If you’re not watching Dr. Who now, friends, you are missing out on some of the best science fiction drama/comedy storytelling on TV. In my family Dr. Who is a multigenerational tradition. My dad saw the original series when he lived in England (I believe Pertwee was his first Doctor), and more recently me and my brothers have started watching it.
I’ve tried to find the adequate words to describe why you should watch this show, but I think Neil Gaiman, who is a lifelong Dr. Who fan, writer of the season 6 episode “The Doctor’s Wife” among other things, and all around good guy says it better than I could:
“There’s a big blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than the outside. It can go anywhere in space and time, sometimes where it is supposed to go. Something will go wrong, and there’s some bloke called The Doctor who’ll make it all right because he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up and watch Blink.”
But really, for me, aside from the hours of brilliant heartfelt storytelling that Dr. Who delivered, the biggest impact was on my writing. I’ve started writing fun stories, silly stories, stories that I would not have conceivably written had it not been for Dr. Who. (And yes, I do write Dr. Who fan-fic. Its out in the open now. Not that I plan on showing the world any time soon.)
To catch you up, here’s a brief summary of everything you need to know about Dr. Who.
For someone new to Dr. Who I wouldn’t suggest starting from Series 1 and working up to Series 6, unless you want to be complete about it. At the very least I’d say you should watch these episodes to understand Steven Moffat’s (current showrunner of Dr. Who) story arc:
1. Dalek (Series 1)
2. Girl in the Fireplace (Series 2)*
3. Human Nature/The Family of Blood (Series 3)*
4. Blink (Series 3)**
5. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (Series 4)
6. Everything from Series 5 onwards.
Though, if you had to watch just one, watch Blink. You can thank me later. The latter half of Series 6 starts in September 2011, so you’ll have plenty of time to catch up over the summer.
*[The starred episodes are, imho, the best written ones.]
I’d be interested in hearing other Who-vians opinions about how to introduce someone to the show.
And, as an afterthought, fans of Moffat’s Dr. Who work might like his work on the BBC’s Sherlock: a modern day adaption featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman (who’s playing Bilbo in The Hobbit) as Watson. It’s clever, cerebral, witty and labyrinthine storytelling at its best.