Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E01 – Rose

In the first episode (of Doctor #9) of Doctor Who, a new group of people (myself included) are introduced to the bizarre world of the Doctor, an alien who battles…well, I’m not sure what. But he’s saving the world, guys! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Doctor Who.

I have to say, as someone who only knew that a TARDIS was a phone booth that traveled through time, this was a fine introduction to the world of Doctor Who.

Aside from that detail, like most things I decide to tackle, I seriously don’t know much at all. I know Matt Smith wears a cute as hell bowtie and David Tennant did that weird tongue thing during Goblet of Fire. There are things called Daleks and Autons and I don’t know what they are or what they do. And Matt Smith’s companion is like the cutest being in all of existence.

That’s it. That’s all I know.

I wanted to do Doctor Who because I admired the challenge it would be to watch a show that’s been on since before I was born and I also wanted to do something that wasn’t centric to America. And…well, let’s be honest. I have seen about half of this show already through the sheer virtue of the GIFs you guys used during Mark Reads Harry Potter. I needed to see what all the fuss was about!

So, a bit more about how this is going to go down. I realize that this is the newest incarnation of the series and, despite being an introduction to the show at large, is still smack dab in the middle of everything. I’m sure for those of you following the older parts of the series, nearly everything that is confusing to me is perfectly logical for you. This was brought to my attention by quite a few of you, so for Doctor Who, we will have a slightly modified spoiler guide this time around. Please see the Official Spoiler Guide first, and here’s what we’re going to change:

  • Anything from a future episode is considered a spoiler. ANYTHING. Don’t do it.
  • However, in order to explain certain aspects of the current series, it’s going to be inevitable that you will need to reference past episodes so that I don’t do something stupid and hate a plot twist or character development out of ignorance.
  • If you feel compelled to explain something to me (and most times I will outright ask you to), please give me the most minimal information possible. I am going to watch older episodes/arcs each week and I don’t want them outright spoiled. But if I say, for example, “What is a TARDIS? I don’t get it,” you can provide what the acronym stands for and what it does. I don’t want you to like…provide the plot summary of the episode that deals with the origin of the TARDIS.

Make sense? Additionally, later today, I’ll put up the post with instructions on how we will nominate and vote for “old” episodes to be watched! Weeeeee!

I think I’ll stick with the labeling convention at the top, as long as it’s understood that “Season One” implies this is the first season of the “new” series. Or would it be better if I labeled it by Doctor? CONFUSED.

I sense that all Doctors have a companion and the companion is female. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I enjoyed that the episode opened with her point of view instead of introducing us to the Doctor outright. Rose is portrayed as ordinary as possible, a working class woman who enjoys shopping, lives with a well-meaning, if decidedly awkward mother, and is employed at a local department store. It doesn’t take long for things to take a much darker turn as one of my worst fears is realized on screen: the mannequins in the back room come alive and begin to surround her.

NO. NO THANK YOU. FOREVER. I already find mannequins to be unsettling and have since I was a child; I always appreciate it when a store uses the ones without creepy heads and faces, but here, they’re the full-bodied ones, complete with blank faces. (Can I also say that those costumes look horrifically uncomfortable to wear? How did the actors playing them see out of them?)

It’s at this point that the Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleson, shows up at the very last minute to save her, right before one of them was going to karate chop her to death. The scenes are certainly played for their eeriness, but the sci-fi elements are ultimately more campy than they are frightening. That’s not a criticism, though, because right after this is when it becomes clear what the actual driving force is going to be for this show: the unbelievably witty, fast-paced dialogue.

When I was watching Firefly (oh god, why is it over sadness forever), I would take notes each episode and jot down quotes I particularly liked. Here, however, I kept missing them because they were spoken so quickly; after one particularly biting line from the Doctor that had me smiling, I’d already be laughing at something that Rose said. Most of it wasn’t necessarily laugh-out-loud funny, but that’s not also to say it wasn’t humorous.

I felt like the Doctor was taking new fans to task in a way. Here we have Rose, who has just witnessed something completely absurd to her understanding of the universe. Of course she’s going to quiz this man incessantly about all the details of his life and what just happened, just like I was doing while watching the episode. The Doctor uses wit to flippantly dismiss as much of what she’s saying as possible, but I was also surprised that he did nothing to contain her or what had happened. In fact, throughout the episode, the Doctor seems to work right out in the open without much attempt to be subtle or inconspicuous. I wonder why. (Don’t answer that.)

This episode also deals with a heavy amount of exposition. Once Rose tells her boyfriends about this strange Doctor, she finds a conspiracy-laden site about him and decides to visit the man responsible for it. I laughed at the seething rage Mickey displayed while she went inside Clive’s house; he’s clearly trying to act like the tough, protective boyfriend, but Rose has a sort of confidence about her. She doesn’t really need him to act that way.

Clive is a great character and I was a bit disappointment that his appearance is so brief, since he is later killed by one of the mannequins. The idea that a man who ran a conspiracy theory website was just an unassuming father and husband was such a fantastic detail to add to his character, right? The trope usually involves a single man with no social skills and a lack of bathing, but here, Russell T Davies (who wrote this episode) chose a much different route.

RIP Clive. 🙁 🙁

A point of criticism: HOW ON EARTH DID ROSE NOT NOTICE THAT HER BOYFRIEND HAD BEEN TURNED INTO A PLASTIC REPLICANT. Like, seriously, he looked completely different than before.

Just a thought. It’s never really explained exactly what these plastic things are, except that the Doctor explains they were activated by something called the Nestene Consciousness. I have not the slightest idea what this thing is, but it can apparently “replace” people who can turn their hands into chopping things. And it’s trying to take over the world.

We get to see inside the TARDIS (first time for me, that is), and I actually didn’t expect it to be like that. I always assumed the TARDIS just transported the Doctor to whatever place he used as his headquarters, but nope. Totally wrong. He explains more to Rose about what he’s doing (trying to disable the Nestene Consciousness with an “anti-plastic” solution) and also outright confirms he’s an alien. Oh. So the Doctor is an alien??? I didn’t know that. I just assumed he was some strange human who had to assume a new identity over and over again. But no, not a human. ALL MY PERCEPTIONS ARE BEING SHATTERED.

The actual battle with the Nestene Consciousness isn’t that good, but the dialogue is far more interesting. There’s a reference to the home planet of the NC being destroy during something called “The Time War.” (I don’t know if that is supposed to be capitalized, but I’M STICKING WITH IT.) NC’s anger at this causes it to activate all the mannequins inside the Queens Arcade, which kills shoppers, including Clive. (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO).

The resolution isn’t that exciting, but it was nice to see Rose basically go FUCK IT, WHO CARES and attempt to save the Doctor. It was certainly the strangest couple of days in her life and what did she have to lose? There was a nice contrast between the opening scenes of London and her life, and with these moments beneath the London Eye. In comparison, the life Rose has lived has simply been…well, uninteresting. Why not take a chance?

And so we are thrust into this story when Rose finally accepts the Doctor’s offer to become his companion. She is sold with the promise of only one thing: time travel. That would also be the selling point for myself because, as I stated during my read of Prisoner of Azkaban, I love time travel more than most things.

In short, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit; it wasn’t groundbreaking television for me, but I laughed a lot. I think I’m going to like Doctor Who a lot.


  • When Clive was providing exposition for the Doctor, explaining how long he’d been showing up in history and that he seemed to change appearance, I couldn’t help but smile. I really love when shows/literature proposes theories for explaining gaps, mysteries, or events in history. I immediately thought of one particular season of The X-Files (season four), where the show’s mythology tackles Roswell, the JFK murder, and the MLK assassination in “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” and the Tunguska explosion in the double episode of “Tunguska / Terma.” (They did it with quite a few things over the course of nine seasons, but those two episodes popped into my head. I’m also catching up on a season and a half of Fringe that I missed and the episode “August” also suggests a similar bout of explanation to The Observer. I don’t really know why I enjoy it so much; maybe because the “answer” these shows propose is so interesting, I want it to be real.
  • Rose’s mom IS THE BEST THING EVER. When she hits on the Doctor, my heart warmed with laughter. I hope we see more of her.
  • “Well, you said it. Why students?” I would want the Doctor on my side of an argument. Just saying’.
  • “I know she is Greek, but that’s not the point.”
  • “Huh. That won’t last. He’s gay and she’s an alien.” HAHAAHA BLESS YOU.
  • “That’s exactly what a lunatic Internet murdered would say?”
  • “If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the North?” “LOTS OF PLANETS HAVE A NORTH!” Best line in the whole episode.
  • FUCK YEAH. This is going to be fun. GIFS AWAY, MY FRIENDS.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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510 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’: S01E01 – Rose

  1. cdnstar says:

    Having not rewatched this episode in eons (meaning, maybe 6 months), I have no serious input except that one of the best things about Doctor Who is the dialogue. It is SO quotable, and so entertaining. Second to this, I love how much little details matter in the series. And that is my generic non-episode-specific, comment of the day. I have a feeling I'm going to be commenting a lot of this series review.

