13 October 2018 at 10:11 #64422Missy @missy
I don’t know what TGTFTE is? Sorry, never very good at just initials.
Rose is my favourite companion, followed closely by Bill and Donna. I do agree about Mickey though, but he wasn’t that bad. Strangely, he did have a plastic look about him. *grins*
Missy26 March 2020 at 13:07 #70282
Here’s a trailer for tonight’s global watch-along. On Twitter: #TripofaLifetime26 March 2020 at 14:42 #70283
And here is Russell T Davies prequel to “Rose”
Tune in on your favourite streaming service at 7pm for the episode.26 March 2020 at 17:40 #70286
I love that, even though it’s not on TV, the original TV announcer is doing idents – because, why not?26 March 2020 at 19:52 #70288
And, as we were promised. A sequel.26 March 2020 at 21:22 #70289
That sequel was fab, wasn’t it. It can never be stressed too many times that RTD is just an absolutely cracking writer. In fact, all the related content around this one was great. And was it just me but was it also subtly recontextualising The Timeless Children slightly?
I can’t remember commenting on Rose last time around, so apologies for any repetition. Firstly, I’ve been seeing people online talking about how ‘dated’ it is and it is incredible to think that this is 15 years!! ago. But to be honest, I didn’t think it felt all that dated. Even watching it this time around, it had an exuberance and a freshness to it. Almost a sort of 70s ITC Randall and Hopkirk-ey sort of vibe that works now and probably worked just as well back then. Interesting how Murray Gold’s music has changed over the years too. It’s more rambunctious here, maybe less lush than it becomes later but that’s probably as much to do with the show’s narrative evolution as much as anything else.
On which note, aren’t those opening titles glorious? Probably still the best iteration from Nu Who for my money.
It’s really Billie Piper who carries this story though, isn’t it? And it’s easy to forget just how much of a risk her casting was back in the day; just how much sneering there was around it. And she’s great from her first scene. And I’m not sure it’s until 12 and Bill that we see a companion and Doc click quite so immediately as 9 and Rose do here. (Amy and 11 don’t count imo because there is the slight ‘cheat’ of Young Amelia doing some of the bonding in that relationship).
It’s been a while since I’ve watched 9 and I think my estimation has gone up a little. I think Chris Eccleston is a fantastic actor but that he’s not a natural fit for the Doctor. But he does bring gravitas to the part: it’s just in the lighter moments he feels a little forced. Though I think part of my problem with him is that his costume is just not quite Doctorly enough. He obviously wasn’t going to be a McGann-style flamboyant and I like the leather jacket/jeans thing but I just feel there should have been more flourishes of the kind that we saw in The War Doctor’s costume. But looking back now, I do wish that he’d stayed for a second series. I think narratively speaking Doomsday would have worked better with 9 rather than a 10 who had just bedded in.
The sheer whackiness of this story can seem surprising looking back too. It’s easy to forget that the first half of s1 does tend far more towards this whackiness and it’s not until the halfway point of Dalek and The Empty Child that the more serious tone starts to take hold. Part of this will just be everyone finding their feet, still figuring out what sort of show they’re making. And part of it, I guess, is just an initial fanboy squee among the writers that they’re finally actually writing proper telly Doctor Who again.
But the Autons totally fit that tone and they’re actually the perfect BG Who monsters to choose. Not too heavyweight like the Daleks or the Cybermen, but still with a sense of genuine threat, a low-level familiarity for fans but also with that hint of the absurd. And tonally RTD gets them absolutely right too. The burping wheelie bin might have upset some diehards but it has the same absurdity as the killer doll or the suffocating armchair from Terror of the Autons. I have no doubt that both Robert Holmes and Terrance Dicks would have approved.
Pacing wise, it’s a bit halting. The Doctor, Rose and Mickey spend an awful lot of time hanging about at the denouement and that 10 minutes with Rose and Clive does feel a bit draggy now but the sheer amount of pyrotechnics and action it contains is quite startling really. Even the later finales didn’t seem to have quite as many explosions and physical action from the regulars as this has. But I guess this episode very much has to be statement of intent. And boy, did it bloody work.
