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Series 1 of Doctor Who ran between 26 March 2005 and 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 and concluded with The Parting of the Ways.


It consisted of ten stories and thirteen episodes. Its head writer was Russell T Davies, and thus the series was the start of what fans colloquially refer to as the "RTD era", coming 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 one 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.

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 one 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/The Doctor Dances 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.[1] 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.


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 featured the revived series' first regeneration. The season also introduced Jack Harkness, planting the seed for the spin-off Torchwood.




Television stories

Title Writer Director Notes
1 RoseRussell T DaviesKeith BoakFirst 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.
2 The End of the WorldRussell T DaviesEuros LynFirst appearance of the Face of Boe and Cassandra. Introduction of the Bad Wolf meme. First mention of the Last Great Time War. Debut of the psychic paper.
3 The Unquiet DeadMark GatissEuros LynIntroduction of the Cardiff Rift. Eve Myles guest stars in a role other than Gwen Cooper.
4 & 5 Aliens of London / World War ThreeRussell T DaviesKeith BoakFirst appearance of Toshiko Sato, Harriet Jones and the Slitheen (Raxacoricofallapatorians).
6 DalekRobert ShearmanJoe AhearneReintroduction of the Daleks and first appearance of Adam Mitchell.
7 The Long GameRussell T DaviesBrian GrantFinal appearance of Adam Mitchell. First time a companion is kicked out of the TARDIS. First appearance of Satellite 5.
8 Father's DayPaul CornellJoe AhearneIntroduction of Pete Tyler (Rose's father) and subsequent account of his death.
9 & 10 The Empty Child / The Doctor DancesSteven MoffatJames HawesFirst appearance of Jack Harkness.
11 Boom TownRussell T DaviesJoe AhearneReappearance of the Slitheen.
12 & 13 Bad Wolf / The Parting of the WaysRussell T DaviesJoe AhearneFinal appearance of the Ninth Doctor portrayed by Christopher Eccleston and introduction of the Tenth Doctor portrayed by David Tennant; last regular appearance of Jack Harkness until Utopia. First mention of Torchwood. Reappearance of the Daleks. Resolution of the Bad Wolf arc.

Adaptations and merchandising

Home media


All episodes of series 1 were released on VHS by Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment in November 2005.


All episodes of series 1 were released in 2005 in both individual volumes and in boxset form by 2|Entertain and Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment for Region 2 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
The End of the World
The Unquiet Dead
3 × 45 min. 16 May 2005 17 June 2005 7 November 2006
Doctor Who: Volume 2
Aliens of London /
World War Three
3 × 45 min. 13 June 2005 3 August 2005 7 November 2006
Doctor Who: Volume 3
The Long Game
Father's Day
The Empty Child/
The Doctor Dances
4 × 45 min. 1 August 2005 31 August 2005 7 November 2006
Doctor Who: Volume 4
Boom Town
Bad Wolf/
The Parting of the Ways
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)


Series 1 was included in the Doctor Who: Complete Series 1-7 Bluray boxset, released on November 5th, 2013 in the US and November 4th, 2013 in the UK.

In March 2017, an Amazon exclusive steelbook containing the thirteen episodes was announced.

Stories set during this season


Audio Stories


Short Stories

Promotional trailers

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.


  1. BBC investigates Doctor Who leak. BBC NEWS - Entertainment (Tuesday, 8 March, 2005). Retrieved on 2nd August 2011.
  2. 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