Your New to Who FAQ: A Guide For People Ready to Meet the Doctor

Categories: Doctor Who
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What's the best place to start, though?

The beginning of the new series is where you should start. That's "Rose" starring Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. It was custom-designed to bring the series to a new audience after almost two decades of silence with only a poorly-received TV movie coming between the cancellation of the classic series and the start of the new.

Almost all of the new series is on Netflix streaming, save for a couple of Tenth Doctor specials from 2009 and the last five episodes. If you're stuck with Comcast on-demand services then you can pick up at "The Impossible Astronaut." That should be more than enough to get you caught up to the current season. You may get a little lost, but the thing about Doctor Who is just sort of going with it. Trust me, you pick up everything very fast.

I don't usually like science fiction...

Honestly, despite all the time travel that's going on there is not really a whole lot of science fiction. Sometimes it's straight horror, sometimes it's a mystery, sometimes it's a kind of fantasy, and most of the time it's a lot of running away from monsters. If you prefer all your TV shows to be hardcore realism like CSI, then maybe you won't like Doctor Who, but they really do explore a whole lot of different genres and never get bogged down in a formula.

What's the best episode to show someone that has never seen Doctor Who?

A lot of people will tell you "Blink" because it's a brilliant episode that requires little to no understanding of the mythos to enjoy. To me that's like trying to introduce someone to Pink Floyd by playing them Rasputina's cover of "Wish You Were Here." Sure it's genius, but it has little to do with the core of the art. The Doctor is barely in the episode, and there's not ever really another one like it.

If your friend has 90 minutes worth of patience I suggest "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances." It's a compelling period piece that shows off Nine at his best, introduces Captain Jack, and has a great ending. You could also try "Planet of the Dead" if you own it (not on Netflix). It's one of the few one-off specials that doesn't end with a companion dying and is a killer adventure to boot.

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6 comments
AgroWander
AgroWander

just watched The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances per your rec, that was one well written story. I'll give a few more a go.

nlbullock09
nlbullock09 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I agree, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances is a fantastic place to start. When I first got obsessed with the show last year I had made it half way through season 2 and wanted to get my roommate and her then boyfriend into it. So I asked if they wanted to check out an amazing show and when they said yes I was like "I'm going to show you these two episodes and that's all, if you like it then cool!" After watching those they were hooked! We immediately went back and started from the beginning. We marathoned it so hard core until we finished season 6 and then had to wait forever for season 7 to start.

drusilla.grey
drusilla.grey

Regarding his name... Don't you remember that sequence where the Doctor and the Master are shown the time vortex and they choose their names? According to the Master, the Doctor chose this name as part of Gallifreyan customs to reflect his constant need to make people better. (TV: The Sound of Drums). As for his real name, it is known by a few, like River Song... I think it is also important to mention that this show is child friendly. Sometimes it can be a tad scary or violent, but no more than most cartoons. But, unlike cartoons, this show is intelligent and does impart lessons on tolerance and non-violent solutions.

TXKathy
TXKathy like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @drusilla.grey I remember that, when the Doctor chose his name. I mentioned that in another thread the other day, but I wasn't 100% certain if I was right. I think a few of the episodes might be a tad scary for young children -- everything Weeping Angels and The Empty Child scared the bejesus out of me -- but I agree it is a PG show safe for watching as a family. Which is nice for a change.

drusilla.grey
drusilla.grey

@kstabe1982 I guess it depends on the kid. My two were 5 and 3 when they started watching it. The younger loves The Empty Child, while the older is creeped out by it. They both love the Angles and have made a game out of being Weeping Angles. Then again, my two have a goth mother who loves horror and sci-fi and raised them with it...

Sihaya
Sihaya

 @drusilla.grey  @kstabe1982

 Someday I will make a weeping garden gnome figurine, I swear it.  In spite of the last episode of this season, I still like those guys.  Absolutely love "The Doctor Dances."  It was the first completely, totally happy ending of the new series.  "Just this once, everybody lives!"  As for introducing someone to the old series, I got my kids hooked on old "Who" with "City of Death." Timey things are happening, an old fashioned sort of cop is punching things, the Doctor keeps jumping through history so that the time travel is obvious and easy to spot for little ones, there's a squishy alien and a large prop that does special effects. 

 

Apropos of nothing, I think Amy and Rory were at a gallery in Houston this week:  http://www.29-95.com/photo/photo-21144?gid=943865 . The clothes look awfully familiar.

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