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BIGMamaSloth
2012-02-15, 04:44 PM
A lot of my circle of friends watch and enjoy the show "doctor who" and after hearing them talk about it so much it sounds right up my ally. But it seems to be a rather massive series and I'm going in with the combined knowledge of two episodes from the 2006 season. I know there was an original run from 1963-1989 and then one from 2005 or so till the present. Is there a huge difference, (other than special effects and what not of course) between the two series? Do I have to watch the original series to understand most of the new series?

The one thing I wasn't trying to do was start some kind of edition war between fan bases, so I hope this isn't usually something that starts big debates between folks.

GrlumpTheElder
2012-02-15, 04:55 PM
I know there was an original run from 1963-1989 and then one from 2005 or so till the present. Is there a huge difference, (other than special effects and what not of course) between the two series? Do I have to watch the original series to understand most of the new series?
It is definitly not neccessary to watch the original series - in some cases it's easier if you don't. Occasionally there's the odd shout-out, but nothing major. When the series re-started in 2005, a whole new audience was found, many of whom were born after the original run had ended.

BIGMamaSloth
2012-02-15, 05:03 PM
It is definitly not neccessary to watch the original series - in some cases it's easier if you don't. Occasionally there's the odd shout-out, but nothing major. When the series re-started in 2005, a whole new audience was found, many of whom were born after the original run had ended.

well I for one am born after 1989, and that's good about the original series as I was having a lot of trouble tracking down dvd sets of 26 seasons. and a torrent was over 300GB. not that I would ever Illegally download something.

Mukora
2012-02-15, 05:16 PM
Personally, I'd only ever recommend watching the classic series after you've watched the newer series, for newcomers to the show.

Trazoi
2012-02-15, 05:27 PM
Start at the newer series; it's meant to be a new starting point.

(It's literally impossible to watch all of Doctor Who since some of the earlier episodes are lost.)

Muz
2012-02-15, 05:37 PM
Speaking from recent experience, definitely start with the 2005 series. And be forgiving of the presence of farting aliens.

Weezer
2012-02-15, 06:39 PM
Start with the first season of the reboot, but give it a chance. The pilot episode is pretty bad and the rest of the season could be better.

Yeah, don't watch classic who until after seeing the whole new series, unless of course cheesy old sci-fi shows with horrid special effects are as close to your heart as they are to mine. If that's the case then look in the Doctor Who thread, Dr. Simon has been picking out the best episodes of each classic who season and that'd be a good place to start.

Starscream
2012-02-15, 09:02 PM
I agree that you should start with the new series, as a jumping on point, and then explore the older stuff if you want to.

And I did get my start with the original. I was only 5 when it was cancelled, but my local PBS channel reran it a lot, so I watched it throughout childhood. I was in college by the time it came back, but jumping back into it was a breeze.

Apart from superior special effects, I think the new series has better pacing as well. The original was in serial form, so most episodes ended in a cliffhanger that was resolved 30 seconds into the next one, and sometimes a lot of padding took place to get more episodes out of a story that didn't really require them. So you get a ton of episodes that were really dull until something scary happened right at the end.

That probably sounds like I'm down on the classic series; I'm not. I love it and always have. If you decide to check it out, I'd be happy to recommend the best stories. But it wasn't always stellar in terms of storytelling. Neither is the new one for that matter, but it's much easier to sit through the occasional 45 minute stinker than a 3 hour one.:smallbiggrin:

Mauve Shirt
2012-02-16, 07:08 AM
You could even start with the most recent Doctor, the 11th. He starts with a clean slate and imho better episodes (though I love the 9th dearly, farting aliens). But if you want to watch David Tennant (and you undoubtedly do) you should start with the 9th.

Manga Shoggoth
2012-02-16, 07:58 AM
Much though I hate to say it, I agree with the general "start with the reboot" opinions. After all, the reboot started off quite well, and then went on to be of variable quality, so it's just like the original series, really...

As long as you remember that there is a degree of history to the character (mostly important in things like "Dalek") that may be referenced. Just skip over the references if you don't understand them.

