The production quality is high for the BBC. Billie Piper makes a very effective companion (yes, really). Christopher Ecclestone makes a semi-convincing Doctor, capturing his levity without his underlying gravity. I’m sure he’ll grow into the role, and despite losing his footing when first facing the villain of the piece he is surprisingly affecting when the confrontation strikes a personal note.
The only real problem is the terrible incidental music. I’m sure some people will find the plot silly, but it’s no sillier than the average Star Trek plot, and surprisingly evocative (blink and you’ll miss the Doctor recount the entire history of the star-spanning Auton war and his part in it). It’s pitched at kids, just like the original Dr. Who (which people always seem to forget). Tom & friends were raving about it. So the target audience have been hit.
Rose: “If you’re an alien, how come you sound like you’re from the North?”
Doctor: “Lots of planets have a North!”
Recommended. Just don’t tell anyone I watched this and liked it. 😉