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 #70292
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 #70298
@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 #70301
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 #70302
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.7 June 2021 at 23:11 #71728AmeliaG @ameliag
Every time i watch Rose, it makes me happy. The return of the show that i grew up on in the 80s that had me hiding behind the sofa! I loved the introduction of Rose and CEs Doctor. Both fantastic! Mickey the wimpy boyfriend and Jackie the chavvy mum were both likeable. And the autons brilliant. Loved Clive too. A great start to the comback 😍8 June 2021 at 13:18 #71729
Rose was the first Doctor Who episode I’d watched for three decades. I seem to recall grumbles at the time, about casting a teen pop singer, but IMO Billie Piper is a good actress and the camera just loves her. I think Eccleston and Piper share the credit for the revived ‘Who’ taking off (along with competent scripts and adequate special effects).
I also remember grumbles about the close personal relationship between the Doc and companion which apparently was a deviation from ‘classic Who’, but having watched the last three stories of Seven and Ace, there’s definitely chemistry between Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, so even classic Who was heading that way.
IMO, of course.9 June 2021 at 03:25 #71737
@ameliag I totally agree with you, Rose always makes me happy and I have watched it a lot. The opening montage that introduces us to Rose, Mickey and Jackie is a great scene that lets us know so much about Roses life. I was hooked when I first watched it in 2005 and I still am.
Welcome to the site and if you love Who then you will enjoy reading through the forums on almost every episode of new Who and a few old Who episodes. Have fun!
@dentarthurdent I didn’t often watch BG Doctor Who growing up because it rarely played here in Canada in any consistent way and usually in the wee hours. When they advertised the new show here I decided to watch because of Chris Eccleston who I had seen in “The Second Coming” and really liked. I wondered how such an intense actor would play the Doctor so I decided to watch Rose and I have never stopped watching. Billie Piper was unknown to me and I thought she was perfect right away. When the Doctor says “Run!” for the first time I was a Whovian on the spot.
Now I am going to watch it again.
Stay Safe.9 June 2021 at 05:29 #71738
@winston I didn’t watch much BG (Before Gap ?) Doctor Who either. I think I caught the first ever ep, became a minor fan of Patrick Troughton, then sort of lost track. When it revived with ‘Rose’, I started watching again, until the gaps at the end of Tennnant’s era broke the continuity. Also, we’d lost Billie Piper. I liked Martha, didn’t like Donna – too strident (nothing against the actress, just the way she was written). I have to say, every time Billie appears in a cameo (such as The Moment) I get a little happy feeling.
(I’m moving the rest of my comment to On The Sofa because it seems to fit better there)10 June 2021 at 01:25 #71745AmeliaG @ameliag
<p style=”text-align: left;”> @winston Thank you! Its great to be here. I will definitely be reading through all the comments on all episodes, including the classic ones! Ive watched from Hartnell to Pertwee so far in order (and some Tom Baker on dvd and britbox, and remember Colin Baker and McCoy. I have alot to catch up on!</p>1 October 2022 at 18:39 #73432Rewvian @rewvian
So I just got HBO Max, and sat down to watch the first episode of the rebooted series for the first time in ages. First of all it felt great to enjoy some Doctor Who again after all of this time, and there was quite a lot I didn’t remember from “Rose”.
To begin with, I think RTD did a fantastic job of centering this episode around the life of Rose Tyler, and giving us a glimpse into her world. We’re seeing the Doctor come back after some time, yes, but foremost this episode plunges us into Rose’s world. It is appropriate that the episode was named for her.
Mickey comes off as mostly likable in the episode, offering to take Rose out for a drink after her work is blown up and being concerned about her. And then he makes that comment about her doing anything to get into the bedroom and about staying away from his emails, which foreshadows that he might be on a different wavelength from Rose. Rose’s mom kicks off the tradition of the new series involving family of the companions getting some screen time, and it’s funny and hard to shake the moment when she comes onto the Doctor while she thinks he is at her home to inquire about the explosion with Rose.
The Autons made a nice neutral enemy choice for the premiere episode, and an especially creepy one. Having Rose work at a clothing store made them weave into the plot nicely as menacing mannequins. The moment when Rose becomes trapped in the basement room with a gathering of Autons really did elevate the suspense. The Nestine Consciousness is, of course, the real villain of the episode and the thing controlling the Autons, basically a pile of molten plastic in an underground vat. Having it use the large ferris wheel to broadcast to the Autons felt like a stand-out British moment of the episode.
