers

 
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Here comes the Doctor!

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) leads a dull life with her mother Jackie (Camille Coduri) and her boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke).  When manikins begin to come alive and a mysterious man calling himself only the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) shows up in a time travelling machine called the TARDIS, Rose’s life changes forever.  Now she’s tripping time and she and the Doctor are going to worlds that are hard to imagine. The Doctor is hiding aspects of his past and both the Doctor and Rose are plagued with the words “Bad Wolf” following them throughout time.  Will the Doctor’s past catch up with him and will the Bad Wolf save or destroy him?

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Exterminate!!! Exterminate!!! Exterminate!!!

Doctor Who—Season 1 ran from March 3, 2005 to June 18, 2005.  The series relaunched the classic Doctor Who series which hadn’t been seen since 1996 in a one-shot movie which aired on FOX in the U.S. and starred Paul McGann as the Doctor (his only appearance).  The new series was met with much praise and started a Doctor Who revival that has continued to this day with the cult of Whovians growing bigger than ever.  In the traditional numbering, Series 1 would be Stories #157-166.

The reason this series works is that it took the best elements of the old series (interesting story ideas, strong acting, and fun aliens) and added shorted scripts, better acting, and better effects. Part of the original series problem was that all the serials were too long and drawn out.  What could have been concise plots often plodded with a fourth (or fifth or sixth) act that often plodded.  Here, the shows are limited to under an hour with the occasional double episodes that still usually are rather independent of each other.

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Time travel is fun!!!

The next part of the equation that helped this show take off was Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper.  Both were already known and this brought more attention to the show.  Eccleston shows such enthusiasm for the role, but also can be very, very solemn.  I would have loved to see him continue after this series (though Tennant ended up being possibly the best Doctor of all time).  Billie Piper is a fun companion.  She has fun venturing with the Doctor and becomes an important role (even past her last appearance as a regular).  I actually got a bit tired of Rose later on, but she is what the series needed early on.

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Welcome the 10th Doctor!

The visuals of Doctor Who are greatly improved from earlier seasons.  The Autons and Nestene Consciousness in the first episode were old villains but most old villains in the series even get a little cleaning up.  The Dalek episode had the Dalek fly…something that had happened before to some extent, but not to the extent of the new series.  This plus nice space scenes and other effects that are now simpler due to computer animation has made Doctor Who look a lot better.

Doctor Who is more accessible than you might think.  Despite his long history, a viewer shouldn’t be intimidated to start up this series.  If you don’t love this season, stick with it, The Doctor only gets better and the danger gets greater.

Doctor Who—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Rose”

1.1       Rose Airdate:  03/26/05

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) leads a boring life with her mother Jackie (Camille Coduri).  When she is attacked by the manikins in the store where she works, she encounters a man calling himself the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston).  Rose and her boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke) learn that the Doctor is fighting an alien invasion of plastic killer, and Rose is about to discover that her life is going to get much more interesting.

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“The End of the World”

1.2       The End of the World Airdate:  04/02/05

The Doctor takes Rose to see the end of the world, and Rose tries to unwrap the truth about the Doctor.  Meanwhile aboard the spaceship, a secret takeover is occurring that could endanger everyone aboard the satellite.  The Doctor reveals to Rose what happened to Gallifrey and his people.

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“The Unquiet Dead”

1.3       The Unquiet Dead Airdate:  04/09/05

The Doctor and Rose travel to Christmas in 1869 and discover the dead are rising at a local mortuary.  The Doctor and Rose team with Charles Dickens (Simon Collow) and a psychic girl named Gwyneth (Eve Myles) to uncover the truth about the spirits.  The Doctor uncovers that the Time War had a greater impact on reality than he previously thought.  Rose hears the rumor about something called “Bad Wolf”.

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“Aliens of London”

1.4       Aliens of London Airdate:  04/16/05

The Doctor returns Rose home but learns he missed the date by twelve months in which she’s been reported missing.  An alien spaceship crashes in London and the Doctor realizes it could be the moment of first contact for humanity.  A representative named Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton) begins to uncover a secret involving government officials and finds the alien crash might just be a cover-up for a bigger conspiracy which has the Doctor as a target.