If you do decide to look at the original series, then remember that it is relatively old, was made over a very long period of time, with lots of different writers and actors, and the quality varies quite wildly. It is worth asking the old timers amongst us which stories are worth watching (they are mostly self-contained).

Lord Seth
2012-02-16, 09:39 AM
This video (http://blip.tv/sf-debris-opinionated-reviews/doctor-who-101-5123833) gives some suggestions on where to start, plus some other good information.

Mukora
2012-02-16, 02:55 PM
Basically, you want to either start with Rose, and continue from there, or The Eleventh Hour, and watch the pre-2010 seasons later.

Top cat
2012-02-18, 01:41 PM
You can't miss http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lp7xaeMAWl1qfma4t.gif
!

Rhydeble
2012-02-19, 03:43 AM
You should definitely start with the 9th doctor. Series 5 is fun and all, and 11 is a good doctor, but Amy Pond is rather........ Amy-ish. Rose is definitely better, and season 1 has farting aliens.

Also, if you're scared easily, try not watching at night, or at least watch when you can easily follow up with the next half of the two parter (I'm pretty sure it was season one that had that really scary plot)

Mukora
2012-02-19, 10:25 AM
Rose is definitely better
... I never thought I'd see the day.

Jaros
2012-02-19, 12:07 PM
... I never thought I'd see the day.

Amy's a bit over-sexualised for my tastes, and Rose was great before they started building her up too much (seriously, series 2 was about her leaving, series 3 was about her absence, and series 4 about her return)

And personally new series 1 is my favourite for various reasons.

Edit: *cue inevitable endless debate that arises whenever anyone makes any judgement on Dr Who*

Dr. Simon
2012-02-19, 01:00 PM
I think the newer series are easier to get hold of, and if you're going to do that, you may as well start at the beginning, as others have said (Episode "Rose", Ninth Doctor (Christopher Ecclestone)). There are back-references to the older series but generally they are subtle and you won't lose anything by not watching them; the newer series are mostly self-contained.

However, as Weezer mentioned, if you want to check out older Doctor Who stuff then you could do worse than check out my recommendations (if I say so myself ;)). Latest one is here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=12681401&postcount=1233). Depends on how geeky you want to be :smalltongue:

Don't, however, be swayed by anyone else's opinions of who makes the best Doctor or best companions - far better to make you own mind up about that!

Rhydeble
2012-02-19, 05:22 PM
... I never thought I'd see the day.

If its between amy and rose, I pick rose for her actually having a bf that does something, (off-screen badassery that is henceforth never mentioned doesn't count) and actually being likeable. Of course the fact that she doesn't spend her first episode with a nigh incomprehensible accent doesn't do her much bad either. There's better companions (i'm thinking end of 4.5 here) but if its between rose and amy "lookatmykissingeroutfit" pond, I pick Rose (now if only she wore a fez...)

If you're totally new to the series, series 1 (Rose) is your best bet. series 5 starts with a blank slate again, but moffat can get rather caught up in the big overarching storylines, which can detract from individual storylines, making them seem rather unimportant, even though the whole episode is about it.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-02-19, 08:18 PM
I say start with Series 1 (the rebooted one), with Eccleston. It gives a great feel for the new series, I think Eccleston is a very underrated Doctor, and the episode "Dalek" is very, very good, especially at cementing one of the major archvillain races of the show.

Ursus the Grim
2012-02-19, 08:25 PM
Amy's a bit over-sexualised for my tastes, and Rose was great before they started building her up too much (seriously, series 2 was about her leaving, series 3 was about her absence, and series 4 about her return)

And personally new series 1 is my favourite for various reasons.

Edit: *cue inevitable endless debate that arises whenever anyone makes any judgement on Dr Who*

Heh. I'm obligated to post just because I was about to spark the whole thing. I personally liked Rose the least, because I see her as your Mary-Sue stand-in for some Dr. Who fangirls. I agree that Amy was a little hypersexualized, comparatively speaking, and if you think that's a bad thing, that's your domain. But I think an important aspect of it was that she more or less 'grew up' and realized what a tart she was being. . . as opposed to Rose. But that's enough of that.