I forgot all about Mickey confronting the moving trash can, only to have it stick to his fingers and gobble him up. And it goes without saying that I’d forgotten all about the rather hilarious “Plastic Mickey”. Also gone from my memory was Clive, the conspiracy theorist who Rose reaches out to on the computer in an attempt to learn more about the Doctor. Clive and his research of the Doctor being present at the Kennedy assassination, the Titanic and several other places was a stand-out moment for the episode. It makes it all the sadder that Clive is a victim of the Doctor’s return later in the episode while shopping at the mall with his family.
While we’re at it I guess I could take a really good guess and say the Doctor regenerated into his Christopher Eccleston form shortly before the episode, or at least recently enough that he hadn’t really seen his face yet, as he comments on his ears while at Rose Tyler’s home. If I had to guess I’d say that the Doctor regenerated from the War Doctor and went immediately to Kennedy and the Titanic within a few days of that event, before coming to present time where he was dealing with the Autons. At least that is what would make sense given those plot points.
Rose ultimately makes good on helping the Doctor defeat the two Autons holding him, with a little help from gymnastics experience. Despite the Doctor’s diplomatic approach to getting the Nestine Consciousness to leave, the end result is still killing it with the anti-plastic, and no tears are really shed nor should they really be since the Autons pretty much went on a killing-spree outside of the mall.
At that fateful moment at the end of the episode Rose is given the option to tag along with the Doctor…and she refuses, noting that she has to help her mom and Mickey. The Doctor leaves. I have to say, it irritates me that this was her answer, because it’s not like she couldn’t just say, “Let me clean up from the excitement from tonight and then I’ll go with you!” You’re talking to someone with all the time in the Universe, it’s not like they can’t just hop in their TARDIS and meet you in a day or two when the timing is better for you. Fortunately the Doctor comes back and reminds Rose that he can travel not just in space, but also in time, which I guess she must have forgotten about or else needed more pestering about it to push her to say yes.
All in all, it was a pretty great episode. Not all of the Doctor’s companions get this kind of in-depth treatment like Rose and Amy, so whenever the opportunity comes along for the show to really invite us into the world of one of the companions it is a special treat.
Well, I am not sure how often I will be back to comment on other episodes in my rewatch. This one definitely deserved the attention.2 October 2022 at 10:16 #73445
@rewvian That was quite a review. ‘Rose’ was the episode that got me hooked on Who. I’d seen some of Who when it was new – mostly Doctors 2 and 3, that’s how ancient I am – but then I lost touch. Easy to do in the days before video recorders and DVD sets, it was catch it when it screened or never. So I was a non-fan for about 40(?) years until Rose came along.
And it was Billie Piper just as much as Eccleston that deserves the credit for catching my attention, plus of course RTD’s writing. For me, the companions are always as important as the Doctor in keeping my interest. Just as well, therefore, that all of them have been strong characters. (While I have to say, the companion’s boyfriends have tended to be a bit wet – Mickey, Danny, even Rory, though he grew into an adequate character).
cr4 February 2024 at 20:47 #75367VickyMallard @vickymallard
And here we go again – as I am finally out of Tens, Fourteens and Fifteens I guess I might as well start at the beginning. Okay, relatively. Maybe because I’ve seen so many episodes with the Tenth Doctor recently, I connected a lot better with this episode than with the Church on Ruby Road. It was of course a lot more familiar – the Tardis, Rose, Mickey, Jackie, and generally the filming style, I guess.
I liked the episode a lot – especially the mannequins coming to life! I love it when they have this kind of “real life monsters” that you see every day and that keepy you wondering if maybe they did move, just in the corner of your eye?
The Doctor took a bit of getting used to, his charm is a bit different to Ten, but I liked it more than I had expected. I loved seeing Jackie Tyler again, especially her bit with the “there is a strange man in my bedroom” bit. Reminded me of “Love and Monsters” (I think). Mickey surely still has a lot of room for growth left, which he will fill in future seasons but here I felt I knew where the “Mickey the idiot” nickname came from. Not that he was an idiot in this episode, he was just… not as witty and open-minded as rose was. And I kind of disliked the end, when she kissed him goodbye to run off with this time-travelling alien. I mean, I’m glad Rose travelled with the Doctor and I’m very happy for her, but I felt quite sorry for Mickey there. I don’t think he deserved to be dumped like that.
I admit I didn’t really get who exactly the aliens were in this episode – apparently a conciousness that inhabits plastic? I loved the bubbling mass that the Doctor talked to, and also that Rose had to save him and he was clearly out of his depth at some point. And how he almost panicked when the Tardis suddenly appeared in that scene. At first, I thought the aliens were going to drop into the bubbling mass to destroy it, but then discarded that thought fairly quickly as obviously the Tardis was still around and “unharmed” for another couple of seasons. I also liked the bit with the London Eye, “a large ring of metal in the middle of London – it must be invisible!”