In short, I really enjoyed that. Russell’s Twitter commentary was quite entertaining and the prequel/sequels were great too. Now, bring on Vincent and the Doctor.27 March 2020 at 02:27 #70292winston @winston
Rose was my introduction to a show that is now part of my life in weird and wonderful ways and I still love it. It was 2005 and the CBC in Canada was advertising the return of Doctor Who playing on their network. I saw Christopher Eccleston and remembered him from Second Coming and so decided to watch it. I was not a fan of the BG Who because I rarely saw it and never in any kind of order but because Chris was in it I gave it a go and after Rose was over I was hooked.
Within minutes we know so much about Rose, she is an ordinary girl who lives with her Mum and works in a shop. She meets her boyfriend for lunch and can’t wait for her work day to be over just like everyone else. Her ordinary life is changed by the lottery, she doesn’t win it she just has to give Wilson the money.Then the manikins start to move and Rose is in danger. We get to meet The Doctor the same time she does and his first word”Run!” still gives me happy chills. I have been running with the Doctor ever since. Thank you RTD.
Billie Piper is Rose and I can’t imagine anyone else in the role. The rest of the cast is great and I came to really like Jackie and Mickey and I consider them both honorary companions. I watched one episode of a new show and I was an instant fan and I have come to appreciate the brilliance of the idea of the Doctor the more I watch and learn. Rose was an excellent introduction to new Who and I enjoyed watching it again.27 March 2020 at 15:37 #70296
But he does bring gravitas to the part: it’s just in the lighter moments he feels a little forced. Though I think part of my problem with him is that his costume is just not quite Doctorly enough.
I actually liked the costume more than I did the actor, who remains my least favourite Doctor. I was quite excited by the billboards I saw (first I knew that it was coming back) but I didn’t make it past the second episode of the reboot. I was very glad to hear that Tenant was taking over, who I’d seen in Casanova and thought a much more natural fit for the show.
The burping wheelie bin might have upset some diehards but it has the same absurdity as the killer doll or the suffocating armchair from Terror of the Autons. I have no doubt that both Robert Holmes and Terrance Dicks would have approved.
I’m not so sure. The killer doll provoked a lot of complaints at the time for making children scared of their own toys. The armchair didn’t work, but there was no hint of tongue in cheek about it. It was a noble failure. The wheelie bins were stupid and meant to be, giving the sense of a showrunner who didn’t take his charge sufficiently seriously, a feeling that would persist throughout that first series.
While I felt that the autons (my favourite Who baddies) were rather squandered in Rose, and the intentional silliness difficult to swallow, Davies got companions. He understood their relationship to the audience in a way Moffat never really did, and Rose exudes this. It properly embedded me in the story. And Billie Piper was just incredible.27 March 2020 at 18:33 #70297nerys @nerys
My husband, who is nine years younger, is the original Doctor Who fan in our family. He started watching as a young’un during the Tom Baker years. So he was quite excited when he found out about the reboot. I had a sort of “meh” attitude about the whole thing, but agreed to watch “Rose” with him. And I found myself completely drawn in. I loved Chris Eccleston’s Doctor. His wit and whimsy, contrasted with his occasional turning inward to somewhere dark, enthralled me.
I also liked Billie Piper’s Rose and her relationship with Eccleston’s Doctor throughout that first season. “Everybody lives, Rose!” is one of my favourite Doctor Who moments. As time went on, I liked Rose less … but not enough to completely dislike her. (I think it was the relentless emphasis on a romantic undercurrent between Rose and David Tennant’s Doctor that wore me out.)
But certainly, this first episode turned me into a Doctor Who fan.
It was much the same as James Bond … though I’d actually seen a few James Bond films prior to Daniel Craig. The only Bond films I genuinely liked before that were For Your Eyes Only and The Living Daylights. But ever since Craig signed on, I have been a fan.28 March 2020 at 00:26 #70298winston @winston
@nerys I agree with you on Chris Ecclestons Doctor, he was really great in the role. I also found him funny and heartbreaking at times. He and Billie seemed to fit together by the end of this episode and I wanted to see where or when they were going next. He adds a seriousness to the role that fits a man who just destroyed his planet and is all alone.Billie Piper on the other hand as Rose is young, with all the fun and foibles that come with youth.
The Empty Child is one of my favourites and his “Everybody lives, Rose! “is one of the most feel good moments of Who.When he is angry it is terrible, in the episode with the Dalek chained up he lets us know pretty quickly that the Dalek was a threat even if it looked silly. He was so angry and so tough but he was terrified, if the Doctor is that scared then the Daleks must be pretty scary.28 March 2020 at 13:14 #70301janetteB @janetteb
Currently watching and posting as I go, (was making notes on paper thought I might as well just type them in.
