Doctor Who

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James
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Doctor Who

Postby James » 27 Aug 2010, 22:27

So after what seems like years of continually putting it off over and over again, I finally got my ass in gear and got my hands on this terrific series.

I think the reason I was so wary of getting into it is because as an outsider looking in, after what amounts to 31 series, 769 episodes and Eleven actors portraying the lead character, it's seems a little daunting.

I knew I wasn't required from starting from the beginning, but I was still unsure where I should start.

So I reached out to twitter. Many people said while I didn't need to see any of the early stuff (prior to the 2005 reboot) a lot of people did want to me check out Tom Baker. Which seems fair as for many people who grew up with this series he is THE Doctor.

However I don't have that much time on my hands. A lot of people suggested I skip over Eccleston and just go straight in to Tennant which seemed easy but Graham suggested I start with Eccleston and he very rarely points me in the wrong direction.

So this evening I sat down and watched the first 5 episodes.

They're great!! I love this show. It seems completely stupid that I hadn't made this jump 5 years ago. I look forward to working my way through the rest of Eccleston over the weekend and then checking out Tennant and then Smith.

Who else is a fan of this show? Who else has been meaning to get into it? Hell, who doesn't like the show and why?
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Metcarfre » 27 Aug 2010, 23:13

I have been meaning to get into it myself. Your thoughts basically echo my own - the challenge of the breadth of the series, the history, etc. I've been meaning to post a thread regarding 'where to start?' for some time now.

So, if one were to start with Eccleston, what would one search for for totally legitimate not-at-all pirated distributed download options?
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Graham » 27 Aug 2010, 23:18

"Doctor Who (2005)" is the name commonly given to the new series. So, season 1 of that.

And yeah, seeing the old stuff is fun and all, but for a complete newbie Eccleston is the best place to start. It reintroduces the concept (and things like the Daleks) in a way that's still awesome, but works for new people.

And I *HEART* David Tennant a ton, but suggesting someone skip Eccleston isn't being fair to an amazing Doctor.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby JustAName » 27 Aug 2010, 23:34

Yeah, you really can't skip over Eccleston. He was *great*. Tennant was amazing, and Smith is starting to come into his own now that they're not quite writing for Tennant anymore. I still do want to go back and watch the old ones, though.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Ottoman » 27 Aug 2010, 23:39

I only really discovered it about a year ago, and was similarly drawn in by Eccleston's Doctor. Since then, I've watched a fair bit of (Tom) Baker, as well as some other various arcs / episodes of the old series.

Watching through the five new series, I think you'll find that while Tennant does an excellent job in the role, RTD's writing gets a bit ridiculous sometimes. Of course, it's all worth watching, but the series really noticeably changes tone between the two actors.

Personally, I've most enjoyed watching Smith's Doctor. With all the changes made between Series 4 and 5, it almost feels like you're watching an entirely different show, after three years of Tennant / RTD. While some found this a nice and refreshing change, remeniscent of the old days, others really, really hate Smith. I guess it all depends on how attached you get to Tennant, and what about the show you enjoy.

Once you've seen all of the new series, it's definitely worth your time to check out some of the classics, especially Baker, not least of all to see how truly awful the special effects were back in the day. Seriously, though, it's pretty neat to just pick out a few notable episodes, and see some of the history (both of the show itself and of the internal canon). And once you've been introduced to most of the key points by the new series, I think you'll find yourself wanting to dive into that enormous archive, rather than being intimidated by it.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby JustAName » 27 Aug 2010, 23:48

This was a rather amusing parody sketch that was created just after Tennant started. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35uYgSYXtfA
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Elomin Sha » 28 Aug 2010, 01:50

I never watched Baker, not from choice, he did not seem to be in. Pertwee was on so I watched him.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Drinnik » 28 Aug 2010, 02:48

I've watched a load of classic Doctor Who. The serials I'd recommend are:

The Invasion - 2nd Doctor Story with Cybermen. It's also the one of the first episodes with the Brigadeer in.

