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    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    As suggested On the Sofa, we are now starting a retrospective of the episodes written by Russell T Davies, starting with the Episode Rose.

    It was 26 March 2005, and life was about to get interesting for a certain shop-worker and the wider audience of the BBC on a Saturday Night. He was back, and it was about time.

    If you have it on DVD dust it off, give it a re-watch, and join in the conversation below. It’s also available on itunes for a fee.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Diddley-dum, diddley-dum, diddley-dum, diddley-dum. Waaah WAAAH!

    I still get a big grin on my face when I watch those opening credits. And hear that theme tune, with the diddley-dums suddenly being supported by a big orchestra. Sign of the times – we’rrre back! And we have a budget!

    The episode is called ‘Rose’, and the first montage is all about establishing Rose. This was Doctor Who for a generation who’d never watched it, so the person we were introduced to was our viewpoint character. An ordinary Londoner, with a job in a shop, a boyfriend and a mum. Rose. Rose Tyler.

    Ooh, the creep factor for kids who didn’t know about Autons when that first dummy begins to move. In fact, you can almost hear the parents start to explain… Rose doesn’t know anything about Autons either. She thinks it’s a practical joke.

    And the Doctor grabs her hand and shouts ‘Run!’

    Seriously, there’s an outrageous amount of running involved.

    (Donna Noble)

    This was our first sight of the new style of Doctor. We didn’t know, yet, why he’d chosen a completely new style, but here he was. Short hair, leather jacket, sweater. Every BG Doctor had something strange about his clothing – this Doctor was utterly early 21st Century; you could walk past him in the street. He might have been a detective, or a soldier in civvies.

    And while he wanted to save Rose’s life, he didn’t want to have her stick with him. He gives a motor mouthed explanation of the Autons – living plastic, controlled by a relay station on the roof – then goes to blow up the entire store.

    Funny – was that a 1960’s police box Rose just ran past?

    I mentioned earlier that Russell T. was trying to find an audience. We had seen families in Doctor Who before (in fact, we saw one in Terror of the Autons), but no one knew at this point how important Jackie and Micky would prove to be – or how much their characters would develop.

    But you can see why Rose would want to fly off with the Doctor. Mickey’s sweet, but he’s not a great boyfriend – Rose has nearly been killed and he’s off to the pub. There’s a match on. Her life is okay – a mum, a job, a boyfriend – but nothing very interesting. It’s the same life as everyone around her, but she knows perfectly well she’s capable of more.

    If Rose hadn’t accidentally kept hold of that arm, she’d never have seen the Doctor again. But she does, and he turns up. Through the cat flap. Checking whether Rose is plastic, turning down Jackie’s ‘offer’, speed reading a novel and examining his ears.

    Ooh, that’s interesting. I’d forgotten that staircase. Clara’s working at Ian and Barbara’s old school and living in Rose’s old flat???

    You can see why, after all the horrors of the Time War and the destruction of Gallifrey, the Doctor would like Rose. She makes him laugh. And if there was one type of person he needed right then, it would be someone who could do that.

    But instead he walks away and tells her to forget him. He’s clinging to the skin of the planet, trying not to fall off.

    Again, this is a superb introduction if you don’t know anything about Doctor Who. There was a police box. Now it’s in another place – and now we hear a strange whooshing noise and that odd blue box has just vanished.

    Rose, despite her failure to stay on at school and take A levels, is smart. She uses definitely-not-Google and finds someone obsessed with Doctor Who to fill her in. Clive’s a riff on the obsessed fan, right down to his wife’s total astonishment that anyone who’s a ‘she’ can be interested in Doctor Who. 😀

    Clive (Mark Benton) completes the job of explaining the Doctor to the brand-new audience. He’s seen throughout history. He appears when there are strange events, disasters, pivotal moments. His constant companion is death.

    Rose, by now, is convinced that Clive is a complete nutter. Mickey, meanwhile, is puzzled by the moving wastebin. Which promptly swallows him.

    Still working on the special effects at this point, though on a rewatch, Noel Clark does a really good job with PlasticMickey. There’s also another hint on just how quick witted Rose is – she thinks to hit the fire alarm and get everyone to evacuate.

    First real view of the TARDIS. Rose rushes in. Promptly rushes out. Goes round the entire box. Yup, it’s a box. A wooden box, just big enough for four people if they know each other really well. You can walk right round it.

    And its bigger on the inside. A new look, even if you watched BG Who. This new TARDIS interior was very organic, almost grown. The one thing I regret about HD is that the level of detail shows up pre-HD sets. They weren’t designed to be seen at that level – you can see that the ‘coral’ columns are fibre-glass and that the round things (I love the round things) are Fresnel lenses.

    The console still looks great, though. 😉

    Christopher Eccleston wanted to show charming. I’m sure he thought the big goofy grin would do it, but it’s more when he’s completely and utterly clueless…

    First hint about the Time War – the Nestene Consciousness sees a TARDIS and is terrified. The Doctor having the anti-plastic in his jacket probably didn’t help, either. 😉 So the Autons start attacking everyone.

    Hands up all BG Who viewers who fully expected Mickey and Jackie to be dead by the end of Episode 1? (It doesn’t count if you were reading spoilers and knew they were booked for the series). But Rose saves the day; she starts her adventures with the Doctor by saving his life. He’d be dead if it wasn’t for her – something that’s true in so many ways.

    But she has a moment of hesitation when he asks her to come with him. He’s alien, it’s strange, she’s got people to take care of. (You can see in Christopher Eccleston’s eyes that that refusal really hurts.)

    So, for the first time, we see a full TARDIS dematerialisation. A traditional one, with the original sound effect. And then a re-materialisation.

    The Doctor: By the way, did I mention that it also travels in time?

    And the last shot of the episode is Rose, our viewpoint character, running into the TARDIS.

    We’re off!

