I stayed away from watching Dr. Who for the longest time for such stupid reasons like “I’m really not into sci-fi, I’m more of a fantasy kind of nerd”… (Although my fave tv series included: The X-Files, Star-Trek (TNG), and Sea Quest (admittedly because of Lucas – Jonathan Brandis!)), “I might not get it, I’m intimidated!” (although I’m currently watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus – esoteric humor galore), and “I so don’t want to be labeled a hipster.” (This will never apply to me as hipsters will never… ever… ever… admit to reading and liking the Twilight Series un-ironically.)
Series 1: Ninth Doctor with Rose Tyler
I started with the reboot in 2005 starring Christopher Eccleston, as the doctor and Billie Piper as Rose, the companion. I was kindda hoping I wouldn’t like it since there are 8 series or seasons in all with 13 episodes each. 8 series x 13 episodes x 45 mins divided by 60 equals 78 hours of my life devoted to this. Although I’ve done marathons of TV shows before (South Park, Alias, 24, CSI, etc.), that was before I had a regular job with corporate bosses. (This is why I keep away from never-ending animes.)
Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your point of view), I discovered a new drug in the form of The Doctor, flying on a silly blue police box with a slightly masochistic blonde “companion”. I was hooked, plot holes, “cost-effective” effects, and all.
What I Liked
Series 1 with the Ninth Doctor was the perfect place to start for a non-fan of Dr. Who. You don’t have to go through the 1960s ones. I’m not that hard-core! You don’t get lost in the universe because they explain all you need to know – the story of the Time Lords, the regeneration, the concept of the companion, how the Tardis generally works, and the arch enemy with a plunger for arms – Daleks (although, why you need a sink plunger in space is bonkers to me!).
I thought that the series will be all about the sci-fi side of things but the core is really about the characters and how they develop through their experiences and adventures.
I felt that the relationship between Rose and the Doctor began as a friendship and somewhat of a paternal love. Since Rose Tyler lost her dad, she bonded quickly with the relatively older version of the Doctor.
Is the Rose character believable as a girl willing to leave her planet and family to travel with a total stranger through time and space? If you’re 19 and full of wanderlust, the answer is yes! I may not be a Rose Tyler but I’ve met these girls before. I totally understand and wish I had the same drive when I was a teenager. Christopher Eccleston is a bit more subdued compared to the next doctor but he really does give the vibe that everything is going to be okay in the end because he’s dependable and intelligent.
What I Didn’t Like
What my feminist side disagreed with is the constant need to protect Rose when things get a bit too scary. It seems she has to prove herself time and time again that she’s capable of taking care of herself. But this is really just a minor issue.
The major ones are the effects and a few plot holes. It seems the budget was a bit tight considering this was 2005, technology was so advanced, George Lucas just can’t stop ruining his franchise with Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith. As for plot holes, I just don’t buy the plausible science of it sometimes. It seems so convenient that all their travels don’t OFTEN cause a rift in the time-space continuum, only when the plot calls for it to be. In the end though, it doesn’t really matter. What matters most are the characters and their motivations.
Series 2: Tenth Doctor with Rose Tyler
The Doctor and Rose kiss in the final episode of Series 1 but the blossoming relationship briefly hit a snag as it was revealed that the Doctor was dying and he needed to regenerate in order to survive. So goodbye Christopher Eccleston and hello David Tennant!
This younger version of the doctor looks a bit more appropriate as a love interest to Rose Tyler. they don’t go too far with that aspect though. It reminds of the earlier seasons of the X-files. In an interview, Gillian Anderson said that the fact that Mulder and Scully barely acknowledges the attraction makes each hug and show of concern that much sweeter. I think the same is true for The Doctor and Rose Tyler. Believe me, I was crying my eyes out at the end of the finale.
I may have a crush on David Tennant now and I’m glad he’s on 2 more series! I will miss Rose Tyler and I hope the next companion would be lovely as well. Will the doctor mourn Rose for awhile? Or like a jackass, be getting another companion at the first opportunity and concentrate all his devilish charm on her until she’s looking all puppy-eyed in love with him? Hmp!
I’ve noticed that they had better effects for this season. The writing and the witty dialogue was still solid but I can’t wait for the Steven Moffat 2010 series!