About the Doctor (Who) – Recommendations / Explanation
I have been told repeatedly and repeatedly to watch Doctor Who. You people and your obsession with British serials. Anyway, I did! I watched all the new series (6 seasons) in about 2 months. It helped that I got sick for three days with a flu and basically blasted through almost two seasons that way. (please note I wrote this like 2 months ago I just never got around to publishing it).
If you don’t know the premise of Doctor Who, The Doctor is basically a time travelling alien who tries to ensure that nobody fucks with the time stream and things happen the way they should. Along the way he has companions who travel with him, almost always women. His species (Time Lords) can regenerate before dying (the way the series explains a change in actors). His real name? Nobody knows. He just goes by “The Doctor”. The show has about 23 real seasons but forget the old series, we are just watching the new one. 2005 and beyond!
tl;dr Watch Blink! That’s all, thanks~ (no really you should watch more but I’ll cover that below).
The series so far has 3 major parts. There have been two head writers: Russel Davies and Steven Moffat and three Doctors (9th, 10th, and 11th doctor). Each season has one major story arc but for the most part the episodes are independent of each other.
S1 = 9th doctor + Davies
S2-S4 + 3 specials (Waters of Mars, End of Time, and Forbidden Planet) = 10th doctor + Davies
S5-S6 = 11th doctor + Moffat
Netflix has S1-S5, and 2 of the specials between S4 and S5.
I’m going to split this review / explanation into those three sections. And cover two main things: Episodes worth watching regardless of main story, and episodes if you want to know the main continuity without missing too much.
The 9th Doctor
Season 1 covers the 9th Doctor and his introduction to Rose Tyler.
Of the episodes worth watching are
Episode 1: Rose, a great introduction to Rose Tyler and just a good episode
Episode 6: Dalek, an introduction to Daleks, they’ll come up again.
Episode 9 & 10: Empty Child + Doctor Dances, fucking scary as shit.
Episode 11: Boom Town (you should watch Episode 4 and 5 if you want to see this) I thought it was an interesting idea but not everyone likes it.
The Christmas Special: Christmas Invasion (takes places after Episode 13).
If you want main continuity you should also watch
Episode 12 & 13: Bad Wolf and Parting of the Ways.
The 10th Doctor
Season 2 covers the 10th doctor and Rose Tyler
Episodes worth watching:
Episode 4: The Girl in the Fireplace is quite excellent. Less sci-fi, but cute. It’s romantic so if you don’t mind that.
Episode 5 & 6: Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel is a decent sci-fi series and introduces a recurring bad guy: The Cybermen.
Episode 10: Love and Monsters is an episode less about the doctor but about people searching for him.
Episode 12 & 13: Army of Ghosts and Doomsday, series finale. Worth watching.
Christmas Special: Runaway Bride. Interesting insight into the Doctor.
if you watch those episodes, I think you’ve got the main continuity covered actually. No major issues.
Some might argue that Impossible Planet and Satan Pit are also worth watching, I enjoyed the episodes but the entire premise felt off to me. But while I would not recommend them, people whose opinion I value would.
Season 3 the 10th doctor gets a new companion, Martha
Episodes worth watching:
Episode 1: Smith and Jones, an intro to Martha Jones and a decent episode by itself.
Episode 3: Gridlock, an intriguing episode and kinda fun, but a bit one dimensional.
Episode 8 & 9: Human Nature and Family of Blood: Great set of episodes.
Episode 10: Blink (WATCH THIS EPISODE, seriously, the Weeping Angels are probably one of the BEST bad guys in the entire Doctor Who franchise).
For main continuity:
Episode 11-13: Another new bad guy, the Master. You’ll see him. He’s fun, kind of. I don’t really like his story or his evil intentions, but you should watch it for plot.
Season 4 the 10th Doctor gets new companion: Donna.
She was in the Christmas Special for Season 2 actually.
Episode 1: Partners in Crime, not the best but cute.
Episode 3: Planet of the Ood, if you haven’t seen Impossible Planet/Satan Pit they introduce the Ood but everything is explained here, don’t worry too much about it.
Episode 8: Midnight, probably one of my favorite Who episodes.
Episode 9-10: Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead: A great two-partner and the introduction to River Song.
Episode 12-13: Stolen Earth and Journey’s End: The beginning of the end of the tenth doctor, if you want to watch the specials, I do recommend watching this. (Also if you like Rose you might wanna see this set of episode).
Specials and the end of the 10th Doctor and Russel Davies reign as head writer
The Waters of Mars and End of Time are all both damn good specials and end the reign of the 10th doctor and really wrap pretty much everything that Davies wanted to do during his reign. Must watch.
Season 5 and the 11th Doctor, beginning of Moffat’s reign as head writer
So first of all, Moffat is a damn good writer. Every episode he wrote for Doctor Who before he took over as head writer I’ve recommended.
Episode 1: Good introduction to Amelia Pond, absolutely critical really, you just have to watch this.
Episode 4 & 5: Return of the Weeping Angels and River Song! BONUS!
Episode 11: The Lodger: A cute little episode, more about Doctor trying to be a normal person which is hilarious.
For main plot
Episode 12 & 13: Pandorica Opens and Big Bang are important, and they introduce Rory! Amy’s fiancee!
Season 6 and the last one that aired so far!
Episiode 3: Doctor’s Wife, Neil Gaiman wrote it, is intriguing and interesting.
Episode 5 & 6: Rebel Flesh and Almost People is just a good story about duplicates.
Episode 7 & 8: A Good Man goes to War and Let’s Kill Hitler. It’s honestly kinda just bad ass stuff happening over and over. The plot is pretty basic and not that interesting but I thought it was fun to watch.
Episode 10: The Girl Who Waited, I enjoyed the episode and the ending in particular. Morality plays are interesting.
Episode 11: God Complex, decent episode kinda falters.
Episode 12: Closing Time, kinda ok, it’s kinda necessary for the conclusion.
Episode 1 & 2 & 13 are kinda necessary to wrap up and understand the River Song storyline.
And that’s it! That’s the series up to where it’s aired. Christmas Special is coming this December!