Stop Skipping Nine, You Fools
I do not wish to alarm thee, dear and darling readers, but I have some news that you may find distressing. Are you sitting down? If you’re not, do you read this blog on the rowing machine or something? Power walking? I have questions. Anyway: let me get right to the point. Some people, I have discovered, have decided that, in order to watch the rebooted seasons of Doctor Who, that a new viewer may skip the first season and jump straight into the David Tennant era with nary the merest thought of Christopher Eccleston’s run.
And let me tell you: I’ve only just managed to get off my fainting couch. This personal act of personal violence against me personally came as more than something of a shock, since I am and always will be the biggest fucking stan of Christopher Eccleston’s run on the show, but also because it seems so…well, fucking stupid to skip out on such an important and downright excellent part of the show’s mythos.
It seems like the “skip Nine” patter is starting to die out, but just in case it needed putting out of its misery for good, consider this article the final bullet in the chamber of the gun planted against its head. Frankly, I am not willing to let this slide, and I must take this opportunity to soliloquize on my most favourite season of TV ever made.
Because look – if you’re skipping out on the first season of the NuWho reboot, you’re missing out on some of the very finest episodes of the entire show’s run. Are you really going to miss out on Dalek, that game-changing, morality-bending classic that should have been the last word we needed on the iconic villains? Father’s Day, the scary, inventive, and punishingly pathostic assault on your emotions? The Empty Child/Doctor Dances two-partner, which is, just, simply, The Fucking Best of horror TV? If there are no other reasons to watch this, watch it for the downright quality alone, because you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.
But there is so much more to this run than just how good it happens to be. I think that David Tennant’s era works so much better when it’s considered following the darkness of Eccleston’s run; Nine is, after all, introduced directly after the massacre of the Time War, bouncing around iconically tragic historical events (the Titanic, the JFK assassination) to find reflections of his own grief and loss in them. Tennant is such a great follow-up to this arc because of how different he is, because of that contrast, because of how much the Doctor’s relationships with Rose and the other recurring cast this season opens him up to joy again; take that away, and you take away some of the most important most interesting development in the show’s run.
Not to mention all the fabulous badassery that Russel T Davies worked into this series – let’s not forget that Doctor Who, one of the UK’s most enduring and popular shows, made sure that the first kiss its main character had with anyone was with another man, in 2005, for fuck’s sake! Do you really want to miss Camille Coduri saving the universe with a borrowed truck? Don’t you want to see Rose, working-class gal that she is, celebrating and celebrated for her bronze medal in gymnastics in primary school? There is so much shit that just stands out in this season as both a slice of total 2005 throwback, and as somehow more forward-thinking than a lot of what was to come with the show (see: Steven Moffat’s run) in the future. To miss out on this season is to miss out on some of the best of the Doctor Who reboot, and to deny yourself some of the highest-quality and most important arcs of the show’s run.
With this, I hope we put to bed once and for all this nebulous and dare I say really fucking dumb idea that skipping season one of NuWho is in any way acceptable for a newbie viewer. It’s my way, or it’s no way, and that’s just how it’s going to be.
(header image via Tumblr)