Meet the eponymous young lady with a lovely boyfriend and a trashy mum and a job at the department store, and see her get attacked by mannequins, quite creepy, and then she is saved by a mysterious man named The Doctor. He is very, very awesome. Her boyfriend is understanding of the fact that she immediately goes all Orlando Bloom about the mysterious Doctor, and even accompanies her to the home of another dude who is also obsessed with the Doctor, but is repaid by the above-and-beyond boyfriend behavior when he is eaten by a large trash bin. This kind of Mickey treatment will, I fear, be ongoing. Mickey comes back as a freaky rubber dude, but the Doctor figures it out and takes Rose and the parts of rubber Mickey onto his tesseract of a time machine, called the TARDIS. Doctor and Rose get super-British on each other, and he explains that all plastic on earth is now evil, and that he is going to fight it with "anti-plastic." Luckily, he is super-cute, or else this kind of talk would get him a kick in the nuts. Rose and the Doctor go have a meeting with a big pit of living plastic, and Mickey's there, and the plastic talks, and it's gross and kind of silly, but you start to figure out how much the Doctor loves humanity, which is: bunches, and that's the thing that powers the entire show. Things go crazy, and the Doctor gets snagged and the plastic invasion begins and all the mannequins freak out on you and it is creepy as shit. Rose saves her Mom, her boyfriend, her Doctor, and humanity by going all Indiana Chav on the evil plastic, causing the mannequins to do the Safety Dance, and everything blows up, for some reason. Problem solved, the Doctor asks Rose to come with him, skiving off life and boyfriend and mum and having fun and time traveling and screwing around. She says no, then yes, and runs onto TARDIS, and it's a very cool start.
We start with the credits, which is a good place to start with an iconic, cult show like this one. Pretty exciting, very geeky, very sci-fi. The TARDIS police box whirls through the time vortex and stops in space, then goes back in, and Christopher Eccleston's and Billie Piper's names whirl up and out. You also get the episode title and the writer/showrunner, Russell T. Davies, who wrote the entire first season, I believe. Big Doctor Who fan from way back. I'm a fan from several months ago. I dimly remember seeing some of the Tom Baker and Peter Davison ones on PBS, and I've got a copy of "Enlightenment," but as for this series, I've seen it in a very peculiar order, which seems to have screwed up every possible response I have. I saw "The Christmas Invasion" first thing, so I've got my Ninth and Tenth response backwards, and then I watched "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" after that, so I've got all the Captain Jack stuff happening, and then I saw part of a couple others. None of this aliens and farting aliens and head-in-a-box aliens crap, to start with, so I had no immunity watching tonight's episodes. This was New Year's Eve, 2006, and it went late into the night. I was impressed. What those things did not really do was prepare me for the second episode, which I hated violently the first time I saw it, but it turns out on second viewing I actually might like more than this one. So that's funny. Word to the wise: think twice before having an opinion about this show on the internet.
The camera pans from the moon, over to Earth, and zooms down into the atmosphere, into the UK and then London and then into Rose Tyler's alarm clock, which reads 7:30. Wacky sci-fi music that is rollicking and suits the quick and crazy cuts starts as Rose smacks the clock. She jumps out of bed, grabs her bag, kisses her mother, grabs her keys, and leaves. The first thing Rose ever says is "Goodbye." She says it a lot. This time it's to her mum, Jackie, who is blonde and ragged and nattering and funny. A housecoat kind of mom, but with the urban tracksuit thing happening, too.
The music continues to go crazy as Rose runs down the stairs on the outside wall of her block of apartments. Then London is crazy and bustling, and Rose gets off a bus, and we pan past a bunch of mannequins, and Rose works at Henrik's, and finds it boring. Maybe it would be more fun if they just called it "Harrod's," but I think on British TV that would not be allowed. Man, can you imagine if there were no product placement on American TV? Willow would have been doing her shit on like a Smac and everybody would be listening to iGrods. Every time Rose is in there, actually working in the shop, the music goes to a tinny, quiet radio sound, and when she's gone, it comes back real again. Very effective. Davies said, "The most important thing about Rose is that she works in a shop," which I love, because there's a way in which that's true, even though in the whole series she actually works in a shop for about ten seconds total. She meets her boyfriend Mickey for lunch, they laugh and have such fun, they tease each other, they make out, he does a little dance, it's all still quite frenetic and British, they get up to leave, and Rose says again, this time to Mickey: "Goodbye."