It’s time! It’s time! As mentioned in my last Doctor Who blog post, I’ve decided to fill all the empty space of BBC airtime that Doctor Who isn’t on with reviews and blog posts dedicated to my favorite show. Each week, I’ll be live-blogging one-to-two episodes getting ready for the return of the show with series 9 this autumn.
My experience with this show started a few years ago in 2012 when my younger sister convinced me to watch this campy British sci-fi series with her. At first I wasn’t convinced, but I fell in love with it and can’t go a day without thinking of the Doctor, my Doctor. Since I have all this time before my favorite show comes back on the air, you are going to be subjected to my lifetime obsession of talking about it until I get a new episode. Lucky you! ;)
So here we go, today, we will introduce ourselves back to Rose Tyler, and the man of mystery, the Doctor — along with a host of other characters along the way.
Psst…if you have a favorite episode, be sure to check back over the next few months too read my live-wine-blogging analysis of it.
OMG. I’ve missed this intro, I could totally sing in in my sleep and it brings a huge grin to my face every time I hear it, and in some cases, I get the geek-chills anticipating what is going to happen. I really wish we could stick with some of the original intros to the show and not the new instagram/digital one we have now — it doesn’t have the same camp to it.
Zooming in from outer space, we see the earth, the United Kingdom and into our favorite place to explore the rift in time-and-space, Cardiff.
Rose Tyler is that every twenty-something who is still living or who has ever lived with their parents. I know that messy room all to well, and the day-to-day activities of a life without a specific purpose or life path. Just the daily grind.
Oh Rose, you have to take that lottery money down. Wilson isn’t going to come up from the old basement for it. BTW, is that the same elevator from ‘Closing Time’ (S6.E12) with Matt Smith and James Corden? What a creepy, creepy basement. It reminds me of something from a horror movie and is no place I would ever go. Especially if I heard those bumps and crash, I would nope my way all the way back upstairs and away from all the somebodys-gonna-get-dead-up-here-things.
Creepy mannequins all alone in that basement….or are they?Who the heck shut that door? You’re screwed Rose. I told you, nope your way back upstairs before the living plastic gets you.
One reason I really like Rose is the way she talks. No high-class or low-class language, just somewhere in the general middle. Her expressions, her sass and demeanor remind me of someone who doesn’t give two-shits, but still doesn’t know what to do with their life.
And the first fear of the Whovian universe comes alive and after Rose — the living plastic (Autons) — and boy are they buff!
I’ve never liked mannequins, and this episode — no matter how campy — made them seem even more fear-inducing. But wait, will Rose be saved?
Of course she will. Oh Christopher Eccleston, I’ve missed you so much. Even though you were only with us for a season, you were my first Doctor and will always hold a special place in my heart.
Death Count: 1, Wilson, the Chief Electrician of Herrod’s Department Store
This line is one of the most iconic lines from this episode. It is the Doctor and Rose’s first meeting, and it amuses me that neither one realize that they have just met the person that will change their lives in ways they couldn’t even imagine.
The music, the set and the special effects are notoriously indicative that the BBC hadn’t given it’s full support to the show quite yet. If you watch past season four, there is a huge jump in cinematography, special effects and budget which really can change the tone of the entire show.
Rose, why are you still carrying the arm? I would have thrown it as far away as possible. Or set it on fire. Or chopped it up. Or anything but keeping it with me.
This is the first time in we see the TARDIS in the new series, and you can bet that any fans of Classic Who were practically squealing at this point. For me, the first time I saw it, I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it was important.
The TARDIS, which if you didn’t already know stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space, which is the basis of which this British sci-fi show is all about.
Oh Jackie. You annoyed the bloody hell out of me in the beginning, but I grew to love you with each and every appearance, especially because you and the Doctor play off each others opposite personalities so well.
Oh Mickey, or should I say Ricky? *SPOILERS* This character, known first as Rose Tyler’s casual boyfriend is introduced within the first 10 minutes of the episode and we see that he is the typical English man who loves his football, and Rose knows that all too well.
Easter Egg Possibility #1: At minute 10:10, there is a picture that is missing from the wall behind Jackie’s head. I’m curious if it has always been missing, or if it was a small nod to something that either Russell T. Davies or Steven Moffat will give a nod to later. We’ll see. XD
Oh, that elusive cat door. It shows up in another one of my favorite episodes, Adipose. Even though it may not mean anything, I’m taking note of small details which keep showing up throughout the series, we know Davies loves to troll his fans.
