Series 1 (Doctor Who)

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Series 1 of Doctor Who ran from 26 March 2005 to 18 June 2005. It was the first series produced by BBC Wales. It starred Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. The series opened with Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (TV story)"] and concluded with The Parting of the Ways [+]Loading...["The Parting of the Ways (TV story)"].


Series 1 introduced the Ninth Doctor, along with new companion Rose Tyler. It dealt with the words "Bad Wolf" being spread across time and space, which was the main arc of the series. This meme was seen in the majority of the episodes.

Series 1 also provided the first major information about the Last Great Time War. The Parting of the Ways [+]Loading...["The Parting of the Ways (TV story)"] featured the revived series' first regeneration. The season also introduced Jack Harkness, planting the seed for the spin-off Torchwood.


Series 1 consisted of ten stories and thirteen episodes. Its head writer was Russell T Davies, and thus the series was the start of his first era as head writer, which lasted until the story The End of Time [+]Loading...["The End of Time (TV story)"], the final "specials" of the fourth series. This era came nearly sixteen years after the previous season, though only nine years after the last television story. But credit for the series hardly belonged to RTD alone. The struggles to bring Doctor Who back to BBC One after such a long absence are the subject of several documentaries and behind-the-scenes explorations, all of which confirm that series 1 was the result of the struggles of several individuals apart from RTD himself — notably BBC execs Jane Tranter and Lorraine Heggessey, as well as RTD's fellow executive producers, Julie Gardner and Mal Young.

Their pitch was successful, with RTD's desires to have the series be a continuation, rather than a reboot, of the original being successful. As such, series 1 saw many of the classic era's elements remain, notably the Doctor's history as a Time Lord, his use of the sonic screwdriver, his TARDIS, and the return of his original nemesis the Daleks. The series also brought the return of individual episode titles for the first time since The Gunfighters in season 3.

Though RTD wrote the bulk of the series, he also brought in Mark Gatiss, Robert Shearman, Paul Cornell and Steven Moffat on the basis of their previous Doctor Who writing work for the Virgin New Adventures and Short Trips ranges. With Gatiss and Cornell, he actively told them that he wanted their scripts to be similar in tone to what they had written for the VNAs.[1]

Ultimately, the decision to make the series in Cardiff rather than London not only changed the face of Doctor Who, but also reshaped the British television industry. A then-sleepy satellite of the BBC was transformed by this series' success into a major hub of British television production. Series 1 was characterised not just by its unexpected success with the British public, but also by the teething problems inherent in filming a major, special-effects-heavy series in a country that, until then, had little experience with that kind of production.

Series 1 was unusually well-received. It won the National Television Award and BAFTA for "Best Drama Series", confirming its popular and critical success. Its BAFTA nomination was the first for the series since season 15 and the first ever for the programme in an "adult" category. Perhaps more importantly, it was the first time that a series of Doctor Who had actually won a BAFTA. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper both won National Television Awards for "Favourite Actor" and "Favourite Actress". Writer Steven Moffat also began a three-year domination of the Hugo Award "Short Form Presentation" category by winning one for his The Empty Child [+]Loading...["The Empty Child (TV story)"]/The Doctor Dances [+]Loading...["The Doctor Dances (TV story)"] two-parter. John Barrowman's Jack Harkness, who was introduced in this story, would go on to have a profound impact on the shape and scope of the Doctor Who universe.

Unlike the more recent series, series 1 was produced under a partnership deal with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[2] It was also the first whole series of Doctor Who to be broadcast on a national, commercial network in the United States, thanks to a late deal with the Sci-Fi Channel.


and introducing David Tennant as Doctor Who



Television stories[[edit]]

Story formats and arc[[edit]]

Series 1 saw a recreation of the show's format for its episodes. Rather than spending multiple 30 minute episodes on a single story, as the classic series had grown accustomed to, Davies and the new team changed the format to loosely follow one 45 minute episode per story. They also included two-parter stories spaced over the whole series, concluding with a two-parter finale. Given the series success, the format set by series 1 has been followed nearly identically by all subsequent series to date.

