Doctor Who

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Mar 26, 2005 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
814 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Location: London, England Date: 4th/5th/6th March 2005 Enemy: Nestene Consciousness, The Autons Rose Tyler, a shop girl from London, stumbles across a mysterious individual called The Doctor. She tries to help as he seeks out the Nestene Consciousness, an alien who is controlling living plastic in an attempt to take over the world.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Rose's first episode and the story that started it all again!

    Ladies and Gentlemen here it is the episode that restarted it all! After being put on hiatus in 1989 (and actually being, aside from the odd telemovie and comic strip, cancelled) Doctor Who languished for fifteen years until the BBC and Russell T. Davies created the revamped series, which aired its first episode Rose on March 26, 2005.

    - This episode begins and quickly establishes the tone that we will see throughout the entire Davies era, metropolitan London. We get a glimpse into Rose's humdrum life that she seems rather bored to be living. After a three minute montage that effectively establishes the setting, Rose's job, and her relationship with Mickey the elevator reaches the department store basement, the peppy music stops, and the real story begins.

    Rose is looking for 'Wilson' CEO of something or other and hears a noise from deeper in the shop basement. Now here is a question for you to ponder: why does she go into that room? Why do they always go into the room? Here's a tip for you, boys and girls: if you're in a dark basement, all alone, and you hear a noise from a dark room full of creepy dummies it might just be the time to run the other way. Especially if you're blond. Blonds always die first...

    That is our first introduction to The Doctor after all these years and this first appearance of the two-hearted alien is sure to put a smile on your face. Whether he's pulling the arm off of a dummy or blowing up the department store, Christopher Eccleston's Doctor does it all with a faade of jocularity and an undercurrent of darkness.

    Mickey Smith. I rather think 'Mickey the Idiot' is rather too kind a nickname for him, especially when the rubbish bin eats him (this scene is complete with a rather painful burp). The highlight of this portion of the episode, however, is in the form of Rose talking with 'internet nutter' Clive about his conspiracy theories concerning The Doctor. This is a prime example of how the show has received a reboot for the modern era because this sort of thing is the exact reaction that people would have to someone like The Doctor, particularly if they didn't know the entire story.

    So I've talked a lot about Rose and complained about Mickey, but I have yet to touch on the last person in Rose's life: her mother. Jackie Tyler is one of those rare jewels in that she just jumps off of the page and out of the screen to the point where you feel that she might be your next-door neighbour. Needless to say, I love Jackie. We don't see much of her in this episode, but from what we do see we learn quite a lot.

    The climax of this episode is good despite a few unnecessary lines from Doctor Exposition ("The transmat beam; it's transmitting!") especially with the off-screen death of Clive and Jackie being menaced by a trio of blond brides.

    So how does this episode rate over all? Well, as a season opener and series revival it did it's job (introducing/reintroducing viewers to the lore) admirably. There were some weak moments (like the aforementioned garbage can belch or the Captain Obvious moments written for The Doctor) but it dished up some good old-fashioned scary fun with the blank-faced Autons and screaming shoppers.

  • Every Rose Has It's Thorn

    Sorry, I couldn't resist the title.

    Anyway, this episode of Doctor Who, the FIRST episode of the new series, is full of ups, and downs. Mostly ups, though.

    The episode serves as a great pilot episode, if not a great episode in general. It introduces many (if not all) plot elements present in the next season, and introduces many important characters.

    The first half of the episode is absolute genius, due to the writing of the head writer, Russel T. Davies. However, the second half isn't quite as fantastic, however this is probably more due to the fact that we see more of the villains, which are really kind of a flat, run-of-the-mill Doctor Who villain. Which, I suppose is acceptable considering it's the first episode. And in first episodes, the focus is on the main characters and getting to know them than on an actually decent villain. The aliens are really kind of the "thorn" of Rose.

    The visual effects are admittedly not fantastic, but I don't see why some of my fellow reviewers seem to be making such a big deal out of it.

    Review for "The End of the World" coming soon.moreless
  • A good start to an old Favourite

    I watched dr Who as a Child, I was never a big fan but have fond memories of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker playing the lead roles. I decided to give the more recent series a try and watch it with my own was the first episode of the revamped series and I though Colin Ecclestone was particularly good in the lead role. This episode was particularly entertaining, and introduced the charachters and the relationships well. Will continue watching.moreless
  • Oooo Yaaa!!!