    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    I remember seeing a billboard with a poster for the first series about a week before this episode aired. My first thought was “great Doctor Who’s coming back” and my second was “wait he’s wearing a leather jacket? Doctor Who doesn’t wear a leather jacket!”. I didn’t really have much interest in watching it after that, but I thought I’d give it a try. I missed the first 10 minutes or so but I still got the gist of what was going on.
    Watching it now it’s still a decent introduction to the series although I would personally show a newcomer something like An Unmearthly Child or The Time Warrior instead. It does feel a bit dated at times (as do all series that try to be “hip” and “modern”). Also the bits with Auton Mickey are as cringe worthy now as they were then.
    I still think Christopher Eccelston was and is a great Doctor and it’s a shame he only did series 1. Maybe if he stayed on longer we wouldn’t have gotten 4 years of Tennant (not a fan).
    This was Rose before she became the unlikable #### she became in the second series and at best she is alright. I don’t understand why she is considered to be “the one true companion” by some fans. Billie was far better as the moment than Rose.
    Still it got a lot of people interested in Doctor Who so I can’t really fault it too much. It’s just a shame the RTD era went slowly downhill afterwords.

    Anonymous @

    When it was first announced that Doctor Who was returning, I must confess to emitting a little squee of delight. As further details were release, that squee turned into a sigh of despair.

    Christopher Ecclestone as The Doctor? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a brilliant actor. I sobbed for hours ( ok slight exaggeration, a few minutes maybe ) when DCI Billborough died in Cracker and he was superb in Our Friends In The North but the term ‘family favourite’ isn’t one I’d associate him with. And Billie Piper? A failed, wannabe ‘pop princess’! Then came the announcement that the Daleks wouldn’t be returning. “It’s doomed before it’s even started” I thought to myself.

    So, on 26 March 2005, I tuned in to Rose fully expecting to be disappointed. And I wasn’t wrong.

    I should point out that at the time, I was in a very bad place. I’d recently suffered a nervous breakdown following a very messy break-up, reduncancy and five bereavements all within the space of 2 months and was really struggling with the side effects of my anti-depressants. At this point in my life, everything annoyed me.

    Rose started out ok. A nice little sequence showing our soon-to-be heroine living a mundane but happy life. But then we came to The Autons. Seriously? Were clunky, shop window dummies the best that RTD could give us? I switched it off before The Doctor had even appeared, vowing never to watch it again. Like I said, I was in a really bad place.

    I did, obviously, watch Dr Who again but not until Dalek aired. It wasn’t until I bought the Series 1 box-set five years ago that I finally got to watch Rose in it’s entirety and with those dark days well and truly behind me, I was able to enjoy it in the manner I would’ve liked to when it first aired.

    It’s not the greatest story ever told but it has something for everyone. There’s scary( ish ) monsters for the kiddies and it’s a ‘baggage free’ intro for the new, grown up viewers. It serves well as a ‘refresher’ for those, like me, who have only vague memories of BG Who.

    The fans get the biggest treats though. There’s that battered, old, smaller on the outside, blue Police Box ( I shudder to think what the TARDIS would’ve been if they’d decided to go with a more contemporary design or, for that matter, what the fan reaction would’ve been ), the sonic screw-driver, Classic Era baddies, The Doctor himself ( obviously ) and that theme tune which @bluesqueakpip gave a note/pitch perfect rendition of 🙂 ( BSP – I’m available for hire at a very reasonable rate should you require someone for the ooo-eee-oooo’s ).

    Regarding the lead actors, Billie Piper surprised me. She was wonderful as Rose. As for ‘Eccles’, had I been in the right frame of mind to watch the original broadcast, he’d have had me at ‘run’.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    I remember being torn between admiration for the slick, contemporary look of the opening scenes (the fast edits, the overall energy, the encapsulation of Rose’s life in a few quick scenes) and concern that it might be a case of style over substance. In many ways, I still feel that it was, but I also realize that as a pilot episode, it does its job very well: it sets the scene for the remainder of the series engagingly and efficiently. The fact that I enjoyed it most the first time through, and less on rewatch, tells me that as an episode it isn’t about longevity, but about a particular moment in the show’s history.

    For me, the low point was the obvious fakery of “plastic Mickey”. But on reflection, I imagine that it was partly about making it absolutely clear to the kids in the audience what was happening. I can imagine them all shouting at the TV. “No, Rose, no! It’s not the real Mickey!!”

    Great point of @bluesqueakpip‘s that the Ninth Doctor is at his most charming not when he’s trying for charm, but when he is completely out of the loop. (The moment in The Empty Child comes to mind, when he stands up in the nightclub and asks about things falling from the sky.) I also agree with @thekrynoidman, that Rose was at her best in the first series, playing off the more acidic Ninth Doctor.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    …and we’re back. Welcome to the 21st Century, Doctor. I can pretty well remember I spent the time between the announcement of the return and this episode, Rose, downplaying my expectations while conveniently reading every behind the scenes announcement pretty rabidly. My internal monologue was pretty much “DO NOT SET HOPES TOO HIGH”.

    I still grinned like an idiot when the music started. The update didn’t bother me in the slightest – better than the movie and I prefer it to the 80s synth heavy efforts.

    Our first shot, of the Earth from space, and the zoom towards London really was an “oooh” moment for me. We’re in shiny production values territory! Because doesn’t it all look so shiny? It sounds superficial, but in the Gap a minor revolution in production values had taken place, and long gone is the curiously “dead” feel of the eighties video drama.

    I like the introduction to the Doctor. Apparently, some of the BBC management thought it ought to be “bigger”, a bit more bombastic, but I think the low key “run” sequence is a good one, and the gradual reveal of the Doctor throughout the episode through the eyes of Rose was the way to introduce the character to a new generation.

    I thought (and still think) Ecclestone is fine largely. I think some of the more deliberately zany stuff isn’t to his taste, and it probably shows. The struggle with the Auton arm still brings back memories of Pertwee’s gurning while fighting the tentacle in Spearhead from Space to be quite honest. Perhaps because they both feature autons? He’s no slouch for the comedy line though – I still think the sequence with Rose’s mum, his very definite “No” after a pause as he considers the likelihood of “anything could happen” is well delivered.

