After having read and heard about it for a long time, I started watching Doctor Who a month back. I’m generally not that interested in science fiction when it comes to TV and I don’t watch Star Trek or Stargate etc. I do watch science fiction movies, so I’m not at all opposed to the genre, I just don’t get invested in alien storylines as much as in human ones. However, like with shows like Fringe, Doctor Who blends the supernatural and alien with the human and normal really well, and I enjoy watching them fly around through time and space in the TARDIS despite the fact that I don’t always get that much enjoyment out of robots and aliens.
I was immediately captivated by the humoristic side of this show, and throughout the two series I have watched so far, that is what I’ve enjoyed the most. I won’t have that much to say I think, but I will split it into two, because I see series 1 & 2 very differently because of the change in actors from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant.
In series 1 I immediately enjoyed both the Doctor and Rose Tyler, but I wasn’t very interested in the main plots of the episodes. I watched and enjoyed them, but never got invested in the episodic adventures. I was more captured by the interplay between the Doctor and his companion at the time, and stuff like the continued repetition of Bad Wolf mostly went straight over my head. However, the closer it got to the end of the series, the more interesting I found the episodes, often because I felt the stakes got higher as it went along. The finale was really good, and I was really impressed with how they wrapped it up. For the most part I didn’t love it until the end.
I was fond of Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, and thought he worked well with Billie Piper. I was aware that he wouldn’t be part of more than the first series, but I was still a little sad to see him change in the last episode.
When I started series 2 (about five minutes after finishing series 1, let’s be honest), my disappointment that they replaced Christopher Eccleston was gone as soon as I had watched five minutes of David Tennant. I don’t necessarily think he does a better job, but he manages to capture the Doctor’s established personality perfectly and also brings to the role a lot more humour and layers than I found in Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal. I was also very surprised to feel this way, because I was not at all a fan of David Tennant (and his distracting tongue movements) in Harry Potter, so this was a pleasant surprise.
His interaction with Billie Piper was also something that played a lot into this series. I thought they had great chemistry as actors, and it reflected well upon the Doctor and Rose’s relationship throughout series 2.
More than anything I thought this series was a lot funnier. All the way from the body swap in the first episode to the Ghostbusters reference towards the end there were a lot of funny moments. The overarching story also made more sense to me in this series, and I was aware of almost all the Torchwood mentions throughout the 13 episodes. By the end of the series I was really sad to see Rose and the Doctor part ways, even though I know she comes back at some point. The scene at the beach was really sad, and I am glad that David Tennant was the one to do that, because I’m not sure I would have felt the same emotional connection to Christopher Eccleston.