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Old 09-03-2013, 12:08 PM   #1
Ereth
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Teach me about Dr Who

Ok, so I've ignored Dr Who for most of my life. I tried to watch it on PBS in the 1970s when it was first being imported and it was simply too cheesy for my tastes. Now, 40 years later, it seems like it would be impossible to find a decent jumping on point.

And yet.. at this years Hugos there were no less than THREE episodes nominated for a Hugo. Three. That's a very impressive statistic, and indicates that this is a much better show than the cardboard thing I saw way back when. And I love Steven Moffats writing on other things.

So.... is there a jumping on point for someone who really didn't like the early stuff? Is there a legitimate way to watch these episodes from this jumping on point (Netflix, Hulu, whatever)?

What can you tell a Dr Who novice?
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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Go back to the 2005 season - Christopher Ecclestone's Doctor. It's effectively the relaunch of the franchise.

It's available on Netflix.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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I was the same way, and worked my way through the Doctor Who (2005) seasons. I think that's a good place to start. They are available on Netflix, I believe.

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Old 09-03-2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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I concur with Tony. I started fresh with the 2005 season, had absolutely no knowledge of the "original series," and I was fine.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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It's still cheesy in that BBC Sci-Fi way that some people seem to enjoy.
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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I'll concur as well. I tried to watch some of the old episodes, but it was rather painful.

The new series seems to be a great launching point, and Netflix has it all. I don't feel like I missed a whole lot.
Maybe I'll watch some more of the old stuff eventually, but my tv time is very limited.

It's definitely less cheesy. Has its moments, but overall it's not too cheesy. Jump in and enjoy!

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Old 09-03-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
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Is there anything that would be too risque or ultra violent for an 11 yr old? I've been meaning to start watching with my kid, and this thread reminded me. He's ok with scary, and he plays mild first person shooters.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:39 PM   #8
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I too saw a few episodes of the 70's version as a kid. That pretty much killed ANY desire I have to revisit that character, no matter who has played him since.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #9
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It's still cheesy in that BBC Sci-Fi way that some people seem to enjoy.
The new series ? I don't think so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfer View Post
I too saw a few episodes of the 70's version as a kid. That pretty much killed ANY desire I have to revisit that character, no matter who has played him since.
That makes zero sense since it's essentially a new and outstanding show with far more depth than the original.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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I too saw a few episodes of the 70's version as a kid. That pretty much killed ANY desire I have to revisit that character, no matter who has played him since.
The new show and the old show are very different from a production value standpoint.
Watch the episode "Blink" which is from season 3 of the new series episode 10 (actually listed as 11 on Netflix) and if you don't like that one you can skip the rest. It's a stand alone episode so you should be able to watch it without seeing what's come before it. It's definitely one of the best that the new series has to offer.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #11
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It's still cheesy in that BBC Sci-Fi way that some people seem to enjoy.
I like British comedies and drama, but do not like their Sci-Fi. I tried to watch the first season with Matt Smith and I did not like the cheese. I also tried Torchwood and that was the same. Yes I realize it was a spinoff or something.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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The new series ? I don't think so.
Some of the 'cheesier' moments have to do with the classic characters (like the Daleks) where the show is a bit stuck with the original design to the alien creatures (like the Sontarans). But the story lines, for the most part, aren't too cheesy (well, maybe the Adipose was cheesy).
Quote:

That makes zero sense since it's essentially a new and outstanding show with far more depth than the original.
It's Alfer. He isn't happy unless he puts down something that he doesn't like. The new series have been great (well, not a big fan of Matt Smith). There are some great episodes that he has missed due to his stubbornnes. Blink is an awesome episode and is a great place to get the 'feel' of Doctor Who without having to know any backstory.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:55 PM   #13
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Is there anything that would be too risque or ultra violent for an 11 yr old? I've been meaning to start watching with my kid, and this thread reminded me. He's ok with scary, and he plays mild first person shooters.
Is he lactose intolerant?
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:56 PM   #14
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I like British comedies and drama, but do not like their Sci-Fi. I tried to watch the first season with Matt Smith and I did not like the cheese. I also tried Torchwood and that was the same. Yes I realize it was a spinoff or something.
Go back to Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant. They were great Doctors. Matt Smith just couldn't fill their shoes.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:56 PM   #15
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Is there anything that would be too risque or ultra violent for an 11 yr old? I've been meaning to start watching with my kid, and this thread reminded me. He's ok with scary, and he plays mild first person shooters.
He should be fine. There are some "spooky" episodes, but nothing risque or really violent.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:07 PM   #16
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The new series ? I don't think so.
I'm don't like or dislike the show - so from a completely objective POV, yes - it is.

Not /quite/ as cheesy as the old one, but BBC Sci-Fi cheesy, for sure.

Now - people like that, I get that...and that's fine...I wasn't making a judgement either way. Just saying it's got the same general mouth-feel.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:16 PM   #17
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Is he lactose intolerant?
No, but I am.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:29 PM   #18
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I'm not sure how the word cheesy is being used here.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #19
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Go back to Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant. They were great Doctors. Matt Smith just couldn't fill their shoes.
I think this is absolutely not true. I would put Smith head and shoulders above Tennant as a performer on this show. Tennant was certainly likable, but I think he was a lightweight.

I think the writing has been more hit-and-miss on Smith's run, however.

And anybody who compares the cheese factor of the new series to the old show is on drugs!
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:42 PM   #20
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Either this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
Go back to the 2005 season - Christopher Ecclestone's Doctor. It's effectively the relaunch of the franchise.