    I’m probably a bit kinder in retrospect to some elements than I was on first watch (and it helps having seen the rest of the series). As an intro it was deliberately light-hearted. I did cringe at the wheelie bin burp. I still think Mickey the Auton replicant is a minor atrocity. I think deliberately making him so laughable in look from the outset derailed anything worthwhile you could have done with him. I prefer my Auton replicants to look like anyone else until the moment they try to kill you.

    At the end of the episode, I genuinely had no idea about the reception it would get and was quite surprised by the bulk of professional reviewers being highly favourable. I’d found it entertaining, but I thought we may be entering into the Reeves and Mortimer Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) territory at this early stage. Entertaining enough, but really uneven in tone. In retrospect, I think Russell and Jane Tranter really pushing for a 13 part run (the BBC originally wanted eight) was massively instrumental in the success of the revival. I think this captured the attention, and the interplay between Ecclestone and Piper* was a real success, and a great basis for the stories that followed.

    *Who deserves a lot of credit for at least two pieces of masterful acting:

    • Managing enough scenes opposite Plastic Mickey without corpsing to get the thing filmed.
    • Looking with puzzled disbelief at the emerging mystery of the Doctor through Clive’s photos, when the entire audience was expecting her to say “Clive, you really should invest in a better graphic manipulation package to ensnare young people”. Honestly – even some of the very young thought they could do better. With an etch-a-sketch.
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Having said all that, it would be interesting to hear from someone for who this was their first taste of Doctor Who, and what they thought. I can remember MrsPhaseshift was more entertained than I thought she’d be. She likes a lot of sci-fi but can frankly take or leave BG Who, as she wasn’t raised on it.  With no preconceptions, I think her enjoyment was a bit more consistent.

    Monochrome Dimension @monochromedimension

    Ah, Doctor Who returns. The beginning of ‘New Who’, something I have mixed feelings about most of time. There are brilliant moments, and not so brilliant moments… but this is just about ‘Rose’ as an episode. Time to start the rewatches of the RTD stories… here we go.

    The intro immediately states that this is going to be different from the Classic Series… how much is the question. The opening to the actual episode is good, I like the shot of Earth from space; something to set the tone of what kind of series this is… even if this episode is set completely on Earth. Then we get Rose’s day, a nice introduction to the next companion.

    The Doctor’s introduction is quite quickly done, but it works with Eccleston’s Ninth incarnation. This is a Doctor for the 21st century, yes he is quite different to what we’re used to… and as a fan of the Classic Series you’d expect me to not be impressed… HOWEVER, I like Eccleston’s Doctor. I don’t like everything about the New Series for sure… but I like the Ninth Doctor. He’s got an attitude, and some backstory that we’ve missed… so he does regain some mystery at this point. (Something I feel is unfortunately lost after a while during New Who). He’s the Doctor who can pull the series into the 21st century, and even though I prefer the Classic Series, I have to say it wouldn’t have been successful without modernization.

    Though in the scene with Rose talking to the dude about the Doctor, surely this would of been a good time to reference the older Doctors? That’s something I wasn’t keen on with the New Series at first, it didn’t seem to want to connect itself with the Classic Series much; good thing that changed later on. That being said though… look who has returned! The Nestene Consciousness! I’m so happy they used a old villain for the first episode, unfortunately it does seem they killed it off… but at least that’s a pretty big reference to the Classic Series.

    All in all the episode is good, not the best, but it gets the new series off to a start very well.

    BothHeartsShattered @bothheartsshattered

    Ah, this episode. Memories, memories.

    …Okay, not that many memories. But still, this episode was enjoyable to me. I’ll admit I found better episodes as I ventured further into the new series, but this one is good nonetheless. Why do I like it so much, you ask? Not only does it push off the new series of a great show, it is also the very first episode of Doctor Who I have ever seen in my entire life. We’ve got my good friend to thank for that.

    Sure, since this was all so new to me I didn’t pay attention to half of the episode, but I got most of it and could willingly say that I would not mind watching more. And so it began.

    This is also the first episode my brothers saw upon becoming interested in the show. One of the two openly announced that he was “hooked” after I showed it to them. Also, by showing them this episode, I was able to pick up on all that I missed. Yay!

    And now, enough reminiscing. On to the actual review.

    First of all, let me just say that when Rose was calling out “Wilson!”, all my thoughts immediately went to my younger brother. Yes, the one who is now hooked. His name is Wilson. Poor Wilson.

    Secondly, my friend and I can no longer walk through a shopping mall without assuming that all the mannequins will come to life at one point. Put that together with a giant remote control spider we saw, and you get two terrified, screaming teenage girls. But we couldn’t be all that afraid (at least of the mannequins) because, if one of us happened to see living plastic, the TARDIS would not be far off, we assumed.

    Also, the dialogue was, as the ninth Doctor would say, fantastic! A few of my favorites include the following:

    “I’m the Doctor, by the way. What’s your name?” “Rose.” “Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!”

    “I’m in my dressing gown.”  “Yes, you are.” “There’s a strange man in my bedroom.” “Yes, there is.” “Anything could happen.” “…No.”

    Also, when Rose was getting coffee, and the Doctor was wrestling with the plastic arm in the background, I just about died of laughter.

    And let us not forget Rose’s reaction to the TARDIS. If I didn’t know what it was, that’d be my reaction, too…

    All in all, it was a great start to the new series.

    Anonymous @

    Rose. (2005)

    On a mundane, everyday night my mother called me from upstairs about ten – thirty minutes before said programme aired that there was a show being brought back to television that she said I would really like. I was ten at the time and enjoyed sci-Fi cartoons, Godzilla etc (not the 90s film) but wasn’t overly attached to anything. My mum was never really a fan of said show but said in later years that she watched Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker because “everyone watched it”.

    ‘Doctor who’.

    Doctor who? Well, who is he? What’s his/her name? What a weird title. I can’t be that good if  show doesn’t even know who he is. I bet it’s one of those hospital dramas or soaps that I loathe. Still I sat down and waited for it to come on to our small t.v. set expecting to forget it by the next day.

    I was right.