Agreement that Season 1 swung wildly in quality, and agreement that you should form your own opinion of the Doctor and his companion. For example, David Tennant's my least favorite, which I never would have decided had I listened to the fandom before I started watching.

Xondoure
2012-02-19, 08:49 PM
If its between amy and rose, I pick rose for her actually having a bf that does something, (off-screen badassery that is henceforth never mentioned doesn't count) and actually being likeable. Of course the fact that she doesn't spend her first episode with a nigh incomprehensible accent doesn't do her much bad either. There's better companions (i'm thinking end of 4.5 here) but if its between rose and amy "lookatmykissingeroutfit" pond, I pick Rose (now if only she wore a fez...)

If you're totally new to the series, series 1 (Rose) is your best bet. series 5 starts with a blank slate again, but moffat can get rather caught up in the big overarching storylines, which can detract from individual storylines, making them seem rather unimportant, even though the whole episode is about it.

Did you actually just put Mickey up over Rory?

Or are you referring toHuman ten? Because he has an episode. And Rory is Rory.

Kato
2012-02-19, 09:20 PM
Okay, first of: on topic: Don't start with the original show. Have a look at it later but start with season one or five... Even though I love Moffat and Smith I'd recommend season one just for the sake of continuity...


As for Rose...she was okay in the first season... and then she went downhill. And I won't take any argument about Amy being worse than her... and even less ERory being inferior to Mickey. Especially the latter. No way. No effing way, friends. Memes and stuff aside, Rory is awesome.

valadil
2012-02-19, 09:27 PM
I started with Eccleston and have seen everything since. For the earlier stuff I plan on asking some of my hardcore Dr. Who friends for a list of the best episodes from each doctor. I'll give those eps a try and if I like what I see I'll consider other seasons with that doctor.


You should definitely start with the 9th doctor. Series 5 is fun and all, and 11 is a good doctor, but Amy Pond is rather........ Amy-ish. Rose is definitely better, and season 1 has farting aliens.

This is where I find this thread disagreeable. I like the three doctors I've seen, but the recent series has been my favorite because Amy is my favorite companion.

Nerzi
2012-02-20, 08:53 AM
As for Rose...she was okay in the first season... and then she went downhill. And I won't take any argument about Amy being worse than her... and even less ERory being inferior to Mickey. Especially the latter. No way. No effing way, friends. Memes and stuff aside, Rory is awesome.

You don't have to take it, but people are allowed to argue it all the same. Pesonally I love Amy, Rory and Eleven but I stopped watching midway through the latest series because River Song is the most annoying Mary-Sue ever and I got bored of everything revolving around her 'awesome' she is and 'oooh, what's her relationship with the doctor?' I don't care, I've never cared and the more you shove her down my throat the less I care. That combined with putting in a 'mid-series break' after a cliffhanger reveal centered around her effectively killed any interest I had in the show at all.

Das Platyvark
2012-02-20, 08:58 AM
For example, David Tennant's my least favorite, which I never would have decided had I listened to the fandom before I started watching.

Very much how I feel about it. If you're anything like me, starting with any Tennant episode (except maybe Blink) has a chance of turning you off from the show.

If it's major plot arcs you're after, go with what people have been saying and watch 1 or 5.

Ursus the Grim
2012-02-20, 09:14 AM
You don't have to take it, but people are allowed to argue it all the same. Pesonally I love Amy, Rory and Eleven but I stopped watching midway through the latest series because River Song is the most annoying Mary-Sue ever and I got bored of everything revolving around her 'awesome' she is and 'oooh, what's her relationship with the doctor?' I don't care, I've never cared and the more you shove her down my throat the less I care. That combined with putting in a 'mid-series break' after a cliffhanger reveal centered around her effectively killed any interest I had in the show at all.

