Photo Credit: CultureFly
Written by Megan Greene.
Many faces, a number of companions and several years later, Doctor Who has been there for a lot of people’s childhoods. I’m not talking about the original run of Doctor Who back in the 60s, I’m talking about the 2005 reboot with the gorgeous Christopher Eccleston as our beloved Time Lord.
Airing on March 26 2005, the first episode titled ‘Rose’ is our initial introduction to a rude, hot-headed but oddly charming Doctor. The majority of the Doctor Who fans I know tend to worship David Tennant, and while I do too, there’s just something so captivating about Eccleston’s ‘bad boy’ vibe.
In this pilot episode, written by Russel T Davies and directed by Keith Boak, it’s not just the new Time Lord that we meet, but also the ultimate ‘Londoner’, Rose. Played by Billie Piper, Rose is still (in my totally expert opinion) the best companion to ever come out of the Doctor Who reboot. With “no A-levels, no job, no future”, Rose is one of the most grounded and down-to-earth partners the Doctor has ever had.
“Run.” The first thing the Doctor says to Rose when they meet. Oh, what a beautiful beginning. I wish I could run away from plastic mannequins with Christopher Eccleston… Wishful thinking, I know. I’ll just live vicariously through Rose and her extensive cardio.
Seeing the wonderfully questionable early 2000s fashion makes the episode even more entertaining. Rose’s bedroom reminds more of Tracy Beaker than Doctor Who. Even the camera quality and bad CGI is painfully nostalgic. Despite all of the quirks that make ‘Rose’ a cringey episode, it’s still something that I will always come back to, to chase that rush of adrenaline I felt when I first saw it at the age of five.
I think what makes Doctor Who so brilliant, aside from the slap of nostalgia, is the stark contrast in emotions it can make you feel. ‘Rose’ is not necessarily the best example of an episode that does this – although it certainly jumps between comedy and action in the most dynamic way possible. However, the sixth episode of the Doctor Who reboot, ‘Dalek’ is a prime example of storytelling done right.
Taking the most iconic villain from the classic Doctor Who series and giving them a more modern twist was ingenious. A Dalek on its own made for an unsettling reunion with the Doctor but throw in a clash of morals with a sprinkling of humanity and suddenly ‘Dalek’ is arguably one of the best Doctor Who episodes of all time.
“It’s not the one pointing the gun at me” will forever be one of the most powerful lines in Doctor Who history. Said by Rose to the Doctor, that sentence solidified Rose as my favourite companion. Especially with a follow up statement of “it’s changing. What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changing into?”
For someone to stand up to the protagonist of the entire show like that is an insanely powerful move. I know when I was growing up, Rose instantly became a role model for me because she wasn’t afraid to voice her opinion, and as a five-year-old girl, that meant the absolute world to me.
Of course, Doctor Who has changed an awful lot over the last 16 years, but so has the world. If you had told me all those years ago that one day the Doctor would be played by a woman, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet, look where we are now with Jodie Whittaker playing the most recent incarnation.
No matter who the face of the Doctor currently is, Christopher Eccleston’s version will always have an incredibly special place in my heart. Right next to the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 2.