The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go? That’s who I am.Ninth Doctor, Doctor Who, S01E01 ‘Rose’
If I am honest I cannot quite remember If I actually watched all of the first series ‘New Who’ when it aired in 2005 – I was, ironically, 9 years old. Only my Mum had watched a little of ‘Classic Who’ when she was younger. From memory she had enjoyed it but, I am not sure if she was the one who said “here, watch this”, so I am really not sure how I found the show in the first place. Especially in Australia.
What I do know is that I am so grateful I did start watching it – whatever the reason and whenever in 2005 that was. Especially as nearly 17 years later I am still watching the show, and as shown by this writing series, am am (healthily) obsessed.
New Doctor’s First Episode: S01E01 ‘Rose’
‘Rose’, I think, has become one of my favourite episodes. Even if – as mentioned above’ I am not sure if I watched it when it first aired. I do know I watched a lot of Series 1 as it aired though – as you will find out I have vivid memories of some episodes. While I think I didn’t watch this one in particular when it aired, I have definitely watched it a lot since.
I love this as an introduction back into a show that had been running since 1963. The episode introduces a new incarnation of the Doctor with the wonderful Christopher Eccleston (though I wouldn’t be introduced to the emotionally damaging and show prolonging process of regeneration until much later). Eccleston’s Doctor is charming, wonderfully sarcastic, and a little cocky with what I would call a flair for the dramatic. He is also angry, hurt, and emotionally scarred. As titled, this episode also introduces us to Rose (Billie Piper) – the soon to be companion – and the first of the new series to to be taken in by the wonder and charm of the Doctor. As I didn’t really get completely invested in the show until Series 3 (with David Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones) I didn’t love Rose as much as others do, but I do appreciate what her character did for the show. She is very much a very normal girl who gets caught up in the crazy of the Doctor’s world. She is a way in for the view, asking the questions, and also keeping the Doctor in check.
The episode itself has a beautiful chaotic energy to it, and I love the humour of it. Watching it again now has me feeling rather nostalgic. Both for the early, simple but impactful story lines, and the the general feel of early 2000’s era Doctor Who.
Favourite Episode: S01E02(3?) ‘The End of the World’
Hands down, ‘The End of the World’ has to be my favourite episode of Series 1 (though I love them all). It is also the one I found most entertaining.
First the episode has the Doctor bring Rose to front row seats to the destruction of her home planet 5 billion years in the future, and then there is the introduction of a whole host of aliens who have paid to see the death of the earth. Including the character Cassandra – the ‘last’ human – only she is a sheet of skin with a face. On the whole the episode is bold, funny, suspenseful and emotional all in one. It also features the best use ever of Britney Spears ‘Toxic’, as a traditional earth ballad, and the soundtrack to the earth’s destruction. You can find this iconic moment here.
The episode throws both Rose and the audience in at the deep end, with the Doctor’s showing off almost having detrimental consequences. Not that this deters her from travelling with him.
Scariest Episode: S01E09/10 ‘The Empty Child’/’The Doctor Dances’
I am not surprised at all that on my rewatch of Series 1, this two episode story was the scariest one for me. Not the ghosts of ‘The Unquiet Dead’ (S01E03) or even my first introduction to the infamous Daleks in ‘Dalek’ (S01E06) – the gas-masked people repeating the haunting cry of “Are you my mummy?” followed me into my nightmares and still (at the age of 26) gives me the creeps.
It doesn’t help that after the episode finished (I can’t remember if it was part 1 or part 2) my Dad decided it would be a good idea while I was still stuck on the couch, to take a glass from the kitchen and walk around the lounge with it over his mouth saying “Are you my mummy?”. As you can imagine, it didn’t help my 9 year old self in the slightest – though there is a chance that Dad did that to try and lighten the mood.
This episode was also a contender for most emotional episode for me, but it won me over for scariest once I had done my rewatch and memories of my first watch of this episode resurfaced. It is a tense episode, with a looming presence that stuck with me for ages after watching it. It also includes on of my favourite dual episode cliff-hanger and resolution pairs. I can’t do the scene justice by describing it so if you haven’t seen it, or just want a memory jog you can find it here.
The second episode of this dual episode story also brings me another of my favourite Ninth Doctor quotes – “You want moves Rose? I’ll give you moves! Everybody lives Rose. Just this once! Everybody lives!”
Most Emotional Episode: S01E ???
For most series, ‘Most Emotional Episode’ will be marked by the amount it made me cry – interestingly, Series 1 doesn’t have one particular emotional episode for me – however I find, especially now, that there are many moments or just lines of dialogue that make me tear up. When I originally watched these at the age of 9 I could say that I hadn’t yet developed the acute emotional tendencies I have when it comes to film and TV but that would be a lie. This only got stronger(?) as I got older, and I am now the type to tear up at an even slightly emotional commercial, or even one that features a dog.
I couldn’t pick a most emotional episode for this series I think because there is an emotional nostalgia to the whole series that gets me at a point in nearly every episode. This is helped along both by the wonderful acting from both Eccleston and Piper, as well as the incredible soundtrack by Murry Gold. There are some pieces of music now that I hear from this series that will have me in tears without the episode itself playing.
Some Doctor Who fans might go up in arms over this, as Episode 8, ‘Father’s Day’ is definitely a high contender for this spot, but I know at the time when I first watched it, the episode didn’t have the same affect on me that it does now. That episode is high up there, but I found other small moments in other episodes in the series to make me more emotional at the time when I first watched them.
Current Doctor’s Last Episode: S01E12/13 ‘Bad Wolf’/’The Parting of the Ways’
Oh gosh, where do I even start with this two episode story? I loved this as a series final for the first ‘New Who’ series. It’s fun, clever, and it’s high stakes in more ways than one. I think having the Daleks as the final villain for Series One was a great decision – especially as the last Dalek seen in ‘New Who’ was a very different Dalek to those we see here.
Oh man, I remember watching this one and being so freaked out by the Daleks, I think it was mostly with them all roaming around and chanting together. Plus with Murray Gold’s music the whole thing is intimating! I really loved the concept for this two part story.
As mentioned above, I am pretty sure this was my first introduction to the concept of regeneration, and oh, was I confused at first! I had no expectation at all that that was going to happen. The lead up to it at the end of the episode was epic though!
Thank you for reading! I should have the Series 2 review up within the next couple of weeks.
What were your picks for the above? I’d love to know your thoughts!