50 Years of Doctor Who: The Christopher Eccleston Season (2005)

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Note: There was no regeneration from Eighth Doctor to Ninth, so I linked his first scene instead.
Oh, I did it again; I picked another stupid ape! I should’ve known. It’s not about showing you the universe, it never is. It’s about the universe doing something for you!
Now I can talk the revived, modern version of Doctor Who, right?  Yes, but first there’s a few more “wilderness years” to cover. So I’ll adopt a timeline format.

  • 1999–BBC airs the Comedy Relief charity special “Curse of the Fatal Death”, featuring Rowan Atkinson (of Mr. Bean fame), Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and Joanna Lumley, as the Doctor.  This is a spoof, so it’s not considered canon.  I highly recommend watching this. It’s on Youtube, so go check it out. You will laugh, guaranteed.
  • 2001–“Death Comes to Time”, an audio drama featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace airs on BBCi, the Internet version of the BBC.
  • 2002–“Real Time”, an audio drama featuring the Sixth Doctor and Big Finish exclusive companion Evelyn Smythe airs on BBCi
  • 2003–an animated version of “Shada” airs on BBCi, this time featuring the Eighth Doctor and the second Romana. Also on November 13, the BBCi aired the 40th anniversary special “Scream of the Shalka”, featuring Richard E. Grant as the unofficial “ninth Doctor (for this reason, he is often called the “Shalka Doctor”) and Derek Jacobi as The Master, a role he would later reprise in the episode “Utopia”.

In 2004, Russel T. Davies began work on the return of Doctor Who, coming off the success of his controversial program Queer As Folk. He brought on Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell, and Rob Shearman as writers, all of whom had written either Doctor Who novels and/or audio plays for Big Finish.  He also brought on Stephen Moffatt, writer of “Curse of the Fatal Death”.  The first episodes aired the next year.

About Christopher Eccleston

Christopher is the youngest of three sons and was born in Lancashire, England.  At the age of 19, he was inspired to become an actor.  His first role was in Let Him Have It. His first TV roles were in Inspector Morse, Cracker, and Poirot. Also, prior to Doctor Who, he starred in Gone in 60 Seconds and 28 Days Later.

When Eccleston starred on Doctor Who, he became the first actor playing the role who was born after the series began.  According to Davies, Eccleston’s contract only lasted for one season because it was uncertain if the revival would be successful. He played Destro in the first GIJoe movie, Rise of the Cobra. He will play Malekith in the upcoming Thor: The Dark World.

Changes

  • The show’s episodes were no longer serialized, although some stories do take more than one episode.  The show’s episodes now run for 45 minutes.
  • Murray Gold became the new composer. Although the new arrangement is fine, I don’t really care for the logo sequences on the new show. However, because I’ve been showing the changes in the logo, here you go:
  • Davies introduced the concept of the Time War to explain the Eighth Doctor’s off-screen regeneration. Very little of the Time War is known, but is understood that the Doctor is now the last of his kind.
  • First Christmas episode: “The Unquiet Dead”
  • First appearance of the Slitheen: “Aliens in London”

Conclusion

Eccleston’s tenure ranks the lowest for me, more for it being so short than anything else.  I enjoyed his moody portrayal, which seemed to be the result of PTSD. His relationship with Rose really helped her become one of my all-time favorite companions. It was a great foundation for the revival.

The Companions

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)

First Appearance: “Rose”

Last Appearance: “The End of Time” (w/10th)

I really don’t get all the Rose Tyler hate, she’s received in recent years.  I think she was a fine companion, giving the Doctor a reason to love again. She was kind, feisty, and had the sense of wonder I think was in all the best companions.  The show works best when the Doctor is in a mentor role, as he was with companions like Jo, Sarah Jane, and Ace.  Rose was a fine companion, despite her flaws.

Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke)

First Appearance: “Rose”

Last Appearance: “The Age of Steel” (with 10th)

Mickey was an excellent character, especially for comic relief.  I feel that his initial status as supporting character helped him to prove himself as an ally to the Doctor.  He was a great source of tension for the Doctor and I enjoyed his character a lot.

Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley)

First Appearance: “Dalek”

Last Appearance: “The Long Game”

Adam was a first for the show: the first bad companion.  “wait, what about Vislor Turlough?”, you say? Well, I don’t think he was that bad a companion. Yes, he was self-serving, but he was still loyal to the Doctor.  Adam left Rose to die with a Dalek in his first episode.  That she survived is irrelevant.  And he had the audacity to blame the Doctor when he caught him trying to send information from the future to his own time.  He deserves that hole in his head.

Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)

First Appearance: “The Empty Child”

Last Appearance: “Journey’s End” (with 10th)

Harkness is another first: the first bisexual companion. You would think because I’m a Christian, I would have a problem with this character.  However, Harkness’s nobility is enough to make me overlook this.  His charming personality makes him a great character.

Best Stories

“Rose”– This is how you start a show.  Give the faithful continuity nods to  show that their loyalty is appreciated and give the newbies a foundation so that they don’t have to watch the Classic version (but they still totally should).

“The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances”–This is Colin Baker’s favorite Doctor Who story. He’s not wrong, folks.  You want to know why the Doctor is such a great hero? Watch these episodes. “Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once, everyone lives!”

“Father’s Day”–A great story about why the Doctor tries his best not to mess with time, even if it seems like an innocent mistake.

Worst Stories

“Aliens in London/World War Three”

I did like this story at first. But then Sarah Jane Adventures began using the Slitheen as recurring villains. It’s hard to be intimidating if a normal woman, some meddling kids, and a robot dog can defeat you as easily as that cast did every time.

 

 

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Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

1 thought on “50 Years of Doctor Who: The Christopher Eccleston Season (2005)”

  1. I don’t really think Adam Mitchell meant to leave Rose with that Dalek, he was just a faster runner. Blaming him for what happened then would be like blaming “Captain Jack Harkness” for letting go of his brother’s hand during the attack on Boeshane that cost him half his immediate family. Adam could not have made Rose, who was also running for her life, run any faster and what would have been the point of him slowing down to stay at her speed? He probably would have been killed or taken as another hostage by the Dalek and it wasn’t like he slowed her down in any way.
    Yes, he was foolish and selfish and greedy as well as being entirely unsuited to travel in time and space. That I agree with. If left unchecked, he would have changed history in a way that might not have been good, especially if no one explained the rules to him because he was brilliant, really, but perhaps he was more like his boss, or his boss had influenced him, more than anyone would expect of the insulting, selfish, jerk that Van Statten was.

    In the original concept for him, he was using the future knowledge to help someone in his family recover from some disease but I forgot who it was. That concept was taken out to make him less sympathetic. Still, the character was meant to be there to show the audience an example of what someone who shouldn’t be a companion, even if they wished they were and dreamed of what they could do to change things for the better or for themselves, was like, and that was important. Not everyone can do what Vislor Turlough did. Speaking of…

    Vislor Turlough is awesome and always will be. I wish I knew more about him and his past, especially since I plan to cosplay him in his Mawdryn Undead outfit on November 23rd. Yes, I have a skimmer/boater hat, it just needs a proper band and I’m pretty much set save for some minor details.

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