I used to love watching Doctor Who as a kid with one of my friends who recorded it (since it usually broadcast later than 10 yr olds could stay up). Usually when I think of Doctor Who I picture Tom Baker, the fourth incarnation of the Doctor.
For those who are hearing of Doctor Who for the first time or know little about him, the Doctor is an alien from another world who travels through both space and time different civilizations and different time periods to witness history (and usually get his assistants out of trouble).
So why are there currently 10 incarnations of the Doctor? Well, whenever he gets into mortal trouble (or they decide they want a new actor), he simply regenerates into a “new” Doctor. So it’s the same Doctor, just 10 different faces.
Why do I bring this up? Have I been rummaging through old Doctor Who vids or something? Well, actually, I attended Comic-Con this summer and ended up going to the Doctor Who panel (my friend wanted to go to Torchwood which was just afterward). They showed clips of this reboot of the series and I was intrigued to see more. Enter Doctor Who: Series 1. (Yeah, I guess the Brits call it “series” vs. “season.”)
To be honest, my interest was piqued with clips featuring David Tennant (whom I didn’t realize is Barty Crouch, Jr. in HP4), the 10th and current Doctor. So, I was a little put out to discover Christopher Eccleston would be accompanying me at the 9th Doctor. I was tempted to just skip the first season and head straight to second, but they only had season 1 on Netflix Instaview, so sighing a little I ventured in.
If you start it this way you’ll wonder how David Tennant could possibly win you over. Eccleston was a fantastic doctor.
OK, so it’s Eccleston for 99.99% of the first season and Tennant for about 3 seconds. I’ll go more into Tennant after I finish season 2. Eccleston is jovial, mostly unserious, but always there when he’s needed. The chemistry between he and his current assistant is fun and as much as I wondered about it getting creepy–it isn’t. It works for them. (And I really still do miss him as Claude in Heroes. Hopefully he’ll make a comeback soon.) His personality easily wins you over, and like I said, you’ll be wondering how Tennant will ever replace him. (Not to worry, Tennant fans, season 2 will prove him the Doctor).
Rose (Billie Piper):
The Doctor’s assistant, basically. I think she was supposed to be 19. A lower class Brit with attitude joins up with the Doctor after saving his life (and then her brawn basically diminishes after that). She’s not the most phenomenal actress you’ll ever meet, but she makes Rose lovable and fun. She may be the damsel in distress a bit more often than I’d like, but she’s still tough and sticks to her guns, which is probably why she and the Doctor make a good team.
Mickey and Mum:
I don’t know what it is about Mickey, but I love it when he’s around, even if he hates it when the Doctor is there. Mickey is Rose’s “kinda” boyfriend and always feels free to remind the Doctor how much danger he does put Rose through. And then of course Rose’s Mom. She’s forgetful, but for the most part accepting and understanding. She just makes the series fun (especially in season 2)
The Daleks are back! Well… sort of. The thing I love about the new series is it pokes fun at the old series, but in a loving way. So instead of having useless plunger parts, among other things, the Daleks are actually threatening this time around. I loved the plastic men (first episode), and found them to be slightly creepy, imagining if I was in a department store and all of a sudden the dummies started moving and attacking. Creepy. I don’t know, they do a lot of super sci-fi stuff, but it makes it fun and entertaining and it works. As much as Rose is having a fun time traveling with the Doctor, I think we as the audience have just as much fun. It just makes sci-fi fun.
Dalek (Episode 6): The first time we get a look at the newish Dalek and find out exactly what that plunger is for. I don’t want to spoil much with these mini-descriptions, so I’ll keep it semi-vague and brief. But in this episode you can see Rose’s strong character really come out and its effects on the Doctor.
The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (Episodes 9-10): It’s a two-parter. We journey back to WWII London and meet up with Captain Jack (of Torchwood). There’s a strange child with a gas mask on reaking havoc as basically “the monster of the week.” I think I just liked this one because of all the clues leading up to the end and how it all works out.
And to be honest, I could call them all favorite episodes–they were great. The first season is only 13 episodes long, so we have to say goodbye to Eccleston sooner rather than later, but it’s an enjoyable ride. If you’ve been wondering about this rebooted series or if you loved the old series and want more, give it a go, you won’t regret it. It makes sci-fi fun and enjoyable.
How do I watch it?
Well, I’d recommend Netflix Instaview. It’s instant access to all 13 episodes and is included with your monthly subscription (if you’re on an $8.99 plan or better. I think the $4.99 has limitations). You could do it disc by disc via Netflix (which I’ve sort of had to do for season 2). Or check your area and see if your local library(ies) has it available for rent. Otherwise you’re looking at a pretty penny of $75 on Amazon.com or separate discs for about $30 each. Yeah, Netflix or library is probably your best bet. But hey, it’s a good reason to join up. I love Netflix! I’ve been a member since 2003 and it keeps getting better and better.
Look for a Doctor Who: Series 2 review once I’ve finished. I’ll tell you how it’s possible to trade Eccleston for Tennant. 🙂
And for the enjoyment of Doctor Who fans (you probably won’t think this is very funny unless you’ve seen at least a few episodes of Doctor Who), Eddie Izzard discusses Doctor Who. WARNING: Strong language likely included, so if you’re at work or around kids, put on your headphones. Get ready to LMAO.
*I tried to embed it, but it’s Megavideo, and well, here’s a link instead.
**I found a youtube link for embedding, but it’s about 2 mins in when he gets to Doctor Who. If you’ve never checked out Eddie Izzard before, he’s super random, but funny.
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