Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode101It’s the first official episode of our fourth year! Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Lynne as we start off our year-of-firsts with “Rose”, the first episode of Doctor Who‘s 2005 re-launch! We discuss our thoughts (if any) at the announcement of the show’s return, our reactions to the episode as it aired, and our feelings about it now.

There’s also some fascinating LiveJournal archaeology and at one point, Erika has a “Liz” moment. It’s loads of fun to kick off a new year!

What do you think of “Rose”? And were you excited about the show’s return? Were you nervous? Or did you not even know about it at the time? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Press reactions to “Rose”
Doctor Who: Project Who?

Download or listen now (runtime 1:31:45) 

Comments on: "101 – A Rosey Outlook" (18)

  1. BJ Wanlund said:

    Thank you for covering my first vain attempt to get into the Doctor Who fandom in the episode Rose. For an amazingly long time I’d been on the outside looking in, and I decided to get the ENTIRE first series of New Who on iTunes because I was told that this show was so good, I’d really love it, but I was so turned off by Rose that I kinda stayed on the outside looking in until last year when I saw, thru Tom Baker and Peter Capaldi, just HOW good DW could be. I also thought that bringing back the Autons as the first New Who villain was quite a bad idea, but I haven’t gone back and watched Rose since I got into the fandom.

  2. My first episode was gridlock (season3) without knowing what it was and many years later i wanted to see it “to try it” and here we are XD

    its a shame that in my country (spain) the TV channels stop broadcasting it after the 50th but thanks to the internet i can see the awsomeness of Capaldi

    And you Deb i’ve already listened to The diary of River Song and its preety good for a first try

  3. Yonatan said:

    I wonder how much the “classic who” vs “New Who” difference in Rose that is talked about on the episdoe is due to the change in the visual style & color palette that came with the beginning of the Moffat era.

    I was in college when Rose came out. I acquired from the “internet fairies” the leaked episode (the one with the classic theme.) I don’t remember what the initial thoughts were, but I know that it wasn’t until Dalek and The Doctor Dances that i completely bought in.

  4. […] Doctor Who day! By which I mean there is new Verity! out today, so getting back to my Doctor Who reviews seemed thematically relevant. On V!, we’re […]

  5. I was so incredibly happy with Rose when it first aired. And it still makes me happy and excited when I watch it now. It was everything I wanted in a first episode at the time, and it did seem to work well coming off of the TV Movie and the tie-in books I’d read (mostly NAs, but a few EDAs, too). The pacing can be a little stilted, but I don’t care. I’m not at the point yet where I can look at it objectively. I was one of the ones who “acquired” it before it got picked up by Sci-Fi (traded a friend my copy of Lungbarrow for DVDs), then rushed out and bought it the day it was available for purchase.

    Though, to be fair, when I’d first heard about the show, in the middle of all my squealing in delight (saw the news article while browsing the web at work at lunch) because my favorite thing was coming back and I’d be able to watch it on TV new, as opposed to PBS reruns or VHS tapes/DVDs, was a bit of sadness that the announcement invalidated “Scream of the Shalka”, which I’d just finished watching online. Until Eccleston’s reveal as the new Doctor, I’d been keeping my fingers crossed for Richard E. Grant (so happy he got to be in the series proper later on!).

  6. Cynthia Henry said:

    I was THRILLED when a friend told me about it in September 2003. I then went to Chicago Tardis in November, where Colin Baker was very positive about it based on who was producing it. He also recommended that we watch “Second Coming” to see as an exampled of what Russell’s writing was like. Little did we know at the time that the actor who starred in it would-Christopher Eccleston-would be the new Doctor.

