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After reviewing Eccleston’s run as the 9th Doctor, we sat down to discuss the highlights and low-points of Series 1 of the Doctor Who revival.

We recently launched our reviews of Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways into the ether, signifying our arrival at the end of the 9th Doctor’s run and the arrival of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor.

Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor

Over the course of 13 episodes, we got to know Eccleston’s character, learned to appreciate and adore his idiosyncrasies, and marvel at his ingenuity and optimism in the face of adversity. But while we could spend a good chunk of time talking about how much we loved this scene and that, and how greatly we can sympathise with these characters and those, Series 1 of the Doctor Who revival also played host to a bunch of characters and plot points that – let’s be honest – are worthy of ridicule.

Doctor Who Mickey exhibiting charm, grace and decorum.

In this Bonus Retrospective on Christopher Eccleston’s run as the 9th Doctor, we decide for ourselves, what were the best moments, the worst moments, the best lines, the worst lines, and who were the best characters and the absolutely and unforgivably worst. And more! Want to know with whom/what we’d least like to go to bed, for example? Well, you’ll have to listen to this episode to find out.

Doctor Who Aliens of London space pig autopsy

Do you agree or disagree with anything we said in this episode? Or can you think of the best or worst of a category we didn’t bring up?
Leave a comment below!


Here's what you think 2 Responses to “B009 The Ninth Doctor Retrospective”
  1. Debbie Collington

    Christopher Eccleston had a hard job to do, and he did it admirably. The world was watching, and the pressure was on and he was brilliant. Although I am a big fan of Tennant’s doctor, I am still very sad that Christopher felt he could not continue to a second series, he was great.

  2. Robert M. Albrecht

    Season 1 review:

    Very inconsistent: The Doctor watches his face an his ears while being in Roses home, so one might think the regeneration just happened. But then we see pictures of him on the Titanic and other historic events. I think they show runners has not worked out their story, the characters and the audience. Eccleston is sometimes very funny, and sometimes very sad and dark. And on the second show we see the Face of Boe talking about the Bad Wolf, that might hint to an overarching story arc. Ever since Babylon 5 I hate shows without a story. I can’t watch shows which are just hopping from episode to episode any more, I always seem them as boring and harmless, as no real story and development can be told in 45 minutes. And I think introducing this into Doctor Who is a great achievement.

    There are some scenes for character development that are important very early on: when he meets Rose and tells her, he can feel the spinning of the earth. I find this scene particularly impressive on how to show how deep the rabbit hole goes. The second is the meeting on Platform One where the Tree identifies him as a Time Lord. And the rage and wrath when he is meeting the imprisoned Dalek. This dark Doctor shows when he lets Cassandra die without remorse.

    But on the other hands I really really love his unconcern. “Let’s meet the neighbors” with a smile. We only landed on the Dalek mother ship, but let’s go out and meet the neighbors. I think this is great. Captain Picard would consult all of Starfleets personnel, work on a plan with lots of techno blurb, construct a device to save the universe and then It would come otherwise anyway. And the Doctor just opens the door and meets the neighbors. But of course he is backed by his Tardis, the mightiest plot device ever conceived. Fantastic

    I think they were very unsure of what to do. Which kind of story would work, what the actors can do, how the characters would react, … the comic element of farting aliens really was a bad idea. Did they want to open the show to children?

    They needed to introduce some villains, the doctor himself, the companions and the supporting characters. And for the first season they didn’t know which success they would get so their budget would be restricted.

    The start was very good. Some stories in-between are just filler-episodes designed not to stress the budget, so they could concentrate on the more important stories.

    The Bad Wolf arc is a good idea, but the implementation is not very good. Yes, we see the words spread all about the season, but they don’t have much effect. Most appearances of Bad Wolf I only realized when watching the whole season again. But perhaps I just didn’t pay enough attention. And the Bad Wolf is not though to the End. Why Bad Wolf? Why not Shawn the Sheep?

    As a science fiction fan I very much like Doctor Who. Doctor Who is much more diverse than Star Trek. Trek is more like a bureaucracy. You know the story and the problem when you are 10 minutes into the show. And often the solution is as obvious. In Doctor Who you never really know what to expect. But they never reach the impact of Babylon 5. Babylon 5 was the fight between Bad and Good, and only the whole of existence was on the brink. Doctor Who has some of these moments where the whole of creation is at stake, but they never reach the level of seriousness and desperation like Babylon 5.

    They have lots of uncertain things in the first season. What can the Tardis do and what not? Star Trek sensors would have spotted the Daleks or the Plastic monster from miles away. But the much more advanced Tardis can’t do this? And did the Doctor ever look for a big red “Destroy all Evil” button in the Tardis? And the Sonic Screwdriver that can manipulate everything or nothing, depending on the story? But let’s stop nitpicking.

    Overall rating: I think they did a solid job resurrecting the show. They had some good ideas and some bad ideas. Most of the bad ideas got lost in the second season, so they learn. 3.5 out of 5.

    And did I mention I really hate farting aliens?

    @JD: Was the Tardis always this potent? Was a Tardis always a being? Or was it just a flying box? And what’s with the last great time war? Were there more time wars?

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