Some some notes,
Mannequin is a lovely nod back to the junk yard in An Unearthly Child. RTD obviously thought that a missed opportunity too.
Rose blames what is happening on some random person, “derek is that you”. Donna blames her abduction on Nerris.
Ecclesston is good at doing the “I am the smart one.”
Why does Rose take the arm home? Walking through London carrying a plastic arm is not a normal thing to do.
you lot all you do is eat chips… One of the central motifs of the Rose series.
The Police Box the thrill of seeing that again after years of Who deprivation. Watching this again I remember the thrill that gave me fifteen years ago. The speech that follows, playing to Ecclesstone’s strength as an actor. Fifteen years ago this was the moment that I realised that Dr Who was back, new and better than ever.
Clive, so nice to see a Fan on the show. Photoshop is a bit dodgy however.
The bin, and Rubbish bin Mickey. R.2 comments, “it’s good to see that the effects haven’t changed in fifteen Years.” Rose doesn’t notice that Mickey is plastic and no longer knows how to drive. She clearly never paid much attention to Mickey. Surely she twigs when he calls her “sweetheart”. That is pure plastic
Eating at a restaurant. I remember those days.
The doctor does not even think about Mickey being dead. Very Doctor.
“Lots of planets have a North.” Love that line.
Anti Plastic. I think that has just been invented.
Lots of running. Love the night shots of London. Might be many years, if ever, before I return. When I first watched this London was about a week away. We were just about to head overseas, taking the boys to see the world.
Under the Eye reminds me of the Christmas Invasion. Shopping Centres, I remember them. Well if the Nestene come to life now they will have a lot less victims. They can rampage through the locked up shopping arcades to their hearts content.
I had completely forgotten most of this episode. It musts be years since I last re-watched it.
Poor Mickey. I do wish he had gone with Rose there.
Hope this works as I managed to delete what I was typing but luckily had copied onto a Word document.
All three sons walked through as we were watching and all three remarked, “I need to watch Dr Who again.” I think that really says it all for this episode.28 March 2020 at 13:29 #70302janetteB @janetteb
Ok so my paragraph breaks got lost in translation but at least I did not have to start again from scratch.
A few more thoughts on Rose. When it first aired I had read that Dr Who was returning with a sinking feeling. After the Canadian film fiasco I had negative expectations. I was not even intending to watch it until I read the review. (It was days before it aired in Australia.) We would have watched it when it aired on ABC on the television in the living room, over dinner. (We did not have a dining table then or the room for one even.) It was an exciting time for us, we were about to take the boys overseas for a big adventure and the S/O had just been offered a one year attachment to Sweden the following year and then my favourite TV Series was reborn. Watching this again reminds me of that magical time.
I did not grow up watching Dr Who. I was about fifteen or sixteen when I first discovered it and then only watched for a few years until leaving home age 19 but it has a place in my heart no other tv series does. I am deeply grateful to RTD for re inventing Dr Who and to all those who have carried the torch over the past fifteen years.\
Janette28 March 2020 at 13:54 #70305
The killer doll provoked a lot of complaints at the time for making children scared of their own toys.
Yes, it did, but all that really suggests is that people were just as idiotic in 1973 as they are now. And while Robert Holmes definitely had ‘scaring the little buggers’ in his sights as part of his remit, I don’t think he wasn’t considering doing it in a tongue-in-cheek way.
The armchair didn’t work, but there was no hint of tongue in cheek about it.
I think it’s totally tongue in cheek and the cast and crew know it. It’s in everything from the twinkle in Delgado’s eye to the rather arch death performance of Harry Towb. The entire series is pretty tongue in cheek and I think you really only have to compare it to his sister serial to see that. In the first few episodes, RTD is definitely still calibrating the tone but I don’t think he was wrong to think that absurdity and humour are just as much a part of Who’s DNA as scares are.
Not sure that the Autons were wasted myself. They were in fact perfectly chosen. All you need to know is ‘alien’, ‘malevolent’, ‘plastic’ and so you don’t have to squander loads of time on backstory, exposition and motivation, leaving space for the important character stuff that’s needed in a new era episode, especially this one. It’s the same reason why Prisoner Zero is so sketchy (all you need to know is ‘alien convict’) or that Deep Breath riffed off The Girl in the Fireplace for its antagonist.
