I revisit the longest running British Sci-Fi Series, Doctor Who with the opener to the new series, Rose, written by Russell T. Davis.
“A flawed but entertaining pilot episode that is great fun for newcomers and fans of the classic series alike.
I recently decided that I would undergo a re-watch of Doctor Who, a series that if you’re a geek like myself – you should have watched by now (you’re not one if you haven’t watched it is all I’m saying) right from the beginning. I know I probably shouldn’t given the amount of TV shows that I need to catch up on (Smallville, Supernatural etc), But I thought I might as well review as many of Series 1-6 as I can and cover the newer ones from Series 7 P2 onwards as they’re released.
Rose, the series opener, is written by Russell T. Davies and manages to successfully re-introduce the Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, to a new modern audience who didn’t watch the classic series – I am yet to watch the classic series as well, it will be something that I will try and remedy over the course of 2013 and beyond. Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor is a fun one, arguably stealing the show – particularly when there’s a conversation between Rose’s (Billie Piper) mother, Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) somewhat early on in the series that proves Davis’ brilliance:
Jackie Tyler: I’m in my dressing gown.
The Doctor: Yes, you are.
Jackie Tyler: There’s a strange man in my bedroom.
The Doctor: Yes, there is.
Jackie Tyler: Well, anything could happen.
The Doctor: [shakes his head and smiles] No.
See what I mean? The rest of the cast is also firmly introduced in this episode, the establishment of Rose’s relationship with her boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) is included as well, and it’s nice to see that the three main characters outside of The Doctor, Jackie, Rose and Mickey, get more screen time than The Doctor, also allowing the writer to show just how alien The Doctor is to humanity.
I love the way how the pilot builds up to a dramatic conclusion with Rose. We get the Autons in their only appearance as the lead monsters in the series so far, and the low-budget of their design allows the producers not to go overboard on special effects. However saying that, the special effects aren’t the best, and that’s probably because they were designed at a low-budget. It’s very interesting to see how the series has changed from 2005 to where we are now in 2013, and there has been a great increase in the SFX department of this series.
Rose, whilst is a strong opener and has plenty of comedic effects, there’s also a few parts of the script that are incredibly cheesy in places. For example, there’s a bit with a burping bin, and then there’s this line here, which comes near the end of the episode:
Rose Tyler: I’ve got no A-Levels, no job, no future… but I tell ya what I have got – Jericho Street Junior School – Under Sevens Gymnastic Team – I got the Bronze!
Yeah. I can see what Davis was trying to pull off here but it didn’t just work for me.
However, Rose itself is a great series opener and does what it intends do – introduces Doctor Who for a new generation, doesn’t have a complex storyline and is suitable for kids and adults alike. And the best thing about this episode is that the show only gets stronger from here on out.
Doctor Who Series 1: Rose, The End of the World, The Unquiet Dead, Aliens of London, World War Three, Dalek, The Long Game, Father’s Day, The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, Boom Town, Bad Wolf, The Parting of the Ways