I'd never seen an episode of Dr. Who until this past weekend, when I watched the first three episodes of the new season. And, well… it wasn't so bad. The second episode was really rather good, in fact. Superficially, it's rather silly stuff. But there seems to be depth there (well, there had BETTER be, with 26 seasons of back story).
Billie Piper is remarkably fallinlovable as Rose Tyler, the everywoman sidekick drafted by The Doctor in the first ep. There's a certain charm about her, that makes Rose an instantly likable character. Good to know some teen popstars (which I didn't even know she was before I checked IMDB) can actually find a second career they're good at.
Christopher Eccleston is remarkably giddy as The Doctor. I've no frame of reference when it comes to comparing him to previous doctors, but he seems to do a decent job of it.
Whenever I review a TV show, especially a genre show, I tend to go on about production values. Historically, this has been a missing element in British SF&F. Shows and miniseries such as Red Dwarf and Neverwhere have been brilliantly written, and sometimes very well acted, but looked like crap. From what little I've seen of the old Dr. Who shows, the show pretty much epitomized crappy looking SF. On that note, this show is a marked improvement. It looks ok. It isn't as brilliantly realised as I like, but that seems to mostly be a budget issue rather than a creativity issue.
I've mentioned that the second episode was very good. This is both a blessing and a potential curse. It's a blessing, because it hooks you on the show very early on (something Big Story SF often has problems with). It may be a curse because it sets a rather high standard. If I watch five more episodes, and they're all on par with the third epidoe, I may drop the series. But if they give me another episode or two as good as The End of the World, I'm along for the ride, at least to the end of this season.