Original Post Title: Doctor Who?
Original Post Date: Friday, September 4, 2015
In 15 days, a show that has been airing for 52 years (ignoring a brief break in the 90s) returns to our screens. Yet another recent discovery for me due to mini marathons on BBC America. Any British person will know I'm speaking of Doctor Who, but since the show relaunched in 2005, it has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Doctor Who is classified as a sci-fi show, although due to the nature of the show, it can be a drama, comedy, romance, thriller, action adventure, period piece, mystery, western, and any other genre that exists. This range is due largely to the main character, an alien called The Doctor, and his time machine, the TARDIS, that can travel through all of space and time.
It's a bit difficult to describe - "timey-wimey," if you will. But here goes. There is a non-Earth being, who's called The Doctor (not Doctor Who). He happens to look human, but he is actually a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. He has a time machine that looks like a 1960s London police box on the outside, but it's much bigger on the inside. This time machine is called the TARDIS, which stands for "time and relative dimension in space." Using the TARDIS, he can travel to anywhere in the universe and any time past or future. He usually has a traveling companion, often a human. They go on adventures that seem to always turn into them saving someone, a planet, or humanity.
How has this show been in existence since 1963? Another core part of the show that provides flexibility - the Doctor is not human. His species happens to have the ability to regenerate when they are about to die. They just happen to change the way they look when they regenerate. To date, the Doctor has had 12 different faces (and been played by 12 different actors).
Doctor Who is incredibly well-written and very well-acted. These days, the special effects are quite impressive, especially considering the budget of the show. The show is family friendly, although similar to Harry Potter, there have been some bits that would be scary even for adults.
Many people say, if you're new to the series, you should start by watching the episode Blink. The odd thing is the Doctor isn't very central to that episode, but it is a self-contained story that deals with monsters and time travel, so it is a good way to get familiar with how the series works and feels without needing any background information. Some other good ones could be The Girl in the Fireplace, Voyage of the Damned, The Fires of Pompeii, A Christmas Carol, and Vincent and the Doctor. You can purchase single episodes on Amazon Instant Video and iTunes to see if you like it before committing to the whole series. iTunes also gives you a 30 second preview clip of each episode.
I actually started with a complicated two-parter (Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead), and I was still able to catch on and fall in love with the show, so it doesn't matter too much how you start - just start.