Well, in theory we won't have to see much more of her.
I think we've reached the terminal point of her timeline, considering it starts with her 'killing' the doctor and working backwards.

Its okay to dislike River Song. I was neutral about her, but I could see where you get your complaints.

Deth Muncher
2012-02-20, 06:38 PM
Personally? Watch the story arc from the Original Season One about where the Daleks came from. If you like how that flows, keep on with the Original Season One and work forward. If you absolutely hate it, I guess you can go ahead and skip to Eccleston like everyone else.

However, this is my personal gripe with people who just automatically say "Skip the old Doctors, just start at Eccleston (or worse, saying start at Tennant or Smith): This is basically just like looking at the cover of a book, thinking it looks neat, and then finding the most recent one in the series and starting there. Why? Why would you do that? Why would you not want to start in the beginning and learn everything that way? That's what I'm doing. Is it a hell of a slog? Of course it is. The pacing of the old shows WAS pretty bad, so you get story arcs that last several episodes as opposed to this era's "one and done" style of telling stories (with the rare exception of some of the end of season specials).

My point is, if you just want to be able to talk to your friends about how super cool Matt Smith is in that last thing that he did, or that time when David Tennant was David Tennant and everyone loved him for it, then by all means start with the newer seasons. But if you actually care to learn about the evolution of the character of The Doctor and see what his story really is? Slog through. I am, it's worth it. Trust me.

Dr. Simon
2012-02-21, 06:49 AM
Is it a hell of a slog? Of course it is.

I'll say. Took me nearly two years to get through them all.


The pacing of the old shows WAS CAN BE pretty bad

Fixed that for you.


so you get story arcs that last several episodes as opposed to this era's "one and done" style of telling stories (with the rare exception of some of the end of season specials).


Don't forget, though, that the old show was usually only 20-25 minutes per episode. For a typical 4-parter, once you've stripped out the overlap at the beginning and end of each episode you've got about 40-45 minutes of story time, same as for the modern episodes.

Some of the longer series, particularly the Pertwee 6-parters can drag abysmally, but conversely sometimes the longer sequences give more time for a slow build. I really love the 10-episode series The War Games, for example.

Mukora
2012-02-21, 03:48 PM
The problem is that Doctor Who isn't that big on continuity, like, say, Game of Thrones. You don't have to watch the old series, and really, I see no reason too. Most of it sucks. Sure, there are some great serials, but not many.

Brother Oni
2012-02-23, 07:37 AM
The problem is that Doctor Who isn't that big on continuity, like, say, Game of Thrones. You don't have to watch the old series, and really, I see no reason too. Most of it sucks. Sure, there are some great serials, but not many.

Given that the universe has restarted twice since the reboot, continuity is a bit tricky to maintain.

Also, big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. :smalltongue:

Dr. Simon
2012-02-25, 02:42 AM
The problem is that Doctor Who isn't that big on continuity, like, say, Game of Thrones. You don't have to watch the old series, and really, I see no reason too. Most of it sucks. Sure, there are some great serials, but not many.

I think you enjoy the old series better (and, arguably, the new series as well) if you are the kind of person who likes things that are a bit shoddy. If you like Troma films, or amateur dramatics, or B-movies, for example. They may not have the best production values in the world, but there are some gems in there.

That said, there are also some stinkers. When choosing my recommendations I tried to pick two of the best stories from each season, and one or two of the second-best. For some seasons, the "best" really did apply to that season only and it was hard to find second-best. I was also tempted to choose one or two "avoid like the plague" stories as well, but I think there's enough negativity on the internet as it is.

Although having said that, The Invasion Of Time. That's all I will say.

CarpeGuitarrem
2012-02-26, 03:58 PM
The problem is that Doctor Who isn't that big on continuity, like, say, Game of Thrones. You don't have to watch the old series, and really, I see no reason too. Most of it sucks. Sure, there are some great serials, but not many.
Well, there's been some very solid uses of intra-season continuity by Russel T. Davies, as well as by Moffat, although these two writers don't usually cross continuities.

Continuity with the old series? Yeah, not much.