Given that Doctor Who is about to celebrate a huge and significant milestone, many fans have gotten nostalgic and begun rewatching the series to commemorate its success. While many would say that Tennant’s era was the best and one of the most defining tenures, there are others who would have no qualms in fighting back against this in favor of Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor (who deserves a bit more credit for helping to bring back to popularity, alongside new companion, Rose, in season 1 of New Who).
It was partly because of him too that season 1 is so memorable as his portrayal of the Doctor allowed viewers to see so many epic adventures unfold (with him battling some old and new villains along the way). In fact, it had such a profound effect on the audience, that some dedicated fans have created a few hilarious memes that perfectly sum up season 1.
The very first episode of New Who features living shop mannequins, otherwise known as the iconic Doctor Who villain, The Autons. The reintroduction of The Autons sets the tone for the show which often takes the mundane and makes it terrifying.
Rose first learns about The Doctor’s mysterious past through side character, Clive who has dedicated his time to researching The Doctor. However, fans don’t get to learn much about him as he is killed by The Autons towards the end of the episode. Despite being a minor character, it would have been interesting to learn more about Clive and how he became so interested in The Doctor if he hadn’t been killed so quickly into the show.
Season 1 of New Who also introduces some memorable new monsters to the Doctor Who universe: the Slitheen. The farting green aliens are introduced in the first two-part story and viciously make human skin-suits out of their victims. That being said, the monsters are mostly used for comedy and, because of this, they are difficult to take seriously.
In their natural form, many fans consider The Slitheen to be some of the cutest Doctor Who monsters. However, despite their baby-faced appearance and comical elements they are a brutal family and, even if it’s not one of the most popular, the story they appear in provides a fun political satire (with is perfectly seen in the creation of this meme).
Rose’s mother, Jackie, is an important side character introduced in season 1 and ensures the TARDIS keeps returning to Earth. In a show about aliens and distant planets, Jackie is refreshingly relatable and grounded.
When travelling with The Doctor, Rose changes more and more but it’s Jackie who reminds her of what she’s left behind. She is so protective of her daughter that she even comically slaps The Doctor at one point (which this meme makes light of). Although Jackie’s relationship with The Doctor does soften later on, she is a persistent thorn in his side during season 1.
The Daleks are one of the best Doctor Who monsters and are arguably The Doctor’s most iconic nemesis. Mid-way through season 1, The Doctor comes face to face with a Dalek again in Henry Van Statten’s museum and is enraged at the sight of it.
After Rose touches the Dalek, it is rejuvenated and begins killing everyone it crosses paths with. However, while new fans are shocked to see a darker side to The Doctor for the first time, there are a few who can’t help but point out that all this chaos and tragedy could have been avoided if Henry Van Statten had put a sign out to not touch anything.
The Empty Child is one of the scariest aliens in New Who and is famous for the catchphrase, ‘are you my Mummy?’ The two-part story sees The Doctor and Rose land in the middle of the London Blitz and become embroiled in the strange gas-masl virus plaguing the streets.
The episodes also introduce one of the most important recurring characters from the show, Captain Jack who goes on to helm his own spin-off. While the story has a heartwarming conclusion, the monsters are still terrifying, especially for younger audiences. Several years later, fans still talk about the gas-mask zombies and repeat their iconic catchphrase.
The finale of season 1 begins with the TARDIS trio awakening in futuristic versions of several classic British game-shows. While she’s confused initially, Rose finds the absurdity of the situation hilarious and gives flippant responses to the questions. That being said, it soon becomes apparent that the game is more deadly than the version Rose is used to watching, with ‘the Weakest Links’ being disintegrated here.
For many viewers, they believed that Rose’s reaction was very relatable as they felt that they would also react in a similar manner (as proven by this meme).
When a battle ensues against the Daleks in the finale. The Doctor sends Rose back home. She is so desperate to get back and help him that she opens the heart of the TARDIS and absorbs the time vortex.
After Rose destroys the Dalek fleet using her newfound power, The Doctor kisses her and absorbs the vortex in order to save his companion’s life. Despite knowing this will cause him to regenerate, The Doctor saves Rose without question which shows how much their relationship has grown across the season. As he regenerates here, this is certainly one of the worst things that happened to the 9th Doctor and prepares fans for future changes of the lead actor going forward.
As the Ninth Doctor only stays around for season 1, some fans believe it can be skipped by new viewers or during a rewatch. That being said, the first season introduces the audience to a lot of important mythology from The TARDIS to the Time War.
Although Nine and Rose’s relationship differs from the later one between her and Ten, it’s important to see where they begin and how their journey starts. Also, while fans don’t get much time with this Doctor, the finale sets up the concept of regeneration which is a key element throughout the show. Ultimately, season 1 is the best jumping-on point to New Who and introduces some key characters who remain important even up to the present.
NEXT: Best Doctor Who Episodes To See If You Are Nostalgic About The Show