Doctor Who: The Newbies Guide
Rose was the first episode of the 2005 revival of Doctor Who. It is, therefore, an ideal jumping on point for the series.
Where does this fit?
Rose is the first adventure we've seen for the ninth Doctor. It is part of Series One.
Other Guides to this Story
The ninth Doctor speaks in a northern accent and wears a leather jacket. He has very short hair and big ears. This is his first appearance.
Rose Tyler is a 19-year old girl from London 2005. Rose lives with her mother, Jackie Tyler, on a council estate and has a boyfriend called Mickey Smith. Her father, Pete Tyler, died when she was a baby. She works in a big department store called Henrik's. This is her first appearance.
Recurring and Historical Characters
The Nestene Consciousness is a powerful alien being which was first seen in Spearhead From Space. It is a gestalt entity, being able to communicate with different parts of itself telepathically. It has the ability to animate plastic. In its previous appearances it used specially created shop window dummies called Autons as soldiers. It also used more advanced Autons as duplicates of key people in its plans to conquer Earth.
The Nestene and the Autons previously appeared in Spearhead From Space and Terror of the Autons, but since they are introduced as if they were new villains you don't need to watch them unless you want to.
The 2005 Doctor Who Annual contained background information on Rose.