Doctor Who: Your New to Who FAQ Kid's Edition
Awhile back I penned a guide to people who wanted to get into Doctor Who in order to save myself the same questions being asked of me over and over again. It worked out well, and now whenever Facebook friends and fans email me I just point them on to the piece and wait until they show up bleary-eyed from too much Netflix streaming of the episodes. It's my good deed for the day!
But now I get another type of question lately, and that's how to go about introducing your kids to Doctor Who. Judging by the cosplayers I saw this year at Comicpalooza it's apparently not a hard thing to do, as I saw kids from stroller-age to teenagers dressed up as various Doctors.
I made it a point to question more than a few of them, and this is the basic set of advice I've come up with in order to turn your kids into little Whovians.
What Age is Appropriate to Start Viewing: Well, Gary Russell and Neil Gamain have both stated that they started watching the show when they were just three, so obviously there's a pretty good precedent for toddler-age starts. That's classic series, of course, but anyone who tells you that the classic series is tamer than the modern wasn't paying attention. I can't name a classic story off the top of my head where no one dies, though I can name several modern series ones.
In reality, any age where they can sit through a 45-minute episode is a good one. If they don't have the attention span for that, I've had great success with Doctor Who music videos on YouTube, especially this one set to VNV Nation's "Space and Time." The Doctor Who puppet show is also helpful.
Where Should I Start: Without a doubt the best Doctor to introduce little kids to is Matt Smith's Eleven. He's easily the most kid friendly Doctor of the modern era, and has several very kid-centered episodes that helps children identify with him.
"The Eleventh Hour" is a good one because of the brilliant opening scenes with young Amelia Pond. It can be a bit scary, but for the most part it works. The Christmas specials under Smith are also tops, especially "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe." It's got Christmas, magic doors, a crazy room full of wonders, Eleven being goofy in a backwards helmet, and two young children as the main companions. Plus, everyone lives. It's hard to beat that.