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Review of Rose (9th Doctor)

Posted by: Whochick

Review of Rose (9th Doctor)
Rose - Episode 1.1

Here is my review of the first episode of the new Doctor Who. I had been waiting years for “Rose.” As soon as I heard rumors of the rebirth of this show I began scouring the internet for any hint of news. I was not disappointed by the results. It was worth the wait.

Episode: Rose
Rating (1 to 5): 4
Baddie: The Autons/The Nestene Consciousness
Rose is Trapped: in the shop’s basement and in the Nestene lair.
The Doctor is Trapped: in the Nestene lair.
The Doctor Enjoys: the way that Rose thinks & the word “fantastic.”
The Doctor Dislikes: when things get “domestic.”
Doctor-y Strangeness: He blows up Rose’s job and his speech about the turn of the Earth.
Scary Stuff: Mannequins coming to life and attacking the populace.
Does someone local help out? Yes. That would be Rose.
What we learn: The Doctor can feel the turn of the Earth. He fought in a war.
The Doctor’s Death Wish: He seems to not care if he dies in the shop explosion.
The Doctor Apologizes To: Sort of to the Nestene Consciousness.
My Favorite Bits: The “turn of the Earth” speech. The Doctor’s theme. “Lots of planets have a North.” Rose saving The Doctor.

Observations and musings:

When I first watched “Rose” I was struck both by how The Doctor has changed, and how he remained the same. I was certain that something had happened to him. I reached the part in the Nestene’s lair and the light went on. The Doctor had been in a war. My mother and I have always theorized that the first Doctor had fled with his granddaughter from some sort of civil war. If our theory is ever confirmed, it will only strengthen for me how similar the attitude is between the first and ninth Doctor. They are both cranky and unwilling to pretend to be human. The ninth Doctor also seems to have the fourth Doctor’s grin. It was nice to be able to recognize The Doctor, even in his new form, for all that he has changed. Who knows how long he has been in this form? It can’t have been too long judging by his personal evaluation in Rose’s front room mirror. I have a theory…but maybe that should wait for an episode later in the season. Another thing I noticed about The Doctor in this episode was how his moods seem to fluctuate a great deal, and you don’t want him to get quiet. He’s a bit scary when he’s quiet. I suppose that follows along with what he has been through. So now he’s striding about the universe in a tough leather jacket trying to keep people at arm’s length.

As this is the first episode of the new series, it is designed to bring new viewers up to speed with the Doctor Who universe and its mythos. “Rose” managed to do all this and more. It has elements of the old show: The Doctor himself, the TARDIS, the sonic screwdriver (which has actually been missing for a while), and an enemy to fight. The Autons and the Nestene Consciousness first appeared in the third Doctor’s first episode: Spearhead From Space. How better, then, to reintroduce the Doctor than with an old foe? Another nod to the origins of the show appears when Clive is showing Rose the photograph of the Kennedy assassination. President Kennedy was assassinated the day before the first episode of Doctor Who was to air. The resulting media storm actually delayed the first episode by ten minutes. The BBC actually repeated the first part of An Unearthly Child a week later just to give viewers another chance to see it.

You know, Clive really should have paid better attention. Rose should have, too. The Doctor told her not to tell anyone or she’d get them killed. Clive told Rose that The Doctor had “Death” as a constant companion. And yet there Clive was in the shopping mall so surprised that all the stories were true. Okay, he wasn’t the only one who died, but he was the only one there who recognized what was going on. I just wanted to point that bit out. Also, you have to wonder how Clive ever found out about The Doctor in the first place.

Did anyone else notice the rose patterned stained glass window to the right of Clive’s front door? When Rose was at the door, it was right above her head. And another random observation: The Doctor seems to like the way that Rose thinks. She just sort of takes on-board all of these unbelievable things, like thought-control and the larger on the inside TARDIS. This is only a whisper of what is to come.

Well, I could analyze the entire season at this point, but I should leave something to talk about next time. Ta!

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About the Author

Whochick is a huge Doctor Who fan. She loves the show so much that she not only co-authors a blog on the topic, but also a podcast that you should listen to. Whochick resides in California with her husband (the Shadow Architect), and occasionally refers to herself in the third person.

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