Weekly Who #12 is For Beginners

If you or someone you know is interested in getting into the long-running and massive franchise known as Doctor Who it can be a little daunting. Have no fear though as your intrepid guide (me!) is creating a handy list of entry points sure to ease you into the wibbliest wobbliest show in the galaxy! The episode recommendations will be separated into categories so you can choose which approach to starting works best for you.

The Pilots: The best place to start anywhere is in the beginning! Starting with this route gives you two options

  1. An Unearthly Child/The Daleks: The original first episodes of Doctor Who. If you want to start the show with Classic you’ll get a pretty good introduction with these stories as two school teachers get swept up in the fantastic life of one student and her mysterious grandfather. The Daleks also has the first encounter with the legendary and iconic Daleks. doctor-who-an-unearthly-child-a
  2. Rose: If you want to start with the modern incarnation of Doctor Who you’ll be hard-pressed to find another introduction as good as Rose. Eccelston and Piper have great chemistry together and The Autons are another great alien race in terms of offering a taste of the best parts of the franchise. Doctor Who

The Most Recent Episodes: The best place to start is right at the most current seasons. Afterall they just got a new Doctor with Jodie Whittaker. While Series 11 is good I would recommend going back one season to Series 10 for a couple reasons. One it is all available to stream on Amazon Prime right now and two it is one of the best seasons of Modern Who

  1. The Pilot: The appropriately named first episode of Series 10 gives a great introduction to the show as a whole and the 12th Doctor (and Bill!) in specific. The plot involves Bill’s fascination with both a popular Professor at her school and Heather a mysterious lady that she met one day.  Doctor Who S10 Ep1
  2. The Woman Who Fell To Earth: The first episode of Series 11. The newly regenerated 13th Doctor has to defeat the evil (and toothy) Tzim-Sha with the help of her new friends Yaz, Ryan, Graham, and Grace. It is a great episode that leads nicely into a really fun season of tv. BBCA_DW_1101_1920x1080-ep

Starting With certain Doctors: The previous categories started you at beginnings. Either the beginnings of the show itself or the beginning of the most recent seasons. This category instead recommends you start with certain Doctors.

  1. Spearhead From Space: The first outing of The Third Doctor, the first tv story presented in color, the first appearance of the core UNIT team and the premiere of the Autons. Spearhead chronicles the new Third Doctor starting his exile on Earth and how he comes to be the Scientific Advisor for UNIT working under the fan-favorite Brigadier Colonel Lethbridge Stewart. 1
  2. The Eleventh Hour: The first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw. The 11th Doctor’s premiere is a lot of fun and it introduces Amy and Rory two of the best companions in the show’s history.

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Series Highlights: For a less linear approach to starting Doctor Who try these less continuity heavy highlights from various eras of the show

  1. Blink: One of the 10th Doctor’s finest outings. Blink is the origin of The Weeping Angels and of Wibbly Wobbley Timey Wimey. (No series veterans I will not be posting an image of a Weeping Angel.) source
  2. The Brain Of Morbius: If Gothic Horror is your aim Morbius has what you are after. This 4th Doctor Classic is a riff on Frankenstein and involves the Sisterhood of Karn (who’ll show back up later in Nuwho) and the machinations of the long-dead Time Lord Morbius. It also a lot of Sara Jane Smith one of the other best companions ever. 145

Those are my recommendations. Commenters please sound off the stories you think make a good first impression for new fans in the comments.