May 12, 2008

5 Reasons Why Doctor Who Series One is a Good Place to Start

Commenting on the review for The Sontaran Strategem, Stephen asked what stories I would recommend he rent via Netflix in order to get better acquainted with the series.

Yes, I could direct him to the DVD Guide...but I thought that this would be a great opportunity to provide five reasons why I think those new to the world of Who would enjoy Series One from 2005, featuring Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor.

Ripping off another, better we go!
  1. It's very new fan friendly, with minimal references to the past - Since the BBC had no idea how successful the relaunch would be, these 13 episodes would also work as a good, one-year season. There isn't the obnoxious referencing to the past that late DW tended to engage in, and these are episodes that tend to work well on their own. You get a thorough introduction to the Doctor Who "mythology" without worrying that you have to have seen every single
  2. Christopher Eccleston's portrayal of the Doctor - Unlike the past, Eccleston doesn't portray the Doctor as a lovable eccentric. This is a guy who is traumatized by past events - a little more harder-edged (at one point, he rants, "I watched it happen...I made it happen". It makes, I think, for a much better, more easily accessible character than in the past.
  3. His Unique Relationship With Rose - Unlike companions of the past, Rose Tyler's with the Ninth Doctor is unique in that there is a slightly humanizing quality that Rose brings. Although it is suggested that - at least with the Tenth Doctor - there is a romantic quality between them, here, it's played absolutely as someone trying to reach through to someone severely traumatized.
  4. The Stories, For the Most Part, Work - Unlike the previous cliffhanger-style stories, most of the stories are well-written. (Although if you skip Aliens of London/World War 3, and possibly The Longest Game, no one will hold it against you). But you have Rose, The Unquiet Dead, Dalek, Father's Day, and The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances - half the stories sparkle, three are OK, and the above three are naff.
  5. This season is already on PBS - several PBS stations, including Chicago, already have the rights to broadcast this. You might want to check your local listings - that way, you don't even have to rent them via Netflix!

And so, if you have any Who related questions, please feel free to drop them here.


Stephen said...

thanks for the heads up. once i get through babylon 5. i'll put this on my queue and let you know what i think

Camera Obscura said...

BBC America just started rerunning S1, and the episodes can be watched on-demand at their website by accessing them through the schedule.

Siskoid said...

Agreed. I've hooked a great many people on Who thanks to Series 1 myself.

It doesn't always translate into a liking for the classic series though.