Questions

Dr Who - what to watch?

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Dr Who - what to watch?

ronatola
I've never watched any of the series before.
What is the best one to watch? I think there are many versions throughout the ages with many different actors. I would weight good production value quite highly btw. I know Dr Who isn't noted for that, but it might help guide your response.
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    OH Smeg

    With Mat Smith playing the Doctor though David Tennant was considered by a lot of people to be a very good Doctor,

    Personally I like William Hartnell the original Doctor which was filmed in Black & White but that's just me.

    On the other hand the Script Writers back in the John Petwee and Tom Baker Days where much better and they stayed with Dr Who Cannon unlike the current generation of Script Writers who have gone a long way from what was originally exposed in Dr Who. Today for instance there are no new enemies like the Darleks or Cybermen and even when there are Cybermen today they are radically different to the Old Days where a Glitter Gun would kill them, though Flying Darleks are a defiant advantage.

    Col

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    I loved David Tennant more. His Doctor was more dramatic where Matt's is more fun. I don't remember the old Drs all that well, but it would "float my boat" if one of the sci-fi stations over here would rerun them for me :) . I do think that sometimes as much as the story may be about the Doctor, it's often more about his companion. I loved Rose, Billie Piper, as David's companion. And with Amy, Karen Gillan, as Matt's, she keeps him in check so to speak. I also can't wait to see what all happens with River Song, Alex Kingston; she's not a companion but there is definitely a potentially good story brewing there.

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    OH Smeg

    Purps I completely agree but the OP said

    I would weight good production value quite highly btw.

    So that immediately rules out any of the Old Series with people like Douglas Adams as Script Writers, the Production quality wasn't the best and it was very cheap. Probably a left over from the original idea behind the Doctor being a Science program to Educate School Children and not the SiFi show that it became very early on, like after the Pilot.

    Though to be quite honest the BBC was never really noted for it's Expensive Productions they made excellent shows on a Shoestring and never relied on Money for High Quality Production Values. :_|

    So with that in mind the current Series Shows have to have the best production values no matter how good the older ones actually are. Though 8 episodes for an entire year are minimal even by the British Standards, they really must have very little money at all to spend.

    Col

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    PurpleSkys Moderator

    i hear ya Co, and totally agreel...but it still would be fun to watch the old ones. It is also frustrating that they can't seem to pull together a decent full sized season of say...20-25 shows; this year's season is only 15 and I'm not sure if that includes the Christmas special .

    I'd be pretty darned ecstatic if they would give us some more Torchwood; last year's season was pretty darn good, but what else lies in store for Capt. Jack?

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    HypnoToad72

    Given the improvement in visual f/x, the number of stories to be made probably went down. After all the whining people made last year of reduced f/x quality (and most of the stories were unredeeming as well)...

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    CayenneUK

    I have been a Doctor Who fan since it started in 1963. Personally I still don't think William Hartnell (Doctor #1) can be beaten as he set the mould. But for newcomers, I would recommend starting with the new series that started in 2005(ish) with Chris Ecclestone. My favourite ep would be "Dalek", followed just behind by "Fathers Day". But starting with the opening ep "Rose" is as good a starting point as any.
    Of the classic series, I would recommend the Tom Baker stories - especially the ones made when Douglas Adams was script editor. In case you are a hard sci-fi fan, be aware that this is more sci-fantasy! It doesn't always make sense, but is a great romp!

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    thx

    ronatola

    thx for the recs guys

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    TheSquareRootOf

    This answer is going to depend heavily on how much depth you want to the story... To me, there is no question you should start with the modern series. There are two different start points you could jump into though. Personally, I recommend option A, but it IS a lot of watching and requires some patience in the beginning.

    Option A)
    Start at Series 1 with Christopher Eccleston and watch from Series 1 - Series 7. This is a lot of watching but in my opinion will give you the best story. Series 1 and part of Series 2 has a fair bit of cheesy stuff in it, but if you can put that aside or even learn to enjoy it, you'll have a much greater appreciation for the show. The David Tennant era is some of the best TV writing out there and really builds the character of the Doctor. Jokes are thrown around in the current series that still reference back to series 1 and 2, etc.

    Option B)
    Start at Series 5 with Matt Smith. This was a good reboot point in the show and you're not going to feel entirely in the dark if you come in at Series 5. There is an excellent story there, and because the production quality gets better with every series so you will enjoy the quality a bit more than say Series 1. Series 1, however, is not awful quality or anything - just a bit more cheesy.

    I am willing to bet if you take option A David Tennant will win your heart for favorite doctor. If you take option B, even if you go back and get the whole story by watching the other series later, Matt Smith will probably win your heart. At least that has been the case for most people I've talked with. The point is, once you start watching you'll get hooked! I've introduced the show to many people over the years and I don't know a single one that hasn't enjoyed it.