He understood their relationship to the audience in a way Moffat never really did, and Rose exudes this
I’m not sure I agree with this, although I do agree that Billie Piper was just terrific as Rose. But I think Moffat’s grasp on the companion dynamic was just as strong as RTD’s, possibly more so. After Rose, RTD pretty much dropped the ball with Martha, remaining too fixated on Rose. He just wasn’t interested enough in her. Donna was in improvement but a big part of that was down to Catherine Tate’s performance. After that, he gave up on companions altogether. Moffat’s companions were all pretty strong, I’d argue, with the only wobble really being the ‘Impossible Girl’ arc of early Clara. But aside from that, Amy, late Clara and Bill (and even a few one-offs like Sally Sparrow and Shona) show that Moff had a definite gift for companions, I reckon.28 March 2020 at 19:03 #70312
Yes, it did, but all that really suggests is that people were just as idiotic in 1973 as they are now.
Crikey! That’s harsh. I don’t think intelligence has anything to do with it, rather prior experience. The Pertwee era was known for pushing boundaries. A natural consequence is that the boundaries then lie well within those of today. The bar must be set higher to yield a similar effect.
I don’t think he was wrong to think that absurdity and humour are just as much a part of Who’s DNA as scares are.
Nor would I, but that wasn’t my complaint. Absurdity and humour are essential. Treating a beloved vehicle as a joke, less so. S1 veered to much toward the latter for my taste.
Donna was in improvement but a big part of that was down to Catherine Tate’s performance.
I would have preferred a better actor in the role. I agree that Martha was a bit too wet, although she started off well before the misjudged unrequited love arc. Donna was a great companion: a proper audience proxy with zero hint of nausea-inducing will-they-won’t-they.
My problem with Moffat companions is, however great they are on paper, he always made them part of the plot rather than the viewer’s avatar. I could be Rose or Donna, at least early on before they too became walking plot devices, whereas Amy and Clara were mysteries to be solved. Bill was better, and had a similar arc to Rose and Donna: initially just someone ordinary we could all be before becoming too abstract to identify with anymore. Easily my favourite companion since Rose.29 March 2020 at 02:37 #70319Missy @missy
I have always preferred Rose to the rest of them and then Bill came along. Now they are equal in my eyes.
Martha gave me the pip, Amy got on my nerves after a while as did Rory, Clara was bit full of herself at times, but I
liked her most of the time and Donna was a treat to behold.
Bill was a breath of fresh air. Some of the lines Moffat gave her were inspired. For instance, when asked in the Pilot why she came to his lectures and heard her explanation:
DOCTOR: And how does that in any way explain why you keep coming to my lectures?
BILL: Yeah, it doesn’t really, does it? I was hoping something would develop.
and when telling the Doctor about the ‘puddle’
DOCTOR: What’s wrong?
(A little later.)
BILL: She said it was a defect, but what kind of defect puts a star in your eye? But that doesn’t even matter because she was right. There was something wrong when you looked in the puddle. That was definitely my face. I see my face all the time. I’ve never liked it, it’s all over the place. It’s always doing expressions when I’m trying to be enigmatic. I know my face, and there was something wrong with my face in the puddle. What could be wrong with your own face?
That’s only a couple.
Missy29 March 2020 at 13:21 #70324
Crikey! That’s harsh
Yeah, it was a bit. In my defence, it seemed funnier in my head. And I definitely agree with your point that it was perhaps easier to shock in those days. Not sure I’d agree that the Pertwee era deliberately set out to push boundaries. It wasn’t afraid of injecting political ideas into Who, certainly and there were topics that Letts wanted to discuss but I’d also say he had a pretty good barometer of tone and decorum and that he didn’t deliberately set out to shock in the way that Hinchcliffe/Holmes and JNT/Saward did.
Treating a beloved vehicle as a joke, less so. S1 veered to much toward the latter for my taste.
Which is totally fair enough. And I’d agree that the first three or four episodes are tonally inconsistent. But it’s by no means the most egregious example. I find s17 all over the place, for example, and far less to my taste than Series 1 of Nu Who. (If there’s ever been a seriously overrated Who story then it’s City of Death imo.) And I’m inclined to give s1 a bit of a free pass as it probably took the production team a while to figure out where Who was going to fit in the 2005 media landscape.
