In the early 21st century, the BBC started to bring back Doctor Who. Accepting the pitch of television producer Russel T. Davies, the new show began production in 2003. This time, things would be a bit different. The original show’s half-hour, multi-episode serial format was changed to 45-minute episodes (although there would be an ocassional two-parter). The seasons would also often revolve around a story arc… (In this case, “Bad Wolf”- a phrase repeated in several episodes)and the Doctor’s universe has changed dramatically and so has he, although not just because he’s regenerated again.
The Doctor this time meets Rose Tyler, a teen girl who finds herself in the middle of an Auton invasion. The Autons are invading Earth this time because their primary food source has been destroyed in a vague war. The new Doctor has somewhat more of a ‘tough guy’, occasionally rude macho persona, but he’s actually far more vulnerable than he appears. He’s been through some tough stuff, and his emotions cross between extreme anger and extreme sadness when confronted with injustice. Rose might be just a shopgirl at first glance, but she’s actually somewhat more intelligent and resourceful than she seems at first, although sometimes her emotions get the best of her.
After saving Rose-and having Rose save him-as well as her slightly shallow mother Jackie and cowardly boyfriend Mickey-the Doctor offers Rose a trip as a companion. Their first time-travel adventure takes them to the year 5 billion, where the natural end of Earth is being watched by a group of spectators, including “the last human” Cassandra, who has had so much plastic surgery to prolong her life that she’s basically just eyes, mouth and skin.
Rose of course experiences some culture shock, especially since this group of creatures consider songs such as “Tainted Love” and Britney Spear’s “Toxic” to be musical classics. Cassandra however tries to sabotage the event, almost killing all the guests. The Doctor is able to save most of them (but not all, including a tree-evolved woman the Doctor befriends), and the Earth is destroyed during the adventure. The Doctor and Rose are somewhat saddened that the planet passed away while nobody was really looking, but the Doctor cheers her up somewhat by taking her back to his time. He also elaborates on who he is, and what’s happened to him.
Gallifrey is gone-destroyed in a “Time War” with another race (and several other races, including the Autons, caught in the crossfire). The Doctor is now the last of the Time Lords-there’s no one else, just him. Although he never really got along with his own people, he’s still profoundly sad that he’s the only one left.
The next adventure takes them to 1890’s London during Christmas, where they meet Charles Dickens, and discover gas aliens are reanimating corpses using a rift caused by the time war. Although initially the alien’s intentions appear benign, they’re actually bent on invasion, and with the help of Dickens, the Doctor is able to stop them. Although the rift is still there, and will play a bigger role in stories and spin offs to come.
The next story also deals with gas, of a different kind though-as we meet the Slitheen.
The Doctor attempts to return Rose home to visit her mother. It’s presumed she’s only been gone a day, but due to the TARDIS being unreliable, she’s actually been gone a year.
Jackie and Mickey are NOT happy.
Jackie has reported Rose missing, Mickey was suspected of kidnapping or murdering her. The Ninth Doctor is of course embarrassed by this whole mess, and not too happy to get in the middle of a family squabble. Of course this all has to wait, as a group of aliens-the Slitheen-are messing around.
These kind of disgusting aliens aren’t really invading, but want to mess around with Earth to destroy it and make some money on the side, as they’re fairly mercenary. They’ve disguised themselves in human ‘suits’ (Although their farts give them away) as prominent higher-ups in the British ministry and army, in order to create a mass deception (and get rid of a few troublemakers). The Doctor is able to to uncover their plot, with the help of Rose, Jackie, Mickey and politician Harriet Jones, who after the dust has settled, becomes the new prime minister of Britain. The Doctor is able to form a truce with Jackie and Mickey of sorts, and their next adventure takes them to 2012-and the next revelation of the time war.
In 2012 Utah, spoiled rich guy Henry Van Stratten has been collecting alien artifacts in an underground museum. Slitheen arms, Cybermen heads etc….he’s got one living specimen that he calls the “Metaltron”. The Doctor, captured by Stratten’s security when the TARDIS arrives, is curious about this living creature. He’s brought to it’s cage. The creature is initially despondent-until the Doctor tells him “I’m the Doctor”.
Which gets one heck of a reaction.
It’s a Dalek-and the Doctor is horrified as the creature tries to exterminate him. However, it can’t-it’s chained up, and it’s gun arm is broken and useless. The Doctor uses this opportunity to gloat, and reveals that the Time War was against the Daleks, and that to end the war, he had to destroy both races (how and why isn’t elaborated on until later though). Not only is he the last the time lord, this Dalek is the last one too.
The Doctor tries to kill the Dalek by electrocuting it, showing a sadistic side in revenge for the Time War. However, Stratten stops him. Meanwhile, Rose-mostly unaware of this happening as she’s been hanging out with Van Strattan’s assistant, Adam. She visits the Dalek herself. The Dalek attempts to earn her sympathy (Rose is unaware of the Daleks at this stage.) It works, she puts her hand on it’s casing. The Dalek however, uses her DNA-infused with time-travelling radiation from her adventures with the Doctor-to rebuild and reactive itself, quickly regaining it’s full power and escaping.
The Dalek is now loose on the base, and makes short work of Stratten’s security staff. It intends to escape and rejoin the other Daleks, although it soon learns the Doctor is telling the truth, and all the other Daleks are indeed dead. It also starts to somewhat change emotionally, due to Rose’s DNA starting to mess with it’s Dalek DNA, a big no-no for a Dalek, even showing mercy at times.
The Doctor-desperate to stop the Dalek-if it gets loose it could cause havoc on the surface-is about to shoot the Dalek, but the Dalek saves him the trouble. Due to meeting Rose, it’s experienced unexpected emotions-fine for most things, but not of course for the “pure” Daleks. Opening it’s shell for one last time to reveal the inner mutant and look at the sun, it then activates it’s self destruct mechanism.
Van Stratten, due to his selfish nature getting his men killed, is deposed and has his memory wiped. The Doctor and Rose accept Adam as a companion-on probation.
But things are going to get more complex and complicated, as we meet Jack, and the “Bad Wolf”….