The doctor gets a facelift and a brand new companion in this opener to the 2005 revival.
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Rose (Billie Piper) is your run-of-the-mill chav living with her bawdy mum Jackie (Camille Coduri) in a council flat somewhere in the Welsh part of London. Her life is pretty typical: she has an uninspiring job, partakes in dishearteningly unromantic Trafalgar Square montages with her whiny, rubbish, abysmally chavvy boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke), and she’s about to embark on a trip through time and space with the most charming, two-hearted, extra-terrestrial and adventurous do-gooder, namely, The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston). But that’s not until the end of this episode. Spoilers!
First she needs to battle lumbering Autons, meet a conspiracy theorist (whose wife is unrealistically trusting of her husband’s shed-based goings-on with strange women he’s met on the Internet) and have her aforementioned rubbish boyfriend replaced with a shiny plastic replica.
But it’s fine, because she meets the Doctor along the way, and so do we, and thus begins the 2005 revival of this glorious saga.
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While you ponder that, here are some screenshots from the episode.
(PS: The pic of JD dramatically appealing to the microphone – aka Noel Clarke – will be added shortly.)
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This episode was the first that was watched for many modern fans of Doctor Who, myself included. For others, it was the first episode they had gotten since 1996, and even then many didn’t like the TV Movie. But that’s another review.
Anyways, this being the first episode I saw, I sort of love it. It is a great introduction to the characters. You know nothing about any of them, and you meet a new Doctor and companion all in one episode. Also, I believe this is the first time the audience has met the family of a companion. Other than meeting Susan’s grandfather, of course. Unfortunately, the special effects leave much to be desired. The whole fuzzy camera thing throughout all of season one is sort of a confusing choice. Also, something just didn’t look right with the anti-plastic.
All-in-all, the plot was pretty solid and it made for a pretty amazing pilot to a show I had heard so much about. It blew me away when I first saw it, and I preceded to watch half the season when I was supposed to be asleep. So, I have to rate this story a 4.0. Not the best, but it’s a very special episode.
You meet Tegan’s Auntie Vanessa (Logopolis), Tegan’s grandfather (Awakening), Turlough’s brother (Planet of Fire), Adric’s brother (Full Circle), Nyssa’s father (Keeper of Traken, and the body keeps showing up throughout the rest of the original series), Victoria Waterfield’s father (Evil of the Daleks), Leela’s father (Face of Evil)…
Clearly one thing that this story does NOT represent is the “first time you meet a companion’s family“! “Mother” maybe, not too many mothers for companions in the original series. :-)
Now that the first Capaldi season has come to a close, I’m going back and rewatching the whole 21st century Who. I had to search about to find someone reviewing these early episodes and am very glad to have found this podcast. Witty banter, a strong knowledge of the Whoniverse, and very likable commentators. I’ll keep listening!