Eldhrin wrote us a review of the first episode of the new Doctor Who series. There seems to be minimal spoilage here, so feel free to check it out even if you haven’t seen the episode. If you are concerned about spoilers anyway, know that it received 30/42, with 5/6 in the Overall category. Those of us in Canada can catch this on the CBC on April 5. If anyone knows about the US air date (assuming they’ve set one), please let us know.

Cast and Crew

Christopher Ecclestone as The Doctor

Billie Piper as Rose Tyler

Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler

Noel Clarke as Mickey Smith

Mark Benton as Clive

Ellie Garnett as Caroline

Adam McCoy as Clive’s Son

Alan Ruscoe, Paul Kasey, David Sant, Elizabeth Frost
and Helen Otway as Autons

Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Nestene
Consciousness

Writer: Russel T. Davis

Director: Keith Boak

Originally shown on BBC One in the United Kingdom on 26th March 2005.

Plot:

Rose Tyler is rescued from walking shop mannequins by a mysterious man who calls himself ‘the Doctor’. After he blows up the shop where she works, she discovers that the Earth is being invaded by a force capable of making any plastic object come to life.

High Point:

Rose: If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you come from the North?

Doctor: Lots of planets have a north.

The other high point was the new use they’ve found for the London Eye.

Low Point:

The pictures shown to Rose by the conspiracy theorist are really badly done. And why no hint of the Doctor’s past regenerations? There’s never been a vast amount of backreferencing in Doctor Who, but some here was needed I think.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6. We’ve seen the Nestene Consciousness before. Twice. Although I believe it used to build robots in the shape of shop mannequins – now it can make any piece of plastic come to life using psychic energy.

Effects: 4/6. Lots of places where they were very, very good, and a fair few places where they were very, very obvious. Miles and miles above any previous Doctor Who, due largely to a bigger budget and better effects technology, but it still retains a sense of the old Who special effects character.

Story: 5/6. Not much wrong here. Rose gets a plausible motivation to join the Doctor, and we do feel like we’ve dropped in on the middle of a larger story showing the Doctor investigating the Nestene Consciousness’ latest invasion attempt, which he is now in the process of dealing with. We also get very clear direction that the Doctor is an alien and has different priorities.

Acting: 5/6. Christopher Ecclestone does a remarkable job as a Doctor who clearly takes a childlike delight in everything, but can also be deadly serious when he wants to be. Contrast him talking about the speed of the world’s movement with his explanation of why the TARDIS looks like a police call box.

Emotional Response: 4/6. The beginning was scary in classic Doctor Who fashion. The Autons aren’t as terrifying as they used to be, and the ones we saw later were less impressive due to the environment. However, there is a response to the continual destruction of what little Rose has in life, and the Doctor’s obvious affection for her.

Production: 4/6. Some of the cuts were just wrong, but it felt like previous Who in that respect, where the timing just doesn’t work out quite right. However, the set design and location shooting was fabulous and the new TARDIS interior is something quite special. Not as impressive as the 1996 movie (it was about the only impressive thing in that farce), but considerably cheaper to film and a lot closer to the TARDIS’ heritage.

Overall: 5/6.

In total, ‘Rose’ receives 30/42.