  2. Terra says:

    I think the new series is usually called "Series 1", "Series 2", "Series 3", etc. instead of "Season". That might help to differentiate it from the original series. (Other people, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

  3. Hanah says:


    I am so excited and delighted Mark, there just aren't words. <3 'Rose' isn't my favourite episode by any stretch (not my least favourite either though, just sort of down there in 'solid episode' territory) but I am so glad to see it did such a good job of introducing you, even if there were a few things you didn't entirely understand. Hopefully all will come clear soon.


  4. azurefalls says:

    OMG I was so excited for this. 8D

    "I sense that all Doctors have a companion and the companion is female." Unfortunately, this has become quite common, but my favourite companion of all time was Jamie McCrimmon, from classic!Who. And a few guys have been kind of side-companions in new!Who. Also: Captain Jack, of course.
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    But you'll learn in time. ^^

    The Time War features in the 1995 movie. It's kind of a big deal, but you don't explicitly *need* to know of it to understand season 27(/1).

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    • karate0kat says:

      Yeah, I never watched the movie. They talk about the Time War enough to fill in the essential info eventually.

    • NB2000 says:

      Actually, the Time War occurs between the TV movie and this episode. It's never been shown on screen outside a few glimpses and mentions by various characters

    • Rachel says:

      Was The Time War in the film? Admittedly I last watched that… in 1995 when it was on the telly and I was only 11, but all I can remember is Sylvester McCoy, that woman, a McGann brother, that guy Eric Roberts and lots of epic awesome that no one else seems to think was as epic as I did.

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        I actually don't think the Time War itself has been seen anywhere- through books, audio or TV. (I know, because my friend who's been a Whovian for a good five years longer than me tells me how frustrating that he never actually gets to see it, no matter what he reads). Russel T. Davies, the show-runner for the first 4 series of New Who says that the scope of the War is just too big for them to show. I kind of like that; somehow I bet all attempts to show it would simply fail.

      • MichelleZB says:

        Time War was NOT in the film. The Time War is something Mark will have to find out about in the new series and the Doctor drops little hints… luckily, Rose is pretty good at getting the Doctor to talk about stuff. Normally, he's not very forthcoming.

      • Diane says:

        Nope, definitely no Time War in the film. It was memorable for…other reasons. Oh man, Mark. Once you have a good handle on the show I really hope you watch the TVM, because…well. *mumblemumblethingymumble*

  5. Quiqonky says:

    I may watch this as soon as I can get it from the library.

  6. Steve says:

    Really glad you're liking it and you've got SO much good stuff to come I'm actually a bit jealous 😉 one thing, I really would put the old who episodes on hold until you've done at least series 1 or you're taking a HUGE amount of info and changes in at once.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Well I'm not going to watch an old episode for at least a week; that puts more than half the series under my belt before I watch it. Though…I do like the idea of waiting until I'm done Series One before I do more.

      • Steve says:

        Bear in mind classic who stories also tend to be a bit longer (average around 4 episodes of 30ish minutes) and are a VERY different pace. Personally I'd say… finish this series then go for a Tom baker story that is regularly considered one of the best ever called Genesis of the Daleks. that'd be a solid intro with no spoilers and vie you a good idea if the different style of old who is something you enjoy.

    • Elenatintil says:

      I'd have to agree with this. Also the new series are so very different in tone from the old series that it can just be very odd to jump between them until you are really familiar with one or the other.

  7. hobgadling says:

    I watched this when it first aired, and watched it again today in advance of this post, and I forgot how much of a jerk the Doctor is to Rose at first. I like how alien it makes him.

    Also, FYI Mark, the Doctor's companions have not always been young women, but it works much better in today's TV world to have them be.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Yeah, in the old series, female companions used to do a lot of screaming and being imperiled. I love that Rose is a competent young woman who may not be highly educated, but she's smart and compassionate, and kicks a fair amount of ass. This really sets up the show for a new millenium.

      • kytten says:

        Um, not really. Sure, they were cpatured a bit more than they are now, but in general the doctor's companions were fairly competent. He likes them smart and capable 🙂 If they got captured, it was cause they ran into a situation blind, or because he screwed up. In fat, frequently they save his arse from the fire!

        The racial attitudes though- yeesh. Some early who episodes are so cringeworthy I can't actually watch them. The racial attitudes, especially towards asians can be very… urrgh.

        • pica_scribit says:

          Most of the old show that I've seen is First Doctor. Susan does a LOT of screaming for someone who really, by rights, should be about 100x more competent than she is, given her origins.

          • kytten says:

            We started with 3rd doctor though. Jo Grant, Sarah-Jane SMith (who is badass in her own right) Leela who is a Warrior woman (and asks every episode 'can we kill/hunt it) and can take down enemies with a carefully thrown knife…

            His companions are extraordinarily capable

          • simply_shipping says:

            Susan does a lot of screaming, but Barbara seems pretty competent – most of the time. Sometimes she clings to Ian and makes me want to smack her over the head, but for the most part she holds her own.

      • Hypatia_ says:

        Always screaming and imperiled? I have three words for you: "Ace" and "baseball bat".

        That is all.

      • Diane says:

        That's a bit of an unfair stereotype of the old series – it ran for thirty years; there was plenty of time for all kinds of female companions. (Hello Leela, Ace, Liz Shaw, Sarah Jane, both Romanas…)

        • amandajane5 says:

          I've been obsessively re-watching Futurama recently, and Leela's named after an old Doctor Who companion?! *LOVES FOREVER*

      • drippingmercury says:

        My boyfriend has this complaint about the series as a whole. I've tried to get him to watch it but he gets fed up with the "imperiled companion" parts and thinks its generally a less-than-stellar depiction of women. Sometimes I watch new DW eps with friends and he'll say from the other room: "Are you watching Dr. Who? I can tell by the shrill screaming." My friends tell me it's not so bad as he thinks, but having only seen a handful of new episodes and a couple arcs from 4th doctor I have no legitimate counterargument. But I'm planning to follow along with Mark so maybe this will change. 🙂

    • Pseudonymph says:

      That's one thing I like about 9. He's a bit more brusque and sardonic than some of the others. Also he was my first so I'm biased.

  8. elusivebreath says:

    TARDIS = Time and Relative Dimension in Space … I think, lol. I didn't look it up, but that's what I recall.


  9. Rachel says:

    Oh god. I am actually going to have to rewatch myself, because it is so awesome. I <3 Eccleston.

  10. NB2000 says:

    I don't think it's ever mentioned on screen but as I understand it, the Nestene duplicates like Mickey or the shop dummies are the Autons.

    Slightly OT: I'm so glad to hear you're catching up on Fringe. Love that show so much and "August" is probably my favourite episode (I cried so much).

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      But wait WHAT ARE AUTONS. Things the Nestene Consciousness controls?

      • NB2000 says:

        That's pretty much it. The plastic things that walk around attacking people are Autons, the thing that controls them is the Nestene Consciousness.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:


          Also, last night I got up to "Jacksonville" and the end TOTALLY MADE MY MIND EXPLODE and I told myself I would go to bed after that. And I didn't. I stayed up until midnight to watch "Peter." THAT episode made me sob until the end of time.

          • monkeybutter says:

            Oh man, I need to catch up on Fringe. "Peter" is my favorite episode! The whole end of the second season is great.

          • NB2000 says:

            Happy to help!

            Oh god there was something like two months between those two episodes airing and it was so worth it. "Peter" is truly heartbreaking.

          • elusivebreath says:

            My daughter keeps telling me to watch Fringe … the fact that you watch it carries more weight so maybe I'll check it out lol

            • xpanasonicyouthx says:

              Just give it a chance. And there are far less one-off, mystery-of-the-week episodes in season 2. Which is good, because the mythology of that show is FANTASTIC. Seriously some intelligent, mind-bending shit.

          • bookling says:

            You think "Jacksonville" is blowing your mind, but oh my Rowling you are not prepared. It's just the start of MORE AWESOMENESS. I almost wish you hadn't already started Fringe just so that you could do Mark Watches Fringe reviews of the upcoming episodes!

      • karate0kat says:

        The way I understand it, the Autons are kind of like robots. Only instead of being metal and wires and being controlled by a computer, they're plastic and are controlled sort of psychically by the NC. I think.

  11. bibliotrek says:

    The scenes are certainly played for their eeriness, but the sci-fi elements are ultimately more campy than they are frightening. That’s not a criticism, though, because right after this is when it becomes clear what the actual driving force is going to be for this show: the unbelievably witty, fast-paced dialogue.

    Oh, thank goodness you're okay with the camp! I don't think it's spoilery to say that Doctor Who is nothing if not campy, ESPECIALLY old-school Who. It is part of the show's charm!


    YEAH. This doesn't really set up Rose's relationship with Mickey as a particularly great one.

  12. SiobhanC says:

    Woo, I have been waiting all day for this. (I'm in the UK) I watched Rose myself earlier, and forgot how fun the episode is. I also wanted desperately to carry on through S1 but I managed to stop myself to keep up with your reviews. 😀 .

    Someone else shares my fear of mannequins, yay!! 😀

    Anyway, gonna read it again less quickly.

    • Elliott Mason says:

      There were two moments in Rose (the first time I watched it) that deeply reassured me that It Was Still Really Doctor Who:

      – The Doctor checking his teeth and so on in Rose's mum's flat (sort of hinting he's newly regenerated)

      – When the trash trolley eats Mickey. Well, more the WAY it eats Mickey: still both campy AND scary, which is the utter heart of Who, IMHO.

