Rewatching: Doctor Who - Season 1 (Series 26)

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
So we decided the kids were no longer too young to be scared by this, and decided to watch it as a family.

Overall, they've very much enjoyed it, and I'll comment on the episodes below:

1. Rose

A surprisingly low-budget and low-impact episode considering all the special effects to come. And yet it provides a very human introduction to the Doctor as a character, and his conflicts. Billie Piper does a superb job of carrying the viewer's disbelief in trying to understand what's going on.

2. The End of the World

And now they hit us with decent special effects, as aliens gather to watch the end of the Earth. A decent thriller plotline that includes enough peril without being frightening. Some decent humour, too. Ultimately, it shows that life with the Doctor can be as dangerous as it can be fantastical. Rose also shows guts, which helps the kids like her more as a character.

3. The Unquiet Dead

A trip to the 18th century helps showcase the variety of settings this programme can work with. We have a nice human touch throughout, the message of sacrifice that will underline many future episodes. There's also some good pathos with Charles Dickens, especially when he mentions the name of the book he's writing...

4. Aliens of London
5. World War Three

A two-parter involving the Slitheen. There are a couple of nice plot twists, and a great sense of drama overall. However, it seems pitched to appeal to younger audiences, though this isn't a bad thing in ensuring wide appeal.

6. Dalek

Wonderful pathos as the Doctor and Rose confront a Dalek that appears to be the last of its species. Also some nice hat tips to previous Who stories with the museum. A really stand-out episode for humanising the Doctor's arch-enemy, while also making us raise uncomfortable questions about him.

7. The Long Game

There are some interesting developments, and some good display of boundaries for travelling companions. It's great to see Simon Pegg in an episode, though ultimately this episode feels more like a curiosity - even filler - than anything else.

8. Father's Day

Again, an episode focused on the human experience. This helps create an episode with real feeling, passion, and pathos. And raises moral issues about time travel. Another strong episode for the difficult emotional questions it asks - and then answers.

9. The Empty Child
10. The Doctor Dances

A two-parter from Steven Moffat, which mixes a spooky WWII setting with the charm and humour of Captain Jack. What's especially good here is how aware the story is of social issues, and open-minded about them. Moffat can excel with short and punchy episodes.

11. Boom Town

More focus on Rose's relationships, not least how she's torn between Mickey and the Doctor for different reasons. At times it felt a little dragged out over the Slitheen survivor as the Doctor ponders the moral question of what to do with her - and the consequences. Interesting but not great.

12. Bad Wolf

It all begins a little silly, with parodies of popular TV programming which are luckily quiet recognisable 12 years later even by those who never watched them. What really makes this episode is the reveal toward the end of an imminent Dalek invasion.

13. The Parting of the Ways

A really dramatic episode that sets the Doctor against impossible odds - only for everything to be resolved by a blatant deus ex machina. The kids didn't mind, though. But they were surprised and disappointed that the Doctor regenerated - and not impressed by the appearance of David Tennant. However, I'm sure they'll change their minds about that. :)
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There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Jun 29, 2014
Much of what RTD brought to Dr Who was good. It took me a bit to warm to this show, because it was so different then the old show. I do wish that he used Paul McGann in the role of the Doctor.

Danny McG

I'm struggling to finish a sente..
Sep 9, 2016
Cumbria UK
Doctor Who - season one?
To purists like myself season one began at the end of November 1963. I was part of the initial "behind the sofa brigade" when the Daleks made their very first appearance a few weeks later. The metal doors slid open in the city on Skaro and one was revealed in all it's sinister glory. It started talking in the Dalek voice "Intruders will be exterminated"
Yells of utter terror throughout the land as kids everywhere dived for cover behind the nearest solid object!


Finally published that blooming book!
Dec 2, 2015
I was also expecting reviews of William Hartnell stories when I opened this thread!

Ignited Moth

Well-Known Member
Jan 1, 2017
I need to get back around to watching this. I've only ever seen the first three episodes you mentioned, but I did enjoy it. I'm just terrible about sitting down to watch most shows for some reason. :oops:
That's nice that your whole family can watch this and enjoy the show together now. :)

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