Series 1 also began the use of a loose story arc to tie the series together, notably hinting towards a "big bad" the Doctor and his companions would have to learn about and overcome by the series conclusion. For series 1, it was the Bad Wolf meme, hidden throughout each episode in some way, whether mentioned in dialogue or messaged on the surface of an object, even the TARDIS.


Episode Number Title Writer Director Notes
1 Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (TV story)"] Russell T Davies Keith Boak First episode of the revived series. First appearances of the Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler, Jackie Tyler and Mickey Smith. Reintroduction of the Autons and the Nestene Consciousness. First appearance of the blue diode sonic screwdriver model. First appearance of
2 The End of the World [+]Loading...["The End of the World (TV story)"] Euros Lyn First appearance of the Face of Boe and Cassandra. Debut of the psychic paper. Introduction of the Bad Wolf meme, and first mention of the Last Great Time War by name. First time a confirmed LGBTIQ character appears in a televised story in Cassandra.
3 The Unquiet Dead [+]Loading...["The Unquiet Dead (TV story)"] Mark Gatiss Introduction of the Cardiff Rift.
4 & 5 Aliens of London [+]Loading...["Aliens of London (TV story)"] / World War Three [+]Loading...["World War Three (TV story)"] Russell T Davies Keith Boak First appearance of Toshiko Sato, Harriet Jones and the Slitheen family.
6 Dalek [+]Loading...["Dalek (TV story)"] Robert Shearman Joe Ahearne Reintroduction of the Daleks, and first appearance of Adam Mitchell. The helmet of a Cyberman briefly appears as a cameo.
7 The Long Game [+]Loading...["The Long Game (TV story)"] Russell T Davies Brian Grant Final televised appearance of Adam Mitchell. First appearance of Satellite 5.
8 Father's Day [+]Loading...["Father's Day (TV story)"] Paul Cornell Joe Ahearne First appearance of Pete Tyler.
9 & 10 The Empty Child [+]Loading...["The Empty Child (TV story)"] / The Doctor Dances [+]Loading...["The Doctor Dances (TV story)"] Steven Moffat James Hawes First appearance of Jack Harkness.
11 Boom Town [+]Loading...["Boom Town (TV story)"] Russell T Davies Joe Ahearne
12 & 13 Bad Wolf [+]Loading...["Bad Wolf (TV story)"] / The Parting of the Ways [+]Loading...["The Parting of the Ways (TV story)"] Final regular appearance of the Ninth Doctor, and last time Jack Harkness serves as a travelling companion. First mention of the Torchwood Institute. Resolution of the Bad Wolf arc. First appearance of the Tenth Doctor.

Adaptations and merchandising[[edit]]

Home media[[edit]]


This section's awfully stubby.

This section need images of the covers.

All episodes of Series 1 were released in 2005 in both individual volumes and in boxset form by 2|Entertain and for Regions 2 and 4, and in 2006 by Warner Home Video for Region 1.

Name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Doctor Who: Volume 1
Rose [+]Loading...["Rose (TV story)"]
The End of the World [+]Loading...["The End of the World (TV story)"]
The Unquiet Dead [+]Loading...["The Unquiet Dead (TV story)"]
3 × 45 min. 16 May 2005 17 June 2005 7 November 2006
Doctor Who: Volume 2
Aliens of London [+]Loading...["Aliens of London (TV story)"] /
World War Three [+]Loading...["World War Three (TV story)"]
Dalek [+]Loading...["Dalek (TV story)"]
3 × 45 min. 13 June 2005 3 August 2005 7 November 2006
Doctor Who: Volume 3
The Long Game [+]Loading...["The Long Game (TV story)"]
Father's Day [+]Loading...["Father's Day (TV story)"]
The Empty Child [+]Loading...["The Empty Child (TV story)"]/
The Doctor Dances [+]Loading...["The Doctor Dances (TV story)"]
4 × 45 min. 1 August 2005 31 August 2005 7 November 2006
Doctor Who: Volume 4
Boom Town [+]Loading...["Boom Town (TV story)"]
Bad Wolf [+]Loading...["Bad Wolf (TV story)"]/
The Parting of the Ways [+]Loading...["The Parting of the Ways (TV story)"]
3 × 45 min. 5 September 2005 6 October 2005 7 November 2006
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series

Disc 1: Episodes 1-3 Disc 2: Episodes 4-6 Disc 3: Episodes 7-10 Disc 4: Episodes 11-13 Disc 5: Confidentials

13 × 45 min. 21 November 2005 8 December 2005 14 February 2006 (Canada)
4 July 2006 (US)


This section's awfully stubby.

