As a non-Brit my experiences with Dr. Who had been limited to the occasional late, late night Dr. Who TV show on a Friday night, usually while staying up to catch The Prisoner on some obscure television station here in the United States.
I remembered bad special effects, spooky electronic music, weird robot aliens, different settings, and different actors claiming to be The Doctor. I recall The Doctor with a perm. As a kid in an era without the internet, I had no idea what was going on. I did pick up a Dr. Who comic book, which was in a plastic 3-pack. I liked it, but never pursued the rest of the series because it was too intimidating.
When I say intimidating, I do mean inaccessible. A few cool adults I knew were fans of The Doctor, but they told me the show has been broadcasted continuously since the early 1960s. I saw a lot of Dr. Who memorabilia at comic book stores and conventions, but I had no jumping on starting point.
With the birth of the World Wide Web (which sounds like a sci-fi term from an old Dr. Who episode), I was able to read about Dr. Who a bit more, but videos/DVDs were still too expensive in the 1990s. Besides, I could never find the time to watch hundreds of episodes.
The few I did catch for free online seemed interesting, but totally inaccessible for new fans. When I had Netflix I finally watched the first episode of the 2005 Dr Who series (the show had been off the air since 1989). Although I did like it, I wasn’t sold for some reason or another.
However, in 2011 I gave it another try and before I knew it I was able to watch all of Dr. Who season 1. I was simply blown away by the clever sci-fi writing. No previous knowledge of Dr. Who is required. Everything is explained. It’s the same Doctor from the other shows- he just changes bodies every now and then.
The concept is truly limitless: he’s a 900-year old Time Lord who can travel all throughout the time line and in space. He always ends up in some adventure and saves something. The 2005 Dr. Who picks up a sidekick. She is a young female named Rose. From the marketing standpoint, it is awesome to have a know-it-all male superhero and an average young London girl go on adventures together. There are some recurring characters, but most of the episodes are stand alone adventures with some two-parters.
There are only 13 episodes (45-minutes each), so it’s not a strain of time. The theme song has been remixed, the CGI graphics are good for 2005 TV, the acting is pretty good (comical), and the writing- especially by Russell T. Davies- would make Alan Moore and Grant Morrison a bit envious (much of their work has been influenced with the old Dr. Who programs). Speaking of comic books, I now see where Warren Ellis based some concepts of The Authority from.
The TV show is clever, witty, modern, fast-paced, and mind-blowing. I love the random timestream and planet hopping. The earth blows up in episode 2. World War III is the title of episode 5. An famous enemy of Dr. Who is being held in Utah in 2012. The Nazis are bombing London in 1941 in episodes 9 and 10.
There’s a reason why Dr. Who has been the most commercially and longest running sci-fi show in the history of mankind. Any science fiction fan who passes on this would be remiss. Dr. Who Season 1 is regarded by many to be one of the best seasons of Dr. Who in the 50 years the show has been around. It is readily available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming video sites.