Christopher Eccleston makes a great Doctor, and Billie Piper wasn't that bad either. It was about 50 times better than I thought it was going to be, and probably 60 times better than the 1996 film with Paul McGann (he was okay, but the writing was awful).
The writing on this was excellent. It probably doesn't hurt that the guy who wrote it is a fan. He's the guy that wrote Queer as Folk (the UK one), which had a Dr Who obsessed character. I loved that, I always remember the scene where another character is listing all the Dr Whos, but finishes at Sylvester McCoy. He says "what about Paul McGann?" and they both go "Paul McGann doesn't count!"
I really hope that that is Russell T. Davies's opinion too, even though all the TV papers are constantly telling us 'Christopher Eccleston is the 9th TV incarnation of the Doctor' Paul Mcgann's Doctor just wasn't right. That film seemed too much like a failed attempt to capture the magic of the original (and you know that phrase is only used when the attempt failed) and also bring it up to date. The result was a good film, but it wasn't the same Doctor that I knew from the series. The Doctor doesn’t kiss the girl. He doesn't claim to be "half human, on my mother's side" (what was that?! Were they trying to make him into Spock?) and the inside of the TARDIS is supposed to look like it's from a science fiction show, not the 1400s! No no no! They just got it wrong. And thankfully, there was none of that in this. And they missed what would have been a prime opportunity to bring up the half human thing too, when Rose asked the Doctor whether he was an alien, he just said "yes,". Surely (hopefully) bringing it up later when it wasn't mentioned then would just be weird. So hopefully that whole sorry chapter will be ignored. (Having the Doctor as half human just brings up too many difficult possibilities for my liking.)
The story was great. They weren't trying to be clever. They weren't trying to pack it full of references to the old series, they were writing something new, and it worked really well. It was so much more like Dr Who than I expected. This is how it's meant to be, because this is how it always was. It's modern and up to date, but it's still silly, (Wheelie bins eating people? Oh yes!) I loved it. It was funny, interesting and you care about the characters (some of them, at least) and that was what was missing from the Paul McGann incarnation.
Now, I'm just hoping that the nice person who leaked the first episode can do it with the second, I don't want to have to wait another week! :-D