The parallels are definitely there, but I don't think that the big problem with TW S1 was that it was trying too much to be AtS or that it was taking itself too seriously. The real problem is that it would consistently undercut its own aspiration to do "Doctor Who
for adults" by doing stuff that was incredibly sophomoric.
Take, for instance, the episode "Cyberwoman." That episode could have been frickin' brilliant
, taking the somewhat cheesey DW villains and rendering them in a way that's very real, very visceral, very gorey, very scary, very adult. Instead, what do they do? They put the actress playing the half-Cyberfied woman into a fetish outfit with high heels... and all for no particular reason. It completely
undercut the dramatic integrity of the entire episode.
's premises in S1 were usually wonderful, but the execution was always off. Take Jack, for instance; I absolutely love the idea that for Jack, the character of the Doctor -- this sort of national icon of childhood, a la Superman in the US -- has become this unattainable aspiration that he's waiting to find again to make his life all better. The Doctor has become the absent god that he's longing for. "What are you looking for, Jack?" "The right kind of Doctor." And yet, the series never develops this notion, this very dark and adult approach to an icon of British childhood that children themselves could never understand, and when the Doctor returns to Jack's life, it all gets resolved far too quickly.