    It was Awsome !!
  • Rose Review

    Rose was an average episode of Doctor Who. It was a good way to start the new series but not that great of an episode itself. The autons are really good creatures but they make them seem kind of silly at points in this story. They did do a very good job at making them look plastic though, although the rest of the visual effects are lame. Rose herself is not a good character. She is just a jerk. She is very pretty but very much a teenager. She seems to be kind of full of herself and is kind of an idiot. Christopher Eccleston is a good doctor. He is very fun to watch and I look forward to seeing him more. I also love his speech about how he can feel the world moving.moreless
Adam McCoy

Adam McCoy

Clive's Son

Guest Star

Elli Garnett

Elli Garnett

Caroline Finch

Guest Star

Mark Benton

Mark Benton

Clive Finch

Guest Star

Camille Coduri

Camille Coduri

Jackie Tyler

Recurring Role

Noel Clarke

Noel Clarke

Mickey Smith

Recurring Role

Nicholas Briggs

Nicholas Briggs

Nestene Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (21)

    • When the Doctor attacks the plastic Mickey with the champagne cork there is no champagne. He makes a big production of shaking the bottle in order to increase the pressure and thus shoot the cork into plastic Mickey's head, but no spray of liquid follows the cork or even dribbles out of the bottle when it is tipped.

    • Never before has an episode been named after the companion, old and new series.

    • When Rose uses Mickey's computer, a yellow 46 is seen on the monitor. This is the number for MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi, who is known as "The Doctor".

    • The Time War gets its first mention in this episode, albeit a little cryptically, when the Doctor explains to Rose the Nestene's food stock was destroyed in a war. We are also told later on that the Doctor himself fought in the war.

    • The first appearance of the Doctor shows him grabbing Rose's hand. The old Doctor Who final producer, John Nathan Turner, didn't like the Doctor and his companions to touch as he thought there should be no implied sexual relationship between the two.

    • Rose is shown to work at a department store called Henrik's, according to both a banner over the entrance and signage inside the store. However, when we see BBC News coverage, the store is identified onscreen as Henrick's.

    • The Doctor says that he can feel the ground beneath his feet spinning at "a thousand miles an hour". A figure of 1,041 miles an hour would be accurate at the equator. However, as a point on the earth travels through a smaller circle at higher latitudes as it approaches the North Pole (where it rotates, but does not move at all), the speed for London it would actually be about 650 miles an hour.

    • The assassination of JFK discussed by Clive in the episode is also significant to the history of Doctor Who, as the first episode of Doctor Who was transmitted the day following the assassination.

    • In his first incarnation the Doctor met Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan, in the original series story Marco Polo. The Doctor has never had an on-screen meeting with Genghis such as says here, although the Master claims (falsely) that the Doctor was Genghis Khan in a previous life in the TV Movie.

    • This is the second established time that the Doctor has visited Krakatoa during its eruption. The first is referenced in the original series Inferno, Episode 2, when the Doctor says the screeching noise he hears from a dying man is the same as that released at Krakatoa. Presumably the Doctor was present at Krakatoa in his first or second incarnation.

    • When Rose runs into the TARDIS, she says to the Doctor "It's gonna follow us!", but if you look closely, her lips do not move when she says it.

    • During the episode, Clive shows pictures of the Doctor by himself in various places (Krakatoa, JFK's assassination and at Southampton when the Titanic set sail). However, during this episode the Doctor implies several times that he has recently regenerated. You would expect the pictures can't be from the Doctor's future, because Rose is always with him until he regenerates and she's not in any of the pictures. But if he just regenerated before this episode then he couldn't have visited them in his past, either.

      There are however acknowledged gaps between on screen episodes. In Boom Town Rose tells Mickey about places she has visited with The Doctor that are not shown on screen in previous episodes. So Rose could be travelling with The Doctor in all the instances found by Clive, since there is no guarantee she is standing right next to him at all these locations, so would not necessarily appear on the photos.

      Plus, The Doctor could have travelled to these places in between the time when he leaves Rose and Mickey at the end of episode one, to when he returns saying "did I mention, it also travels in time?".

    • It is believed that the Nestene Consciousness mouths the words "Bad Wolf" during this episode, thus making it the first appearance of the reference. However according Russell T Davies it in fact says "Time Lord". He placed it in the dubbing script afterwards in order to get a mention of the Doctor being a Time Lord in the first episode. Russell also states it was dubbed in the wrong place, being later than it should have been.