  13. nextboy says:

    And we begin!!!!!

    Love Christopher Ecclestone in this episode, fantastic character with great mysterious undertones.

    And the crazy fandom guy, love him

  14. Randomcheeses says:

    Oh I am so glad you like Doctor Who! It is indeed one of the most awesome things ever!

    Also, finally someone else who likes Jackie as much as I do. (Rose's mother, for those not in the know.)

    And Christopher Eccleston is fantastic of course!

  15. KerriMaryBerry says:

    I love that when the Doctor meets someone new it's "Hi, I'm the Doctor! Now run for your LIFE."

    Hi, I've been lurking since you recap Half Blood Prince. I'm so happy you started watching Doctor Who and I can't wait to see your reaction to a certain someone later on. I didn't get into Doctor Who until this past year but thanks to netflix I was able to watch Torchwood and all four seasons and specials of DH in under a month.

    Looking forward to all your reviews.

    • ana says:

      I love that when the Doctor meets someone new it's "Hi, I'm the Doctor! Now run for your LIFE."

      Just want to say word to that.

      I love all the maniac energy Eccleston brings to the role, it's a joy to watch.

  16. Ferg says:

    Just randomly stumbled across this but it's quite interesting to see someone watch this from the start having no clue about it, love the fact that you didn't even know The Doctor was an alien.

  17. Annemette N says:

    I feel like my world is complete now that you are venturing into this. I myself started watching in September and finished series 5 in November. Since then I have been lost in this wonderful universe. I hope you’ll enjoy it there too 😀

  18. geekings says:

    Oh man this is so exciting. I'm glad you love the dialogue, it's easily my favorite thing about Who. I started watching at Eccleston's era and haven't watched anything earlier than that, and I'm more than happy with the information they give from this point on, so I don't think you'll have too much trouble with not knowing things.

    Anyway. So excited!

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  19. Ms Katonic says:


    However, there is one thing you should know about Doctor Who and that is this: the canon isn't fixed like it is in a lot of shows. There is no one episode that explains how the TARDIS works and what it does – instead this knowledge is scattered over many many episodes, and most viewers haven't seen them all. Not only that, the knowledge, because it has accumulated over forty years and probably a similar number of writers, contradicts itself in places. Which probably explains a lot about why Who fandom's got such a combative reputation – the lack of fixity means you can argue endlessly about this sort of thing! And they do.

    Basically, not having seen thirty years of Doctor Who won't hinder your enjoyment. No more than having seen every single episode ever means you'll understand everything ever about the show. It's not like that.

    But Time War is meant to be capitalised, yes. 🙂 And yes, the Doctor's not human. He's a Time Lord, hence the ability to, er, time travel.

    Companions – typically in New Who, the Doctor's ended up with just one companion at a time, and a female one at that, but there are exceptions. And certainly in Old Who, it was very common for there to be several companions, both male and female, and not always human either, I don't think.

    • Emily says:

      Yes, but all contradictions can possibly be explained by minor shifts in the Time Stream do to all the time travelling, which is what makes it fun!

    • FlameRaven says:

      All questions of continuity are answered by 'Wibbly Wobbley, Timey Wimey'!

      Basically: it doesn't matter. It's time travel and more importantly, it's Doctor Who. Things that used to be true are not necessarily true a few seasons later, mostly because there are constant shenanigans in time.

  20. potlid007 says:

    Eccelston was my first doctor, AND YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST DOCTOR. Or companion, for that matter. gotta love Rose.
    god, I love this show. It is truly amazing how long it has lasted, and how it can still be completely original. you are in for quite a journey.
    oh, and here's some gif spam:
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    <img src="; border="0">
    <img src="; border="0">

  21. Wahlee says:

    Rose isn't the best episode ever, but it's got some good stuff in it. Like when the Doctor describes what being a Time Lord is like– feeling the movement of the Earth, and it's course around the sun, and. . . yeah. Gives me shivers. Rose's first look at the TARDIS is fantastic (to coin a phrase 😉 ) and "Lots of planets have a North" is such an awesome phrase that I have it on a T-Shirt.

    Everything I know about old-school Who (well, almost, I've now watched 3 4th-Doctor story arcs, courtesy Netflix) I learned from Wikipedia, but I'm pretty sure that the Doctor usually has companions, and that they are usually, but not always, female. Sometimes he has more than one, even.

    And I think that the living plastic mannequins are Autons. Wikipedia seems to confirm it. So, yay! Your knowledge of Doctor Who comes into play in the very first episode! 😀

  22. nextboy says:

    I couldn't help but watch the next two episodes as well, I'm going to need more self-control to watch this one day at a time. It's strange to think that at the start of the year I had never watched the show, but as a Brit already knew all the famous characters and baddies. I borrowed it from a friend after watching the first Matt Smith episode this year and have become completely and utterly obsessed. It's great to start the re-run again with the insights knowing what's to come, and now I've started venturing into old Who, what has already been.

    Also, met Matt Smith a couple of weeks ago by chance in Cardiff, absolute legend and great guy, I want to be his friend.

  23. Kaci says:

    Dear Mark,

    You are now my favorite for referencing The Tongue Thing from Goblet of Fire. I really enjoy David Tennant as a person, and I enjoy his portrayal of the Doctor, but I can not look directly at him while he's playing that part because all I can see is that awful Tongue Thing and it TOTALLY RUINED his seasons for me. In the not-really-ruined, I-just-had-to-watch-them-kind-of-sideways-so-I-wouldn't-see-Tennant's-mouth kind of way.


  24. pica_scribit says:

    Frankly, I'm not into the scary manniquins plot, but I do think this is a great way to "reintroduce" the show, and set the tone as a family-friendly, fun scare-fest. I didn't really get into it until about the sixth episode, but by the end of the first season, I was in LOVE.

    Edit: Oh, and I love that they dropped a reference to the Kennedy Assassination in this episode, since that was the day the very first episode of Doctor Who was set to air, and it was preempted by BIG NEWS.

  25. Danielle says:

    Omg I feel sixteen again. When this episode first aired I was in exactly the same position as you and it CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER.

    Also, it may be a bit early to say this, but: you are not prepared.

  26. thirty2flavors says:

    So excited omg! "Rose" isn't really the strongest episode, so I am delighted that you liked it because it only gets better from here. The dialogue and the humour is definitely what enchanted me at first, too.

    I was like you when I watched it, though — literally had no idea about the show or the old series at all, other than a vague awareness that it had existed — but I think the 2005 series does a good job of slowly revealing things so that you can follow along without being lost.

  27. Aimee says:


  28. karate0kat says:

    BTW, have some non spoilery Doctor Who cast silliness for the holidays.

    • potlid007 says:


      especially Arthur because he kas to put up with the insaneness that is Matt and Karen

      • MowerOfLorn says:

        Lol, I have to laugh at Arthur/Rory's hat. Don't no why, just do. XD

        I absolutely love the Christmas stuff this show does.

    • nanceoir says:

      As I said to a friend today, I love them so much, I might even luff them.

      Yeah, it makes no sense, but they're just so WONDERFUL!

      Less than a week until the Christmas special, eeee!

    • Lizzie says:

      That was the greatest thing of my ever.

  29. psycicflower says:

    I just want to say hello Mark. I've slowly been making my way through Mark Reads Harry Potter and was sad that I wasn't involved when it was originally happening until I stumbled across Mark Watches over the weekend and saw that I had missed Firefly but you were starting Doctor Who which I love so I'm excited to finally be able to take part.

    I don't know how to post videos but here's a link to a great little pre-series teaser trailer that has no spoilers or show footage at all. There's another great one with the Doctor but that has a few spoilery lines in it.
    There's also Doctor Who: Confidential a fun behind the scenes show but I recommend waiting to watch that as it can be accidentily spoilery sometimes with hints to other plots in the series.

    I can't wait to see what you think of the rest of the series and the characters. I really hope that you enjoy the Whoniverse.

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  31. rainbowsinside says:

    I'll be watching along with you Mark! I've been meaning to watch this show for a while and finally decided to.

    So far, I don't have many solid thoughts on anything other than "hmm this seems pretty interesting." It seems like a show I'll grow to love as I venture further into it, and I AM SO EXCITE GUYS!

    On thing I have to say though, I really did not like Mickey. Every scene with him was so awful and I'm glad that (it seems) he's never going to show up again. In the few first scenes with him, I was so confused as to whether they were together or not. There was absolutely no intimate or sexual energy between them. My boyfriend (who also has never seen the show) even said, "Is he like her gay best friend?" Any time they tried to add in a line to make it seem like they were a couple, it was oh god so awkward.

    Alright, now that I got that out, onto episode 2!

    Edit: Also! Last night after watching, I was thinking, is it possible for there to be a female Doctor? I know there hasn't been as of yet, but has it ever been said that the Doctor can only be male or is that possibility theoretically open?

    • simply_shipping says:

      So glad I'm not the only one who didn't like Mickey.

