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."