  7. Eric Gjovaag said:

    I am a long-time classic “Who” fan, going back to when Colin Baker was the Doctor. After the disappointment of the 1996 Paul McGann movie, you can be sure that I was hesitant about the show coming back, but just the fact that the BBC alone was doing it was at least some reassurance. When my wife (a fellow Whovian, we first met in person at a con) and I watched “Rose”, all of our fears disappeared. It was different, it wasn’t perfect, but it was clearly “Doctor Who”. The rest of the season was equally reassuring. We cheered at the end of “Aliens of London”, just because it was the first cliffhanger since episode 2 of “Survival”! It was how we always imagined the classic show should have been.

  8. terminuspodcast said:

    I recently revisited ‘Rose’ for the first time in ages for my own podcast a few months ago ( and I hate to say that I still am *really* not a fan of the story. In fact, I just think that had I not been a Classic Who fan coming in, I might not have stuck around afterward to wait for it to improve. *shrug*

    And god, I cheered aloud when Liz talked about the class issues and her issues with how Rose acted about things vs Mickey or Jackie. That had always left a very bad taste in my mouth as well and I felt that when I was meant to be cheering for Rose, I just thought she was an ungrateful, surly teenager and really disliked her (maybe had I not been in my 30s but in my teens instead, I would have liked her more?). This all culminated in that speech she gives to Jackie and Mickey in ‘Parting of the Ways’ about how she’s learned to live a better life than theirs that is supposed to be uplifting, but felt more I’m-holier-than-thou to me and just left me even more annoyed. I guess I just always sided more with Mickey and Jackie in those cases. Rose just seemed like she thought she was better than everyone and seeing that all the way back in the first episode just left me cold about the character. 😦

    P.S. I actually prefer the TV Movie to ‘Rose’, FWIW. I immediately watched that again and again and again after it aired (I’d recorded it off the TV back then) and while it had issues, of course, I really loved it. I wish that ‘Rose’ had hit me that strongly as well, but honestly it wasn’t until S3 of the new series that I finally fell in love with the show again.

  9. This is my first time ever commenting on a Doctor Who blog. I am a latecomer to the fandom. I only became interested when the internet went crazy that Matt Smith was leaving so I started reading up on what this Doctor Who show was. I love time travel stories and can’t believe I’d never heard of it before.
    I decided to start at the beginning and in my mind that was starting with “Rose”. I’ve since tried many times but just can’t get into Classic Who.
    I really loved Rose and 9 right from the start. I watched S1 over a few weeks and thought it was good. Started S2 and was really intrigued with the regeneration and started binge watching. By the time I watched Blink I was officially obsessed and caught up to the live broadcasts in the middle of S7. I re-watch the Moffat years the most because Rory and River added so much to the story for me. I much prefer long story arcs over one and done or monster of the week episodes. The loyalty, love and patience of Rory & River just added so much to the show I never want it to end so I just watch them over and over.
    I just found your podcast and I LOVE it! The Christmas Episode was so great that I went looking for conversation that shared my excitement.
    As much as I love the Doctor – River is my favorite character on the show. I’ve never quite accepted Capaldi as the doctor since all my doctors are from new Who and he was just so grouchy. I’m not a Clara fan so that didn’t help. Seeing him with River I finally get it. I’ve always been appreciative of Capaldi as an actor but he just wasn’t the doctor to me.
    With a new companion on the way I’m really excited to see where the show goes.
    Thanks for reading my babble. I’m off to listen to your previous 99 episodes of the podcast!

  10. Great episode, thank you! I am 52 years old and can remember watching Jon Pertwee as The Doctor in syndication on PBS in Chicago, in the mid-1970s. My love for the character only grew during the Tom Baker years. I was a huge fan having collected dozens of paperback novelizations of the episodes, a 20 foot-long scarf knitted for me by my girlfriend’s grandma, and hours of audio cassette recordings made of the shows, having held the microphone up to the front speaker of old 12″ black & white tv I had in my room (we couldn’t afford a vcr). Yet in the early 80’s I graduated HS and began my college years, at about the same time as Doctor Who seemed to regress into a children’s show (in my estimation anyway). Honestly, I lost touch with Doctor Who altogether. I remember watching the Paul McGann movie and thinking they had gotten it all wrong.