There were two points in the episode where I thought “Seriously?!”. One was Rose getting in the car with PlasticMickey without noticing that he was quite different both visually and in terms of behaviour. If my boyfriend suddenly looks like a lot like a shop mannequin and can no longer drive in a straight line, I think I would make sure to get out of the car as quickly as possible… especially if I were as quick-witted as Rose usually is. The other scene was Jackie in the shopping mall, standing at the foot of the escalator staring at the enfolding chaos in front of her – but without any attempt of getting back up where she came from? Okay, maybe that was just me and she was coming down from a higher floor so made straight for the exit. It just felt a bit weird to me.
So overall a nice start to a new series, I’m curious as to what’s to come!5 February 2024 at 00:38 #75370
@vickymallard Finally 🙂 Yes ‘Rose’ is a good place to start. I would rabbit on about that’s where I started but I just said all that to Rewvian in the comment just above yours.
The mannequins were creepy. So was Plastic Mickey. And I agree it was a bit of a stretch that Rose didn’t recognise the strangeness, but I think that underlines the way Rose took Mickey for granted.
Billie Piper was an excellent casting choice, I knew nothing of her before (except I vaguely knew that she was some sort of teenie pop star, not my thing, Pink Floyd are my thing) but she had just the right personality to engage any viewer’s attention. And Mickey’s dullness and unadventurousness, along with Rose’s dull everyday life, were enough (in fantasy Doctor Who land) to explain her running off with the Doctor. It was a little bit rough on Mickey, but I forgave her instantly 🙂
The Doctor – just alien enough. “Are you from the North?” “Lots of planets have a north.”
Was this the first episode where RTD made a joke about Eccleston’s ears? I can’t remember if RTD used to joke about Ten’s appearance, Moffatt certainly used to joke about his Doctors’ features.
The alien – the Nestene Consciousness. Loved polluted environments, and could control or inhabit plastic. Apparently it sent its control signals from a huge antenna disguised as the London Eye.
[Nerd mode ON:] Strictly, that makes not a lot of sense. It shouldn’t need a transmitter that size. Unless the signals were ultra low frequency, but then how could the mannequins pick them up? I could be quite wrong here though, I stand to be corrected by anyone with radio knowledge.
As an aside, the giant Arecibo radio telescope dish in Goldeneye (James Bond) was even more absurd for controlling a satellite, but I love the movie anyway. [/Nerd mode]
In fact the Nestene Consciousness was – complicated. I never realised how complicated till I read its entry in Tardis.fandom.com – here’s the link: https://tardis.fandom.com/wiki/Nestene_Consciousness
I won’t even try to summarise it, I never realised how much background there was.
I think the episode succeeded, not so much because of the sci-fi element, but because of the human interplay between Rose and the Doctor (and also Jackie, and Mickey).5 February 2024 at 12:29 #75375
@dentarthurdent. Jackie and Mickey definitely deserve credit for elevating every episode they were in. (Sadly Noel Clarke has somewhat soured things by his behaviour off screen so I am talking of Mickey the character.) Camille Coduri was excellent bringing warmth and humour to the role of Jackie. RTD did so well with the family background for both Rose and Donna and I think that contributed to the success of both characters. He did not do so well with Martha, maybe because her family had to serve a narrative function but they always felt quite two dimensional in comparison.
It will soon be twenty years since Rose aired. I recall my joy on watching it. After the movie in the nineties I had very low expectations but after watching Rose I knew that Dr Who had been given a new lease of life. It was different from old Who too but in good ways. IT was clear from the start that RTD understood what Dr Who needed to be.
Janette5 February 2024 at 12:47 #75376ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u
Plastic Mickey. Man eating bins… ‘leave it to me, I’m a gymnast!’ (in so many words) and yes lots of planets have a north.
Rose the story was lightweight in a good way. Light touch. We all know Who can do Preposterous and Pompous. But a nod to Spearhead from Space/Terror of the Autons, nothing too alarming, and away we go.