It's available on Netflix.
Or this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azlen View Post
Watch the episode "Blink" which is from season 3 of the new series episode 10 (actually listed as 11 on Netflix) and if you don't like that one you can skip the rest. It's a stand alone episode so you should be able to watch it without seeing what's come before it. It's definitely one of the best that the new series has to offer.
Disclaimer: I started with Eccleston, but unlike Loadstar, I had enough previous exposure to Doctor Who via fandom and having laid eyes on previous Doctors that I knew the major bits (what the Daleks were, who the Cybermen were, what the Tardis is, etc.).

I liked "Blink" and other Moffat episodes that he wrote under the Davies regime, but I don't like him as a show runner. That is, while I prefer Tennant and Eccleston as Doctors, my problem is not with Matt Smith so much as what he has been asked to do. I prefer more character-driven stories instead of insane puzzly-stuff.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
Go back to the 2005 season - Christopher Ecclestone's Doctor. It's effectively the relaunch of the franchise.

It's available on Netflix.
This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by murgatroyd View Post
Disclaimer: I started with Eccleston, but unlike Loadstar, I had enough previous exposure to Doctor Who via fandom and having laid eyes on previous Doctors that I knew the major bits (what the Daleks were, who the Cybermen were, what the Tardis is, etc.).
This was me. I had enough previous knowledge to get it but really enjoyed the reboot with Eccleston.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:07 PM   #22
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I liked "Blink" and other Moffat episodes that he wrote under the Davies regime, but I don't like him as a show runner. That is, while I prefer Tennant and Eccleston as Doctors, my problem is not with Matt Smith so much as what he has been asked to do. I prefer more character-driven stories instead of insane puzzly-stuff.
One of the things I really don't like about Moffat's companions is he has made them puzzles to be solved rather than ordinary people that the Doctor has taken them along with him. I like Jenna Louise-Coleman though but could have done without the impossible girl thing.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:19 PM   #23
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The new show and the old show are very different from a production value standpoint.
Watch the episode "Blink" which is from season 3 of the new series episode 10 (actually listed as 11 on Netflix) and if you don't like that one you can skip the rest. It's a stand alone episode so you should be able to watch it without seeing what's come before it. It's definitely one of the best that the new series has to offer.
Blink is an excellent episode, but I think it's too far from a normal episode to tell someone that they can base an opinion on the whole series on it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:22 PM   #24
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I've seen every episode of Doctor Who. In fact, I just got done watching the 8th Doctor with Paul McGann for the first time last night as one of the Doctor Who Revisited specials. My first Doctor was Tom Baker as I got into it by watching the PBS reruns of the series. The show eventually cycled back to the first Doctor with William Hartnell until I saw all episodes up to that point. I stuck with it through the Sylvester McCoy series until they stopped airing it.

The original series was absolutely cheesy and the production values were about what you'd expect from a show produced back in the 60's. Still, it was a lot of fun to watch. The 2005 reboot was a huge shot in the arm for the series. I've liked each Doctor from Christoper Eccleston to the current series with Matt Smith. Each actor imparts his own character into the Doctor, which is part of what makes the show so interesting. Production values and storylines have improved dramatically since the original series, although it still gets a bit cheesy from time to time.

I was disappointed to hear that Matt Smith will be leaving the show in favor of a newer, but older, Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. I hear that the Christmas 2013 special episode will be his last.

If you're interested in seeing what the original series is all about, you might try to see if BBC America is airing any reruns of the Doctor Who Revisited specials. They've been airing about once a month since early this year. Each one focuses on one of the Doctors starting with the first Doctor Who. There's about one hour of interviews and discussions with past cast members and production crew followed by one "classic" episode of Doctor Who featuring that specific Doctor.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:24 PM   #25
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Blink is an excellent episode, but I think it's too far from a normal episode to tell someone that they can base an opinion on the whole series on it.
Yes and no. I don't think that liking it means that you will automatically like the rest of the series because it isn't really a doctor centric episode but if you don't like the "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" stuff then you probably won't like the rest of the series. One of the most important things from that episode though is that Carey Mulligan definitely looks better with longer hair.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:30 PM   #26
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I started with the 9th doctor, and didn't really feel the need to go back to the classic Doctor Who episodes until recently. There were a few things I missed without knowing the history, but nothing that got in the way of my enjoyment. I have just about finished watching the Doctor Who revisited episodes, and have enjoyed learning about the past Doctors. However, after watching an episode of each, I really don't have any desire to try and rewatch any of the classic DW episodes.

One thing I would suggest, if Ereth plans on watching Torchwood as well, is trying to watch the two series in the sequence that they aired. There is enough cross over of ideas that you lose a little something watching the two series out of sync, as I did.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:51 PM   #27
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I would think that the Daleks might freak him out, and although "Blink" is my favorite episode, it could be too intense for your 11-year old son, as scary things happen in the dark.

I remember seeing the first Harry Potter movie where parents brought their younger children, and many had to leave the theatre early with their crying, traumatised children.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:49 PM   #28
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If an 11 year old is traumatized (and not in a good way) by Blink, they wont be ready for the real world in 7 years. We are talking 11, not 7.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #29
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Just as an FYI Netflix doesn't have everything unless they've added some Christmas specials since I watched about a year ago. I remember watching them in Netflix order and was completely lost at one point...because as I discovered...no Christmas special. Now, there are some there, but they aren't under the general Doctor Who episodes/seasons so you have to search them out.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:36 PM   #30
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If an 11 year old is traumatized (and not in a good way) by Blink, they wont be ready for the real world in 7 years. We are talking 11, not 7.
Yeah but, Tony, you're a tough guy. 11 year olds are still pre-pubescent, and some boys are naturally more sensitive than you were. That'll be up to Swirl_Junkie to judge his boy's tolerance level. But generally the Dr. Who episodes are fun and silly and suspenseful and adventurous, yet not really written as a kid show. It's written for a mature adult audience.
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