I liked it overall.
The bad bits were the slight tendency to cheesy gags (e.g. the Wheelie Bin burping, which was just wrong), and some of the more overtly comedic stuff, such as the auton “arm attack” scene which was funny at first, but then went too far to a point where it hurt the credibility of the episode. The incidental music was atrociously intrusive when it was trying to be energetic – but good at other times.
On the good side was pretty much everything else.
The acting from the two leads was first rate, and although Eccleston was a little too manic on occasion, he managed to be charismatic, and switch gears effortlessly between different moods. The costume was exactly right – modern, but with just a nod to the old look. Billie Piper dispelled all my initial doubts, and Rose’s immediate bond with the Doctor was palpable.
The effects were very nice – no complaints here. The Tardis control room was the right blend of the TV Movie set and the old show, and I greatly appreciated the fact that the control room was visible through the open Police Box door a couple of times; I’ve always wanted more of that. (As for the Police Box itself, the Doctor’s pleased-as-punch “It’s a disguise” was excellent).
The theme music was a good blend of the old and the new, and hooray for the blue swirly tunnel! But the Superman-style flying credits were a bit OTT.
The plot actually packed quite a bit in, but probably suffered from the new 45 minute format. At times it felt like edited highlights from a Doctor Who story. Having said that, seeing the story from Rose’s perspective allowed us to fill in the gaps and imagine bigger events at play. It remains to be seen if the 45 minute format will work on an ongoing basis. In theory, there’s no reason why not – after all, it works for pretty much every US TV show in existence.
Auton wise, I did have my doubts about the shop dummies but Rose’s initial scepticism went a long way towards selling it. The brutal gunfire sealed the deal. I enjoyed the Doctor’s natter with the Nestene Consciousness too – just enough hints of a larger Universe in the backdrop, without slowing things down.
So with some reservations about the slightly cheesy aspects, I’m happy to watch more. I have absolutely zero sense of how well it will have gone down with a broader audience.
(Did everyone else get some really annoying audio from Graham Norton during the initial shop dummy attack in the basement? Very distracting.)