Eccleston is very engaging in the title role, bringing a manic curiosity tempered by occasional bouts of gravity (which befit a personality with a long and dramatic a lifespan as the Doctor's) that hew closely to the (arguably) most popular Doctor, Tom Baker. Piper is equally adept as department store clerk Rose--she's afforded more of a back story than most of the Doctor's sidekicks have received in the past, and she more than handles her own alongside Eccleston. Highlights among the 13 episodes include the season opener, "Rose" (which sees the return of an old foe, the Autons, and their controlling force, the Nestene Consciousness); the revamped Daleks in "Dalek" and the two-parter "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways"; a trip to Victorian England to aid Charles Dickens in "The Unquiet Dead," and of course, the arrival of the tenth Doctor at the conclusion of the action-packed "Parting of the Ways." The episodes strike the right blend of quirk, excitement, and imagination, thanks largely to the engaging performances and the guidance of Davies, whose admiration for the show and its history is evident throughout.
Supplemental features--and there are many--including commentary on all 13 episodes by members of the cast and crew, including Piper and Davies; numerous making-of featurettes, including a profile of Davies; a video diary by Piper; an interview with Eccleston, and best of all, a glimpse at the 60-minute Christmas special, "The Christmas Invasion," which picks up where the series concludes. Who fans won't be disappointed. --Paul Gaita
Skeptical as I was hearing that the show was being made again I decided to watch the show to see the beloved blue box travel through time. Indeed, I was curious. After watching the show on the CBC run it began to grow on me more and more. Gone were the laughable sets to a more sophisticated visually impressive slicker production.
More importantly though is the improved writing by Russell T. Davis who has made the best supporting character the show has ever had with the beautiful and exceptionally talented Billy Piper who unlike the damsel in distress is anything but in this series. The show Dalek which is the 6th episode in is the point where the show finds its true footing and begins to take off in political and social satire, the actors are in their groove and the show seems surer of itself. There are human stories here not the usual mania wants to destroy the universe repetitiveness of the older shows.
There is a lot of heart in this series and by the end of it I found myself truly caring about Rose and the Doctor.
The DVD has very clear picture excellent sound, and a lot of goodies sprinkled in like commentaries for every episode. There are 13 episodes here but in reality this would be the equivalent of 26 episodes for a normal half hour program in the old series. Each episode here is ~45 minutes. Add to this 14 segments of making of featurettes and 2-3 additional ones in each of the episode discs as well as a behind the scenes with the tenth doctor David Tennant who stars in the Christmas Special then it's a pretty fair deal.
Tom Baker is still king of the Doctors but Eccleston by the end is second best. The writing, overall cast performances, and effects are leagues better and more up to date than any I've seen from the old series. Episodes like Father's Day create genuine emotion that even a big tough guy like me had me go for a hanky.