We all remember when and where we were while watching our first ever episode of Doctor Who. For me it was the episode Rose, first aired on March 26th 2005. I sat down as a nine-year-old girl in front of the television with my family, excited to watch the show that my father had been talking about for a number of weeks.
It is something that I will always remember, and so I thought it would be rather fitting if I wrote about this episode as my first ever Moviepilot post. In the minutes leading up to the start of the episode I asked my Dad several questions, starting with; "What is this show about?" to which he adequately replied "It's about a man who travels in Time and Space in a blue box, and he often gets into trouble with aliens. You'll like it, don't worry." I often wonder if he knew how much I really would enjoy it in the end. Here I am 9 years later.
Looking back at the episode I can see that the production team along with Russell T Davies, really wanted to bring Doctor Who back from the T.V. graveyard and inject it with a new lease of life. What a better way to do it but to throw in a shot of the Moon and Earth followed by several shots of London, suggesting that the show would indeed be a mixture of Earth and Space from the very opening scenes?
Our very much beloved Rose, is the first character we meet. A seemingly normal girl, who is bored of working in a clothing department store but is happy with her boyfriend when she gets to see him. Everything appears to be normal for the average mundane day until Rose cannot find Wilson, the store Janitor, and soon we find Rose facing the first of many alien nuances, the Autons. Living plastic. This was no student joke, but a very real threat and just as things were getting a bit to close for Rose, the Doctor grabs her hand and shouts "RUN!". Bringing the Doctor into the story with a quick sprint away from the walking dummies.
Just as a little side note, I thought that I should share; As a nine-year-old child I was terrified of this episode (and it wouldn't be the last time I would feel terror from a Doctor Who episode either). Matters were not made much better after my Dad proceeded to tell me after the episode that all my plastic toys and dolls I loved ever so much at the time would come to life at midnight. This is something I have not forgiven him for, and it is a story he always enjoys telling to people when Doctor Who comes up in conversation.
Throughout this episode we get a real sense of who the Doctor was going to be this time round. Of course he was always going to be 'The Doctor' but as we know, with every generation a new man goes sauntering off.
If I’m killed before regeneration, then I’m dead. Even then, even if I change, it feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away… and I’m dead. - 10th Doctor, End of Time.
The Doctor we now know as '9', had just regenerated and seemed to want nothing to do with any human, he almost despises us. He doesn't want to get attached to anyone, or at least this is how he came across to me in the beginning. With constant references to humans being 'Stupid apes' and warnings to forget him it was hard not to get that impression.
"Do you know like we were saying, about the earth revolving? It's like when you were a kid... the first time that they tell you the world is turning and you can't quite believe it because everything looks like its standing still. I can feel it. The turn of the earth, the ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me. Clinging to the skin of this tiny world, and if we let go... thats who I am, now forget me Rose Tyler... go home."
However the Doctor soon warms to the inquisitive and thinking-on-her- feet Rose and asks her to travel with him and we do see the more fun side to him. Maybe he realised that he really did need someone to help him, and if not that, then The Doctor just wanted the company. Within the episode the Doctor also gave off an authoritative side, not one that had to lay down the law, but one of doing the right thing, while giving second chances. Whilst dealing with the Nestene Consciousness, he quoted the Shadow Proclamation, but stated he was not here to kill it, but give it a chance, and yet the Nestene Consciousness didn't trust him because he was a Time Lord. (Sound familiar? Just like Cas in the mini episode 'The Night of the Doctor.') Here we get a first glimpse of the Time War and the guilt that resides in him.
" I'm not your enemy I swear!...Yes thats my ship. Thats not true! I should know, I was there! I fought in the war, it wasn't my fault! I couldn't save your world! I couldn't save any of them!"
As far as first episodes go, I know as a kid I loved it. Despite being scared, the show pulled me in. With fancy words I did not understand, lots of action, aliens that threatened to destroy humanity and a time machine to top the cake with, how could you not love it? I hold the same opinion today, however I understand the fancy words more now. The episode Rose will always have a special place in my world of Doctor Who, it is where my journey with the Doctor began. The question I want to ask you is; Where did he find you?