Well it’s finally happened; that weird British sci-fi show I used to watch on PBS in preschool and early grammar school has become a pop-culture phenomenon. Doctor Who is bigger on both sides of the pond than it’s ever been before. Time was, people didn’t even know to make fun of me for watching Doctor Who, because they had no idea what the hell it was. Nowadays, there’s more Doctor Who merchandise for sale at the mall than Duck Dynasty or maybe even The Big Bang Theory.
Since the series’ rebirth I’ve heard a number of Nu-Whovians express interest in the classic series. As someone who has seen nearly every episode I thought I could provide some unique insight to those looking to either watch old Doctor Who or just read about it a little bit. Also , it just gives me an excuse to talk about Doctor Who, my favorite thing to talk about other than women of Doctor Who.
A few things you should keep in mind before attempting to watch the classic series:
1. Each story in the classic series was aired as a serial
In their original transmission the episodes were about half as long as those of the new series, and while there was the occasional two-parter, most serials were 4 to 6 parts with some as long as twelve parts. Basically, I’m saying you shouldn’t try to just sit down and watch any of these as a 2hr+ movie. Each episode has its own arc and (sometimes retarded) cliffhanger ending, which seems kind of weird back to back. The Doctor is drowning! Now he’s not. Some stuff happens. Now he’s falling off a cliff! Etc. Plot holes and pacing issues between episodes also become much more apparent when watched back to back, as opposed to their original weekly viewings in a pre-VHS/DVR/digital streaming/bittorrent era.
2. Low Production Values
Remember how a lot of special effects in the Eccleston era kind of sucked? Well imagine if your high school drama department was trying to recreate those same effects. If you don’t have a healthy suspension-of-disbelief you might want to avoid the classic series entirely.
3. Some serials are really fucking bad.
Fear Her is certainly one of the weaker episodes of the new series, but you don’t know what bad TV is until you see The Twin Dilemma, Warriors of the Deep, or Vern Troyer eating a bunch of mice. The last one didn’t happen on the show, but it would’ve been bad TV regardless.
My plan is to go through the original series Doctor by Doctor and highlight some of the important episodes, some of the good episodes (not always the same thing), and some of the things I just happened to like about each Doctor and his companion AND tie it all back to the new series.
|Speaking of the new series...|