Christmas is only days away, and one of the things to look forward to (aside from presents, time with family, delicious food, and the opportunity to celebrate the savior’s birth!) is a new episode of Doctor Who.
There’s a lot of TV I’ve watched over the years but if I were pressed (really, it would only take a light pressing), I’d cite the just over 48 years old Doctor Who as my favorite show. I discovered it around Middle School years, largely from a “Program Guide” I found in a bookstore that covered the show’s first 18 seasons. Even though I had basically never seen the program, I was quickly drawn into the world of stories that I saw there, along with the various Doctors, and the coming and goings of all these different companions.
There are hundreds of hours of the show, so naturally there are episodes that are much, much better than others. For the modern viewer just tuning it, I’d recommend beginning with Season Five of the current revival series, starting with The Eleventh Hour. That way you only have two seasons to catch up on, and it’s a pretty good starting point, not requiring a lot of knowledge of the past.
As I have time I’ll offer up my thoughts on the individual stories. But in the meantime, Merry Christmas!
5 thoughts on “Stories I Like: Doctor Who”
Hee! Matt Smith is quickly climbing the ranks of my favourite Doctors.
On the subject of jumping in to Doctor Who … I’ve recently been pondering a slightly different variation on that theme. A few people I know are fans of the classic series but not so keen on the new. So I’ve started thinking about good entry-points for easing a Classic-Who fan into the new series.
“The Doctor’s Wife” from this past season might top the list, which is mostly made up of two-part stories. After the four- to six-part classic episodes, the single-episode storylines can seem a bit rushed, I think.
But “The Doctor’s Wife” is a one part story – and though I like it I think the conclusion could feel rushed in the way you describe. If we’re looking for something with an “old school” feel that takes its time a bit, what about Season 4’s “Sontaran Strategem / Poison Sky”. There you have an equivalent to a old 4-part story, a classic monster re-realized fairly successfully, I think, the presence of UNIT, a modern earth setting, and a minimum of overall “story arc” stuff cluttering things up, even though you have Martha paying a visit. It’s not my favorite story, but I think it’s a solid piece of fun, without the insanity of most of the (superior) episodes that Steven Moffatt wrote.
I agree about the Sontaran two-parter. And last season’s Silurian two-parter gets in there too. Both are solid stories that to a good job updating some old villains. The first-season “Dalek” also does well in this regard, I think. And season two’s “School Reunion” just made me absurdly happy, and ultimately sold me on Tenant as the Doctor.
“Doctor’s Wife” gets in, really, because it really embraced the show’s history, all the way back to the beginning, with such an obvious sense of affection. There was an air of fond nostalgia peppered throughout, I think.
But by and large, my favorites of the new series have been the two-parters.
I forgot about all the nostalgia in “The Doctor’s Wife.” That was fun. Not a big fan of “School Reunion” although of course it was nice to see Sarah Jane, and it did open the door for lots more with her.