    It is worth noting that you might also want to check out Torchwood. It add's a lot of information to the story and at times is darker than Doctor Who. It's definitely not your "family oriented" TV show. However, Torchwood is only going to make sense if you watch it in the order it was released and bounce back and forth between Doctor Who and Torchwood, starting at Doctor Who Series 1. It references series 1 - 4, so you would really need to be committed to starting at the beginning of Who.

    Again, if it were me, I'd start at Series 1 of the modern series. Give it a chance for two series and you'll be hooked - especially the Series 2 finale. Best of luck and I hope you enjoy!

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    HypnoToad72

    Hartnell.

    The show has changed its format several times, but the original vision was made in the Hartnell era. Later eras would adapt the format, but the first year or two are pretty much the most innovative, since they created all that has been taken for granted since.

    The Tom Baker era is the most popular, and offers a lot of innovations as well.

    Pretty much ALL eras have their innovations and great points (no argument), but if I was a newbie, I'd want to see the show from the beginning and see how it grew, developed, and changed over the passage of time.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Only problem with that is that a lot of the Old Stuff no longer exists in the BBC Vaults at least. A lot simply was never kept because they saw no point in it.

    I once heard that Mr Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe is a great Fan and has a complete Set of Shows which is probably the only remaining set left in existence. Though I have no idea just how accurate that was but if it's true it would be Poetic Justice.

    Col

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    HypnoToad72

    Col,

    That is sadly true - a lot of the old material no longer exists. No commercial interest was deemed, to store the tapes and films was very expensive at the time, so the videos were wiped and films junked...

    If one liked the Hartnell and Troughon eras, they would lose out...

    But as Matt Smith enjoyed what Troughton episodes exists, that says a lot about those early eras... which only makes it worse that they were dumped. "The Dalek Masterplan", "The Power of the Daleks", "The Web of Fear", "Marco Polo", "Fury From the Deep", and rather a lot of others are effectively toast.

    The Mugabe rumor is interesting if true.

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    HAL 9000 Moderator

    And yet the Pilot exists. Go Figure it was never shown though bits of it where used years latter in some of the then Current Generation of the Doctor. Like the 3 Doctors or latter the 5 Doctors.

    I did once a televised screening of the Pilot with the Good Doctor in his Time Bubble but that was the only time it was ever broadcast here and that was a very long time ago, though officially the Dr Who Fan Club deny it's existence or that it was ever broadcast so I'm really not sure where it came from or how it got broadcast, maybe it was a filler to fill in time when something went wrong but it defiantly wasn't scheduled and I was very lucky to see it.

    Col

  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    With Mat Smith playing the Doctor though David Tennant was considered by a lot of people to be a very good Doctor,

    Personally I like William Hartnell the original Doctor which was filmed in Black & White but that's just me.

    On the other hand the Script Writers back in the John Petwee and Tom Baker Days where much better and they stayed with Dr Who Cannon unlike the current generation of Script Writers who have gone a long way from what was originally exposed in Dr Who. Today for instance there are no new enemies like the Darleks or Cybermen and even when there are Cybermen today they are radically different to the Old Days where a Glitter Gun would kill them, though Flying Darleks are a defiant advantage.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    PurpleSkys Moderator

    I loved David Tennant more. His Doctor was more dramatic where Matt's is more fun. I don't remember the old Drs all that well, but it would "float my boat" if one of the sci-fi stations over here would rerun them for me :) . I do think that sometimes as much as the story may be about the Doctor, it's often more about his companion. I loved Rose, Billie Piper, as David's companion. And with Amy, Karen Gillan, as Matt's, she keeps him in check so to speak. I also can't wait to see what all happens with River Song, Alex Kingston; she's not a companion but there is definitely a potentially good story brewing there.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Purps I completely agree but the OP said

    I would weight good production value quite highly btw.

    So that immediately rules out any of the Old Series with people like Douglas Adams as Script Writers, the Production quality wasn't the best and it was very cheap. Probably a left over from the original idea behind the Doctor being a Science program to Educate School Children and not the SiFi show that it became very early on, like after the Pilot.

    Though to be quite honest the BBC was never really noted for it's Expensive Productions they made excellent shows on a Shoestring and never relied on Money for High Quality Production Values. :_|

    So with that in mind the current Series Shows have to have the best production values no matter how good the older ones actually are. Though 8 episodes for an entire year are minimal even by the British Standards, they really must have very little money at all to spend.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    PurpleSkys Moderator

    i hear ya Co, and totally agreel...but it still would be fun to watch the old ones. It is also frustrating that they can't seem to pull together a decent full sized season of say...20-25 shows; this year's season is only 15 and I'm not sure if that includes the Christmas special .

    I'd be pretty darned ecstatic if they would give us some more Torchwood; last year's season was pretty darn good, but what else lies in store for Capt. Jack?

