Series 1 - Eccleston - Your Overall Thoughts

Now that TV Club has reached the end of Eccleston’s first (and only) TV series, it seems a good time to talk about it as a whole.

Have a look at the thread poll for Favourite Series 1 Episode and if you haven’t voted yet, now’s your chance.

  • What is your view of the series as a whole?
  • What are your thoughts on the Bad Wolf arc and how it is seeded throughout the series?
  • What are your thoughts on Rose, Mickey and Captain Jack?
  • What are your thoughts on Eccleston’s Doctor?
  • Which was your favourite Series 1 monster/villain/alien?
  • How successful was RTD at reinventing Doctor Who for a modern audience?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • Do you wish we had got Paul Abbot’s unmade/unwritten script about the Doctor manipulating Rose’s life to make her the ideal companion?
  • Or what about Mark Gatiss’s unmade story about an alien entity living inside a song?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! First time I hear about it, but yes! Make it make sense why the Doctor thinks she is special and not the bog standard contemporary human London teen that is on my screen! :sunglasses:


Apparently it was little more than an idea and Abbot became too busy working on his own show, the brilliant Shameless, to pursue it very far at all.


I don’t care, I am glomming on to it :wink:


Interesting. I always thought Rose was the perfect companion for the 9th Doctor. After the Time War, he was down, and the special thing that Rose brought to the mix was her unbelievable energy and joy of life.
(For the same reason, I think her relationship with the 10th Doctor was not good for neither of them: amplifying each other’s energy in a potentially destructive way.)


I was thinking back to when I first watched this series and how exciting it was to have new Doctor Who on the TV and everyone was talking about it. It was such a strange time coming after the Wilderness Years when if you were lucky people just looked at you a bit odd for liking Doctor Who, but more often than not mocked you.

But for all I adored having proper Doctor Who back on the telly, I had reservations. Rose, the episode, seemed to go out of its way to avoid actually showing anyone getting hurt - the Auton attack constantly cuts away from the impact of people being shot by them. Part of me was worried that, for some reason, the show was going to shy away from showing the ‘violence’ as it were. I couldn’t help but think of all those bus stop people being mown down by the Autons in Spearhead and wondering if the modern world was going to limit Doctor Who.

The next episode they exploded Cassandra so I was a little less worried but then my niggle turned to the Doctor himself and how he seemingly kept getting other people to solve the plot for him - Gwyneth, Cathica, Nancy, Pete and I just wanted him to be more proactive.

Now, I haven’t rewatched the whole series, not even for TV Club! - but I wonder if I’d feel the same. I certainly enjoyed The Unquiet Dead and The Empty Child a whole lot more on rewatches so I wonder how I would feel about less-loved episodes like The Long Game or Aliens of London.


Oh I like Rose with the 9th Doctor. I just found the insistence that Rose was somehow more special than any other random person baffling.


A fantastic series and the perfect way to revive the series. It was also a great way of introducing new viewers to some of the concepts of the show without alienating them.

I love Rose. I think that she is the perfect companion. She comes from a boring life witch makes it reasonable that she drops everything for the Doctor.
Mickey is just a bad boyfriend and I don’t like that he ends up with Martha (the only bad decision of the S04 specials).
Captain Jack is fantastic.

I think that he was the perfect Doctor for the revival. He is more grounded than some of the other doctors but that is a perfect way to ease new viewers into the Whoniverse. I sometimes think that it was a blessing in disguise that he left after one season both to show what regeneration was and to show that the show is always moving forward.

I think that this could be an interesting concept but not for the first season for a new audients. Fells more like something that 12 would do.

That sounds like a boring story. Glad it did not happen.




I think this is my first time I hear about this. I don’t think the me that first got in to NuWho in high school would like it but now… I’d LOVE to have that! Yet I don’t feel it would suit 9th’s personality established throughout the season tho. Sounds more like what 7th (in VNA) or 11th would do?


That might have been a bit of bait only for you. With that said I do not see any problem with that creature.


