Let's get this kicked off with series one of the revived series, which I have nothing but the deepest appreciation for. It managed to bring back Doctor Who in an inventive and interesting way for newer generations whilst still appealing to older ones. The BBC made a great move in casting Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. He brought a certain tragedy and regret to the character that past incarnations rarely touched upon. When talking about his past, you could really see the pain, fire, and sadness in this Doctor's eyes that made really him a multi-dimensional character. But what I love this Doctor more for was his ability to be extremely fun to watch and listen to. There's passion in Eccleston's lines which really helps to develop this Doctor's traits. He just felt so natural. His chemistry with certain characters is unbelievably convincing and weirdly charming. His balance between seriousness and comedy was spot on, something I feel a certain later Doctor suffered very heavily from (We'll get to him when we get to him.). Rose was a great addition to the show too. Her love and friendship towards the Doctor was heart-warming, whilst she was a likeable and relatable character in her own right. Though both characters were quite different from one another, their willingness to help one another in dire situations felt very understandable and wonderful to watch.
Now then, let's get to the episodes! I won't go into too much detail on individual episodes but I'll pick a few stand-out ones. Overall, the episodes in this series were very powerful and set the foundations for modern Doctor Who episodes. The special effects and CGI are somewhat dated (evident in a almost laughable scene where a Slitheen is blown up by vinegar) but this doesn't hinder the creativity of the monsters introduced (e.g. the Reapers, the Empty Child), as well as the return of some older enemies. The episode 'Dalek' is a truly wonderful experience for me as it introduces the Dalek concept in a whole new light whilst still retaining that sinister quality the Daleks have always had. The episode made me FEEL for a Dalek, a being that was designed not to feel emotion. And it was executed magnificently. Not too over-the-top or outlandish, just right. Another episode that stood out for me was 'Father's Day', which introduced the emotional element that I adore Doctor Who for to this day. The scenes between Rose and her father are absolutely magical, whilst Murray Gold's flawless score adds another level to the scenes in every aspect. I won't give too much away if you haven't seen it but it's a funny, suspenseful, and utterly heart-breaking episode that I believe doesn't get enough attention, even if its plot is slightly predictable. The final powerhouse episodes I will talk about to sum up this series are the two-parter episodes 'The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances'. Nu-Who has reinvented the fear factor for television programs and this is where it all started, with a small child wearing a gas-mask innocently asking, "Are you my mummy?" This episode excels with a mix of terrifying moments and genuinely heart-warming moments. One of my favourite moments has the Doctor, Rose, and alien Capt. Jack Harkness in a room listening to a tape of the child's eerie quotes. As they discuss the situation, all three of them are overcome with a sense of dread as they realize the tape ran out a short time after they started talking, but the little boy's voice is still heard. They turn to see that iconic gas-mask wearing child right behind them, and suffice to say, things really get going from there. It is a terrifying, heart-pounding moment that truly embodies what series one did for Doctor Who.
Series One of Doctor Who was a triumphant effort by the immensely talented Russell T. Davies and it paid off beautifully. It's a massive shame that Eccleston only did this one series, as I would have loved to have seen him facing off more monsters, making new friends, and entering deeper emotional depths in another series. But for what he did, he was a classic and memorable Doctor who shall be remembered as "fantastic!" for years to come. Overall, Series One was a near-flawless series that will always play an important part in Doctor Who history.
Be sure to keep an eye out for my Series Two review sometime in the future, where we see what David Tennant's Doctor did for modern Who.