    +
    0 Votes
    HypnoToad72

    Given the improvement in visual f/x, the number of stories to be made probably went down. After all the whining people made last year of reduced f/x quality (and most of the stories were unredeeming as well)...

    +
    0 Votes
    CayenneUK

    I have been a Doctor Who fan since it started in 1963. Personally I still don't think William Hartnell (Doctor #1) can be beaten as he set the mould. But for newcomers, I would recommend starting with the new series that started in 2005(ish) with Chris Ecclestone. My favourite ep would be "Dalek", followed just behind by "Fathers Day". But starting with the opening ep "Rose" is as good a starting point as any.
    Of the classic series, I would recommend the Tom Baker stories - especially the ones made when Douglas Adams was script editor. In case you are a hard sci-fi fan, be aware that this is more sci-fantasy! It doesn't always make sense, but is a great romp!

    +
    0 Votes

    thx

    ronatola

    thx for the recs guys

    +
    0 Votes
    TheSquareRootOf

    This answer is going to depend heavily on how much depth you want to the story... To me, there is no question you should start with the modern series. There are two different start points you could jump into though. Personally, I recommend option A, but it IS a lot of watching and requires some patience in the beginning.

    Option A)
    Start at Series 1 with Christopher Eccleston and watch from Series 1 - Series 7. This is a lot of watching but in my opinion will give you the best story. Series 1 and part of Series 2 has a fair bit of cheesy stuff in it, but if you can put that aside or even learn to enjoy it, you'll have a much greater appreciation for the show. The David Tennant era is some of the best TV writing out there and really builds the character of the Doctor. Jokes are thrown around in the current series that still reference back to series 1 and 2, etc.

    Option B)
    Start at Series 5 with Matt Smith. This was a good reboot point in the show and you're not going to feel entirely in the dark if you come in at Series 5. There is an excellent story there, and because the production quality gets better with every series so you will enjoy the quality a bit more than say Series 1. Series 1, however, is not awful quality or anything - just a bit more cheesy.

    I am willing to bet if you take option A David Tennant will win your heart for favorite doctor. If you take option B, even if you go back and get the whole story by watching the other series later, Matt Smith will probably win your heart. At least that has been the case for most people I've talked with. The point is, once you start watching you'll get hooked! I've introduced the show to many people over the years and I don't know a single one that hasn't enjoyed it.

    It is worth noting that you might also want to check out Torchwood. It add's a lot of information to the story and at times is darker than Doctor Who. It's definitely not your "family oriented" TV show. However, Torchwood is only going to make sense if you watch it in the order it was released and bounce back and forth between Doctor Who and Torchwood, starting at Doctor Who Series 1. It references series 1 - 4, so you would really need to be committed to starting at the beginning of Who.

    Again, if it were me, I'd start at Series 1 of the modern series. Give it a chance for two series and you'll be hooked - especially the Series 2 finale. Best of luck and I hope you enjoy!

    +
    0 Votes
    HypnoToad72

    Hartnell.

    The show has changed its format several times, but the original vision was made in the Hartnell era. Later eras would adapt the format, but the first year or two are pretty much the most innovative, since they created all that has been taken for granted since.

    The Tom Baker era is the most popular, and offers a lot of innovations as well.

    Pretty much ALL eras have their innovations and great points (no argument), but if I was a newbie, I'd want to see the show from the beginning and see how it grew, developed, and changed over the passage of time.

    +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    Only problem with that is that a lot of the Old Stuff no longer exists in the BBC Vaults at least. A lot simply was never kept because they saw no point in it.

    I once heard that Mr Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe is a great Fan and has a complete Set of Shows which is probably the only remaining set left in existence. Though I have no idea just how accurate that was but if it's true it would be Poetic Justice.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    HypnoToad72

    Col,

    That is sadly true - a lot of the old material no longer exists. No commercial interest was deemed, to store the tapes and films was very expensive at the time, so the videos were wiped and films junked...

    If one liked the Hartnell and Troughon eras, they would lose out...

    But as Matt Smith enjoyed what Troughton episodes exists, that says a lot about those early eras... which only makes it worse that they were dumped. "The Dalek Masterplan", "The Power of the Daleks", "The Web of Fear", "Marco Polo", "Fury From the Deep", and rather a lot of others are effectively toast.

    The Mugabe rumor is interesting if true.

    +
    0 Votes
    HAL 9000 Moderator

    And yet the Pilot exists. Go Figure it was never shown though bits of it where used years latter in some of the then Current Generation of the Doctor. Like the 3 Doctors or latter the 5 Doctors.

    I did once a televised screening of the Pilot with the Good Doctor in his Time Bubble but that was the only time it was ever broadcast here and that was a very long time ago, though officially the Dr Who Fan Club deny it's existence or that it was ever broadcast so I'm really not sure where it came from or how it got broadcast, maybe it was a filler to fill in time when something went wrong but it defiantly wasn't scheduled and I was very lucky to see it.

    Col