I quite like them. Although they’re pretty much another old humanoid species we keep getting cuz of budget reasons, the fact that they don’t show up and just speaks English is fantastic. :smiley:


Perhaps I am in the minority, but I despise the idea of Rose having been ~specially designed~ for the Doctor, I think that’s horrible. I like it when the companions are just people who become extraordinary through their actions - which is what Rose does in BW/TPotW and I think that is wonderful.

I adore series 1, I used to watch it over and over as a child. Something about Nine’s hard edges and Rose’s eagerness to do good in the universe really works for me, and the series continues to absolutely enchant me. The high points of this series are really high, and the duds are still pretty good too.

The only thing I think I don’t like is the way this series became the RTD template - every RTD series after this followed exactly the same pattern, for better or for worse: one episode to the future, one to the past, a seeded mystery and a bombastic payoff. And sometimes that formula works, such as here and in s4, but as we have argued to death over RTD2, maybe falling back on that formula for s1/14/40 was not necessarily the best idea.


When I first watched Series 1, on release, I enjoyed it a lot. Then, when I got into Elevens run I found it rather ‘childish’ and ‘low budget’, It was recent enough for me to see the flaws, and just the flaws. I rewatched it during lockdown 2020 for the first time in years and really enjoyed it. Now there has been enough time to pass that the ‘jank’ stuff has a charm to it.

The highs are really high, Empty/Dances, but the lows are rather low, AOL/WW3. There is a variety of stories, and styles, to keep it engaging over 13 episodes. The small stories work, and so do the big ones.

Nine quickly cements himself as the Doctor. At no point did he not feel like he belonged in the pantheon of Doctors. I may have my issues with Eccleston off-screen, but he plays the role perfectly. He knew what his assignment was and he delivered.

Rose is actually enjoyable in this Series. She feels like a real person who is off on this wild adventure. Sure, she can be a bit dense, but she does have a grip on her. Piper plays her well, and her accent never falters.

Overall, I think this is my favourite series of the RTD1 run.


Don’t forget, there’s also a Cross-Media Discussions thread on the Ninth Doctor Era across all mediums here: The Ninth Doctor era.


It was the best of times. After what felt like a lifetime, Doctor Who had come back and it was brilliant! It felt vibrant and new.

I liked that it wasn’t too forced. It was like a little easter egg for us to spot until the main characters mentioned it in Boom Town. It was nice as a simple series arc and worked much better than the more forced Torchwood of Series 2 or Moffat’s more involved arcs. I loved seeing Bad Wolf flags being waved at Glastonbury before the arc was resolved on TV. The resolution was less exciting than the build up, but that’s so often the case with anticipation.

Rose was well cast and a good, rounded character. Mickey improved as the series went by. I found the Doctor’s disrespecting him quite uncomfortable and unearned. The Rickey stuff was childish and toxic, which suggested they were fighting for Rose’s affections and led into the full on Doctor Rose romance of series 2, which I really wasn’t a fan of. Also making Rose out to be “the best of the best” was a poor decision. I think Captain Jack was at his best in series 1. He became a bit of a parody of himself from there onwards.

I wish we’d had more of him. I think some of his performance was misjudged, especially the more comedic elements, which didn’t always land, but the depth of Eccleston’s performance was astounding and I think there was a lot of room for more development. I wish I knew a bit more about the full nature of the disagreement that led him to leave. We’ve all heard the professionally limited comments that he’s made and tried to fill in the gaps, but I think Chris is an honorable man who wasn’t well treated, and I would like to know more. I enjoyed what came afterwards, but I would have loved a lot more Eccleston beforehand!

I think the Daleks were well represented in this series, especially in Dalek.

Very. I doubt that anyone else would have been able to do a better job.

Leant away from the Doctor and Rose being a romance. Not hired Boak, who I gather was a nightmare in Block 1, and responsible for some of the worst tonal parts of Aliens of London and WW3. Made the Doctor and Mickey more accepting of one another or found a different reason for their distrust than competing over Rose. Cut out the “Rose is so special” speech at the end of The Long Game. Basically just a few tweaks that are probably only from the benefit of hindsight. Of course, if I really was starting from scratch I’d probably do it completely differently and would have made a complete hash of it!

First I’ve heard of this, but it sounds intriguing.