    So when, in 2004, I heard they were producing a new Dr. Who series I was not very hopefull. I only watched due to how well I thought the recent rebooting of Battlestar Galactica was, and thought that maybe, just maybe, Dr. Who could be good again. I remember watching “Rose” the first time. I was thrilled with every bit. It was a perfect balance for the time, of old and new. Dr. Who was back!

    I look forward to listening to the rest of your podcasts revisiting that great first series!

  11. Eric Gjovaag said:

    Hi, me again. I’m not done listening to it yet (darned not long enough commute!), but I can add in some insight into the timing of new “Who” in North America, as at the time, we lived in Seattle, and got the CBC out of Vancouver in our cable system. That was the year the NHL was on strike for the whole season, so the CBC was scrambling for any non-hockey programming they could get. As a result, that first season of “Doctor Who” got an early showing and a lot of publicity. Christopher Eccleston even did some behind-the-scenes extras just for the Canadian broadcasts. Those episodes were on the CBC only ten days after their first BBC broadcasts. And it’s a good thing, because it looked like there was NEVER going to be American broadcasts for the longest time. Finally, a release date was announced for the DVD set, some time early that summer, after the CBC run was over—and THEN Sci-Fi finally announced they were going to show it that summer, which pushed back the American DVD release. The Canadian release went through as originally announced, however, so I ordered a set from Canada. (Later that year, I will add, the CBC showed “The Christmas Invasion” on Boxing Day!)

  12. I have always thought that Rose was a brilliant start to the new series. It is not a flawless piece of television, but as a statement of intent it works so well.

    And for me it started with the music! The opening titles and music were both new and familiar. Up tempo and energetic, but the TARDIS was hurtling around the screen and the melody was right there. I remember the thrill of watching the titles dissolve into that shot of space and the Earth, before zooming in and plunging us straight into the story. A mundane council flat, a pinging alarm clock and we’re off! This first sequence of Rose’s day was a high energy thrill, and the music, cheap though it was, sold it for me. As a very long standing (early 1970’s) fan, I had to work hard to get the pacing, but it was obvious why it was done that way.

    The move from the mundane to the mysterious was very well done, and the layers of walking dummies, a strange saviour and a magic box were beautifully built up. I liked the Doctor’s turning of the Earth speech. I felt that it was a glimpse of the real man from behind the happy chappy facade that he was trying to keep in place. Rose was pushing and pushing, and so he lost patience, revealing enough of himself to throw her off balance so that he could get away. Or so he thought!

    Some of the later music did not work – the sequence when the Autons were collapsing in particular is pretty grim.

    I found your discussion of class very interesting. Liz’s critique is well observed, I think. It is certainly true that she was intended to be 19, but that is only an explanation, not an excuse. There was redemption down the track (‘you think you’re too good for us, after all your travelling’), but in this episode, the slavish adherence to Rose’s world view does her mum and Mickey no favours.

    Great discussion! Happy 2016!

  13. I came into New Who late, and “backwards.” I was NOT a Classic Who fan in the 70s and 80s – like so many Trek fans, I looked down my nose at “that British kids’ show.” I WAS a John Barrowman fan, having seen him on Broadway with Carol Burnett in Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together. (In fact, if you have seen the DVD extra of the night Carol lost her skirt during the Act Two opening number, I was there that night.) I’d heard Barrowman was going to be in a new show called Torchwood. I got about three or four episodes in when I realized it was a Doctor Who spinoff. I realized I needed backstory, so I went ahead and “acquired” Series 1, and have been hooked ever since. I have been (very, very) slowly making my way through Classic Who, though current television and my B5 re-watch for Erika’s other podcast have slowed the pace to a crawl, as well as the fact that I still find a LOT of Classic Who cringe-inducing. I was lucky/unlucky enough to inherit my aunt’s DVD collection when she passed away, including at least one version of every DW story published on DVD (she didn’t have a lot of the Special Editions).