Genesis of the Daleks - 4th Doctor. It's the Dalek origin story, written by the creator of the Daleks, Terry Nation. It introduces Davros and is really well written.

Earthshock - 5th Doctor. Cybermen story which explains what happened to the Dinosaurs.

Trial of a Time Lord - 4 part serial. Parts 1 and 2 are good, part 3 is OK and part 4 is weird. Only downside is Mel is introduced.

Any 7th Doctor story with Ace. Seriously, the 7th Doctor is amazing.

I'm not a huge fan of the 1st or 3rd Doctors, and I don't have many DVDs of their exploits.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby AlexanderDitto » 28 Aug 2010, 07:13

Yessss! Another convert! Glad you like it, James. It's always exciting to watch someone fall in love with something you yourself are in love with.

Eccleston was my first Doctor, and I think skipping over the Ninth is a crime. He was brilliant, and I think some of the emotional gravitas of the Tenth would be lost without having seen the Ninth Doctor. Plus, there are a lot of callbacks and references to the Ninth during the Tenth's run.

Really, all you have to worry about is the Ninth, Tenth, and now Eleventh. The old stuff is a bit spotty, and you won't miss a whole lot if all you know about them is that they exist. That said, there are a few really great stories from the old Doctors, and thanks to the passage of time, people have pretty much picked the wheat from the chaff and you can find lists of the best serials from the old Doctors, if you ever want to get acquainted with them. (A serial is usually four or six half hour "episodes" long, but they encompass basically one story. Plus, the first five minutes of each one is a recap of the last episode, so really the whole serial is usually just an hour and a half or two hours long). You really do not want to watch EVERY episode by any of the old Doctors, since... well, honestly, some of them are bad, and a lot are just mediocre.

As you said, a lot of people really love Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor (myself included) so you may want to watch one or two of his serials to get yourself acquainted. What is so fantastic about The Doctor is that you can really watch one or two of the serials from any given Doctor and gain an understanding for their twist on his personality almost immediately. I'd highly recommend watching City of Death, set in Paris in 1979 and written by the great Douglas Adams. It's a great story, the Doctor is absolutely hilarious, and you really need no more background than what you already have.

tl;dr Yay James likes Doctor Who! Watch more!
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Elomin Sha » 28 Aug 2010, 07:32

So you know there are 100 episodes no one will see. Tape was expensive and the BBC recorded over old episodes. It happened with Dad's Army too.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Emperor Gum » 28 Aug 2010, 08:30

Elomin Sha wrote:So you know there are 100 episodes no one will see. Tape was expensive and the BBC recorded over old episodes. It happened with Dad's Army too.

BBC FTL.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby The Architect » 28 Aug 2010, 08:31

The great thing about the recent series' is that while they sometimes reference things from the earlier series', it's more a bonus for long time viewers and less a shortcut to telling the story that loses the newer viewers.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby It's My Delorean » 28 Aug 2010, 10:28

James, I was exactly in your position a month or two ago. I had no idea where to start. I had seen a few of the new eps here and there but had not sat down and watched them. So I too started with Eccleston, and I got caught up quite quickly. I have to say, it's a damn good series. Now I can spend time going back and watching some of the earlier stuff.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby RobertMc123 » 28 Aug 2010, 14:18

Dr Who has been a staple of my childhood because here in the UK, when it was on you watched it. In all honesty I had NO idea what was happening because I was little, what I did know is that when my mum got a new washing machine delivered, that box became my TARDIS for a few months. I was a big fan of Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, I even watched the horrible Dr Who movie where Sylvester McCoy was killed and some other dude took over, then Eric Roberts was the villain of the piece. It was rather horrible.

But when they announced Dr Who was coming back both me and my big sister were very excited, then we watched the first episode and WOW, we were blown away. Since that first episode it has gone from strength to strength. In a sense I envy James because he is experiencing a lot of those brilliant episodes again, and some of the the revelations that happen in that show are amazing. You will laugh, you will cry and you will jump out your seat in enjoyment at this how.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Elomin Sha » 28 Aug 2010, 14:31

You didn't watch the tv series, you hid behind the sofa and it became a radio show.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby EnglishMQ » 28 Aug 2010, 14:41

Doctor Who is one of those shows that comes with a certain feel to it that can scare some viewers away. There's the whole 40 year history, the sci-fi nature, and I got the impression it was very dark.