    “Dun du diggi du dun du diggi du Dunn dun…” What on earth? “Eeeeeeeewwwwwwwweeeeuuuuuuuuueeeewwww” I’ve never heard anything like this. This is alien. The flashing spiralling colours. The rushing titles. This is weird.

    I completely forgot about the montage at the start (which is fantastic) because of the following scene. Rose goes backstore calling out for someone. Someone who had gone missing. Now I didn’t watch horror, thriller, tense drama or anything that exploited this common trope. I certainly hadn’t seen anything like Doctor who because there is no show like it. I was already nervous and uncomfortable, but curious. She ventured on. A room full of shop dummies. Tall, cream coloured and in great numbers surrounding Rose.

    It moved. A shop dummie actually moved. What has this show got in store for me? I am glued to the screen at this point. I was a kid. An innocent imagination free from the thought that they’re obviously students or that missing man just “muckin about”. This was real. It was new. It was riveting. It was terrifying. The dummy moved towards Rose. “Is this somebody muckin about”. YES! MAYBE IT’S SOMEONE BEING DAFT! Maybe I’m safe. More and more animated by the second. Oh God! Said dummy raised it’s arm. Rose closed her eyes. This was it. Over. A short horrific and warped piece of surrealism. Unique … Things!… Disguised within a bustling modern day world represented within London. The perfect location for this horror story. No cartoonish heroes or transformers on hand to save the day. I’m not going to sleep easy tonight in the dark am I?


    dudududududududu whi.. What?! Who’s this? Running. A whole horde chasing them. I was yet to realise this was a common scene within the programme. Into the elevator! Quickly! The leader thrusts his arm through the closing doors. Oh God! Pull! Shrieking sound reminiscent of psycho. Pull! shriek! Pull! Shriek! It comes off! Aaa ah! (In my head). The doors close.

    Breathe! I won’t get a chance if they leave the lift. The man’s dead he says. What!? This is serious. He says it with such disregard. Who is this man? They leave the lift much to my horror but the coast seems clears as the Doctor strides confidently towards the exit. He has an aura of intelligence and authority not in the way he looks, a chameleon to this dark metal world, but his voice. You go home he says. Forget about me. He clearly doesn’t like people. They obviously get in the way. The door closes and then opens again suddenly. What’s your name? “Rose” (so the episode is named after her. Well now I finally know something). Nice to meet you, I’m the doctor.


    He doesn’t look anything like a doctor. Just the doctor? Maybe that’s why it’s called Doctor Who.

    Run for your life! He shakes a pipe bomb with an expression of sinister glee. He’s gone. Take the advice Rose. He’s a nutter. Baffled she puts on a burst of speed and then slows down. Shocked at what she has just went through. Confused and scared at the prospect of what is going to happen next like myself.

    BAAAAAAANG! CRASH! Oh god! He’s gone and blown himself up. This is clearly a one off mystery about an extraterrestrial event in a shop. She flees in terror past a mysterious blue box submerged in a dark alleyway to the sound of unsettling music.

    I was hooked.

    Im not going to go over the rest of the episode in such great detail for the benefit of time, but here’s why Rose (the episode) is such an emotionally important story to me and my life.

    I have just remembered that I forgot the opening montage because I never actually saw it the first time round. This threw me even further into the deep end. It sat down as Rose was rushing backstore to find the missing man. It all happened so fast and within five to ten minutes I had been confused, nervous, scared, terrified, excited, filled with wonderment, scared, baffled, shocked and stunned. No film or programme had done this to me. Buzzing with questions I absorbed every word like a sponge. The episode was exciting, scary, funny, sad and light hearted at the same time. How was this possible? The acting was amazing. I wasn’t a fan of anything. I had no internet. No subscriptions. No knowledge of the shows hype and fan base. A better time for t.v. I wasn’t watching Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. I was watching Rose and the Doctor. I wasn’t watching a Russell T Davies episode. I was watching Doctor Who. The style of the episode was ingeniously inspired by the narrative structure of a Sherlock Holmes story making the character of the Doctor the most interesting he’s ever been. Rose was an everyday girl. Jackie (Camielle Courdi was brilliant) was a typical gossip driven non-stop fittery woman and Mickey (Noel Clarke was also great until he tried to act hard) was a typical boyfriend. The show pointed out how mundane our everyday lives were which made the Doctor even more fantastic. It made us seek danger. The Autons are the perfect monster for this episode. Not only do they provide a link to classic Doctor Who but they also blended in with the world. The atmosphere in this episode is fantastic. The idea of plastic coming to life made me feel crushed under the weight of constant tension, as if the monsters could come out at any minute. The city of London fully complimented this. A city full of dark alleys and street corners. Something I as a kid from Morayshire had never seen before. Even the scenes in daylight in the council estates made me afraid of what could be watching them or what hid in the shadows. As a kid the wheelie bin scene with the music and the empty bin freaked the hell out of me as well as Rose getting in the same car as an Auton duplicate. I who was watching the show through Rose was a few inches away from the monster. Oh god! The best scene of the episode is the doctor explaining who he is and then disappearing in his telephone box. It blew my mind. That is the doctor in a nutshell. A fantastic anomaly… And just a little bit mad. The pacing of the episode is perfect. Rose’s life in seconds demonstrating the meaninglessness of it and then BOOM! Monsters, strange man, explosion, mysterious box. I’m on the edge of my seat now for the rest of the episode as it tortures me mentally. Threatening constantly to frighten me again. Clive is a brilliant character and the idea of the doctor being a danger is both exciting and terrifying. Curious nonetheless. His evidence is great. Old photos that are just clear enough to give me chills. I am looking out for this doctor throughout this episode and now even more scary is the fact that he might not even be human. His next appearance is great. Disguised as an irritating bottle of champagne disrupting a -excuse my crudeness – butt clenchingly tense scene. Then there’s no escape from this maniacal monster which is smashing up the resteraunt and as soon as it gets through the door will surely kill both of them. Into the small telephone box.

