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Dr Who

Yesterday on the college-campus-like grassy hill outside the Metreon, I was listening to bcholmes and the_siobhan discussing Dr Who. I've only seen a couple of episodes. There are apparently over 700 episodes. If I were to watch some Dr Who episodes, which ones should I start with?


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed the "Key to Time" series... these were just appearing on PBS around the time I first found out about Dr. Who, and I used to stay up late watching them in the front room with all the house lights off.

Tom Baker was Dr. Who for the longest period, I think. At least I think so because 90% of the episodes I've seen were featuring him. Like you'd expect for a relatively-low-budget BBC series, the sets and (pre-CGI) sfx are not compelling, but the stories were almost always interesting.

I recently found a DVD box set with the "Key to Time" story arc and watched them all again and had a great time with them.
May. 11th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
Second for the Key to Time story arc -- I think that was my intro to the Dr. as well.
May. 11th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
May. 11th, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
Thanks - based on your recommendation and other factors, we're starting with this one.
(Deleted comment)
May. 11th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
Thanks! Based on this and other recommendations for the Key to Time series, we're starting there.
May. 10th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
I think gridlore's list looks sensible.

The problem is that you can't watch Dr Who the way those of us who watch Dr Who watch Dr Who. What I mean is, everyone in my local social circle, and I expect most new people I meet who I have any affinity with, grew up watching Dr Who, and are all too young to have seen Dr Who from the beginning.

I am unusual in that I can actually vaguely remember when I first saw Dr Who, although I guess my story is not that unusual - I believe it was with my best friends who lived next door, on their TV. Because we'd arrived in Australia probably a few months previously, us kids had learnt to speak English by interacting with the kids next door, and now watched TV with the kids next door. (I'd have been nine)

At the time, and for all of my Aussie child and teenagerhood that I can remember, there was a half-hour of Dr Who Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. I think it was on at 6 or 6:30, it was the tail end of the afternoon programming, last show before the news.

A lot of the stories then were over four episodes, so you got one complete story a week. It was (once you were watching regularly) a big deal when new episodes were broadcast, but the rest of the time, you'd get repeats of episodes from sometime in the last ? years. I believe I began watching during Tom Baker's reign (longest-running, most popular, certainly my favourite Doctor, at least of the older batch - it's a bit hard to compare the new stuff), but I also saw several stories from John Pertwee, the previous Doctor, because he was in some of the previous seasons being re-broadcast.

I don't know if I'm conveying any of this here. But I think it's important to know that for many non-US English between 50 and perhaps 20? - I started disliking the new doctors sometime in the eighties - Dr Who is part of childhood mythology, much like I imagine Sesame Street is for many Americans, but aimed at an older age bracket (or perhaps Star Trek?). And its role was to provide a sensawunda, more complex emotions, and yet, applying my adult analytical abilities, it's a very different thing.

The new Dr Who is, to my eyes, very strongly aimed at those of us who grew up with the old Dr Who as children. I think you can watch it as a show in its own right, they've been fairly careful to fill in backstory. But it would be a different experience that way.
May. 10th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
The new Dr Who is, to my eyes, very strongly aimed at those of us who grew up with the old Dr Who as children. I think you can watch it as a show in its own right, they've been fairly careful to fill in backstory. But it would be a different experience that way.

I should probably clarify that I wouldn't be starting with "the new Dr Who." The one episode I saw, I really didn't like.

Yeah, it's different to start watching something like that as an adult; I saw the original Star Trek when it came out and I have a fondness for it that gets me past all the stupidity and sexism when I watch it today.
May. 11th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
I don't think I could recommend New Who to anyone who didn't already love old Who (in a non-wanky way), though I have a soft spot for Chris Eccleston.
May. 11th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
One of my friends has just crunched through the first three seasons of New Who having never seen an episode in his life, and LOVED it. He may be an exception, though -- he is in a lot of other things, so why not this. ;)
May. 11th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
Well, you'll need to apply a similar, but slightly different set of filters to Dr Who as to Star Trek.
May. 10th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
I have no recommendations, having seen only a few of the old Dr. Who episodes and none of the newer ones, but I have a piece of advice:

Be careful. You never forget your first Doctor.
May. 11th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
Heh. I think that the first Dr Who episode I saw was a Pertwee episode.
May. 11th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
When you've watched a few, say which ones you liked and which ones you didn't. It'll be easier to recommend others based on that.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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