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“World War Three”

1.5       World War Three Airdate:  04/23/05

The Slitheens reveal themselves and plot their takeover of Earth.  With the Doctor, Rose, her mother, Mickey, and Harriet Jones must find what the Slitheens are planning and how to stop them.

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“Dalek”

1.6       Dalek Airdate:  04/30/05

The Doctor and Rose are pulled to New Mexico and discover an extraterrestrial collector named Henry van Statten (Corey Johnson) has found the last Dalek.  When the Doctor reveals all the Time Lords and Daleks died in the Time War, the Doctor decides that the last Dalek must die.  When Henry van Statten learns that the Doctor is an alien, he decides to add the Doctor to his collection.  Rose meets Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley) whose love of space and adventure rivals her.  When Rose and Adam are forced to free the Dalek to help the Doctor, the future might be doomed.

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“The Long Game”

1.7       The Long Game Airdate:  05/07/05

The Doctor, Rose, and Adam travel to the year 200,000 and Satellite 5.  The Doctor finds a strange cover-up on the satellite involving Floor 500 and a mysterious man named the Editor (Simon Pegg) who is working for someone even bigger.  When Adam decides to open his mind up for information, he might give the Editor everything he needs to know about the Doctor.

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“Father’s Day”

1.8       Father’s Day Airdate:  05/14/05

Rose and the Doctor visit the past so Rose can see her father Pete (Shaun Dingwall) on the day he died.  When Rose interferes with the events, history is altered.

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“The Empty Child”

1.9       The Empty Child Airdate:  05/21/05

The Doctor and Rose find themselves in 1941 London in pursuit of a time travelling device.  When the Doctor and Rose are separated, the Doctor tracks a group of orphaned children being raised by a girl named Nancy (Florence Hoath), and Rose encounters a man named Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) who reveals he is a time traveler himself.  The Doctor investigates a strange child in a gas mask who is revealed to be inhuman and spreading a virus that transforms humans.

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“The Doctor Dances”

1.10     The Doctor Dances Airdate:  05/28/05

The Doctor learns that Jack is responsible for the device landing in London and Rose, Jack, and the Doctor find themselves trapped in a hospital full of infected.  Nancy decides she has to end the nightmare and stop the child.  Jack reveals why he stopped being a Time Agent.

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“Boom Town”

1.11     Boom Town Airdate:  06/04/05

Mickey meets Jack, the Doctor, and Rose in Cardiff and learns that a rift runs through the city.  The Doctor discovers that the Mayor of Cardiff (Annette Badland) is one of the Slitheens and that the Slitheens are planning a nuclear power plant that could destroy the country.  The Doctor and Rose find that the words Bad Wolf continue to follow them.  As the Slitheen begs for her life, the Rift might open to destroy Cardiff and the world.

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“Bad Wolf”

1.12     Bad Wolf Airdate:  06/11/05

The Doctor finds himself on a futuristic Big Brother, Rose finds herself in a future version of The Weakest Link, and Jack discovers he’s on a fashion show.  The Doctor realizes he’s been taken from the TARDIS and Jack, Rose, and the Doctor find they are playing to for their lives.  Rose learns that the corporation behind the games is called Bad Wolf while the Doctor discovers he’s back on Satellite 5, and Jack, Rose, and the Doctor discover a bigger threat is behind it all.

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“The Parting of the Ways”

1.13     The Parting of the Ways Airdate:  01/18/05

The Doctor rescues Rose from the Daleks and plots to eliminate the Daleks forever.  The Doctor learns that Emperor of the Daleks saved the Daleks from the Time War and the Doctor works to end the threat of the Daleks.  Rose find the Doctor makes a big decision for her safety and finds the Doctor has sent her home.  As the Doctor and Jack prepare to decide the future of Earth, Rose wonders the meaning of Bad Wolf and how to help him.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Movie (1996)

Followed By:

Doctor Who—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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