    • In the classic Jon Pertwee episode Spearhead from Space it was said that the Nestenes colonized many already inhabited planets, and didn't retain a home world as such. Now, either they settled down in the time between and that planet was destroyed, or someone hasn't done their homework.

    • When Rose gives Mickey the Auton's arm, it is a right arm, but when Mickey throws it in the dumpster it is a left arm, then it's back to being a right arm when it attacks the doctor.

    • When the wedding bride Autons prepare to shoot at Rose's mum, we see two close-up shots of Auton hand guns aim and then cut to a wide shot where all three have their guns ready, but afterwards another close-up shot of a third hand gun aiming is shown.

    • When the Doctor and Rose are running towards the London Eye, Big Ben shows the time as being 10:30, yet there are night buses running (which run between around midnight and 5 a.m.).

    • The Nestene only gave the dummies a "life", so who gave them the guns in their hands? Could there be a conspiracy between the Nestene and plastic shop dummy manufacturers?

    • The Doctor explains the acronym TARDIS as "Time And Relative Dimension in Space" leaving the 'S' off the word Dimensions. In An Unearthly Child from the Classic Doctor Who series, Susan who named the ship, didn't say Dimensions, she said Dimension. It was throughout most of the remainder of the classic series that the goof was made by saying Dimensions.

    • When the shop dummies start their rampage, we don't actually see anyone being shot or killed. The official BBC on-line version of Clive's website confirms that he is killed, however in the aftermath there does not appear to be any other dead people on the floor, just inert dummies. Considering the amount of firing they were doing, there would have been dozens of bodies laying around everywhere.

    • Why did the Doctor give Rose the plastic arm when he needed it to pinpoint the Nestene Consciousness AND he knew that it was dangerous, as seen later when he goes through the trouble of tracking it down and finds it at Rose's home? (One possible explanation is that he's absentminded--plus the fact that he had a lot on his mind at the time, i.e. destroying the relay device on the roof.)

  • QUOTES (28)

    • The Doctor: What you doing here?
      Rose: I live here.
      The Doctor: Well what you do that for?
      Rose: 'Cause I do!

    • The Doctor: Can we keep the domestics outside? Thank you!

    • The Doctor: How can you hide something that big in a city this small?
      Rose: Hold on. Hide what?
      The Doctor: The transmitter. The Consciousness is controlling every single piece of plastic, so it needs a transmitter to boost the signal.
      Rose: What's it look like?
      The Doctor: Like a transmitter. Round and massive! Somewhere slap bang in the middle of London. A huge, metal, circular structure. Like a dish, a like a wheel, round, radial, close to where we're standing. It must be completely invisible! (Rose looks at the London Eye behind The Doctor) What? (she nods at it, The Doctor turns around) What? (Rose nods at it again) What? What is it? (he looks again) Oh! Fantastic!

    • Rose: So what you're saying is, the entire world revolves around you?
      The Doctor: Sort of, yeah.
      Rose: You're full of it!
      The Doctor: Sort of, yeah.

    • The Doctor: (offering Rose to travel with him in the TARDIS) You could stay here, fill your life with work and food and sleep or you could go… anywhere.
      Rose: Is it always this dangerous?
      The Doctor: Yep.

    • The Doctor: (answering the Nestene Consciousness) That's not true! I should know. I was there. I fought in the war! It wasn't my fault. I couldn't save your world! I couldn't save any of them!

    • The Doctor: (to the Nestene Consciousness) This planet is just starting. These stupid little people have only just learned how to walk but they're capable of so much more. I'm asking you, on their behalf, please just go.

    • Clive: If you dig deep enough and keep a lively mind, this Doctor keeps cropping up all over the place. Political diaries, conspiracy theories… even ghost stories. No first name, no last name. Just 'The Doctor'. Always 'The Doctor'.

    • Jackie: There's Finch's. You could try them. They've always got jobs.
      Rose: Oh, great. The butchers.
      Jackie: Well, it might do you good. That shop was giving you airs and graces. And I'm not joking about compensation. You've had genuine shock and trauma. Ariana got two thousand quid off the council just cos the old man behind the desk said she looked Greek. (pause) I know she is Greek, but that's not the point.