    • Rachel says:

      I think there's a Comic Relief(I think, might be CiN) Doctor Who special that sort of addresses the female Doctor question, but that episode is pretty much outside Doctor Who canon and just for laughs. I recommend checking it out because it totally cracked me up.

    • psycicflower says:

      As far as I know (I'm not an expert on Classic!Who) they've never said anything about whether Time Lords can be male and female. There was a female Time Lord the Doctor travelled with and she regenerated as a woman and as far as I know other male Time Lords have always regenerated as male.

      So theoretically it could be possible. There was a lot of fanwank surrounding whether the Doctor could be a woman when we were waiting to find out who the 11th Doctor was so nobody really knows.

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Aww, I love Mickey 🙁

      As far as the female Doctor thing goes…no real word on it, although you can imagine the fanfic writers have fun with it. XD

  32. kytten says:


    The companions aren't always female, but usually are. They are usually attractive as well.
    The plastic things are, I believe, a classic monster. Want to say more.
    As to why Rose doesn't notice? This is (nominally) a childrens show, and Dr Who convention staes people never notice when something weird is happening to someone they know.

  33. thirty2flavors says:


    Here is some Citizen Kane instead:

    <img src=>

  34. christidaae says:

    as a few people have said – not all the Doctors companions are female, it just quite often works that way. It's probably for a practical television reason, male older character versus the young female.
    Or the Doctor is a 900 year old pervert who likes abducting young teenage girls. either way.

    • bibliotrek says:

      Isn't there a "misleading summary of Doctor Who" circulating somewhere that goes "Old man abducts girls (and sometimes boys) and puts them in life-threatening situations"?

      • Hypatia_ says:

        Except for the "abduct" part (well, most of the time), that's kind of what happens. Context is all here.

        • bibliotrek says:

          I can't find what I'm thinking of! It might also have been something like "Old man lures girls (and sometimes boys) into his vehicle, then puts them in life-threatening situations."

          • ladysugarquill says:

            Maybe it's on TV Tropes? Like Paint The Hero Black but for shows,I don't remember what's called…

  35. Diane says:

    Eee, yay Chris Eccleston!

    To be honest, I didn't get what Doctor Who really…was, as a show, until about four or five episodes in. I watched the first series the summer after it had first aired in the UK, so I had zero context and no exposure to the online fandom. But I grew to quite love it anyway. Basically, what I'm trying to say is – you won't need anyone explaining past stuff to you in order to understand the 2005 series. It can add richness and scope and understanding to know that, say, a villain in one episode was a villain that was also used in the old series, but there's nothing in the new series that you're going to deeply misunderstand due to your lack of Old Skool Who knowledge. It was deliberately written for newbies the whole way through. 🙂

    And now, "Rose":

    Poor Mickey really gets crapped on in this episode – his own girlfriend doesn't realize it when he turns into plastic? But oh, Jackie was a delight. Yay Camille Coduri!

    Anyway, while this episode had a relatively weak Alien of the Week/action plot, I do love it for being so…openly weird, right from the start. Eccleston's Doctor is strange and cranky and charismatic as hell and it really, really made me want to know more about him. He doesn't particularly try to be liked, but you get why someone would want to follow him into outer space. I still love the "turn of the earth" speech.

  36. diane says:

    I think New Who stands well on its own, without references to Old Who. If you need backstory from Old Who, the Doctor is usually going to give it to you as you need it.

    New Who is very much about character, as much as dialog. But of course the character part takes a little longer to build.

  37. xpanasonicyouthx says:


    Is there a reason why Netflix is showing Series One in such low quality? The compression of the episode is pretty bad; none of the GIFs and screenshots from it look as bad as it does when I watched it.

    • rainbowsinside says:

      Hmm, I'm also watching it on Netflix, and I didn't notice anything like that. Maybe it has to do with your connection?

    • diane says:

      Netflix quality is variable, and I think it depends on bandwidth availability. It's worst at peak hours. Some streaming servers can vary compression based on connection quality, but the drawback is that you can get some really lousy results when things are totally overloaded. Netflix is going to have to beef up their infrastructure if they want to stay competitive in this business.

      Once I decided that I was into Who for the long run, I gave up on Netflix and just bought the series(s) from iTunes.

    • karate0kat says:

      What everyone else said about Netflix.

      If it continues to be a problem…I uh…I know a place where you can…acquire what you need. So to speak.

    • doesntsparkle says:

      I noticed this too. It's strange because I've never had a problem with other shows and movies from instant Netflix. I even watched a few minutes from a later episode to compare and it was fine.

  38. Rachel says:

    It doesn’t take long for things to take a much darker turn as one of my worst fears is realized on screen: the mannequins in the back room come alive and begin to surround her.

    NO. NO THANK YOU. FOREVER. I already find mannequins to be unsettling and have since I was a child; I always appreciate it when a store uses the ones without creepy heads and faces, but here, they’re the full-bodied ones, complete with blank faces.

    This kind of creepy nightmare villain is traditional Who. 😀 I hope you have sofa to hide behind, or at least a really big cushion. I love that the bad guy here is something that is so everyday and so common.

    And Jackie is the best. If my mum wasn't already my mum and I would be cool with having Jackie as my mum. Only I'd probably be deeply embarrassed* all the time.

    * Admittedly, being embarrassed is just part of being English, I think.

  39. monkeybutter says:

    I've seen several episodes of the new series, but this is the first time I've seen the first episode. I love Rose's mom. I like what I've seen of Doctor Who, mostly as something I watch when there's nothing on, but I've never gone out of my way to watch it. I agree that the dialogue is the best part, second to wacky characters. I'll see what I make of it when I watch the whole thing!

  40. Shiyiya says:

    The Nestene Consciousness previously (First? I dunno, I have seen nowhere near all of the old series) appears/ed in the Third Doctor's first story arc! It has a bit more exposition about how it works, iirc. (And you can see the DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE IN PRODUCTION VALUES!) There are several couple times recurring baddies like that, outside of the big ones that the writers contort themselves to never let completely die and that turn up relatively frequently.

  41. Treasure Cat says:

    Rose Rose Rose Rose Rose Rose Rose <3
    That is all.

    Ok I lied, I want to say that she is pretty much one of my fave female characters in anything ever, and even from this first ep you can totally see why. She is strong and brave and smart and kind, with just the right mix of cinicism and belief. Also Billie Piper because we freaking want to bitches *grooves*

  42. arctic_hare says:


    A point of criticism: HOW ON EARTH DID ROSE NOT NOTICE THAT HER BOYFRIEND HAD BEEN TURNED INTO A PLASTIC REPLICANT. Like, seriously, he looked completely different than before.

    LOL I SAID THE SAME THING XD This is so fun to see you watch it!

    And man, I love Nine so much. He was my Doctor till I got to Eleven. Also, yes, bow ties are cool and Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are adorable incarnate.

    • Now that I've thought about it some more, excessive botox use wasn't even a thing then so she didn't even have the far-fetched excuse that Mickey when for some cosmetic procedures in his lunchbreak.

  43. John Small Berries says:

    Craig Ferguson gave a musical explanation of Doctor Who for American audiences recently; if the description of the video is accurate, it was cut from the show and never aired. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, though, it’s available.

    No spoilers in it.

  44. geekingses says:

    Commenting again now that I made myself an account. DON'T MIND ME. fffff.

    Soooooo glad you like Jackie, Rose's mom. She is absolutely incredible and she never stops being amazing. Plus, my name is Jackie so I always loved her a little extra for that. ;D


    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

    <img src=""&gt;

  45. crazyravenclaw says:


    I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. Okay, let me leave a ridiculously, spectacularly detailed review, because I feel like I haven't had a chance to really do that. (During MRHP I usually didn't have time because I had homework, for Hunger Games I don't know the series as well, and for Firefly I had exams and then I got my wisdom teeth out and ended up with dry sockets, so I wasn't particularly eloquent. Not that I am now. ENOUGH UNNECESSARY AND UNINTERESTING INFORMATION ABOUT MY LIFE BACK TO DOCTOR WHO.)

    And Matt Smith’s companion is like the cutest being in all of existence.

    <img src=""&gt;

    I am going to marry her. Okay, probably not, because I don't want to get married and I'm still holding out for David Tennant, and both of them are too old for me, but still. She's wonderful and amazing.

    Don't worry too much about being confused by things, Mark. New Who really was designed with new viewers in mind (it's considered a family-friendly show in Britain, so a large part of the target audience was never around to see older episodes), so things are explained quickly, but very clearly. Also, not every companion is female and most Doctors (at least those who stick around for a while) have multiple companions, sometimes at the same time.

    (Can I also say that those costumes look horrifically uncomfortable to wear? How did the actors playing them see out of them?)

    I'm glad we have the same irrelevant thoughts when watching these things.

    The scenes are certainly played for their eeriness, but the sci-fi elements are ultimately more campy than they are frightening. That’s not a criticism, though, because right after this is when it becomes clear what the actual driving force is going to be for this show: the unbelievably witty, fast-paced dialogue.

    Doctor Who is incredibly campy, but it can also be really frightening and really serious at times. The dialogue is always wonderful too (particularly the Doctor's), but the best part of this show is that it does EVERYTHING. Seriously, it mood swings more than *I* do. There's a lot to love and a lot of variety, so when you don't love one thing, you'll like something else. Was that at all relevant? I don't know. I'M JUST PUMPED ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING OK?

