Before the 2005 series I was never a big fan of Doctor Who. I did watch older episodes on some occasions but after the cancellation in 89 there wasn’t too many opportunities. My favorite Doctor was Jon Pertwee as he seemed more of a secret agent type of Doctor while I thought Tom Baker to be a younger madder version of him. I had some frustrations with the older series due to the long time it took to resolve episodes with arcs spread out over weeks and the seemingly cheap quality of some episodes. I was a larger fan of Star Trek and although some people find the original series dated it never came across as having obvious low production values.
The 1996 Doctor Who TV movie intrigued me but since it was a once off there was no room to expand upon my interest until 2005. I don’t know why I decided to tune into the series but with it been surrounded by so much hype I thought it might be a good point to jump into the fandom. There was some spark of interest there always and I wanted to see how Aliens like ‘The Daleks’ would be presented for a 21st Century television audience.
I was somewhat unimpressed by the first episode but stuck with it. Being a little bit more impressed with the second episode and very impressed with the third. Mention of a “Time War” gave a larger background to the Doctor for now he was “The Last of the Time Lords”, a man alone. The episodes ‘Aliens of London’ and ‘World war III’ were pretty good and even better if they didn’t have scenes of farting Aliens that came across as childish. Finally I reached the episode I had been waiting for, ‘Dalek’ and wow did they do that well! They made one Dalek so menacing and deadly, reminding me of how the Borg on Star Trek the Next Generation had once seemed undefeatable.
Somehow I got hooked to this show without realizing it and Saturday evenings became events. I’d cook myself a spaghetti dinner and time it to finish just before ‘Doctor Who’ started so I could sit down and open a packet of Viennese Biscuits with a Mug of Cappuccino.
Christopher Ecclestone is a large part of why I got into the series. His Doctor was Dark, Charming, Funny and otherworldly. He did look down on Human’s and made the character able to get away with saying things nobody else dared to. Even in the face of danger with guns pointed in his face the good Doctor always gave a wide grin to the danger as if enjoying it. I loved the little moments where the Doctor tells Rose he gave her a red bike for Christmas when she was a child or how he always called Micky, Ricky, foreseeing that Micky would actually become Ricky in a future episode. I liked that the character kissed Captain Jack with no hesitation which I also thought was a somewhat brave scene to put into the series due to it been viewed by families with some likely over protective parents.
With Ecclestone leaving after just one series the final episodes delivered one hell of a smack.The hilarity of the Doctor finding himself in the Big Brother Household, the reveal of the Daleks and their fleet, the Doctor have to once more face the same decision where he had to choose between destroying the Earth and the Daleks with it or letting the Dalek’s win, a decision which he had once made in the Time War when he was forced to destroy his own World and people along with the Daleks. Here he redeems himself by deciding not to kill everyone and sacrificing himself to save Rose.
By the end of the first series I considered it to be one of the best Science Fiction series ever. Russel T Davis, Producer, had knocked it out of the park and it was on it’s way outside the solar system.
Series 2 introduced David Tennant as the new Time-lord. I like Tennant, I felt his performance was an amalgamation of previous Doctors. Unlike Ecclestone’s Doctor the character comes off as likeable and has less conflict with other characters. Gone is him calling Micky, Ricky, gone is his main conflict with Jacky over his care of Rose, even his reaction upon seeing the Daleks again is subdued. He is a great Doctor though. Series 2 was a weaker series compared to Series 1 although there are some very memorable episodes such as “The Girl in the Fireplace” and the epic “Doomsday”. It wouldn’t be until Season 4 that we would see some good character conflict arrising between the Doctor and new companion Donna. Rose was a bit too doey eyed with the 10th Doctor to give series a bit of oomph that it needed.
Time Travel Aspects: The first series introduces a very interesting mystery with the words “Bad Wolf”. These words appear across time and Space wherever the 9th Doctor and Rose go. It kept people guessing to the very end and finally it is revealed that it was Rose herself that sent the words “Bad Wolf” back through time as a warning/message to herself. This is the Future influencing the past and also a paradox as it’s the significance of the words that makes her spread it out throughout time.
Favorite Quote: “if you wanna remember me, then you can do one thing. That’s all, one thing. Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose. Have a fantastic life.” – The 9th Doctor