The New Doctor Who


  • It’s better than the awful Paul McGann 1996 TV movie. It’s better than “Time and the Rani.”
  • Christopher Eccleston is a very good choice as the Doctor. We’ve never quite seen a version of the Doctor this spastic, let alone one with such an unusual gait. I’ll be interested to see where this incarnation, who is far more interesting than McGann, develops.
  • Thank goodness they acknowledged the awkward romance angle that was introduced in the TV movie. There’s a funny scene where Rose’s mom is trying to seduce the Doctor and he isn’t interested at all. This is the kind of juxtaposition I see working in the series’ favor.
  • It completely makes sense that there would be people on the Web keeping track of this strange guy, the Doctor, popping up at various moments in human history. Also, Doctor Who premiered the day after Kennedy was assassinated. The Doctor’s tie-in with JFK is a nice inside joke.
  • Rose, the new companion, isn’t bad. She’s not a screamer. She fits in as the constant questioner. She’ll certainly appeal to kids. I’m not crazy about her character, but it’s still early.
  • Finally, people who suffer total disorientation on the whole “bigger on the inside than it is on the outside” question.
  • The Doctor’s concern for humanity’s potential is as strong as ever.
  • The old sound effects are preserved!


  • The Doctor wearing a leather jacket, jersey pullover, and black pants? That’s the kind of thing I’d expect out of a CSI investigator, not Doctor Who. Where’s the eccentric attire? The question mark collars?
  • The intellectual aspects of the Doctor have almost completely vanished. Part of the charm of the previous incarnations was that the Doctor would toss a reference to meeting Sir Francis Bacon or Picasso out of the blue. Writer-producer Russell T. Davies has gone for a more goofy direction, but his goofiness isn’t offset by a passion for knowledge and personal development.
  • In fact, the Doctor’s solutions are more physical than creative. We first see him running away from an Auton. Would the Doctor really put an Auton into a headlock? Come on.
  • It’s good to see the sonic screwdriver back, but what happened to “reversing the polarity of the neutron flow?”
  • The new Doctor Who logo sucks.
  • There seems an almost complete lack of mystery to this first episode. Where’s the sense of wonder? The weird details that come together to reveal an alien conspiracy?
  • The new TARDIS console room is going to take some getting used to. The blue rotor looks nice, but the pillars surrounding it look like cheap foam core. The design is busier than it needs to be.
  • The TARDIS is no longer temperamental with its navigation? That’s no fun.
  • I miss the cliffhangers.

Even so, this isn’t that bad of a start.

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  1. No question marks in the costume? ROCK! Honestly, they were fucking silly.

    Would the Doctor really put an Auton into a headlock?

    Would the Doctor shoot a Cyberman? You’d think not, but he did it in Earthshock. And Hartnell’s Doctor would’ve brained a caveman to death with a rock in An Unearthly Child if he hadn’t been prevented.

    The TARDIS is no longer temperamental with its navigation?

    It stopped being temperamental during the Pertwee era. Once Pertwee was freed from Earth, he seemed to gain a control over the machine that Hartnell and Troughton never had.

  2. The amount of control the Doctor had over the TARDIS seemed to be a function of plot convenience. Take, “Planet of Evil” for example — the story starts with him overshooting London by thousands of light-years, and ends with him landing three feet away from a ten-foot wide pit.

  3. My undergraduate advisor was fond of busting out with the occasional “Oh, Doctor! You’re not dead, are you, Doctor?”

    And now you can say you know of not one, but two women who ever watched Doctor Who.

  4. That new logo does suck… large. What were they thinking? Futura condensed? It seems like the BBC is married to that lame font, basically the helvetica of the 90’s – over-used and boring. The orignal logo is so much better, and even the last eighties version (which was a little too neon and pretty rubbish) was better. AND to add insult to injury they didn’t do it inhouse. Freakin’ weak.

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