    Rose has a sort of confidence about her.

    ILU ROSE. Seriously, Rose Tyler is my hero forever. Be prepared, though…she (and several other companions) can inspire HP-level wank in the fandom.

    All my Rose gifs are spoiler-y. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Clive is a great character and I was a bit disappointment that his appearance is so brief, since he is later killed by one of the mannequins.

    I know! I really like Clive. Every time I watch this episode I'm like, "Hey, I like y–NOOOOOOO YOU DIED."


    "The Time War.” (I don’t know if that is supposed to be capitalized, but I’M STICKING WITH IT.)

    LOL. Definitely capitalized.

    Lots of planets have a North and Jackie Tyler and as;lkdjfalsdjf I love this show so much it's ridiculous. Also, this comment is super obnoxious with all the capslock and squee and I don't even care.

    • nanceoir says:

      Also, this comment is super awesome with all the capslock and squee and I don't even care.

      There; I fixed that for you.

      Seriously, sometimes, I don't know how to talk about Doctor Who without capslock or squee.

  46. Talen says:

    Well Yay with a capital Yay!

  47. kytten says:

    Also, mark, this is great to see you watch. I grew up in a nerdy british household- Dr Who is part of my story. I knew so much about it before I even knew about, cause of my dad, cause of seeing re-runs when I was home sick, because I started watching, religiously in 05 when it came out, because I'm a brit, and this has been part of our shared cultural reference since the 60's.

    It's astonishing seeing someone who doesn't know the Doctor is an Alien, only has the most basic knowledge of the TARDIS, and you don't know ANYTHING ABOUT THE TIME WAR.

    This is genuinely amazing to me, and I don't mean it in a bad way. You havee a fun ride ahead, make the most of it.

    (and of course, the best thing is you won't have to stop watching Dr Who. It is not going to end any time soon. If you love it, YOU CAN KEEP WATCHING. Christmas Special 2010 is soon- Matt Smiths first one. I will be watching it with a mince pie)

    The one thing I do feel bad for you about this this- you will never experience this the way we do- it is one of the few genuinely communal tv experiences left here. Whole families settle down to watch it- it consistently gets high numbers viewing it. In a way you'll experience that- us watching it along with you- but there is nothing like knowing you and half a country are watching it, and have been doing so for almost forty years (with a ten year break).

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Ah! Thanks for this!

      And for the record, since the show is currently ending, I will do weekly posts about new episodes when they air once I catch up!

    • tardy says:

      I agree that Dr Who should be seen as a family show that is mainstream for everyone, not just for Geeks. The best part of watching this episode was seeing all my nephews and neices falling in love with Dr Who just like I did at their age. All generations can love it together.

  48. lisra says:

    I like Chris E. best as the doctor.. there is just something so charming about him.
    I felt kinda like you, Mark, when I first watched this a few years back, having seen nothing of that series before. Nothing special, but very funny. It won't be like Harry Potter or Firefly.. but I'm sure you ARE NOT PREPARED!

  49. xghostproof says:

    I'm re-watching at least the first season along with you, since I've been neglecting a rewatch in favour of watching the other seasons repeating late-night on BBC America lately.

    I don't even know where to start on my reactions of this episode, really. So much happens and so much info gets introduced that it's sort of chaos. So I'll just try to form some form of intelligent response here.

    Favourite moments/things I liked:
    *The dialogue, right off the bat. I love all these characters and what they say/how they say it. So much gold in this one little episode.
    *Rose's mum and the Doctor meeting. I…really loved both of them from this moment on. I mean, come on, who wouldn't hit on him just a little? The moment was just right, and in her shoes? Would not have changed a thing.
    *The reveal of the TARDIS. I love that thing so much. They have TARDIS cookie jars that make noise and I think even light up, and oh man do I really want one. I don't even have cookies often enough to need a cookie jar.
    *Plastic!Mickey…all of him. From looking like wax, to the mild freak out, and absorbing/spitting out the cork, he really cracked me up.
    *Rose in general. I like her, honestly. Before I came into the series, I didn't know much about it other than I didn't think I'd like her. Just from this episode, I kinda get the feeling all over again of "Hey well, maybe she's not gonna be so bad. I don't hate her at least, that's a start!" She's nothing extraordinary, but I like the way she interacts with everyone, and I love her little badass moment near the end.
    *I like that early on we get to see some of the Doctor's nature. Even though he has the AntiPlastic, he isn't going straight to kill it, he does want to talk to it first.

    What I didn't like:
    *It kind of seemed a little cheesy, especially just the way the mannequins moved. That isn't to say I wouldn't FREAK THE HELL OUT if mannequins started moving around me, because holy crap do they already freak me out, but damn. I just sort of laughed at them until they had their guns that came from nowhere.
    *That's really about it, unless you include some of the pacing just so everything could be included.

    All in all, it's a great episode to start out the new series. I had never known before starting that there was a Doctor before David Tennant had the job, but damn. I love me some Nine, and I think he may just be my favourite Doctor.

  50. Esther says:

    You watch Fringe?! Love forever.

    I started out watching the most recent series/season of Doctor Who, then went back and watched from the first (i.e., what you're watching now. This revamp thing is confusing). I only just finished series 4, so everything is fresh in my mind – which makes it a lot easier to keep up with you. Allons-y!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I watched a few episodes of season 1 live when they aired, got distracted, and then when it went up on Netflix, I got the discs of the whole season and watched it earlier this year. I just started last week to catch up and I'm so sad I didn't stick with it. The storytelling in Season 2 is so much better than 1!

  51. Vicki Louise says:

    " It doesn’t take long for things to take a much darker turn as one of my worst fears is realized on screen: the mannequins in the back room come alive and begin to surround her." This is exactly what Doctor Who does best. It takes the ordinary, mundane, safe and boring and makes them as creepy as hell! If you have a sofa nearby feel free to hide behind it! 😀

    This was the first episode of Doctor Who that i ever watched. Having grown up in England i knew a few things about Doctor Who, the TARDIS, the Daleks, who the Doctor was, but everything was new to me and i wasn't sure if i'd like it or not, (and to tell you the truth i only watched it in the first place because Billie Piper was in it and i LOVE her!) but i immediately fell in love with the show!

    Jackie Tyler owns all the good things ever, fact!

    I'm so happy you enjoyed watching it, there is so much more awesome still to come and i can't flipping wait! SO EXCITE!

  52. xkcdhobbes says:

    Doctor Who!!!! Oh my god! I liked how he can't find the transmitter and Rose is all like "Uhm Hum…" (It's been a long time since I watched, sorry if the details aren't accurate.) I really like how the Doctor reads a book in half a second.
    OMG!!! Mark watches Doctor Who!!! To quote Calvin and Hobbes:"This is so cool I have to go to the bathroom!"

  53. HOW ON EARTH DID ROSE NOT NOTICE THAT HER BOYFRIEND HAD BEEN TURNED INTO A PLASTIC REPLICANT. Good god, this. When I first watched it, everything between her returning to the car and the Doctor popping that cork into plastic!Mickey's forehead was punctuated with me yelling, "YOUR BOYFRIEND IS PLASTIC! WHY CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT?!" at the screen. It kind of really lowered my opinion of Rose, though she pretty much earned it back by ditching Mickey at the end, since I was even less impressed with him.

    I did love that Rose was the brawn, as she herself says. And I'm already in love with this Doctor. That line about who he is, how he can feel the Earth spin and hurtle through space? I got goosebumps. That quote's going on my wall.

    I did like the Rose/Mickey scenes before he got turned into plastic. And I suppose I should go easier on him for being absolutely useless during the climax – some folks just don't take well to be kidnapped by aliens. I still like that Rose ditched him, though.

    • psycicflower says:

      "Do you know like we were saying, about the earth revolving? It's like when you're a kid, the first time they tell you that the world's turning, and you just can't quite believe it cause everything looks like it's standing still. I can feel it. The turn of the earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67000 miles an hour. And I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go… That's who I am."

      It's one of my favourite moments in the episode because it shows just how different the Doctor is. That there's seriousness in there as well as joking and running (Love the running)

      • trash_addict says:

        'I can feel it. The turn of the earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67000 miles an hour. And I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go… '

        Seriously. Chills. Thanks for typing out the entire quote!

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      I always feel sorry for Mickey. He's a nice enough guy, he just seems a bit insecure and not quite made out for monster fighting.

    • Openattheclose says:

      Mickey reminds me of Ron. It's probably just me though and now Ron fans will be mad at me. I LIKE Mickey AND Ron, so it's a complement, okay?

    • Pseudonymph says:

      This comment has a spoiler about Rose and Mickey. I know it doesn't seem important but please be more vigilant in the future.

      • simply_shipping says:

        Um, considering this is the only New Who episode I've ever seen, spoilering would be somewhat difficult.

        • Pseudonymph says:

          Oh sorry, I completely misinterpreted something you wrote. Ha, I was wondering why no one else said anything. I guess I'm a bit over-sensitive to the possibility of spoilers. I apologize.

          • simply_shipping says:

            Now I want to know what I said that got misinterpreted. XD But then that would be spoiler-y, so I guess I'll just have to wait.