    :0. Bbfbchfjdnsrjfndfjwdhsjduejfcjvjdvjcuaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

    No way. Bigger on the inside? But that’s impossible. This was amazing. Ghengis khan and his army couldn’t get through that door and believe me they’ve tried. But that implies it’s a time machine. Another thing that is ingenious about the pacing is that new things are added all the time. Introducing us to new things constantly. Making my ten year old brain process more and more. They’ve moved. What! It can teleport. Well it can’t be a time machine as well. The doctor calls the humans stupid apes which gives us a taste of his ego. Soon though we’re off again. Running across London bridge to the millennium eye. And then we are shown the Nestene Consciousness – a shrieking formless monstrosity that is truly terrifying and really is the icing on the cake. The doctor is desperate to offer a peaceful solution. Wow! I’m still being surprised by this character. Maybe he’s a hero and not a bringer of death. An apocalyptic attack is unleashed. Clive’s final  moments a re gold too. He died believing he was right about the doctor all along. The expression on his face tells us all of that. Rose saves the day. She becomes a hero and they gallantly escape the clostrauphobic sewer as it explodes.

    I realise I’m rushing ahead here but I’m being pressed for time. I will chat more about this episode later.

    The final scene is excellent. The doctor is let down and leaves. It’s over. A mad night. He returns and says it travels in time. Then Rose says thanks. “For what?” Exactly. Amazing dialogue. She runs into the tar dis as that alien but wonderful music plays again.

    It could have ended their. It really could. But thank god it didn’t.

    Thank you

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @fosterferris (@TheCrackInTheWall)

    Well – I asked upthread for people for who this was their first introduction to Doctor Who, and I’ve been rewarded! Many thanks.

    I guess if you were 10 when this first started then you are 19/20 now? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on how you followed the story through the years. How was your first regeneration?

    Anonymous @

    Hi phaseshift -I’m not sure how to reply to someone directly which is embarrassing. Great site by the way (I believe you’re a moderator), I’m glad I found it. Unfortunately I missed the change over from Eccleston to Tennant. What happened was the first story I watched (Rose) did it’s job in scaring me. I then watched The End of the World. Again I found it to be amazing as I hadn’t seen anything like it and of course it was a completely different story to that of Rose. You probably remember this but Lady Cassandra O’brian Dot Delta Seventeen – well – her face burst. As a ten year old (nineteen now) who never watched horror or anything designed to scare, this shocked me into not watching the rest of the series. I really wanted to purely because nothing really added up to the show after I had seen it. I kept an eye on the show but at a distance. I was a wuss. I caught most of <i>World War Three  </i>or more it caught me! Most of the really juvenile humour was in Aliens of London and I remember as a child disliking physically gross humour. I found the story to be very scary – especially when one of the Raxacoricophalopitorians smashed it’s way through Mickey’s flat. My mum said that the Daleks were very scary when we saw the next time segment and I caught the very end of  Father’s Day and remember thinking that a poor man was being stalked by Dragons. A glimpse at The Empty Child trailer was enough to terrify me never mind the thought of watching the episode. Then I remember buying an issue of DWM. It showed me who would be taking up the lead role of the show and I felt very crushed that I’d missed most of the first series. I’d missed out on the Doctor. the man in the leather jacket. Now the Doctor wasn’t their and a new character would replace him. It showed a picture of David Tennant from Casanova. He was lying on a bed surrounded by lots of women. I wasn’t sure what to make of it and remember taking a bit of a dislike to him. Of course Eccleston leaving so soon was a big deal with the media at the time. I watched a short showing many of the Doctor’s regenerating scenes from classic Who. I believe I saw John Pertwee change into Tom Baker. I watched the Christmas Invasion and recognised now that he had changed and that this was the same man. I just didn’t know what caused him to change or why he had to change. Nonetheless I saw <i>The Christmas Invasion </i>and loved it. I missed even more of series 2 than series 1 though. This may be because I was busy or purely because I was still scared to watch it. I collected stickers and cards with my friends at school and even some of them scared me. I saw The Girl in the Fireplace at a friends house and found it very exciting. He – however – watched classic who and was ex static that the Cybermen were to appear the following week. I caught <i>The Satan Pit </i>which terrified me. I saw Fear Her which was quite scary but most of all looked forward to the finale. I saw Army of Ghosts but much to my angst missed Doomsday. I remember thinking it looked amazing. The Daleks battle the Cybermen. I tried to research as much as I could about the show which was very little. Back then the internet was rubbish. Aside from that I started watching Doctor Who continuously and fanatically from Smith and Jones onwards. It was really that sudden. I had plenty of reasons to get into it properly and did. Around the same time I got the series 1 box set for Christmas and I got to see Ecclestons departure in all it’s splendour. It was amazing to see that such an idea had existed for so long. Such a brilliant idea. To see a completely different person standing where the Doctor had just been standing was amazing. My favourite Doctor is Matt Smith. My favourite writer is Steven Moffat. However Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant have an special place in my tour of the nostalgia museum ( I don’t really know why I worded it that way) as well as writer Russell T Davies. I apologise for dragging on but I could talk all day about Doctor Who. So I was wondering what your introduction to the show was (if you don’t mind my asking). Thank you.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Largely, to call out to someone, just put a @ in front of their name, and the software does the rest. Clicking the help tab at the top will give you more instructions as it gets a little more complicated when you’ve changed idents. So @fosterferris works, but @TheCrackInTheWall doesn’t (the help menu gives some hints on how to check this).

    It’s great you’ve grown into it, and I’d certainly like to see more thoughts on other episodes. We’re fairly new, so not every story is covered as yet. One hint though, we love long posts, but it can be helpful to break them down into paragraphs for readability.

    There is a lot to explore, and I think you asked about recommendations for older Doctors, so I’ll give you a link to our ongoing Doctor Who retrospectives. A lot of good stories for you to follow up.

    If you’d like to read about different peoples introduction to the Doctor, some of us put some thoughts into a Doctor Who memories strand (including mine, the origins of which are lost – I can’t remember how exactly I came to watch Doctor Who – I was too young to really remember). And we looked at the Doctors on the Faces of the Doctor strand.

    Anonymous @

    Thank you for your advice and thoughts.