The sonic screwdriver sneakily makes it way into the viewers vision for the first time. This is a tool of the Doctor’s which he uses to get out a multitude of troubles, open doors (except wood!) and change course of events. I love how instead of guns or weapons, the creators gave the Doctor a screwdriver as his get-out-of-trouble card making him a pacifist in terms of actions.
Oh lord, Jackie. You are the absolute best in the scene and totally steal it from the Doctor, and he knows it.
Damn. I want to know what the Doctor knows. Who else are aliens? Whose gay? And why are we never introduced to any more famous ones? Are there celebrities that are aliens in the Whoverse? These are some questions I’m dying to get answers to.
In the meantime, I’ll settle for little details like the name of the book the Doctor is reading in this episode, and it happens to be the Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. To inspire other Whovians, I’m starting to keep a book list from the entire New Who series that will be uploaded in the new few episodes.
The Doctor seeing himself for the first time seems sort of odd, but if you are a fan of the series, this has major implications for later. In the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who (aired 2013), we learn a secret that explains Nine’s behaviour at this point. The events of that particular episode and this one must have happened quite close together as it seems like the Doctor has never seen himself in a mirror before.
Jackie, how on earth did you not hear the crashing of your glass coffee table break? Even I’m not that oblivious.
TARDIS COUNT: 2
Squee! It’s the TARDIS again.
“Now forget me Rose Tyler”
How could anyone forget the Doctor? No one can ever forget the man who wants to be, more than anything, forgettable to the people he is saving.
I just got chills, it is the very music of Bad Wolf. The haunting sounds of what will be…
Ooh, that yellow bug. I’ve always wanted one. I’ll trade plastic Mickey a garbage can for one.
Mickey, please don’t….it could be a rabid raccoon, a feral cat, or worse, living plastic that is going to kidnap you and replace you with an obvious fake that I can’t believe Rose doesn’t recognize, but of course you have to go and touch it.
Sweetheart. Babe. Sugar. That’s the first time Rose seems to notice anything is wrong.
Rose still can’t believe fully what she has started to realize with her own eyes until she walks into the TARDIS. This is the moment that all of us soon-to-be-Whovians held our breath for. We knew there was something great in that little ole police box, but just like Rose, we couldn’t hardly believe it ourselves.
Death #2: The death of Mickey’s plastic Auton
Nine pulled off this line absolutely perfectly. Eccleston and Piper really played off each other for the Doctor + Rose relationship. It’s what brought me into loving the series as a whole — their perfectly sarcastic friendship.
One of my favorite parts of this show is how relatable it is for anyone who watches it. It references real-life landmarks, pop culture and other parts of the world’s history that make us feel like the Doctor really could show up on our doorstep. One of these such is the London Eye (pictured above), an iconic London landmark that is recognizable around the globe.
This line from Christopher Eccleston shows us how Doctor-y he really is. He was perfect to bring the elusive Doctor back to life and this quote has become a catchphrase for this ninth incarnation of the Time Lord from Gallifrey.
You can see the Doctor begin to get emotional when the Nesting Consciousness starts talking about the war. A war we know nothing about if you are just jumping in at New Who.
“I couldn’t save your world, I couldn’t save any of them.”
Jackie, I know you are confused by how to work the VCR, but when you see walking dummies, RUN! But next time, don’t throw your purchases on the escalator.
Death #3: Clive
This is the moment, this is the moment that you know that Rose Tyler is there to save the Doctor and not the other way around. The Doctor seems so pleased by her actions. Whether it is because she saved his life or he didn’t’ have to kill, he is happy.
My big question, how did they make the Eye of London a transmitter. Who was it that put it there. The Daleks? The Autons? These are questions I must get answers to!
And its over. What a frakkin’ rush! I miss watching this show every weekend. It was something I looked forward to and I can’t wait for it to be back on the air again. But alas, we have to wait until the fall of this year to get anything new from Capaldi and Clara.
In the meantime, I’ll still be running this weekly series filled with my sometimes sarcastic, sometimes fangirl and sometimes obsessive fact-checker remarks. Follow along with me as we explore the world of Doctor Who. Be sure to tweet me @radicalgeekery with the hashtag #NewWhoMarathon.