  54. crazyravenclaw says:

    Okay, it appears the site ate my comment. Here's the abridged version, because the last one was unreasonably long.

    a;slkfjei;wafklsdjflsgjk;alfj I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

    Matt Smith’s companion is like the cutest being in all of existence.

    <img src=""&gt;

    Don't worry too much about being confused by things, Mark. New Who really was designed with new viewers in mind (it's considered a family-friendly show in Britain, so a large part of the target audience was never around to see older episodes), so things are explained quickly, but very clearly. Also, not every companion is female and most Doctors (at least those who stick around for a while) have multiple companions, sometimes at the same time.

    (Can I also say that those costumes look horrifically uncomfortable to wear? How did the actors playing them see out of them?)

    I'm glad we have the same irrelevant thoughts when watching these things.

    ROSE! ILU ROSE. Seriously, she is my hero forever, even if she can't tell when her boyfriend is made of plastic. Be prepared, though…she (and a few other companions) can inspire HP-level wank in the fandom. Also all my Rose gifs are spoiler-y. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Every time I watch the Clive scenes I'm like, "Hey, I like y–NOOOOOOO YOU DIED."

    "Lots of planets have a North," and The Time War (definitely capitalize it) and Jackie Tyler and NINE and ROSE and the TARDIS and as;lkdjfalsdjf I love this show so much it's ridiculous.

  55. exbestfriend says:

    I agree that Rose is a weaker DW episode, but it is fantastic for an introductory episode. Moving into the rest of the current series, I don't think there is quite an equal episode in the way it brings up questions, introduces characters and really starts with a blank slate. I know I started with this episode and was immediately hooked. I have never felt that I missed a plot point or a backstory that has not been addressed by later episodes and although I've gone back and watched earlier episodes, it is at my leisure and never because I felt like I had to.

    I am so happy that you are watching Doctor Who, but you can watch without any back story and I would suggest you try. I think allowing for some spoilers is going to create more problems than it is worth.

    • calimie says:

      Exactly this. I've watched the new series and they are meant to be understood by those who haven't watched the previous ones.

      I have watched a couple of One's serials (the first chapter is fantastic!) but it's perfectly possible to follow the new ones.

  56. Openattheclose says:

    YAY! Doctor Who time! I am so excite!

    <img src=>

  57. andreah1234 says:

    "Nice to meet you Rose, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!" oh Doctor you own my heart forever <3

    YAY! Mark+Doctor Who= The best things ever. And I, like you, am very new to this series (like 6 months), but I love it. And I'm very glad you do too 🙂

  58. ravendaine says:

    I have nothing constructive to add. Just SQUEEEEEE!!! So excited that this is starting! It's going to be so hard not to get excited and spoil, but I am going to be a faithful fangirl and just enjoy your take on it episode by episode. From the Whedonverse to the Whoniverse! FANTASTIC.

  59. fakehepburn says:


    Okay okay okay, SO:

    "Oh. So the Doctor is an alien???"

    OH MARK. You must be new.

    "[…]something called “The Time War.” (I don’t know if that is supposed to be capitalized, but I’M STICKING WITH IT.) "


    "Rose’s mom IS THE BEST THING EVER. When she hits on the Doctor, my heart warmed with laughter. I hope we see more of her."

    Jackie = made of win.

    “If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the North?” “LOTS OF PLANETS HAVE A NORTH!”


    In conclusion, I love this show, and I love you for reviewing this show, and I basically love all of the things.
    This has been me, flailing excitedly.

  60. SpiritWolf1201 says:

    Oh, Nine, how I adore you!

    I knew straight from when he grabbed her hand and told her to run that I was interested. When he introduced himself and said 'Nice to meet you Rose. Run for your life!', I was 100% sold. There's so much to come in this and I didn't fully appreciate it til I rewatched it all the way through. I'm going to actually watch with you, Mark, for this series, as much as I can find the time for.

    In the meantime,

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      That gif is fantastic. 😉 And I agree, the "Nice to meet you Rose. Run for your life!" was a PERFECT introduction to the Doctor. There is an awful lot of running in this show.

  61. spectralbovine says:

    Hurrah! Glad you're enjoying it. Looking forward to your reactions. I was a little underwhelmed and confused by "Rose," mostly by the tone, but the show does find its footing.

    The Time War should totally be capitalized. And just so you know, the Time War is a Russell T. Davies addition, so you know as much about it as any other viewer did, even long-time fans.

    Companions tend to be female, but there have been male Companions as well. (And it depends on whether you consider someone who only joins the Doctor for a few rides on the TARDIS a Companion or not. You get more Companions that way.)

    Run for your life!

  62. coughdrop says:

    I am a huuge fan of this show so VERY EXCITED that you are coming to play with us! As far as what you said about old who informing new who— I haven't watched all of old who but a lot and personally I don't think that it adds that much to the new who series that isn't explained by the new series. Old who is sort of…more of just entertainment whereas new who is a bit more…complicated. I am sure some old who stalwarts are going to jump down my throat for saying this but this is JUST WHAT I THINK.

  63. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    LEGO HARRY POTTER IS THE BEST. Have any of you played the iPad version? I got it a couple weeks ago AND IT IS AMAZING.

    • nanceoir says:

      LEGO Harry Potter is the only game I've completed to 100%. I'm still working on 100%-ing LEGO Star Wars, which is amazing. I love the LEGO games.

      *wonders if she can 100% LEGO Star Wars before the year ends* *shakes head* Not if I'm rewatching Doctor Who again. 😉

  64. blackrose says:

    Poor Mickey. Am I like the only one who doesn't hate him?

  65. tatjula says:

    Can I beg that you label by Dr.? I've seen various episodes from each Dr. but I have no idea what season they belong to and I'm not a serious fan so I haven't seen enough of the seasons to know which companion belongs to which Dr. or what adventures they're on.

    In fact I don't even call them by Dr.#, I have names for them all. I call this one "Convict Dr." It has nothing to do with their characters, but what they look like, I name all of the Dr.'s in the first 5 minutes of the first episode I see them in or publicity photos. I did see an episode of each Dr. in order though, so I can usually figure out what Dr. people are talking about when they give me a number. (I can tell you the names I've come up with for each of the Dr.'s, they're so much more fun than #'s. Or I could just let you know as you watch each Dr. That way you won't be spoiled by their appearance.)

  66. Hypatia_ says:


    I'm glad you liked your introduction to the world of Doctor Who. "Rose" isn't my favorite episode, but it's a pretty good introduction. It features Rose and the Doctor being completely awesome, and that's all you really need to know that this point.

    I had no idea you didn't know the Doctor is an alien! He's from the planet Gallifrey, and he's a Time Lord. Basically a highly technologically advanced, time-traveling species. I have no idea how Time Lords managed to evolve to look exactly like humans (or as the Doctor would prefer, humans look like Time Lords), but whatever. Not the point.

    I think my favorite thing about this episode is that Nine's very first word is "Run!" Nothing could be more appropriate.

    And yeah, I have no idea how Rose managed to miss that Mickey had been plasticized. ::mentally smacks Rose upside the head::.

    Anyway, Nine is my Doctor and I'm so very excited for these reviews. YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT.

  67. summeriris says:

    Mark one smal point. The Tardis is a Police Box 1963 Style. It is not and never has been a phone box. Don't ask me why the producers never updated the style, I don know and they don't know. You do not find police boxes on streets anymore, you haven't for about 30 years. We're British, we're eccentric, we created Dr Who.

    • There is a reason for the style never updating – back in the day, the Tardis was disguised as a police box. And then it broke and got stuck like one.

    • MichelleZB says:

      Thank you, I was just going to point this out myself. Mark, it is a POLICE BOX. How dare you offend everyone and get it wrong.

  68. Openattheclose says:

    About the classic episodes, I was wondering if it would be appropriate to suggest that Mark watches certain arcs involving certain recurring creatures/aliens BEFORE he watches the new series take on them. Like if we told him to watch a classic story about the alien that is in episode 6, before he watched episode 6. Or is it better to start with the new series' introduction?

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      I've been wondering this, too. Maybe not for this episode 6 character ( I think it might be more striking if both he and Rose don't know what it is), but some other villains, definitely. I think Cybermen would be good, and the Master, definitely.

    • bibliotrek says:

      As someone who has only seen a few classic series arcs, and had seen none before watching Series 1-3, I can say that it's not necessary to watch the old school stories before the new ones. And wouldn't suggesting arcs to watch provide spoilers for the new series' baddies?

    • hassibah says:

      Do we have a spoiler thread because if there's a specific arc I can watch for backstory I'd like to know about it-before or after I catch the relevant ep.

    • fakehepburn says:

      I think there ARE a couple things he might benefit from knowing about in advance, but especially if we can direct him to watch them without being overly specific — like "Hey Mark, make sure you watch [old episode #whatever] before you watch [new episode blahdeblah], because So-and-so shows up in both of them! SURPRISE RUINED!"

      Too spoilery/DO NOT WANT.

      But, you know, for subtlety and background and such, there are a few episodes he should be watching, but that really just means he needs to stay on a schedule for Old Who and not fall too far behind. (Like, if he's seen some of Four's serials by the time he starts the second series on New Who, that would be good.)

