With the screening of "The Parting of the Ways on Thursday night, Prime TV concluded its showing of the first season of the new "Doctor Who". By now I've seen most of the series twice I've come to a few conclusions about it.
The biggest disappointment is that, barring special occsaions, this is the last we we will see of the Christopher Eccleston Doctor. The numerous classic lines - "If you're an alien, why do you sound like you're from the North?" "Lots of planets have a North!" - may have been the scriptwriters' fault, but the manic energy in his performance was all his.
The second biggest disappointment was the lack of any adventures on alien planets. Sure, there were a lot of aliens (the Slitheen in particular made quite an impression) but they were all trying to invade Earth at some time or other. And the most interesting aliens of the lot - the Chula - never actually showed up. The only times the action went off Earth for any length of time it was either on Satellite 5 or else a Dalek saucer somewhere near Earth.
Speaking of Satellite 5 - Anne Droid vs. the Daleks was fun to watch. "EX-TER-MI-NATE, EX-TER-MI-NATE, EX-TER..." "Youaretheweakestlink." Boom. "Youaretheweakestlink." Boom. "Youaretheweakestlink." Boom...
Possibly the biggest surprise is that Billie Piper did a very good job of playing Rose Tyler. Casting a pop star as one of the Doctor's companions didn't work in the `eighties (sorry abates) but it's worked very well this time around. And she actually has a family that get shown. Her mother in particular is a laugh just about every time she shows up on screen, and even some times she doesn't... and the sniping hetween her and the Doctor is priceless. "My mother's cooking." "Good. Put her on a low heat and let her simmer."
The TARDIS door is a bit more open than usual this time around. Apart from Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness, they've also on occasion picked up Rose's boyfriend and did some time travel with a bloke they rescued from a bunch of Daleks near Salt Lake City.
The biggest innovation would have to be how most of the stories have minor connections to each other. Not a big overarching plot like "The Key to Time", but just little touches that show that all these stories take place in the same universe with fairly much the same people. Not just all the "Bad Wolf" references, but also quick references such as the Face of Boe being an answer to one of the quiz questions in the penultimate episode.
I've heard some interesting rumours about the new series as well (mainly thanks to booster17) - a fairly much confirmed-by-the-Beeb one that John Leeson as K-9 and Liz Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith will be making a reappearance, and a stitched-together-from-rumours one that Anthony Head from "Buffy" will be the new Master... and that the word running through the next series like "Bad Wolf" ran through this one (and which was actually used in the episode "Bad Wolf") would be "Torchwood". Which just happens to be an anagram for "Doctor Who", and anagrams are the sort of head games the Master likes to play (for example, Tremas of Traken's parents doomed him at birth by giving him a name that was an anagram of "Master"...)
And the new Dalek Emperor wears shoulder pads. Pass it around.
Oh, and if anyone reading this is a fan of zombies? Hunt down "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances". Fun and quite spooky.