So I’ve run into someone online that is not a Whovian, but is interested in the Doctor Who series. I pointed out that the best ways to get started are either starting with the 2005 revival and start straight through, or better if you can get it to have an existing fan curate a selection of starter episodes.
In doing so, I realized I volunteered myself to curate. I want the list to be short, so as not to intimidate. I want it to have variety, I don’t know a lot about this person’s tastes. Classic Who takes a little more effort to get into, because you’re dealing with the perspective of a different era in the filming, as well as being slightly harder to find, so I’m restricting myself to new Who as a starter. I want at least 3 Doctors, to help highlight the personality differences that come with each regeneration.
So a brief intro, as well as my list with explanations why each was chosen.
Intro – Things you need to know:
The TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) is a space/time traveling ship (it’s bigger on the inside) that got stuck looking like a classic Police Phone Box, the Doctor can “die” and regenerate into a new body, with a somewhat different personality each time (played by a new actor each time), and the Doctor is notorious for picking up humans (usually humans) from Earth (usually from Earth) to act as Companions for his adventures through time and space.
6 intro episodes – some are 2 parters (not in any kind of chronological order, but then does that matter a lot when the show is about non-linear adventures in time and space?)
Blink: Hands down the best intro to Who episode in my opinion, also creepy as hell – Series 3, Episode 11
Rose: This was the first episode of the “new Who” era – it’s not an extraordinary episode but it is a good intro moment – Series 1, Episode 1
The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances: This is a two-parter that I think is fantastic, but creepy, but fantastic – Series 1, Episode 9 and 10
The Girl in the Fireplace: A stand-alone-ish episode that focuses on the Doctor – Series 2, Episode 5
Vincent and the Doctor: Emotional and touching, I know I’ve suggested a lot of creepy up to this point so this should be a good palate cleanser – Series 5 Episode 10
Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead: Some of my favorite characters appear in this one Series 4, Episode 9 and 10
The Waters of Mars: One of the specials that goes a lot into how the Doctor thinks and feels, lots of good insight – Series 4, Speical Episode/Episode 17
It’s a little Tennant-heavy, and I avoid more recent episodes because I think they build a lot on these kinds of foundations (also, spoilers).
I wonder what Whovians think of this list. Any glaring omissions? Inclusions that are not a good choice? Why? Do I delve into my Doctor, Tom Baker, just for contrast? I wanted to include a lot more Donna Noble, my favorite companion, but because her story is such a long and winding one her episodes didn’t fit as well.