I was just so glad that Doctor Who was back and that people seemed to like it, that series 1 will always occupy a very warm place in my heart. It’s not without fault, but it stands out against much of TV drama of the time.


No I do not.


Final Ranking
The most consistently good run New Who has had

Nine is one of the best Doctors, and Rose and Jack are at their best here.

Most of Russell’s changes would have happened anyway if the show hadn’t been canceled, and the Doctor Who fandom would likely be smaller and less international, with a more British audience.

Russell succeeded in the one goal of “making Doctor Who popular again.”
The only regret is that RTD should have made sure not horrible shit happened so we don’t get stories like Clarke’s behavior and Chris’s estrangement


Still a great season of Doctor Who overall and a really good showcase of Eccleston, enough for him to cement himself as a proper incarnation of the Doctor.

Rose was great for the time and a pretty solid companion. She really fits that every man role.

Mickey doesn’t hold up well, and I think my image of him has been tainted learning what his actor was like behind the scenes. I didn’t like him much before, now he is just an actively unwanted presence. Not a fan.

Jack is great. A really cool first openly gay role for the show and a bit ahead of its time.

Still the best example of a plot being seeded throughout the season and paid off in the end for the show’s future. It feels like even RTD hasn’t been able to recreate that magic.

Great. He’s an interesting choice and I remember thinking he kind of didn’t fit the role of the Doctor as I had known from his reputation in the original show. But he plays off the post-Time War stuff well and was the perfect choice for the tone the new series was going for.

I’ll say the crashed alien ambulance and the havok it wrecks on wartime London. I very creative monster that isn’t even remotely villainous.

The revived series is starting to become impressive in how long it is. I’d say that success is self-evident.

I only wish everyone walked away from the production of that season happy and proud of their work. Whatever abusive behaviour that burned Eccleston out from the series for well over a decade is the only think I feel really stains this series. If that means flushing away Mickey’s character or radically changing elements of the show, so be it.

Uh, no. That would be interesting for another Doctor but wouldn’t jive well with Father’s Day or even the relationship between Nine and Rose as established by the rest of the season. How would he walk that back>

That sounds a lot like The Devil’s Chord and that we now have a better version of that episode anyways.


It’s an utter delight. Easily the tightest series of the revival, all the throughlines and character development is perfectly crafted and the episodes flow so well into each other, there isn’t really another season with so many interconnected little through lines.

I like it - it’s classic and it’s subtle enough to make the reveal in Boom Town mind-blowing. The explanation is quite weak, I think everyone would agree but it’s a good idea that RTD would do another three times.

Rose isn’t the most interesting companion, but she’s likeable and relatable and great as the first companion, really sets the stage for later characters. Mickey is nobody’s favourite character, though I like what they did with him in Boom Town. Jack is Jack, obviously I like Jack, I wish the Nine, Rose and Jack team had more episodes.

He’s my favourite revival Doctor, easily. Eccleston has this incredible, subtle performance on the teetering on fun, alien adventurer and traumatised war veteran. Has my favourite character arc of any Doctor and feels like the most well written as a character out of the all the Doctors.

It’s the Empty Child. Creepy as all hell and some great imagery. Daleks were good in this season though (prepare for that never to be the case again).

It’s been going for fourteen series, so yeah he did pretty good.

More Nine, Rose and Jack, their chemistry was incredible.

That would’ve been incredibly creepy. Sounds like something from Rose’s dream in The Cruel Sea, where Nine kidnaps her child.

Sounds like a Mark Gatiss script, I’m completely indifferent to it.

Overall, great season, here’s how I’d rank the episodes worst to best:

  • The Long Game - 4/10
  • The End of the World - 6/10
  • Boom Town - 6/10
  • Bad Wolf - 7/10
  • The Unquiet Dead - 7/10
  • Rose - 7/10
  • Aliens of London - 7/10
  • World War Three - 8/10
  • Dalek - 9/10
  • The Parting of the Ways - 10/10
  • Father’s Day - 10/10
  • The Empty Child - 10/10
  • The Doctor Dances - 10/10

Overall Score - 7.8/10