Well done RTD. And well done Chris Ecclestone. Possibly the best actor in the role, as good as Davidson or Troughton (saying nothing about the script)
Not sure what the final analysis of his departure was. The fact that Tennant became the new Tom Baker can’t be a coincidence. Presumably RTD wasn’t bothered about keeping Ecclestone on board.5 February 2024 at 16:11 #75378VickyMallard @vickymallard
@dentarthurdent Yes, finally 😉 Thanks for the explanation about the Nestene Consciousness and the link – although I think for now I will be fine without additional background. But I absolutely love that it’s there – and that Doctor Who is a show that appreciates its fanbase’s enthusiastic attention to detail (probably because a lot of the people running it are proper nerds themselves?) In my other fandom the writers even struggled to maintain a logical timeline for the main character over 15 years, and matters there were not complicated by time travel 😉
I basically don’t know anything about Old Who (or whatever you call it) and I don’t think I’ll ever watch it, but I like that – apparently – there are references for those in the audience who grew up with it and can appreciate them, but at the same time you can come in as a new viewer without this background and still enjoy the episode.5 February 2024 at 23:17 #75379
@vickymallard Well I was effectively a ‘new viewer’ with Rose, too. That is, I’d seen some episodes of Two and Three when they first aired, but after that I dropped out for many decades. So ‘Rose’ was a fresh start for me. I also had no idea the Nestene Consciousness had a past (until I looked it up a few days ago. I’d highly recommend the wiki at Tardis.fandom.com by the way, for almost any questions regarding episodes or characters).
At the risk of committing sacrilege and being ceremoniously excommunicated from this site, I don’t watch much of Old Who either. By the time ‘Rose’ was made, production values were fully adequate. With Old Who (and this goes for Blakes 7, another favourite of mine), scenes inside the Tardis were okay, scenes outside (usually in a quarry) were okay, but aliens and robots were sometimes painfully obviously just extras in suits.
I’ve watched the last few stories of Seven and while I like Seven (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace, the ‘aliens’ and FX does make it hard for someone used to modern production values to fully engage in the story. There is a certain level (and that includes sets and special effects) below which it’s hard to sustain a convincing belief in the story. At the opposite extreme, spectacular FX can’t save it if the story and characters aren’t interesting, which is a mistake modern scifi/superhero movies often make.
@janetteb I was happy that Who had returned, though (since I’d dropped out decades before) I wasn’t missing it like you were. It was a promising new series to watch.
I couldn’t help noticing that both Martha and Donna’s mothers were the disapproving mother-in-law stereotype. Can’t help wondering if RTD had mother-in-law trouble 🙂
Whereas Jackie, of course, immediately fancied her chances with the Doctor. Camille Coduri was, as you say, excellent in the role. (Though Mickey probably thought she was the mother-in-law from hell).
Martha had a much bigger family, which tends to lessen their involvement. For some reason Yaz’s family, what little we saw of them, reminded me of Martha’s (but with a much less hostile mother).6 February 2024 at 00:59 #75380ps1l0v3y0u @ps1l0v3y0u
<p style=”text-align: left;”>@dentarthurdent @vickymallard</p>
if you are to venture into Classic Who, Phillip Hinchcliff/Roberts Holmes tenure is by far the best… 1975-1977. From ‘ark in space’ to ‘talons of weng chiang.’ Mostly gold. It fell foul of the ‘is this a kids’ show or what?’ controversy.
There are classics from all eras… ‘terror of the autons’ is terrifying and rightly revered… but, apart from the Tom Baker golden age, you must expect at least one utter clunker per series and several more with pointless crawling in ventilation shafts, or perfectly reasonable characters crucified by the terrible dialogue of moronic hacks.
And there were lots and lots of quarries, laughable monsters, worse effects and teeth grinding male chauvinism.
You tuned in and you didn’t know what you were going to get.
Tell it like it is.7 February 2024 at 04:03 #75381
@vickymallard One of my favourite things about Rose is the music. It brings me back again and again. This was my first episode and it started an almost 20 year long addiction to Doctor Who. I wish the Doctor would wipe my memory so I could watch them all over again for the first time. I think the ninth Doctor is mad and bad and a little cheeky. He is my Doctor.
Stay safe7 February 2024 at 07:12 #75382
You sum up old Who well. Yet I at least, loved it for all that.
Who scrips definitely have to work for the first time viewer as well as the aged fan. (like myself.) A friend is currently introducing the new stories to her daughter, who refers to them as “old Who”. She is loving it. I don’t think she will ever watch the old stories. The ones she has seen have failed to catch her attention.
Janette7 February 2024 at 07:32 #75383
@janetteb I think ‘old Who’ worked perfectly well in its time. Just as, say, Blakes 7 did (even though the cast reputedly were a little bit disconcerted when the sets wobbled if they leaned on them). At the time, that was just the standard of special effects and production values we were used to. We used our imaginations to ‘fill in the gaps’ (and a fair bit of imagination was necessary. B7’s assorted ‘guns’ were singularly unconvincing).
It’s only looking back from the vantage of modern production values, that old Who (and B7) suffer by comparison. And they don’t have the visual appeal to grab the attention of your friend’s daughter.
If Doctor Who hadn’t lasted such an incredibly long time, I don’t think we’d be making these comparisons.
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