    • The Doctor: (Explaining to Rose about the Autons as he goes through the shop) They're made of plastic. Living plastic creatures. And they're being controlled by a relay device on the roof. Which would be a great big problem, if I didn't have this (takes out an explosive device). So I'm going to go upstairs and blow it up, and I might well die in the process but don't worry about me, no, you go home. (guides Rose through the fire-door) Go on, have your lovely beans on toast. Don't tell anyone about this cos if you do, you'll get them killed. (slams the door)

    • (After the Doctor saves Rose from the Auton attack in the basement, they travel in the lift)
      Rose: Who are they, then? Students? Is this a student thing or what?
      The Doctor: Why would they be students?
      Rose: I don't know.
      The Doctor: Well, you said it. Why students?
      Rose: Cos… to get that many people dressed up and being silly, they've got to be students.
      The Doctor: That makes sense. Well done.
      Rose: Thanks.
      The Doctor: They're not students.

    • The Doctor: Well, who else is there? I mean you lot, all you do is eat chips, go to bed and watch telly. While all the time, underneath you, there's a war going on.

    • Rose: Who are you ?
      The Doctor: I told you, The Doctor.
      Rose: Yeah but, Doctor what?
      The Doctor: Just The Doctor
      Rose: The Doctor!
      The Doctor: Hello!

    • The Doctor: Think of it. Plastic, all over the world. Every artificial thing waiting to come alive. The shop-window dummies, the phones, the wires, the cables...
      Rose: The breast implants...

    • Rose: Okay. And this living plastic, what's it got against us?
      The Doctor: It loves you. You've got such a good planet! Lots of smoke and oil, plenty of toxins and dioxins in the air...perfect. Just what the Nestene Consciousness needs. Its food stock was destroyed in the war, all its protein plants rotted, so Earth: dinner!

    • Clive: If he's singled you out, if the Doctor's making house calls...then God help you.

    • Clive: The Doctor is a legend woven throughout history. When disaster comes he's there. He brings a storm in his wake and has one constant companion.
      Rose: Who's that?
      Clive: Death.

    • (Talking about Clive)
      Rose: You're not coming in? He's safe. He's got a wife and kids.
      Mickey: Yeah! Who told you that? He did. That's exactly what an internet lunatic murderer would say.

    • The Doctor: Did I mention? It (the TARDIS) also travels in time!

    • Nestene Consciousness: Time Lord!
      The first time that the term is used in the new series, and hissed by the 'blob' itself towards the end of the episode. The Doctor will be confirmed as a time lord by a machine and himself in the next episode...

    • Clive: (About the Doctor) I think he's the same man, I think he's immortal, I think he's an alien from another planet.
      Rose: (To Mickey) You're right, he's a lunatic; complete online conspiracy freak.

    • Rose: If you're an alien, why do you sound like you're from the north?
      The Doctor: Lots of planets have a north.

    • The Doctor: It's called the TARDIS, this thing. T.A.R.D.I.S. That's Time And Relative Dimension In Space.
      (Rose starts crying)
      The Doctor: Culture shock. Don't worry, it happens to the best of us.

    • The Doctor: I'm the Doctor, by the way, what's your name?
      Rose: Rose.
      The Doctor: Nice to meet you, Rose, run for your life!

    • Jackie Tyler: I'm in my dressing gown.
      The Doctor: Yes, you are.
      Jackie Tyler: There's a strange man in my room.
      The Doctor: Yes, there is.
      Jackie Tyler: Anything could happen.
      The Doctor: (Shaking head) ... No.

    • The Doctor: (to the Nestene) If I might observe, you infiltrated this civilization by means of Warp Shunt may I suggest with the greatest respect that you shunt off (smug grin).

    • Rose: (saying to self) I've got no A-Levels, no job, no future, but i'll tell you what I have got - Gaolford Street Junior High Under 7's Gymnastics Team, I got the bronze.

    • Rose: Really though, Doctor, tell me, who are you?
      The Doctor: Do you know, like we were saying, about the Earth revolving? It's like when you were a kid, the first time they tell you that the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it because it 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, the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand 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. Now forget me, Rose Tyler. Go home.

  • NOTES (25)

    • Injoke: When Rose uses Mickey's computer, a yellow 46 is seen on the monitor. This is the number for MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi, who is known as "The Doctor".

    • The first appearance of the Doctor shows him grabbing Rose's hand. The old Doctor Who final producer, John Nathan Turner, didn't like the Doctor and his companions to touch as he thought there should be no implied sexual relationship between the two.

    • Christopher Eccleston is credited as "Doctor Who" in the end credits, this is the first time the character had been listed with that name since the end of Season 18.

    • This episode is obviously meant to occur soon after the 8th Doctor regenerated into the 9th, since he comments on his appearance while looking in the mirror while waiting for Rose to bring him coffee.