This section needs to have images of the covers and possibly a table added.

Series 1 was included in the Doctor Who: Complete Series 1-7 Blu-ray boxset, released on 5 November, 2013 in the US and 4 November, 2013 in the UK. In 2015, Series 1-4 were reissued on Blu-ray individually.

In March 2017, an Amazon exclusive Steelbook containing all thirteen episodes was announced.

Series 1 was upscaled to HD along with Series 2, 3 and 4 and released on 21 November 2023 in a limited edition Blu-ray box set containing every "New Who" series up to Series 13[4] or in a seperate box set containing only the first four upscaled series on 27 November 2023.[5][6]

Stories set before this season[[edit]]

Seventh Doctor's post-Survival stories[[edit]]

Main article: Seventh Doctor

Eighth Doctor[[edit]]

Main article: Eighth Doctor


Main article: Gallifrey (audio series)

Bruce Master[[edit]]

Main article: Bruce Master

Reborn Master[[edit]]

Main article: Reborn Master

Once and Future[[edit]]

Main article: Once and Future

War Master[[edit]]

Main article: War Master

Ninth Doctor's pre-Rose stories[[edit]]

Main article: Ninth Doctor

Stories set during this season[[edit]]


Audio stories[[edit]]


Short stories[[edit]]

Promotional trailers[[edit]]

For the series, several promotional trailers were created, utilising specially shot footage of Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper breaking the fourth wall and addressing viewers.

  • The show's main trailer begins with an explosion rushing through a tunnel and the Doctor running. He enters the TARDIS and asks the viewer: "Do you want to come with me?" He walks around the console room, warning of the dangers that lie ahead, but promising "the trip of a lifetime." This promo uses an early arrangement of the Doctor Who theme that was replaced by a more upbeat arrangement for the series itself.
  • Rose, in the console room, tells the viewer about the choice she had to make - working in a dull shop or chasing monsters. As the camera pulls back to show the Doctor standing behind her, she says, "What do you think?"
  • Several short, wordless five-second "stings" were also produced. These showed close-ups of the Doctor, Rose, the two together, and the TARDIS. No series logo or title is shown, with only a snippet of the Doctor Who theme or the TARDIS sound effect to identify the programme.

Canadian broadcast bumpers and documentaries[[edit]]

The first season is credited as a co-production with Canada's Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which broadcast Series 1 shortly after the UK; as had been the case with the original series in 1965, the CBC became the first North American broadcaster of the revival. To promote this, Christopher Eccleston recorded a series of introductions that aired before most episodes and leading into some commercial breaks. These introductions, aside from explaining some concepts in the series, also served to promote a contest with the Canadian edition of TV Guide magazine, the first prize being a trip to visit the set of Doctor Who during production of Series 2. For The Christmas Invasion, a similar set of introductions was taped, only featuring Billie Piper instead. No further introductions were produced for Series 2.

The initial CBC broadcasts of most episodes concluded with brief documentaries focusing on Canadian Doctor Who fans.


  1. Aldridge, Mark; Murray, Andy, T is for Television: The Small Screen Adventures of Russell T Davies. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd.
  2. BBC investigates Doctor Who leak. BBC NEWS - Entertainment (Tuesday, 8 March, 2005). Retrieved on 2nd August 2011.
  3. Despite being credited as "Doctor Who" onscreen for the entirety of this series, the Ninth Doctor is credited on all episode pages on the official Doctor Who website (barring Rose) as 'The Doctor'.

External links[[edit]]