      Sorry for the rambling.

      • Openattheclose says:

        Yes, this is what I meant. I don't think we should be like, "There are Sparkly High School Vampires in the next episode so you should totally watch Five's serial titled 'The Doctor is stalked by the Sparkly High School Vampire' before you watch the next episode." Just say which serials would be a good episode to watch maybe before the start of each series or something.

        DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge there are (thankfully) no Sparkly High School Vampires in Who. If there were, I am sure that they would be better than those other SHSVs anyway. I am sorry if I frightened any new viewers.

  69. kyrissa says:

    Yay! I just re-watched this last night to be ready for your post today. (I've been on/off lurking since HP book 7, so I figured it was time to comment) I've only watched New Who, and I agree with the others that you won't really be all that confused. The new series tends to mix it up with classic stuff and new stuff, but it's never intentionally hard to understand.

    Also, my fav Nine .gif:
    <img src="; alt="Dance" />

  70. ladylarla says:

    Yay Dr Who! My world is now complete. I love the dialogue in the show, its fast and witty and just made of awesomesauce. Im going to enjoy this ride, oh Christmas Special in 3 days!

  71. IsabelArcher2 says:

    Honestly, I wasn't entirely sold by this first episode. Mostly because of the weird late 80's techno music and how did the mannequins suddenly have guns in their hands? Also, is that really the most practical way to kill humans if you have power over all of the plastic in the world? Just suffocate everyone or something. I do not understand. HOWEVER, I was really critical of Firefly in the beginning and eventually became obsessed with it (OMG YOU GUYS. I AM SO SORRY. I WAS NOT PREPARED). And, like Mark, I am a freak about time-travel and sci-fi. Sooo, I think I will probably become obsessed with this series as well.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      I actually had similar thoughts when I re-watched this episode last night.
      "Wow, I don't remember it being so campy. Why do the mannequins have guns in their hands? Breast implants aren't made of plastic" etc.

      I felt the same way when I was first initiated into Dr. Who. Trust me, you will get sucked in, but it may take a few episodes to get used to the very special weirdness of this show. It has the best range of any show I've ever seen. Sometimes it's terrifying and disturbing, sometimes it makes you weep and want to die, it's frequently campy and ridiculous, and more often than not it's witty and hilarious and deeply heartfelt.

    • notemily says:

      Haha, I think of all the illogical stuff like the guns and the plastic-power as "you just have to go with it." Especially in a show like Doctor Who where you have aliens flying around through time in police boxes. It's not exactly Hard SF.

  72. rowanlee says:


    <img src=""/&gt;



  73. Tilja says:

    Incoming Applause Gif FTW!

    <img src="; border="0" alt="DW, EoT – Master's cheer">

  74. lacunaz says:

    Yessssss! I'm glad you've decided to watch this. I know "Rose" isn't the strongest episode ever, but it's a really great introduction.


    <img src="; />

  75. carma_bee says:

    When you get to watching later episodes, and the older episodes, you will notice that the special effects aren't totally amazing a lot of the time, but it doesn't really matter because most of the time the stories are what makes it great. But once you get to the older episodes, the effects now are bound to look amazing compared to the sets and people in suits that they used back then. I think it's fun to laugh at the old effects though, because they just seem like part of the show to me.

  76. EldaTaluta says:

    Most pathetic thing ever, both my sister and I were named after two of the doctor's companions. Sarah Jane (myself) and Tegan (my sister). As far as I know the companions in the older series were predominately male, but I've only seen a few episodes of the older series. I mean, the show's been running since the 1950's or something.

    • EldaTaluta says:

      Oh! And I forgot to say this! 9th Doctor = The Best Doctor.

      • kytten says:

        As others, including myself, have said, for the shows run the companions have been primarily female. Young, attractive, intelligent women between the ages of 15 and 25, usually- the male companions tend to be a little older than that (not always) and a bit more temporary.

        I prefer 10 as a doctor, for reasons I cannot give.

        Not yet, anyway.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      Sorry, I had to. :/

    • Hypatia_ says:

      That's both the geekiest thing ever and kind of amazing.

      I have a friend named Arwen (she's 24, so well before the films made LoTR more pop culture), but naming your kids after Doctor Who companions is another order of geekdom altogether. Then again, I would seriously consider naming my hypothetical future son Malcolm, both after my Scottish grandfather and…because then I could call him Mal. Yeah, I have terminal geek syndrome.

      And Nine is definitely the best, I agree.

      • EldaTaluta says:

        You might be interested to know that if my sister was a boy my dad wanted to name her Eric Micheal Clifford Campbell, or E=MC^2.

    • trash_addict says:

      My best friend Tegan is also named after the companion! Wish I had an awesomely nerdy name origin,

  77. forthejokes says:

    I haven't watched this episode in ages, but pretty much the only thing I remember is the Doctor looking for a large metal disc and Rose pointing out the London Eye. I love that moment. But I do have the rest of the series on DVD, so I need to find time to watch.

    • simply_shipping says:

      I loved that he didn't notice it until the third time he turned around. It sort of inspires a "/This/ is the guy who's going to save the Human race?" feeling, and I do love that feeling.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Yes!!! That moment was awesome.

  78. fakehepburn says:

    Also, there ARE at least a couple police boxes in the UK. (and also, apparently, some distinctly non-TARDIS-looking ones in the US?)

    See gallery at the bottom of page

    (No spoilers anywhere, I promise.)


    • notemily says:

      I think we have some blue things with phones in a little box at the top here in Milwaukee (Wisconsin, USA), but I'm pretty sure they've been non-functional for years now.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      They have some little police call boxes in my college in the US. The boxes are yellow, but the lights are blue, and they STILL make me think of DW.

  79. notemily says:

    Like you, I too love the bit where we see the photo of the Doctor and then it pans out and he's at THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK. Ahahaha. Although, while I was watching this with my roommate, I was like "why aren't there pictures of any of the past Doctors?" I guess Clive only knew about this particular guy, but it seems kind of weird that it was the first hit Rose got when she Googled the Doctor. There were other Doctors! And they didn't look like Christopher Eccleston!

    I'm really excited that you're doing this because Doctor Who is the first thing you're recapping that I HAVEN'T seen/read all of. I've seen a bunch of episodes from this season with CE, and then a few random ones from the David Tennant era, and like half an episode of Matt Smith. So I'll be watching a lot of episodes with you FOR THE FIRST TIME. SO EXCITE. 😀

    And yeah, I knew basically nothing about Doctor Who until the fandom became so big that I couldn't ignore it anymore. Fortunately, I have a roommate who's a total geek about anything SF (in the best way), and she explains things to me anytime I need to ask a "what's a TARDIS" basic-type question. She does her best not to spoil me, but sometimes I go read spoilers for myself because I WANT TO KNOW NOW, DAMMIT. But the weird thing about Doctor Who is that the plots are so often so intricate and involve so many plot lines that it's hard to even spoil YOURSELF. Like, I tried to read backstory on X plot point, and in order to even understand that, I had to read backstory on A, B, and C plot points, and in order to understand THAT… you get the idea. So there are a lot of things I still have absolutely no idea about.

    • Hypatia_ says:

      I'm a librarian, and that search she conducted was kind of hilarious to me. I have spent a lot more time looking for accurate information on much less obscure subjects with better search techniques.

      All I could think (after I got over yelling "YOUR SEARCHING SKILLS SUCK, ROSE!") was "Damn, if I had whatever apparently telepathic search engine she's using there I could rule the information world."

  80. acciochapstick says:

    Huzzah! I've been anticipating this moment from the time people were suggesting you watch this show. I started watching it for the first time over the summer in order, and before that had seen the end of one episode of season 2 that completely hooked me. Therefore, of course, Ten and Rose are my favorites EVER. But omg, Eccleston is so wonderful and intense and I loved him on season 1 of Heroes too.

    You're in for the most wondrous ride, Mark. And you're so not prepared. Enjoy!

  81. notemily says:

    This was the first episode I ever watched, but I wasn't hooked by it! I was like "eh, whatever." I wasn't hooked until much later, when I saw "Utopia." And then when I saw "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" I was like BEST SHOW EVER. And now I am watching the rest along with Mark. Fun times.

    • bookling says:

      I started watching Doctor Who a few months ago, knowing about as much as Mark did about it, and starting here as well. I also wasn't immediately hooked – it took a few episodes, and then I didn't actually FALL IN LOVE with the show until Ten showed up. But now I'm absolutely a fan and am catching up on season five.

  82. Internet User 027 says:

    I love this episode. "LOTS OF PLANETS HAVE A NORTH!" indeed. 9 is my favourite, I only wish he'd gotten a longer run (though Tennant was fantastic and Smith is brilliant).

    Honestly, Tennant was my Doctor but I like Eccleston more.

  83. Rosieb says:

    Heeeeee. So incredibly excite I can't even tell you!

    One thing:
    Can I also say that those costumes look horrifically uncomfortable to wear? How did the actors playing them see out of them?
    This is a bit of a recurring theme. The BBC stunt/suit actors are UTTERLY HEROIC sometimes.

