On the first day of class we had a brief discussion about our favorite doctor. The first response was a number. I was lost.
When we watched “An Unearthly Child,” for lack of a better term, I lost my Doctor Who virginity. I was let down by the first episode. In my opinion, the relationship between the Doctor and Susan lacked chemistry, the acting by the cast was subpar, and the Doctor’s mannerism was irritating. I wanted so badly to enjoy the first episode because of the reputation of the show, and its proven track record to engage the viewers, but I was unfortunately let down.
The first episode of New Who, titled “Rose,” changed my perspective. Whether it be the larger budget, obvious shift in era, a different Doctor, a more relatable companion, a plot that was easier to follow, my opinion on the show became markedly different after watching that episode. The acting is believable, the writers of the episode were much more careful with the script, Rose’s addition to the TARDIS crew wasn’t done in a ridiculous way, the villains were wacky, and the story just flowed much better.
An aspect of “Rose” that would have greatly improved “An Unearthly Child,” was how the Doctor was introduced. In “An Unearthly Child,” the Doctor is presented as egotistical and stubborn. These are characteristics of an undesirable main character and protagonist. In “Rose,” we are introduced to the Doctor in action. We see his heroics from the start and he behaves in a far more optimistic way than the first doctor. He is witty, funny, and charming. In “Rose,” we Doctor go head-to-head with villains. As viewers, action is was keeps us around at the start. The first episode back in 1963 was limited to mostly dialogue, which can only gauge new viewers for a short amount of time. Lastly, my feelings towards “Rose” were in high regard because of the way Rose is integrated into the Doctor’s crew. For a show that prides itself on intellect and romance, the way in which Ian and Barbara are added to the crew is lazy. Rose’s addition made sense and was something we appreciated.
After watching only six episodes of the legendary Doctor Who, I can confidently assert that my favorite doctor is the Ninth Doctor, and the first episode of New Who is reason enough.