Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Whovember: A Newbie's Guide to Doctor Who

If you're new to Doctor Who or thinking about starting to watch it then you have just decided to become part of some of the coolest people in the universe (Doctor Who expands way farther than the world). It's strange that a few years ago, not many people over in the US really knew too much about it and now it has blown up and become mainstream. Heck, I was one of those people who didn't know much about it. So you are not alone in your journey inside the blue box (and yes, yes it is bigger on the inside). I figured I'd whip up a quick newbie guide to Doctor Who. These are some things I wish I knew before diving into the series.

Remember these things and you can hold a conversation with any fan. Hopefully it will help your transition from regular person to Whovian be that much smoother!

Some facts:
  • Doctor Who is split into two separate shows. That's why you hear people talking about the "new 2005 version" and the older one.
  • The original show started in 1963 and ran all the way to 1989.
  • There was a very long break in between and then a movie in 1996.
  • The new show started back up in 2005 and is still running now. It's on it's seventh season.
  • In the show, the Doctor has the power to regenerate which means he is the same character but with a different face and different personality traits. This allows the show to change actors without losing their main character. A great thing about this is that means no one is safe. The Doctor could die at any time.
  • There have been 11 Doctors so far.
  • Doctors 1-7 are in the older version of the show. The Eighth Doctor was in the made-for-tv movie. The new show started with the Ninth Doctor and is currently on the Eleventh.
  • The Ninth Doctor is portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, who is in the show for the 1st season.
  • The Tenth Doctor is portayed by David Tennant, who was in the show from season 2 through season 4 plus several specials.
  • The Eleventh Doctor is portrayed by Matt Smith, who took over the role in season 5 and is still portraying the Doctor.
  • That blue box everyone talks about is the Tardis (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) and is the Doctor's space ship and time machine.
  • The Doctor often has companions with him that he [icks up from Earth who travel around with him and join in on his adventures.
Do's and Don'ts:
  • Do give the first season a chance to get going! Season 1 of the new show starts out a little slow. Budget was low and it was getting off it's feet. After the first few the show really gets into the swing of things.
  • Don't grow so attached to certain companions or Doctors so much that you hate anyone else. These characters on the show are brilliant and each deserve a fair chance to prove to you why. Don't grow so accustom to one person that you can't see past them.
  • Do notice the acting--the good and the bad. Doctor Who can border on cheesy sometimes but when they do, you can tell that the show knows this and will make fun of itself. But when it comes down to it, most of the acting is fantastic and a lot of the actors give brilliant performances.
  • Don't be scared off by the Britishness of the show. This is obviously for the US viewers. Yes, it's filmed over seas but the British actors and storytelling and acting really give the show it's charm. Sometimes they speak fast and you have to backtrack but you do get used to it. 
  • Do watch the show in order. You can pick it up from wherever but you might be a little lost when it comes to the season plot arc. It's better to watch this one from the beginning.
  • Don't worry if you don't like sci-fi. Doctor Who has a little bit of everything. From romance to westerns to fantasy and everything in between, there is something for every type of person to latch on to.
  • Do have plenty of tissues in range. You'll need them in the best ways possible!
  • Do have your phone next to you. One of the greatest things about Doctor Who is sharing in your love with other fans. Tweeting your adventures is sure to get you in some great conversations and maybe garner you a new friend or two.
  • Do be prepared to fall in love. As a result, you'll want to own lots and lots of Doctor Who merchandise and be constantly checking to see if the cast is coming to Comic Con. But hey, at least you won't be alone in your fandom!
If you are feeling sort of down about the whole series after the first few episodes, I'd highly suggest watching the episode "Blink" in the third season. Now, you're going to tell me that I just told you to watch the show in order. I did and I still mean that. But "Blink" is one of those mini episodes that follows a different main character and you don't need any background for. It will show you what you are building up to and how good the show gets!
I hope this helped and maybe convinced you that you too can start discovering the wacky world of Doctor who. If so, please let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Also, if you have in questions, feel free to ask them below or in any other post in Whovember or on Twitter even.

What about you old Who fans? Anything to add to this list?


  1. Great info!! I'm working my way through season 6 right now and Blink is STILL my favorite episode. I'll never look at another statue the same way again.

  2. I've definitely hooked a couple of people based on Blink. Ten was my first doctor, so of course I love him the most...and was very adamant about how much I wasn't going to like Matt Smith. Of course, I ended up liking him just fine ;)

  3. I'm a Doctor Who newbie, so this post was super useful. Thanks, Amber!!

  4. Thank you for posting this! It is very handy to have and is great advice. I'm new to Doctor Who and this will really help me adapt. :)

  5. I love Dr. Who. I started watching it as a kid when Tom Baker was the doctor- so 70's. I've been watching it ever since. Now my kids are addicted too.

  6. Oh I am so glad I found this because honestly I fell in love with the 9 th doctor and I wasn't really excited about the 10th but I'm glad I still watched it I just started on season 2 and I can't get enough:)

  7. I just started watching doctor who and I love it I was pretty sad that Christopher Eccleston was only on the first season but I'm glad I gave the other doctor a chance :)


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