  14. sostorm said:

    Thank you for another great episode. It’s really fun to hear everyone’s first impression.

    I came to Doctor Who a couple of years after it aired. I think it was 2009. As I don’t like to start in the middle of a series (even though I now can recommend series 5 as a jumping on point) I started with Rose. This after a long time with several friends telling me that I should really give it a go and having known about it since 1999 when I stared reading everything by Douglas Adams.

    Anyhow, much like Deb I’m not sure Rose is the best episode to start with. My brain went through several phases trying to categorise it but couldn’t decide if it was drama, suspense or humour. It wasn’t as sci-fi as I though, which sort of disappointed me. I didn’t connect to Rose at all (I remembered Billy Piper from her pop days). Basically me and DH turned to each other and said ‘What did we just watch? Those Brits…’. It took me a while to get into it but then I really really loved it. I continued watching because it made me a bit curious and because so many friends had told me to.

    To be honest it was much like my reaction to first listening to Big Finish. Sirens of Time is not a good episode to start with (there are a lot of voices, different stories that seems unrelated etc) but it got me curious and due to so many recommendations I continued and now I’m completely in love.

  15. Richard Ayton said:

    The obvious next episode is probably An Unearthly Child. I wonder whether part of any such discussion could include the ramifications to the series if the unaired version became the official one. Erika was not overly fond of the first Doctor during the first few serials anyway. Hartnell’s performance in the unaired pilot appears to depict the Doctor’s character as envisaged by Verity, whereas Newman and Hartnell were happier with the revisions.

  16. Eric Gjovaag said:

    Me yet again. Sorry, I don’t normally post at all, let alone three times! But I will just add that the whole “I can feel the Earth spinning” speech that has divided the Veriteers (Is that a word? Well it is now!) so much was a late addition, when it turned out that “Rose” was underrunning, and RTD quickly wrote it up to pad the timing. So if it seems tacked on, that’s because in was. But for those of us who think it’s one of the best parts of “Rose”, and encapsulates so much of what “Doctor Who” is all about, that just goes to show how desperation can be the mother of invention.

  17. Paul Bristow said:

    WARNING: This “quick comment” turned into a bit of an epic saga. [BLUSH] =:o}

    – – – – – – – –

    I remember so well the lead up to the first airing of Rose! I’d been paying attention to all the announcements as they came out of who was involved behind the scenes, and since I was unemplyed at the time I decided to spend all that spare time between job interviews putting together my own video documentary about the back-story to the new show and its contributors. I had RTD’s “New Adventures” novel which I planned to show with an explanatory voice-over, I order the DVD of “Second Coming”, and a friend lent me her tapes of “Queer as Folk” (I eventually even got hold of off-air recordings of “Dark Season”, RTDs much earlier SF series for children), but I think by then the project was already faltering… see later). For Stephen Moffat, I had off-air recordings of all the last few seasons of Press Gang, but I decided to order the DVDs so I could use higher quality clips (and that’s how I discovered the “Trespassers Will Be Exterminated” sign from the first episode, written in *proper 1960s dalek comic font*!!! A freeze-frame of that, zoomed in, went onto my “clips to use” working disk)… And I got hooked on “Coupling” via the project. For Mark Gatiss, I had the “Saying Adieu” video diary that he shot with Sylvester McCoy during production of the making of the TV movie, and a couple of fan-made video dramas he’d written the scripts for, and I ordered the “League of Gentlemen” live stage production on DVD (which got me Mark’s marvellous cave tour-guide monologue that references Tom Baker fighting off Cybermen!); And for both him and Rob Shearman I could stick in a few audio clips from Big Finish while showing the covers on screen. I had trouble getting hold of anything of Paul Cornell’s work, other than the novels, since neither Coronation Street nor Casualty were (or are) blessed with many video or DVD releases. =:o\