    • When the Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver on the elevator buttons, we see a blue light projected outward, just like Captain Jack Harkness' Squareness Gun in "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances". This is the only time in the Doctor Who series that we see his sonic screwdriver project light outwards. Normally he just points, there is a sound and, in the new series, the tip lights up.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Turkey: September 6, 2009 on CNBC-e

    • Mark Benton previously appeared as Ellis in the Big Finish Production Invaders from Mars, starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. He also has a prominent role in Russell T. Davies' apocalyptic drama The Second Coming which starred Christopher Eccleston as the Son of God.

    • This is the first return of Doctor Who since the 1996 Movie.

    • The final viewing figure for the BBC One airing of this episode was 10.81 million. This was the highest viewing figure for Doctor Who (2005) up until the Children In Need short, Time Crash, and then the following Christmas special, Voyage of the Damned, which both aired in 2007.

    • Henrik's department store, where Rose works, is actually Howells Department Store, on St Mary's Street in Cardiff.

      The same location is used during the Christmas shopping scenes of The Christmas Invasion.

    • Tizano's Pizza restaurant where Auton Mickey runs amok, is actually the La Fosse Restaurant in Cardiff.

    • The Nestene lair was filmed in a disused paper mill in Grangetown, Cardiff.

    • The final scene in this episode, where Rose runs into the TARDIS, was filmed in St David's Market, just behind St David's Hall in the centre of Cardiff.

      This location was also used for the Market scene in Love & Monsters.

    • Rose's home in this episode is filmed around the 3 blocks of flats at Lydstep Crescent, Llandaff North, Cardiff. Just across the River from Broadcasting House. From Aliens Of London onwards the Brandon Estate in London (near The Oval) is used as the filming location for the Powell Estate.

    • Catherine Capeline is uncredited as an Auton.

    • This episode leaked out onto the internet several weeks before it was due to air. It was leaked without the revamped Murray Gold theme tune which was used on the actual broadcast premiere.

    • The buses that pass the Doctor and Rose as they run towards the London Eye are the number 148 to Camberwell Green and the number N159 to Streatham Garage.

    • Although the story is set in London, the "Queens Arcade" where Rose's mother shopped at during the start of the Nestene's invasion was filmed in Cardiff, Wales.

      The entrance to Queens Arcade is on Working Street in the centre of Cardiff. During filming this street was dressed with London Transport signs and the odd London Bus and Cab.

    • If you go to and enter 'Doctor Blue Box', it will bring up Clive's web-site:

      This is actually run by the BBC and can also be viewed through the official Doctor Who web-site.

    • The episode was described in The Radio Times Doctor Who Special (26.03.05 - 01.04.05) as "Rose meets the Doctor (hurrah!) and the Auton (boo!)".

    • BBC Wales, who made the show, clipped the opening title sting and replaced it with a 'made in Wales' montage'.

    • Surprisingly the word "Auton" is never said in this episode.

    • The BBC had gremlins in the transmission booth! During the opening minutes of "Rose", audio from the previous show "Strictly Dance Fever", still busy in a live studio, leaked through.

      The Strange Voices were then woven into the Doctor Who world by being reported on the WhoIsDoctorWho website as Millions hear voices

    • Actually, the date wasn't March 26th 2005. One of the missing posters in Aliens Of London said Rose had been missing from her home since March 6th 2005. Presumably that means March 6th was the last time she went home, which means that was the day she left with the Doctor.

    • This was the first new Doctor Who since William Hartnell to appear in mid action, with no sign of a regeneration from the previous incarnation (Paul McGann) shown to viewers. The Doctor does, however, comment on his appearance when he was looking in the mirror in Rose's apartment, which suggests that his regeneration may have been recent.


    • The book the Doctor says has a "sad ending" is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It is the story of a teenage girl who, after being raped and murdered, watches from heaven as her family and friends go on with their lives, while she herself comes to terms with her own death. The novel received a great deal of critical praise and became an instant bestseller.

    • The Doctor:(Riffling through a pack of cards) Luck be a Lady

      This is the title of a song from the 1950 Broadway musical Guys and Dolls about illegal gambling, which later was adapted into film starring Frank Sinatra & Marlon Brando.

    • The Doctor: That'll never work. He's gay and she's an alien.

      The Doctor is flipping through pop-culture / celeb mag 'Heat' (Front Cover: 'Stars Without Make Up').