‘Doctor Who’: Where To Start

So, you’ve finally given into your curiosity and want to start watching Doctor Who. Who can blame you? All your nerdtastic friends are doing it. Not to mention, Doctor Who is arguably one of the most successful TV shows of all time and is nearing it’s 50th Anniversary! That’s nothing to turn your nose up at. But with all that success, and all those episodes, it can be quite daunting to figure out where to start. After all, there have been 11 doctors, 7 seasons since the 2005 reboot, and 26 seasons of Classic Doctor Who, which we won’t even touch in this. Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. Lucky for you, you have options.

 Blink (Season 3 Episode 10) 

Fan favorite, “Blink,” written by the current show runner, Steven Moffat, is an excellent stand-alone episode if you want to sample the series before committing. It does not spoil any of the plot points for later viewing pleasure. The episode actually features hardly any of the Doctor at all, but manages to give an incredibly accurate depiction of who the Doctor is, how he is viewed by others including his companion, and the tone that the series eventually takes on. This fast pace and suspenseful episode features Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow in her whirlwind adventure to defeat the Weeping Angels.

If you end up liking this episode, I recommend then going back to Season 1, Episode 1, “Rose,”  and watching all the way through. The earlier episodes are great in all their campy glory, but it is definitely nice to know that the show gets better as time goes on, which makes the bad lighting more forgiving.

The Eleventh Hour (Season 5, Episode 1)

The introduction to the 11th doctor portrayed by Matt Smith and Amy Pond! This episode was basically designed to introduce a new audience to the glory of Doctor Who and their brand spanking new show runner, Steven Moffat, new Tardis, and new budget! The episode craft fully touches on everything that a newbie would need to know about the Doctor to not feel completely lost through young Amelia Pond, and quickly jumps into action launching the storyline for the season.

This is where to start if you want to just catch up before the 50th anniversary, can’t stand the aesthetics of the early episodes, or have no intention of watching the entire series, which is your own damn loss because it’s fantastic. There will be times that you might get slightly confused later in the season, but basically everything you need to know gets explained to Amy and Rory at some point or another.

Rose (Season 1, Episode 1)

There’s nothing like the traditional approach of watching a TV show from beginning to end. While the production value is questionable, the script campy, and the villain silly, it’s still a great episode. The episode gets back to what Doctor Who is at it’s core: a family show full of suspense, wonder, and curiosity about a fantastic man in a blue box. This episode introduces the reboot, the Doctor, who is in a darker place than he is in the majority of the series, and Rose, one of the most beloved companions.

This is the route I recommend for anyone who really wants to go on an adventure, for someone who doesn’t judge a book by it’s cover, and can give up their heart and trust a strange man in a blue box who points and shoots a glowing, noisy screwdriver at things.

Posted on August 25, 2013, in BBC, BBC America, British Television, Cable, Classic Television, Science Fiction, TV Shows You Should Know and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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