19-year-old Rose Tyler has a boyfriend, a department store job, and just enough curiosity to put her in harm’s way. When she finds herself trapped in the basement level at work, surrounded by moving shop window mannequins who seem determined to crush her, she’s snatched out of danger by a total stranger who calls himself the Doctor. While he saves her life, he doesn’t do much to help her job when he completely destroys the department store, claiming that he’s trying to halt an invasion by a force that can possess and control anything made of plastic – such as the mannequins. Rose is surprised when the Doctor reappears the next day at her home, looking for any of the plastic creatures that may have survived the explosion at the store, and she’s even more surprised when he actually finds precisely that, namely a mannequin arm which tries to kill both of them before the Doctor disables it. Rose follows him, persistently trying to find out who he is, but the Doctor isn’t inclined to give straight answers about his own identity; indeed, at her home, he seemed to be surprised by his own reflection. Rose walks away as the Doctor marches into an incongruous 1950s police call box in the middle of London and then turns around to find that the box has disappeared.
In an attempt to find out more about the Doctor, Rose winds up meeting with an internet conspiracy theorist who says that the Doctor has been spotted throughout Earth’s history. Waiting for her in a car outside, Rose’s boyfriend is curious about a dustbin that seems to move on its own, but his curiosity turns into sheer terror as the bin engulfs him completely without a trace. When Rose returns to the car, her boyfriend has been replaced by a duplicate who seems unusually curious about her contact with the Doctor. When the duplicate becomes more aggressive in his line of questioning, the Doctor once again comes to the rescue, and the duplicate is exposed as yet another plastic creature, an Auton. The Auton attacks ferociously, but this time the Doctor is ready for it, disconnecting its head from its body. The headless Auton body still pursues the Doctor and Rose back to the police call box, and Rose is stunned to find that it’s not a call box at all, but the TARDIS – the Doctor’s time machine, bigger inside than outside and definitely not from Earth, not unlike the Doctor himself. Using the Auton’s head, the Doctor follows the signal controlling the Autons to their source, and a confrontation with the Nestene Consciousness masterminding the Auton assault. But the Doctor alone can’t prevent them from invading Earth.
Season 1 Regular Cast: Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
written by Russell T. Davies
directed by Keith Boak
music by Murray Gold
Guest Cast: Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Noel Clarke (Mickey), Mark Benton (Clive), Elli Garnett (Caroline), Adam McCoy (Clive’s son), Alan Ruscoe (Auton), Paul Kasey (Auton), David Sant (Auton), Elizabeth Fost (Auton), Helen Otway (Auton), Nicholas Briggs (Nestene voice)
Reviews by Philip R. Frey & Earl Green
LogBook entry by Earl Green […]