Doctor: Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor)
Companion: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
Camille Coduri – Jackie Tyler
Noel Clarke – Mickey Smith
Mark Benton – Clive
Elli Garnett – Caroline
Adam McCoy – Clive's Son
Alan Ruscoe, Paul Kasey, David Sant, Elizabeth Fost, Helen Otway, Jo Osmond, Lisa Osmond – Autons
Nicholas Briggs – Nestene Voice
Directed by Keith Boak
Written by Russell T Davies
Script editor Elwen Rowlands
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Incidental music composer Murray Gold
Production code 1.1
Series Series 1
Length 45 minutes
Originally broadcast 26 March 2005
Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), a teenage shop assistant, is being chased by mannequins in the basement of Henrik's, the department store where she works. She is rescued by the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) who destroys the building with an explosion. The next day, the Doctor visits Rose at her home where he is attacked by a plastic mannequin arm which he and Rose subdue. Rose investigates the Doctor and meets Clive (Mark Benton), who has been tracking the Doctor's appearances throughout history. Clive tells Rose the Doctor is dangerous, and that if he's there, something bad is about to happen. While Rose is talking to Clive, her boyfriend Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) is kidnapped by a wheelie bin and replaced with a plastic doppelgänger.
The fake Mickey takes Rose to lunch and attempts to question her about the Doctor, but the Doctor shows up and beheads the doppelgänger. The Doctor takes Rose and the plastic head to the TARDIS and attempts to use the head to locate the controlling signal. With the head connected, the TARDIS takes them to the London Eye. The Doctor explains to Rose that the fake Mickey was an Auton, controlled by a signal from the Nestene Consciousness. He has a vial of anti-plastic that can be used to destroy the Nestene if necessary. Realising that the transmitter is the London Eye itself, Rose and the Doctor descend underneath it to stop the Nestene Consciousness. They find Mickey, tied up but alive, and the Doctor speaks to the Nestene Consciousness. He tries to negotiate with it, but the Consciousness blames the Doctor for the destruction of its planet during the Time War. The Consciousness activates all the Autons at a shopping arcade, where several shoppers are shot and killed, including Clive. The Doctor is also held down by a pair of Autons, but Rose rescues him and the anti-plastic drops into the vat where the Nestene Consciousness resides, killing it. With the Consciousness dead, the Autons all collapse. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to take Mickey and Rose home, then persuades Rose to join him as his new companion in the TARDIS.
Both the Autons and the Nestene Consciousness first appeared in the serial Spearhead from Space (1970), then reappeared in Terror of the Autons (1971). This story introduces The Shadow Proclamation, an intergalactic police force mentioned several times in the revived series and eventually seen in "The Stolen Earth". This is the first mention of the Time War, which would be one of the running threads throughout the series.