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Doctor Who Series Marathon: Series 1

To celebrate 50 years of Who, I’ll be going through the series since the revival. Because there are 33 seasons counting the classic series, and since I haven’t seen most of them, I’ll just be going through the show since 2005. So without further ado, Series 1-

1) Rose

rose

How else do you open a series? With an awesome Doctor, a villain with an interesting modern twist and an epic scale. And even though the first ten minutes are kinda dull, it can be forgiven when the Autons turn their head and produce their hand guns ready to kill…

9/10- A fantastic opener with a slow first ten minutes but with great villains and a Doctor with style!

2) The End of the World

teotw

Wow, the world destroyed after two episodes! Joking aside, this is a pretty solid episode. A great way to show Rose her future but with serious villain problems and with a “mystery” that is easy to solve as the murderer is the only supporting character with any sort of personality.

7/10- Good introduction to the wider universe, but lacking in story.

3) The Unquiet Dead

gelth

The new series’s first historical story, the Unquiet Dead immediately immerses the audience into the historical setting. The plot is pretty simple, but it’s the strength of the historical dialogue and characters and an amazing climax. Not all the supporting cast are memorable however, especially Gweneth.

9/10- Great story and setting, with a few character flaws.

4/5) Aliens of London/World War Three

fart

Remove the farting baby aliens and the space pig, and you get a story with interesting ideas and some great underlying text as Rose learns that travelling in time has consequences. Add in the farting aliens and the space pig, and you get a story with weird tonal changes and downright stupid villains.

4/10- Great ideas, but with silly aliens and stupid moments.

6) Dalek

dalek 787877878787

Now this is how you introduce an old villain to a new audience! With inspired direction which is on par with an action blockbuster and great writing. The Doctor is determined to wipe out the Daleks and this episode shows how deeply the Time War has affected him. And…that… Dalek…

10/10- An amazing introduction to the Daleks. Easily in my Top 20.

7) The Long Game

jagrafess

This is normally considered the weak link in the series. But putting in perspective that this is technically the first part in the Bad Wolf finale, it has to be appreciated. The atmosphere is great, there is a foreboding mystery through the episode and the Editor and Jagrafess are great villians. However, it does feel like it’s building up to something else so it lacks an identity.

6/10- Good as a standalone episode, but feeling unoriginal.

8) Father’s Day

fathers day

The first emotional episode of the series, this episode deals with the concept of not changing the past. The result is a simple framework turned on its head with great writing and a brilliant monster, which makes the ending and the issues presented very genuine.

10/10- The basis of what Doctor Who is- a time travel show.

9/10) The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

empty child

Possibly the scariest story ever written for Doctor Who, this story has great characters, a fantastic threat and an incredibly well realised historical setting.

10/10- Another Top 20 story. So scary I didn’t watch The Doctor Dances for three whole years after I saw the Empty Child.

11) Boom Town

boom town

OK, so we’ve gotten rid of the farting aliens and the silly pigs, so this Slitheen story should be good. Ehhhh, well, the climax is great. Like the Long Game, this episode feels like filler. The writing has some stupid jokes and some really major flaws in the moral issues the Doctor has to face

5/10- Confusing morals with a very good climax.

12/13) Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways (blargh!)

blargh

You may have noticed my little comment in brackets. This is because while there is nothing wrong with Bad Wolf, Parting of the Ways (blargh) just… just… BLARGH! There are SO many inconsistencies, the Dalek emperor is pointless, there are too many scenes with Rose on Earth (forklift truck!? WHAT?) and while the issue about the Doctor sacrificing mankind to kill the Daleks is great, it’s ruined by that rushed and horrible ending. I  wanted a finale, not forklift trucks, kissing and a Dalek emperor literally having a monologue explaining the entire evil villain plan.

Bad Wolf- 8/10- Some weird moments but enjoyable overall.

Parting of the Ways (blargh!)- 2/10- I didn’t hate the scene with the Doctor hologram, but the rest of the episode ruins this otherwise great series.

Final series score 8/10- A fantastic reintroduction to the show, with Father’s Day, the Empty Child and Dalek making the series highlights. However, due to some silly stories (Aliens of London) and an incredibly weak final episode means that this series can’t be perfect. But add in scary stories with emotional ones and very complex ones mean that Series One is a success.

Phew. One series down, six to go…

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About Ben Williams

I'm 16 years old. I like animals, lasagne, comic books, films, role-playing games and Doctor Who. I write cool stuff - Doctor Who, science fiction, film reviews, and quirks about Britain. I have a blue-tongued skink called Georgy and a cat called Billy.

9 responses »

  1. I don’t know. I thought that Gweneth acted the flake but the actress’ performance was excellent, very memorable. Haunting really. I was not surprised to find her coming back in Torchwood – and delighted with how they explained her looking like a character from over a hundred years ago. I love it when the writers and producers take such leaps – most of the time.

    I’m with you on the farting baby aliens. It was good as a joke for about 5 seconds then got old fast. I thought it was because I was too old. If you think it wasn’t that funny, I know I’m in good company – company with taste!

    I did like that episode for the idea of easy infiltration of the government. This is a story-line that has been used for centuries, especially in the past hundred years. Clones, twins, duplicates, and plastic surgery replacements of the heads of government…chaos ensues.

    “Are you my mommy?” Seriously agree with you on this one. My favorite and most terrifying and haunting story in the Doctor Who series. Really beautifully done. I cried the first (and 10th) time I heard The Doctor say “Everyone lives!”

    I am surprised at your evaluation of Bad Wolf/Parting. I thought the same thing but I thought I was alone with that thought.

    The inconsistencies made me crazy – afterthoughts they felt like. Let’s force this together to make it work. I was haunted by the Bad Wolf hints, but many of them were just too blatant. I liked the idea of Rose working together with her mom and Mickey to get the Tardis back to the Doctor with a tow truck, not a fork lift, but the rest of it was a bit hokey. (The European tow trucks have a fork lift to lift the car up when it is parallel parked. Still a tow truck.)

    I do have to admit that I loved the look on the face of The Doctor when he found out that the Daleks were behind this. The bit with the Emperor…I could have lived without the step back to the 1960s where the evil villain has to over-explain everything – as if we didn’t know or could figure it out.

    Excellent scores, wonderful reviews.

    I would have to say that the best episode of the entire season was the combination of “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances,” best watched in one sitting. “Dalek” and “The End of the World” would be next on the list.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Yay! I’m not alone when it comes to the Series 1 finale! Yay! The over-rant from the “Emperor” was probably the reason the writers ran out of time and had to put that rushed Bad Wolf conclusion. The tow truck thing (NOW I know the difference) was really, really stupid, and could have worked had Rose, Jackie and Micky just tried lifting the TARDIS thing open off-screen. As for the inconsistencies, I’ll have to make a post as long as my Girl who Waited rant.

      Reply
      • LOL!

        The point was that they had to literally crack the egg, rip out the cover on the heart of the TARDIS. Anything less than a crane or tow truck – okay, maybe a bomb – wouldn’t have done it.

        Still, the fact that the mom came to the rescue, then got left behind, a good moment in the show, both funny and sad.

        I await your rant! I love a good rant.

  2. Hi Ben,

    This is an excellent post! You are obviously an aficionado of Dr Who.

    As an encouragement for your prodigious effort and considerable care in composing this post, SoundEagle would like to share with you a rather decent mashup for fans of Dr Who:

    Reply
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