    The idea was that I would be able to show this documentary off at a convention or two, or at least lend it to friends to try to get them enthusiastic about the show’s return. “Yes the people making it are all genuine Doctor Who fans; Yes they are also all proven TV professionals and/or stage playwrights!” … But long before the project was complete, it became obvious the BBC were pulling out all the stops on their own pre-publicty for the series, *including* telling the same story that I was trying to tell, of the Wilderness Years had bred this new crop of Doctor Who writers and producers from within our own fandom. In the end, I just ended up doing a stand-up presentation to a small room full of people in Leytonstone, at “WhoLeyCon 2”. A few months later, we all gathered again at my house in Harlow, for what I dubbed “WhoHarCon 2b”, to watch the broadcast of Rose. I’d already seen the ep a couple of times thanks to the leaked version, but I kept quiet about that. =:o} However, it meant that when certain, er audio difficulties crept in during the basement sequence, I immediately thought “that doesn’t sound right”, realised what had gone wrong in the Beeb’s continuity suite, and yelled “Oh my God, I don’t believe it!!! – which must have shocked my guests a bit. [BLUSH] =:o} Yes, this was the notorious accidental broadcast of live behind-the-scenes sound from Graham Norton’s studio, including audience cheers and Graham himself speaking. Twice! =:o[

    Anyway, despite their anguished host being on tenterhooks all the way though the broadcast, in case of any more BBC cock-ups, I *think* my guests enjoyed the show. (We certainly all enjoyed the TARDIS cake afterwards, prepared for us by “Aunty” Marion Beet. =:o} )

    For the episode itself, what struck me straight from first viewing was how it seemed like a natural successor to “Survival”, the last broadcast “Classic” story (barring the TV Movie, which I count as neither “Classic” nor “New” Who, but rather the first ep of a separate era called “The McGann Years”. =:o} ). The council estate setting, the sense of being completely contemporary to its era, the focus on the companion and her reactions and interactions as much as on the title character. Even, in some ways, the music seemed like a natural progression from Dominic Glynn’s mix of ’80s sampling-synths and Spanish guitar.

    At the same time, it was obviously a more up-to-date production, in terms of the general way that TV was being made by then: I could imagine that this would be exactly how Doctor Who would look and sound by now. Shot completely in “film-like” progressive video, rather than good old fashioned interlaced (or worse still, a mixture of the two); 45 minute episodes with little to no padding; Naturalistic dialogue complete with regional accents; and with proper attention paid to all the emotional and character beats, just as much as to plot ones.

    The structure of the episode, it seemed to me (and still does) was as if a Sylvester McCoy-era 3-part story had just had most of it’s first episode removed: Specifically, all the bits featuring the Doctor, as he arrives on Earth, discovers something suspicious, traces the problem to Henrick’s department store, and discovers the Autons (probably with an “Aha!” close-up moment and leaving us to guess what he’s seen, before cutting to Rose being handed the lottery money). One could imagine all those rapid clips of Rose’s day that we see strung together to music, as “originally” being little cut aways from the Doctor’s antics, introducing our first glimpses of the new companion and forcing us to wonder, for a while, just how and when she and the Doctor will meet. (We would even have got to hear that joke of Mickey’s that cracks her up! =:o} ).

    And the end of part 2, in that version, would have come when Clive reaches the end of his doomy speech about the Doctor, and we see Rose staring back at him… Is she taken in by this, we worry? Is she going to be misled by Clive into messing up the Doctor’s plan to save the Earth? [QUEUE descending electronic scream, “Woo-ooohhh!”, etc.] … And next week the cliff hanger is hilariously “resolved” by Rose getting into the car with “plastic Mickey”: “You were right, he’s a nutter. Let’s go home.”

    Ah… Happy, long-ago days… =:o}

  18. OMG! I totes forgot to say how brilliantly “Rose” re-uses key e!ements from the *original* first episode, “An Unearthly Child”: Start with contemporary, likeab!e human characters, introduce a mysterious element, and gradually draw them (and thus the audience) into the Doctor’s world.

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