    The post was originally segmented into paragraphs but my internet connection dropped annoyingly and the post just merged together. Perhaps it is the work of the Carrionites.

    Anonymous @

    @fosterferris if you don’t like scary movies, I’d firmly recommend the episode where Dr Number 11 visits a hotel with companions in tow. Also, watch The Shining. That’s a classic film; educating be ma middle name 🙂

    Yes, thanks for that excellent & very detailed memory of your first ‘Who’ with Rose. I believe from other posts you suggested she was, forgive me, “a bitch”?  If I got that wrong, I’m sorry. What makes you dislike her so much? The above detailed post implies you were as enthralled as the rest of us, though, sadly, I wasn’t ten 😉 I agree with a few others that she didn’t always impress, but as I said before, she was, well, young! Eighteen, nineteen or twenty? I have nieces and nephews around that age: they can be raw 🙂 But huge fun!

    Kindest, Purofilion.

    Anonymous @


    Thank You. I enjoy scary movies and television now as I’m nineteen 🙂 yet (ironically) nothing really scares me or rarely scares me.

    Billie Piper is a wonderful actress. She is excellent in Doctor who and yes, her character has a lot of depth. That’s what the family element brought in which allowed for special and very interesting episodes. She’s not always – a bitch and I know far worse teens. However there are moments that stick out like thorns and these mostly emanate from RTD. Why is Rose so horrible towards Mickey. The only thing to go on is that he wants to watch football at the pub after she was almost killed. That’s it. He comes round to make sure she’s ok. He accompanies her to Clive’s house just in case. Every time the Tardis lands he’s straight their. He loves Rose. Then he’s put through hell for a year because he’s considered her murderer. This is a great piece of development. An opportunity for us to see Rose take account for what’s happened. She doesn’t even apologise. Yet she manages to apologise to Jackie. “Thanks for nothing” she tells him. I don’t think so. She even gets jealous when he moves on with his life or even tries to with a new girlfriend. She tells him off. If I can see this and feel uncomfortable with this at the age of thirteen then there’s something wrong. Russell wants us to feel sorry for both characters. I have no sympathy towards Rose in these situations. She doesn’t even do the favour of saying she doesn’t care for him. She just drags him along. She spits out a really snidey remark. “Yeah cause there’s nothing for me here”. Right to his face.

    Not only that, Russell didn’t want us to forget it. He had to make Martha rebound girl which severely limited her character. It made the Doctor a person I didn’t like many times in series three. Then there’s this big deal about her coming back at the end of series four to which she does nothing. I don’t care! No the Doctor shouldn’t be in love with her.

    At least she was fine as the moment and any episode not written by Russell

    Thank You

    Anonymous @

    @fosterferris  thank you for answering that question in such detail.

    I would suggest that perhaps Rose isn’t particularly smitten with Mickey/Rickey before ‘Rose’: the first episode. I think, for her, life is totally humdrum and that included her boyfriend. Is he a serious date or someone to just hang out with and spend the occasional comforting night together? Probably. Maybe RTD was allowing us to see that this was Rose’s life -tedious at work, life and play; the sweet but not serious boyfriend.

    I remember doing something ‘seriously bad at age 17’: I knew my boyfriend was a bit of a twit but he had a car (a Holden!!). When my friend from Adelaide visited me we all went out together, to bars, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast. As soon as she left, I dumped him. Was I the ‘bitch’ the whole time? Probably not. I was not getting along with him then and I knew the clanging bells would go ding-ding soon (I have a thing for bells today 🙂 ). Prior to that we got on great…

    My point is that we’re not labelled for the worst person we are at a particular time. Do I believe characters have an inner life before and after what we see for that 40 odd mins? Yep I do. It’s the back story.

    Anonymous @
    iLove9 @ilove9

    Rose was the first ever DW episode I watched. It brings back memories and now, unlike most people, I love 9!

    Anonymous @


    I can’t speak for other forums – and I try to mention other forums as little as possible – but you’ll be happy to know that there’s a lot of love for the 9th Doctor here.

    Welcome to the forum 🙂

    DrunkSontaran @drunksontaran

    Well, it was also the first episode I saw of Doctor Who, like 6 months ago (already watched all of NuWho, now moving to the classic series). It hooked me up almost instantly, the Autons (which now I think it was a nice way to start the new series, with enemies we haven’t seen for 25+ years). And the always-in-motion attitude of Eccleston, made this episode an epic introduction to the Doctor Who universe (along with the following episode, I cant remember it’s name).

    Anonymous @

    This was the first episode I watched too, @drunksontaran. I loved it and Rose is still my favorite companion by far! BTW I love NuWho!

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Just rewatched Rose for the first time since, well, the first time.  Wincing at the clunkiness, the crudity of the special effects, the pacing – but TBH I never loved Old Who for the special effects or the whizz bangery, so all is forgiven, as it was when I saw this on first broadcast.  I’m perhaps less happy with CE than I was then but that could be partly hindsight, knowing that he wasn’t comfortable with the role and would quit so soon, made me (this time) read some of the goofy grinning as him being out of sync with the part.  But he does the darker moments so so well, and the more understated comedic momen ts too.  It functions as a Who for Beginners, for a new generation, and does it well (loved Clive the conspiracy theorist geek).  And I loved Rose.  Resourceful and open, she didn ‘t initially refuse the Doctors offer because of the danger, that was a draw, I think, but because she felt she was needed here.  Lots to love, and the flaws are all forgiveable (except perhaps the burping wheely bin)…  Will attempt to post on subsequent eps as we re-watch.

    Anonymous @


    I happened to re watch it as well a couple of weeks ago and the plastic people and esp plastic Mickey … Oy so campy haha. But I do quite love CE and I always felt the goofy side of him was more like the protection mechanism for the ptsd like he was so dark it had to break to make him not go insane.  Then again he is a time lord not a human so maybe I’m way off.  But I still adore this beginning the foundation for the tremendous connection between rose and 10. And I dunno I totally love Jackie.  Everyone makes fun of her but she is awesome 🙂 oh and I agree I totally love Clive.

