Saturday, November 29, 2014

TV Review: Doctor Who, Season 1, epidosdes 1-3 (2005)

 Yes, this was my introduction to Doctor Who. I've been aware of the fandom, both on a global scale and a NOVA scale, for quite some time, but I had never actually sat down and watched the show before. So I decided to start at the beginning, or at least the beginning of the re-boot.

I watched three episodes: "Rose," "The End of the World," and "The Unquiet Dead."

"Rose" introduces us to our heroine, Rose Tyler, played by a very young Billie Piper. Rose is a normal London girl who works in a department store and lives with her mum. However, her life is upended when one night the mannequins in the department store come alive and ominously move to attack her. However, Rose is in luck because the Doctor appears to save the day. So begins the adventure. This episode's story is very cheeky, mixing humor with mild amounts of action and suspense. But it's all good fun, and Christopher Eccleston makes an excellent Doctor.

In "The End of the World," the Doctor and Rose travel 5 billion years into the future to witness the destruction of Planet Earth. This episode features a parade of bizarre aliens, in what I'm guessing is a nod to the somewhat campy sci-fi roots of the series. Once again the Doctor and Rose are in great peril, and this time the Doctor must evade some giant propeller blades to flip a switch to reset the system which will protect the ship from the exploding Earth. That's right, 5 billion years in the future manual switches are the only way to reset computer operating systems. Another fun episode.

In "The Unquiet Dead," the Doctor and Rose travel back in time to 1869 Belfast. This one is a ghost story, only the ghosts are aliens, and Charles Dickens is one of the key supporting characters. Fun period details, and this time Charles Dickens saves the day.

While these episodes were fun, they're still rather lightweight. My sense is that the most-loved episodes in the series are yet to come. I like the series so far, but...I don't know that I'll ever be a hard-core Whovian. I'm just not sure Doctor Who will be able to enter my pantheon of all-time great shows: The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Freaks and Geeks, Twin Peaks, et al. But we'll see--I'm enjoying the series so far.

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