And while that may be true it doesn't stop the show. It's still very fun and very imaginative, and the whole time travel element basically means that every episode is a very new and seperate adventure.

Glad you've now gotten into the Cult of Whovians James!
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby empath » 28 Aug 2010, 16:37

Elomin Sha wrote:So you know there are 100 episodes no one will see. Video Tape was expensive and the BBC recorded over old episodes. It happened with Dad's Army too.


Fix'd for ya.

I know I'm probably going to destroy something I really really love, but here:
http://www.doctorwho-episodes.com/

"Seasons" are the original run, and "Series" are the resurrection.

Yes, many of Hartnell's & Troughton's work turns up as stills from publicity shots or the like...over the still-extant audio (sometimes recovered from fans who recorded the episodes)

....and there's ONE glorious episode that was 're-animated' (sorry) with permission from the BBC, and there's interest to 'restore' more - I personally think it looks BETTER than the full video/audio eps they still have of Doc#2! ;)

So, enjoy a quarter-century of campy sci-fi BEFORE the glitz and polish of today. Don't get me wrong; the latter is still AWESOME, and I champ at the bit for Smith's second series, but "those who are ignorant of history..." and all that. :)
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby goat » 28 Aug 2010, 17:56

Elomin Sha wrote:So you know there are 100 episodes no one will see. Tape was expensive and the BBC recorded over old episodes. It happened with Dad's Army too.


I was going to get into it, and decided I'd better do it right and start with Hartnell, and then I found that out. My first exposure to a full episode was still with Hartnell (and my first two arcs too), but I sort of lost interest due to a lack of time and other things. I should get back into it and watch the newer stuff (what little of it I've seen, I enjoyed the newer series quite a lot).
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby iamafish » 28 Aug 2010, 18:21

you should check out Torchwood (a spin off from Dr Who) as well at some point, because it is also a very good show, although not as good as Dr Who.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby JustAName » 28 Aug 2010, 18:52

I... have to disagree in this instance. Torchwood is kind of terrible, but its terribleness is what makes it awesome.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Alja-Markir » 28 Aug 2010, 20:07

*looks on in bafflement*

I am guilty of fandom of my own, but it never ceases to amaze me how much of a disconnect I can feel from other people when they start talking about their most beloved stories which I simply have no interest in.

I'm always torn between being happy for people enjoying things with zest and zeal and whatnot, and being a little depressed that it just doesn't click for me as well.

Sorta how I feel about religion, really.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Ottoman » 28 Aug 2010, 20:12

I find Torchwood to be very, very 'meh', in every respect.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby It's My Delorean » 28 Aug 2010, 20:33

I watched the first episode of Torchwood and the feeling I got was "See, see we're just as doark and gritty as BSG, and we're not afraid to actually swear. The preview for the next episode seemed to confirm that too with a , "See, see, we go much farther with our sex scenes than that other show too." I can get why people like Torchwood, but I prefer the shows I watch to be aware of the line and toe it effectivly rather than say, "What line?" Maybe I'm wrong, considering I'm basing my opinion on one episode and preview though.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby tak197 » 28 Aug 2010, 20:55

I have to admit, my first Doctor is the current one, Matt Smith. I don't have the time to really invest in watching all the others (let alone looking for all the episodes, and downloading them), but from what I've heard, a lot of Whovians are saying that he is one of the better actors to have played the Doctor. The main argument that I have heard is that he manages to still make the bad scripts bearable and believable, yet still make them funny.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Ergo » 28 Aug 2010, 22:40

I'm definitely a huge fan of classic Doctor Who - Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker eras especially. I think Doctor Who and The Goodies were the main two BBC shows that I grew up with. I've managed to amass a fairly extensive collection; I watch a set of episodes every now and then.

Honestly though I just haven't been able to get into the new stuff; although the new doctors themselves have all been quite good.

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