    Missy @missy

    Rose, always my favourite. closely followed by Donna Noble and Clara.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @rose2112  Good point about the goofy grin masking the darkness.  And yes I do love Jackie – she was a real departure for Who, a companion’s mum, and what’s more a middle-aged woman who wasn’t just a mum, flirty and funny.

    Anonymous @

    Currently stranded at home under 24″ of snow from Winter Storm Jonas, what better time to start my first re-watch of the New Who episodes!

    For those who missed my intro, I recently became a fan of Doctor Who. “Rose” was the very first episode I ever saw when I stumbled unto the series on my own almost 2-3 years ago. Yes, there was a hiatus of a couple years before I sat down and watched the rest of the new series.

    The first time I watched this episode, it confused the heck out of me as someone with zero background or previous introduction of anything Doctor Who. In hindsight, this actually put me in a unique position similar to Rose-meeting the Doctor and seeing the TARDIS for the first time. I could totally relate to her awe and wonder. However it probably was also part of the reason why I wasn’t immediately sold on the show. My overall impression when the end credits started to roll were “Okay that was…entertaining, but I’m not sure about this.” And that was that. I’m not sure what caused my disinterest- but the next time I picked up Doctor Who, almost 3 years later, I was ready to see the rest of it and well, the rest is history.

    Knowing everything I know now, I watched this episode with rapt attention and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am a big soundtrack person- listening to a well scored OST is heaven on earth. I couldn’t help but notice that an echo of the “Doomsday” theme plays for the first time ever when Rose holds hands with the Doctor when he talks about feeling the earth spin and again when Rose runs into the TARDIS for the first time.  As we all know full well, this is the song that sets the musical backdrop when Rose and Ten say goodbye in Bad Wolf Bay. Absolutely golden how it comes full circle, musically speaking.

    IMO, if you are introducing someone to Doctor Who and having them watch the show on their own, I wouldn’t recommend this episode as a introduction UNLESS they have some prior knowledge of what the show is about or are watching it with a seasoned Whovian who gets them through the initial confusion. If the person is a stickler for chronological order or “Rose” is your absolute favorite episode then by all means use it as a means of introduction! Overall, it is not a bad episode but it is one that my friends, who were curious at giving the show a try, have said confused them so much to the point of disinterest.

    OB-Wan @ob-wan


    IMO, if you are introducing someone to Doctor Who and having them watch the show on their own, I wouldn’t recommend this episode as a introduction

    I totally agree.  In fact, I recently put together a watch-list for a co-worker to get her to the 50th Anniversary episode without giving her so many episodes that she would just quit.  I ended up with 24 episodes and the Anniversary.

    I skipped “Rose” and went straight to “The End of the World”.



    The spoiler warning is not for your benefit, of course, NightFell since you’ve been to Bad Wolf Bay, but since we’re in the “Rose” forum I’m just warning others who may not have seen anything else.

    “The End of the World” introduces psychic paper, the TARDIS translation circuit and the fact that The Doctor is the last of the Timelords.




    And honestly, the Nestene Consciousness looked like a pretty silly bug-eyed monster.  The humanoid plastic people were okay – but the angry Silly Putty?  Not so much.

    For those who missed my intro, I recently became a fan of Doctor Who…

    5 days, 13 hours ago – NightFell became a registered member

    A hearty welcome.  I hope you enjoy your time here.  I’m relatively new to the forum myself…

    5 days, 8 hours ago – OB-Wan became a registered member

    Hey, wait a minute.  I’m a newer member than you are – you should be welcoming me!

    LOL.  Well, whatever… Have fun and make lots of friends and keep your hands and feet inside the TARDIS at all times.

    Anonymous @

    @ob-wan I am curious to see the watch-list you came up with for your coworker as I’m always trying to find the ideal episodes to introduce others to the show. So far I’ve inspired two friends to start watching after raving about how much I love the show and they both began with Rose; one of them pressed on through the entire series and enjoyed it a lot. The other was completely bewildered and stopped after one episode. I suggested for her try the show again starting with Ten.

    OB-Wan @ob-wan

    I was working on that and then I got distracted with a silly argument about how many weeping angels could dance on the head of a pin (not really but something just as silly).

    I’ll put that together soon and let everyone tell me that I’m a scoundrel because left out their favorite episode.  LOL.

    I’d would have liked to put them all in but I was afraid that they wouldn’t watch them if I said they had to watch over 100 episodes.  Hopefully my selections will get them hooked enough to fill in the gaps.

    They still haven’t started the list because they like to binge watch and they haven’t had time.  I got them started on The Blacklist and Mr. Robot, so they trust my judgement but like many of us they don’t have enough time to see all that they would like.

    (I also gave them Sherlock which they haven’t yet watched.)

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    The ABC in Australia is currently replaying series 1, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen them, so I’m taking the opportunity to watch them again, and offer some quick thoughts.

    This episode is played rather too much for comedy for my liking, with Micky in particular played basically entirely for comedic effect, Jackie heading that way, and the Doctor being played largely as a joker. Christopher Eccleston appears to be having fun in the role, but it doesn’t quite work and the Doctor’s complex character doesn’t really come out. Billie Piper is, of course, excellent as Rose, and with Rose being played essentially straight and as the main character in this initial episode it holds things together, but my overall reaction brought back to mind my thoughts after that initial watching years ago, in that I was hoping the comedy would be played down and a more serious SF direction taken. At the time, I was concerned that without doing that, the new series could have been almost as much of a misstep as the movie was.


    The other was completely bewildered and stopped after one episode. I suggested for her try the show again starting with Ten.

    Having seen this episode again now, I think it’s actually a reasonable introduction to Dr Who. With Rose as a new companion, you get the explanation of the Tardis, the Doctor being an alien, mentions of time travel and so on, but without it being too overwhelming. If someone felt lost after watching this, I’d perhaps tell them that the references to the Time War aren’t something that’s part of the old series and are meant to be unexplained at this point and will be explained as the series progresses. You’d obviously get a little bit more out of it with knowledge of the history of Dr Who (like when he’s evaluating his relatively new face in a mirror), but there’s really nothing too crucial.