    • sabra_n says:

      The BBC stunt/suit actors are UTTERLY HEROIC sometimes.

      Indeed. Special props go to Jimmy Vee, who plays all the "little people" aliens both on Who and SJA.

  84. empath_eia says:

    I am very excited for this. Very, very excited. I love Rose, and I love Jackie, and I love the Doctor in all his incarnations. Mickey not so much, but I don't hate him either. He's just… almost too normal for the world he exists in.

    I think I might rewatch along with you. It's been a while since I last watched S1, I don't remember as much as I should.

  85. Oh Mark. You are so lovable, and so NOT PREPARED!!!!
    All I can say is: FanTAStic!!!

  86. ldwy says:

    Is everyone watching on Netflix? I don't have it, so I haven't watched this episode yet. I really want to though. Possibly I will have to hunt down the dvds….If anyone knows somewhere I can watch online that'd be great!

    • MowerOfLorn says:

      Here's a site which looks pretty good:

      Its not the one that I used when I watched them all (less than 4 months ago) since that one's mysteriously disappeared, but it should be fine. And if all else fails, just look up the episode name, and type something like "Rose Doctor Who Watch" into google and click around.

    • FlameRaven says:

      The DVDs are horrendously expensive in the US, sadly; I think they run about $70-80, which for a 13-show set is pretty painful. Amazon might have them as low as $40 though.

  87. Vicki Louise says:

    Because it truly needs saying: Russell T Davies deserves all the high fives in the history of high five land!
    To bring back a much loved TV show with the expectations of an entire country (and other countries around the world) cannot have been easy!
    There's a small percentage of fans who say very nasty things about RTD, some go as far as to say they wish he wasn't involved at all!
    There needs to be more RTD love!
    I siriusly recommened reading Russell's book, called The Writers Tale, it's basically about how Doctor Who is made, from the very beginning of a script through to it being shown on the TV. It's unbelievable how much work goes into a show like Doctor Who! And Russell is hilarious, fact!

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I'm curious what people's criticism of RTD is.

      • sabra_n says:

        That's a GIANT can of worms, and it does involve spoilers. Suffice it to say that most folks were still pretty happy with him in the first series, so you don't need to worry about the criticisms right now. 🙂

        (I am among the RTD critics, and this is despite being a fan of most of his pre-Who work. He just does some things better than others, and over the course of several years on Who certain weaknesses of his became very evident. Repeatedly.)

        • bibliotrek says:

          This. Very much this.

        • arctic_hare says:


        • MowerOfLorn says:

          To add to this (without getting spoiler-y) he's like all writer's in the fact that he /does/ have flaws. For me, I personally love his humour and character moments…however, I have issues with his plots- or rather, his conclusions to the plots. I believe this is where most people get their issues from.

          Still, while I am critical of him, this doesn't mean I can't appreciate many of the good things he added to New Who. Hopefully, you'll feel the same. Nonetheless, I honestly can't wait until you get to a Moffat episode!

      • potlid007 says:

        let's just say, I'm excited for you to get to Moffat's work.

  88. Cinthya says:

    (Can I also say that those costumes look horrifically uncomfortable to wear? How did the actors playing them see out of them?)

    they didn't :/ On the confidentials (the behind the scenes show that accompanies every new episode of doctor who ) they show that the actors have to be led around by minders they don't bump into things.

    Are you going to watch the Confidentials (Doctor Who Confidential is the show's proper name) by the way? They're really fun 🙂

    The Time War is a war that happened before the beginning of the 9th doctor's first series but after the TV movie.

    . Oh. So the Doctor is an alien???

    Lol. I never doubted this because I read the wikipedia entry before I watched. I completely forgot that this isn't a given from the beginning.

    “Huh. That won’t last. He’s gay and she’s an alien.” HAHAAHA BLESS YOU.
    “If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the North?” “LOTS OF PLANETS HAVE A NORTH!”

    absolutely some of my favorite lines of the entire run of NuWho (the nickname that fans give the newer run of Doctor Who) 🙂

    I can't wait until you get to the later part of the series, and I'm really glad you get the camp 🙂

  89. Enigmaticrose4 says:

    So, I've never watched a single episode of Dr. Who (never really felt the interest too). But I get the feeling it's as huge as Star Trek.

    A single show that has had movies, books, audio dramas, sequel series, and even a spinoff series (Torchwood).

    Mark, I applaud you for tackling this huge project. I think this will keep you busy for years if you want it to.

    When you want a break can I suggest the shows 'Better off Ted' and 'Arrested Development'? Both are hilarious, have amazing dialogue and were cut off in their prime, like poor Firefly. They're also both on Netflix.

  90. sabra_n says:

    Mark, you are not prepared! And I don't mean that just in the "shocking things are going to happen" sort of way. I mean that this show gets so friggin' weird you can't possibly be prepared for it. Aliens psychically controlling shop dummies is totally banal compared to what's coming in the future. 😀

    Speaking of weird – that's one of the things I really like about Series One. The way it doesn't shy away from the deep strangeness of the Doctor, and the fact that appearances aside, he's not human. He knows humans, he speaks their languages, he's familiar with Earth…but Nine doesn't let you get comfortable, and doesn't let you forget he's not of this planet. Other Doctors are a mixed bag when it comes to that alien quality, but Nine is almost belligerent about it, and I quite enjoy that.

  91. Emily says:

    Just so you know, the special effects only get better from here on out, and the cheese factor goes way down.

    I think the trouble with plastic!Mickey is that they wanted it to be obvious to the audience what was going on yet still plausible that Rose was fooled, and with their effects budget, erred.

  92. trash_addict says:

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Oh man, this episode. The start of one of the best parts of the last 5 years for me – rollicking good times with Doctor Who! As soon as I saw this delicious piece of camp sci-fi wonderfulness, I was in.

  93. ScarlettMi says:

    I'm so glad you've started watching Doctor Who. I didn't discover it until the new series started up and that is the series I fell in love with… but I actually really adore getting into the older stuff too. I think what I love most is that despite the fact that I've got MY DOCTOR who is my own personal favorite, I still find something enjoyable about all the incarnations I've seen. I can't wait to follow your "watches" of this.

  94. THE Nessa says:

    <img src="; border="0" alt="jumpshout Pictures, Images and Photos"/>


  95. eleniel says:

    "And Matt Smith’s companion is like the cutest being in all of existence."

    That was all I could think of during series five: Matt Smith and Karen Gillen are the CUTEST PEOPLE EVER and together their adorableness increases EXPONENTIALLY.


  96. blackrose says:

    Check out this time lord rock music video.

    "When Autons Attack" by Turn Left (aka wizard rock band Riddle TM). (no spoilers)

  97. liis says:

    Finally dusted off my old WordPress for the sake of commenting… I'm sure you'll enjoy this show as much as the rest of us do!

    PS I'm the one who sent you that scarf way back when. Hope it's serving you well in this thoroughly disgusting CA weather.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      omg ILU FOREVER. I love love LOVE the scarf!

      • liis says:

        YAY I'm glad. Did you wear it to DH1? (Talking in acronyms: how you know you've reached fairly obsessive level. Also when it's been ten years[!] since I started reading the books, and I'm still noticing things I missed, which I will contribute when the proper chapters come up.)As a side note, I'm loving all the stuff you talk about. I mean, aside from the actual things you're reviewing (though I'm crazy over HP, Who, and Firefly, AND ALSO FRINGE, so why are you no longer in LA???): discussions of privilege in particular are so necessary, and since I'm out of school I don't get much of it. So thanks a gazillion for that!

  98. syntheticjesso says:

    I signed up for Intense Debate just so I could watch Doctor Who along with you and comment. I've already seen all the New Who, so I'm rewatching with you.

    Watching this episode tonight was nostalgariffic. Nine is not my favorite Doctor, and Rose is not my favorite companion, but they still make for a fun team. That's what this episode is- fun. This was also pretty much my entire introduction to Doctor Who. I had watched the last episode of Season 4 and enjoyed it, but had no idea what was going on. So I decided to go back and watch all of it. Once my friends convinced me that starting with Nine would be okay and I didn't HAVE to start with the first Doctor, I started watching and was hooked. This was a perfect introductory episode, I think. It gives you enough information so that you're not lost, but still only hints at other stuff so that you want to keep watching, and it wraps all of this up in a fun adventure story.

    I think I'm going to enjoy watching the episodes one at a time. The first time around I kind of mainlined them, so hopefully this will let me process each episode individually. Though it will make the two- and three-parters more agonizing…

    (Pretend I didn't post this comment in the wrong post, okay? I was tired, I navigated back to Markreads after signing up for Intense Debate, I'm tired, I just clicked at the top post… did I mention I'm really tired?)

    • FlameRaven says:

      I have to wonder how my introduction to Doctor Who would have gone if I'd started with this episode. As it was, my introduction was my roommate making me watch The Empty Child… and that was it. I then watched the series piecemeal and eventually got addicted. Fortunately, by that point everything up to season 3 was out, so I had plenty to keep me occupied. 😀

  99. agirlinport says:

    I don't know if you've mentioned this anywhere but, how are you watching these? Are you buying them or watching them online somewhere or something? Just wondering since I've never seen the series and I'd like to give it a try but I don't know where to watch it.

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