I would have preferred a better actor in the role
Again, it’s subjective I suppose but I struggle to see how Tate (or anyone) else could have been better in the role. I do sometimes feel that Tate gets looked down a little by fandom because she was so popular as a comedian but she’s a proper actor and an alumni of the Central School and the RSC.
a proper audience proxy with zero hint of nausea-inducing will-they-won’t-they
I think in this day and age we probably have to accept that the Doctor is as much a romantic/sexual being as any other dramatic character (which is why River is such a good and necessary character — having the Doc married off takes a bit of that immediate heat away. Although it seems to have returned with a vengeance with all the Thasmins of the Chibnall era.) With Martha, I’m not sure the unrequited love angle was really the problem — beyond the fact it showed that RTD had become overly infatuated with the character of Rose. The problem was that he didn’t take the time to not make it the only aspect of her character. Agyeman did great work but I’d argue that she wasn’t given half enough to work with as Piper was.
My problem with Moffat companions is, however great they are on paper, he always made them part of the plot rather than the viewer’s avatar
That’s a common criticism but I always feel it needs a bit of qualification. Yes, the companion is the viewer’s avatar but I’m not sure that’s all they have to be (or can be). They can’t be too passive either and they have to have an arc (some of those arcs both in RTD and SM were a little grandiose admittedly). It was a different case when the show was more serialised, when the real narrative was that of whatever serial the main characters had been injected into — that the story arc was that of Marco Polo, or the inhabitants of the Moonbase, or of Jago and Litefoot, to use random examples. Now the focus is far more on the Doctor and the companions and because it’s a cosmic and fantastical show, then their arcs have to be to an extent cosmic and fantastical (which, in the end, even Bill’s was).
Amy and Clara were mysteries to be solved
Again, I’d argue that it’s easy to overstate this. Amy wasn’t really a mystery to be solved. We knew everything we needed to know about her right from the Eleventh Hour. Again, yes, her endpoint is slightly cosmic in that she’s River’s mother and maybe her career as a model is less than relatable (but still not the most outlandish career a companion has ever had) but she’s essentially the same girl from Ledworth with her Raggedy Doctor that she always was.
It’s definitely more of an issue for Clara but I’d say only between The Snowmen and Name of the Doctor, which isn’t that long really. SM had kind of painted himself into a corner character-wise there but I’d argue it was necessary for the very clear endgame that he had in mind there. And I’d also argue that the Clara we get with Capaldi has freed herself from the Impossible Girl schtick and is a pretty strong and memorable companion in her own right. Again, it’s all very subjective, but I think both she and Amy are still highly relatable. Being ‘ordinary’ isn’t necessarily the key, I’d argue. The Fam are all very ordinary and all have very clearly defined backstories but I don’t really consider them terribly relatable, largely because they’re all so terribly boring.30 March 2020 at 01:05 #70334
Late night greetings!
Not sure I’d agree that the Pertwee era deliberately set out to push boundaries.
Well it certainly pushed the boundaries of acceptability. I cannot now recall whether it was Spearhead From Space or Terror of the Autons that had the blood-splattered windscreen that sent people into a frenzy. All tame now, but started the whole “Think of the children!!!” fiasco that surrounded DW through to the ’80s, Mary Whitehouse et al.
Again, it’s subjective I suppose but I struggle to see how Tate (or anyone) else could have been better in the role.
Yeah, it’s subjective. I never watched her show (I’m not much of a telly addict) and had nothing against her. I think if anyone was likely not to get a fair shout as a companion it was Bradley Walsh, but I liked him in his first season. Tate is like nails on a chalkboard to me though. Too much of a caricature.
Amy wasn’t really a mystery to be solved. We knew everything we needed to know about her right from the Eleventh Hour.
In retrospect there wasn’t much to solve, but Moffat pushed her mythologisation (maybe not a word, but it’s late) extremely far for a long time. That seems to be a thing with him in particular but also the reboot in general (Bad Wolf, Doctor Donna…). The whole “girl who waited” thing, this need to make every principle character uber-special, left me cold for the most part. I also never thought KG very good.
Similar thing with Clara, who seemed a symptom of excessive coffee consumption. I agree Moffat tried to do something better with her later on, but it was somewhat too late to invest in for a lot of people. I feel bad for JC: she got a lot of criticism for stuff that was never her fault. She seemed a capable actor to me.
The Fam are all very ordinary and all have very clearly defined backstories but I don’t really consider them terribly relatable, largely because they’re all so terribly boring.
The fam is sort of the anti-RTD approach. Token investment in establishing rapport. This has been the problem with Mr. Chibnall’s writing for me.
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