Comic Reviews and Opinions For The Rest Of Us...

Late to The Party: "Doctor Who" (2005) Season 1

In On Film on February 22, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Christopher Eccleson and Billie Piper star as The Doctor and Rose Tyler on the new "Doctor Who"...

Back in 1996, there was a telemovie on FOX called “Doctor Who”.  It was pointed out to me by my father, who’s always had a passing interest in 60s Sci-Fi, and I decided I should give this one a go.  The movie featured Paul McGann as the titular Doctor, newly regenerated and suffering from amnesia.  Since then, I’ve always been moderatly aware of the character, but never really got the oppurtunity to look into it more.

Back in 2005, BBC began a new “Doctor Who” series, with Christopher Eccleston (“eXsitenZ”, “28 Days Later…”) as The Doctor, and British pop singer Billie Piper (“Secret Diary Of A Call Girl”) as his latest companion, Rose.  Since I didn’t have cable, I wasn’t able to see this.  So, now here we are in 2009, and a friend from work begans going on about the series after I pointed out I recognized her computers background was the TARDIS from the series.  After her glowing compliments of the series, I decided it was time for me to find my own TARDIS and go check out the series.

Unfortunately, I had to settle for reruns. 

“Doctor Who” does what any series reboot should do.  It retains the original quirks and beauty of its classic incarnation, which ran for 26 seasons on the BBC from 1963 to 1989.  Every season of the episode, including the telemovie (that was admittedly much cooler when I was 14) happened.  The new series picks up with The Doctor in his ninth incarnation.  He is the last of his race, all the others killed in a final battle known as the Time War, and continues to explore space and time in his ship, the TARDIS.  During an short trip to modern day England, he picks up Rose Tyler, and begins a new series of adventures with her by his side.

Eccleston as the Doctor is simply brilliant.  There’s a goofy, nerdy sense about the character, but he can just as easily turn around and become an intimidating force.  It also continues to showcase the Doctor’s demeanor as an intelligent man who despises violence and death, but is not against taking  a life for the greater good, no matter how begrudingly it is.  And Piper’s Rose brings a sense of worldliness and humanity to the otherwise God-like Doctor.

Visually, its evident a lot of work and love went into this series.  The periods featured are beautifully replicated, and the effects marvelous.  The writers have also created a labor of love, telling new stories while not being afraid to revisit and reference the original series.  And the first season finale fulfills such a promise with aptitude and wonderous amazement, practically begging the viewers to come back for more.

“Doctor Who” is currently running with David Tennant as The Doctor, and a new Doctor slated to start very soon.  But don’t turn away this, the newest incarnation of this popular British Sci-Fi series.  “Doctor Who” is an enjoyable romp along full of action, adventure, and a good bit of comedy.  If you like your heroes smart and playful, don’t forget to give this one a try.

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