Revived/Created by Russell T. Davies/Starring Christopher Eccleston & Billie Piper
My rating: 5 of 5
Rose Tyler lives a fairly common life in London, working as a shop girl at a department store, looking after her ditzy mom and her fairly useless boyfriend with no real expectation of anything else ever coming of her life. That all changes one frightful night when the mannequins in the shop come to life and attack her. Because, you see, it’s not that she just encountered rogue mannequins that evening. . . . That was the evening when she met The Doctor. And her decision to travel with this Doctor changed her life, introducing her to galaxies and times she could never have imagined. Of course, Rose doesn’t just discover incredible things about the world around her, either; she finds depths in herself that she could never have otherwise known, and she forms a relationship, a deep and abiding friendship, with the Doctor that is like no other relationship in her life. And the adventure is only beginning.
First off, let me just say that this is my first exposure to Doctor Who, so I apologize for any inadvertent mistakes. The whole franchise/story/whatever-it-actually-is still seems pretty complex to me. But I’ve had so many recommendations for this from so many different geeky sources that I finally decided to dive in and check it out. So glad I did, too. From what I can tell, Series 1 jumps in at the ninth rendition/transformation/whatever of the Doctor, so there’s some definite back story that I’m going to need to go back and get. But Series 1 seems like a valid and comprehensible place to jump in. I don’t really know where to start in describing the story and why I loved it so much. I think what stood out the absolute most is the characters. Rose herself is in many ways a fairly ordinary sort of girl (so she’s easy to relate to), but she’s also pretty incredible–a dreamer, an adventurer, and also someone surprisingly filled with compassion for the hurting. It’s crazy but neat to see her in some completely unfamiliar setting just wrap her arms around someone who’s grieving or afraid to comfort them. Eccleston’s Doctor is pretty incredible too (again, this is my first experience with any of the Doctors, so I’m discovering a lot). He’s a very complex individual–one who’s genius and great but who values the small people, one who’s both compassionate and empathetic yet also immensely pragmatic. I also enjoyed the storywriting itself a great deal; the episodes are very well written. I love that it’s not all blasters and big ships and well-oiled crews like so much science fiction seems to be; rather, it’s two individuals (occasionally three) setting off in this crazy but cool ship (one that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside) to explore . . . and maybe get where and when they were intending, maybe not. And when they get there, it’s more about interacting with people and helping if possible than it is about making their mark or accomplishing their own selfish goals. Okay, I’ll stop now. . . . But seriously, for those of you who enjoy a good science fiction story (okay, you’ve probably already seen this; but if you haven’t) the first series of Doctor Who is a TV series that I think you’d find very enjoyable.