“Do you wanna come with me?…” - we all remember that trailer which played almost on loop between shows on BBC 1 in the lead up to Doctor Who’s return to our screens.
26 March 2020 marks 15 years since “Rose” first aired. Since then, we’ve seen 4 (ish) new Doctors, countless companions and 2 show runners take the helm since the legendary Russell T. Davies left the TARDIS, and a whole heap of change to the world’s longest-running sci-fi show!
This was the first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw. I was 12 years old at the time had no knowledge of the show’s history, nor did I anticipate the impact the show would have on my life. Just a year later, I was involved with CBBC’s “Totally Doctor Who” which was shot down in Cardiff. During one lunch break, my mum and I were sat in the green room waiting for my time to go down to the studio, and in walked Russell T. Davies. Of course I recognised him, but to my mum this was just another crew member, one of many who would pass through the room during the day. Before I had the chance to explain to my um that this was the “boss” of the whole series, they were laughing and joking together, and before I knew it, Davies had made my mum a cup of tea and the three of us were sat on a sofa together talking all things Doctor Who.
This brief encounter has stuck with me forever. Seeing someone as busy & important as Russell T. Davies taking time out of his day to stop and talk to someone and show some genuine interest is something to be applauded. I think this attitude and interpersonal skill really shows through in Davies’ writing, and allowed him to write real and believable characters that we can all relate to. That is something I feel later series post-Davies lacked. The minute you don’t feel that you can invest in a character, your interest is lost.
“Rose” was, in my opinion, a bit of a gamble. It isn’t the biggest or best episode of series 1. It’s set entirely on earth and the TARDIS is used very occasionally. The easy option would have been to throw as much money as possible at the first episode get people hooked, but instead they chose to pace themselves and give us a good episode, just good enough to bring us back next week. 15 years later, we’re still here watching!