The beginning of Doctor Who, where to begin.
I can’t remember the reason I started watching the show, but I do remember my first time watching it. We were already into series 4 (this is a British show, so series, not seasons), and David Tennant was on his way out. I don’t think Matt Smith had yet been announced, but it was probably soon. I made the decision however, to do it right and start at series 1, episode 1 – Rose. It was an interesting start but was able to keep me going until Rose comes out of the Doctor conspirist’s home and plastic Mickey utters the line, “P, p, p, pizza!” Admittedly a rough start. Even Russell T. Davies, the writer of this episode apologized for it.
The first episode needs to be strong. It needs to grab our attention so well that we can’t wait for next week to see what happens next. Sadly, this didn’t do it for me, but since I happened to be watching this on Netflix, I didn’t have to wait and was able to give the next episode a shot.
Had I needed to wait an entire week to watch The End of the World, I’m not sure I would have remembered after a weeks time.
This happened for me with the show Scorpion. I did like the show. In fact I made it through a number of episodes, but never became a “must watch” show that I’d be sure to watch if I was home.
You know what? I’m not sure I’ve ever been that type of person. I have plenty of shows I like, but never one I needed to be home to watch. Maybe when I was younger and I got to catch TGIF on ABC, but as an adult, not so much.
Example: I love The Big Bang Theory, but I don’t think I’ve seen more than 2 episodes from the last season after Penny got her hair chopped. Same for NCIS. I watch it on USA and now Netflix but never needed to be home to watch new episodes. I think the closest I came to making sure I watched it when it aired, was Top Gear until we got rid of our package with BBC America.
The fact remains, the very first episode was, in my opinion, weak. With a show like Doctor Who you have first episodes every few series when a new Doctor is introduced. David Tennant’s first episode, “Christmas Invasion” was a great one and will always be a favorite of mine. Matt Smith’s aptly named “The Eleventh Hour” was also a good one, especially with the new “I am the Doctor” theme introduced towards the end. Peter Capaldi’s first episode “Deep Breath”, well I’m not so sure on this one. I’ve watched the entire 8th series and I am still not a fan of this Doctor, but that’s another post.
My point is that the first episode of any series sets the tone and in the case of Doctor Who, I am glad this was an exception. Admittedly, the first couple episodes were a bit campy, but quickly improved, and, as I sit at my desk next to my T.A.R.D.I.S., Dalek and two sonic screwdrivers, I can, with confidence say it is one of my favorite shows and cannot wait for series 9!