    So I’d be inclined to suggest to a new viewer to start with this, even though New Who really didn’t hit its stride until David Tennant came on board. Coming in later would only cause more questions / disorientation. Though if the tone of this first episode was the problem, then that might be worth a shot, as the tone has obviously evolved significantly by series 2.

    Missy @missy


    I think you are right, begin with David Tennant.


    You can always go back and watch Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor at a later date – when you’ve settled in, as it were.



    Pharell, Man! @pharellman

    Wow… I don’t know… Is it only me, or acting in this episode was terrible?… “Run for your life!” with no expression, and smile on face… Thanks god later in season Chris rocked a boat, but OK, well, this is their first episode and we can understand, why they weren’t feeling power of series yet, and greenbox-guys did weak image of inside-TARDIS outside…


    BTW: There where you living, BBC scaled a format to 4:3 too? I understand, that they did it 9 years ago on BBC Entertainment, but why they’ve shown scaled only 1st season on middle-european BBC HD? Season 2 is normally in 16:9 like it use to be. But yes, motion picture was more smooth in 4:3, that is an fact.

    danh19 @danh19

    rose is a episode that will always hold some importance to me since it’s what got me into doctor who in the first place I found it so different and entraining I had to watch the rest of the series

    danh19 @danh19

    my retrospective review


    opening theme it is by far my favourite opening for the show it just irrigates me how after Steven Moffatt took over he changed it over and over again

    open montage I think it’s a generally set up the average life she lives and why she would later be tempted to join the doctor

    the doctor I like how the episode was written so people like me who didn’t really know much about the show wouldn’t be to confused as we basically meet him for the first time with rose

    the villains they not the best villains to appear in the new series but they not the worst and they sort of work for the first episode

    the tardis control room I love the way it looks it’s by far my favourite in the series

    the character’s they come across realistic and entertaining to watch

    the diversity it feels right that they reflected Morden day Britain with rose and mickeys relationship

    the writing I feel that Russell t Davies is put down to much   his story arcs are usually good and a lot of his episodes including this one are generally entertaining

    the acting I generally think the acting his well done except maybe in noel’s case and you could easily argue that’s because of the writing

    direction I really enjoyed the directors work he really did something with it that stood out

    the music it’s probably  the most consistent and well done music I ever heard on television thanks to Murray gold and his team


    the wheelie bin attacking mickey even at the time I first saw it I found it ridiculously irritating

    the mickey duplicate through a combination of the writing acting and directing it was just weird how she didn’t know something was going on with him even if she was distracted by thoughts of the doctor

    mickey his the only character that irritated me through out the episode which I would put down to the way the character is written

    Doctor 20 @doctor20

    Why did Rose ask the Doctor why he sounded like he was from the North?



    Because Christopher Ecclestone has a northern English accent, so it got written into the script as a joke.

    Anonymous @


    oi I have sent letter – I think. Unless mum broke the internet again like yesterday.

    yup, the Oi doesn’t work for me!

    i’ll stick to ‘ hi there Mr P’

    puros son

    Chris Biffen @chrisbiffen

    I love Christopher Eccleston’s run. His series is virtually a perfect series. What a fantastic start for the comeback. I love how Rose’s move at the end is so important. Rose was a great companion. I often wonder what it would of been like if she had stayed with Tennant for his entire run. I wonder where they would of gone with her character.

    Missy @missy


    I too enjoyed the episode. The lack of expression on his face when he says “Run for you life” is just as you would expect from the Doctor.


    _Rose_Tyler_ @cegancrazy

    Did anyone notice that when Rose entered the T.A.R.D.I.S with the Ninth Doctor that the Doomsday theme was playing an that was the song that played when Rose left the Tenth Doctor?

    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    @cegancrazy No I didn’t notice that. It’s a beautiful piece of music, I don’t know how I didn’t notice. Thanks for mentioning that, next time I watch the episodes I’ll listen for it. Welcome to the blog.

    Malekith @malekith

    Great episode! Watched it 3 times already

    Missy @missy


    Actually and unusually for me, I did notice. beautiful music indeed. Murray Gold is a wizard.


    Missy @missy

    Right, question time.

    I’ve been meaning to ask this for ages, but attempted to work it out for myself.  No luck!

    Not being particularly thick by nature, I still cannot fathom exactly what BAD WOLF meant?

    Would one of you smart people explain it please – in words of one syllable.

    Many thanks


    Missy @missy

    Hmm, it seems that no one else knows either.  Either that, or you all think I’m a lost cause? 🙂

    winston @winston

    @missy  I have always thought that Rose has seen the words already at different places so she sends them out to herself ( as super Rose)creating a loop . She saw the words so she sent them and she sent the words so she saw them. Maybe because  Bad Wolf is the translated name of the place in Norway where Rose will get to say goodbye to her Doctor and also where she gets one for her very own so this name is  tied to Rose and the Doctor in a very timey-wimey way. Not to mention Bad Wolf as the moment.

    Anyway, am I right? Probably not,  but I tried.

    winston @winston

    @missy Thank you for the good reason ( excuse) to watch Rose and maybe all of the other episodes that have Bad Wolf in them.Maybe I can come up with a better theory.

    Missy @missy


    Thank you for answering my post, I appreciate it. I can see what you are getting at, but – as the PC Doctor says,

    “still not getting it!” However, your explanation is better than none. *thumbs up*

    I have always been very fond of Rose and we had begun watching series 9 again. We’ve had to stop though, too many programmes set up on our recorder, but I shall get back to it soon. So, if you can come up with another solution I’d be much obliged.

    Thanks again.


    NearlySane @nearlysane

    In part because of the New Who, and the availability of the episodes on iPlayer, I rewatched this. As many people noted, at the time, the idea of Billie Piper seemed odd and a bit worrying but leaving aside my ancient worries, the episode is strong overall. Mickey, both flesh and plastic, is a bit of a disaster. As a character he is so awful that him being plastic makes little difference to Rose.



    Having obviously just watched TGTFTE, and the discussions of death there, I found the indiscriminate death here quite shocking.

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