Good starting points?

I want to introduce one of my sisters to Doctor Who, and I’m not quite sure where to start. The obvious ones are, of course, An Unearthly Child and Rose, but I’d rather not start with the revival and I definitely don’t want to show her early Doctor Who before I’ve at least verified that she likes it.

Currently I’m leaning towards Spearhead From Space, as that’s pretty standalone and the start of my favorite era. I don’t know if she’d enjoy it as much as I do, though. Also considering The Face of Evil. I’ve asked her what qualities she likes in a story, and she said consistent characterization (though not necessarily consistent worldbuilding), so keep that in mind. And she’s the type of person who doesn’t like to start things in the middle of an arc. Do you guys have any more suggestions?

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I feel Rose is the best jumping on point ad then you can go back, but if you’re dead set on starting with classic, I’d absolutely agree with Spearhead being the best bet

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I’d start with Spearhead from Space. It was designed as a soft reboot and even includes a scene where the Brigadier basically lays out the premise of the show when talking to Liz. It’s shorter at just four parts, in color, and is just a pretty good example of what Classic Who is like.

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Spearhead’s a good choice. Terror of the Autons or the Time Warrior could work too. Tomb of the Cybermen could be considered a soft reboot if you want to try black-and-white or Power of the Daleks could be an interesting beginning as well. If you want consistant character, maybe start with Season 25 and the Seventh Doctor/Ace pairing. I’d say that Ace is probably the most consistantly written Classic Series companion. If none of these work, then Rose or The Eleventh Hour are great starting points.

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I think that it depends on what she likes. If she is used to older television then Sparehead can be a good start. Otherwise, I think that Rose or the eleventh hour is a better starting point.

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I once showed Terror of the Zygons to a class of 10 and 11 year olds (this was back in the early 2000s before Doctor Who returned) and they loved - so much so that three of them wrote into DWM and got published on the letters page.

I think sometimes we now assume, nowadays, that everything needs to be watched in order from a starting point but the great thing about Doctor Who is that stories are, generally, self-contained so can be enjoyed in any order - and that’s how we used to consume the back catalogue in the olden days with random VHS and then DVD releases. You’d get a McCoy and a Pertwee released together and it just seemed normal.

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I think Terror of the Zygons was the first classic episode I watched!

But yes, I agree with the above - depending on what she’s used to watching, perhaps pick a few really awesome banger classic episodes to get her used to the format and pace, and then if she likes it and wants to watch it more linearly, Spearhead is a great place to start.

For classic, I would usually recommend starting at the beginning of a companion’s tenure; with the revivial I would start at the beginning of a Doctor. So Rose or The Eleventh Hour are both good there.

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My first Classic Who story was Remembrance and that seemed like an alright jumping on point

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My first classic where five doctors.

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The Five Doctors was one of the first ones my eldest watched from the classic series. It does seem to actually work for new viewers - weirdly - but maybe it’s because it throws a lot of the series ‘lore’ into one fun package - Daleks, Cybermen and the Master; there being more than one incarnation of the Doctor; the fact he had lots of different companions; Gallifrey and the Time Lords.

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For Revival, I’d say start with Rose. For Classic, I started with Spearhead from Space. With the knowledge that there will be some understandable ‘jank’ due to it being old, everything should be fine.

EDIT: Just some random ones to start people with. The Romans, Tomb of the Cybermen, Spearhead from Space, The Ark in Space, City of Death, The Five Doctors.

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The thing with starting with Spearhead is that it doesn’t really showcase the overall premise of the series very well. Season 7 has quite a different style to what came before and what came after. I would be more inclined to start with something like Season 9 or 10 where the Doctor is at least travelling the universe.

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Fair enough. My thought was that if they enjoy it, they can go straight through the colour era.

Then again I may be biased as that is where I started.

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It is also a good smörgåsbord of all the of the first 5 doctors. Can help to choose the next story.

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Not sure anyone would pick Tom on the basis of The Five Doctors unless they have a penchant for wibbly wobbly Doctor Who :wink:

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True but it is an introduction to 4 doctors even if the first is a pretty bad representation

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I’d ask her what she likes. DW’s one of those canons where you can start from basically anywhere (in terms of Doctors) and still get the gist of what’s going on. If she doesn’t like slow-moving plots (or isn’t a big sci-fi fan), I wouldn’t suggest starting off with CW. At the same time, what characters does she tend to gravitate to in other media? Whatever that characterization is, I’d find a Doctor that is as close to that as possible and go from there.

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I was going to say exactly this. It’s the same as when people suggest starting with Blink. It’s good, but it’s not anything like the rest of the show.

You might be able to get away with starting with The War Games, though.

If you want, you could even set up UNIT with The Abominable Snowman, then Web of Fear, then The Invasion, then War Games. That way when Spearhead comes along, the Brig’s already a familiar character and she’ll have a better idea of what the show normally is.

On the other end of the spectrum, you could always start her on The Church on Ruby Road and get her caught up very quickly

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Maybe take the BBC America/Doctor Revisited route: Aztecs, Tomb of the Cybermen, Spearhead from Space, Pyramids of Mars, Earthshock, Vengeance on Varos, Remembrance of the Daleks, TV Movie. With Modern Who, start with Rose, Eleventh Hour, Woman Who Fell to Earth or Church on Ruby Road.

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I attempted to ask her, and she responded with something along the lines of “I don’t know. Survival stories, sci-fi, fantasy. Just show me something and I’ll tell you if I like it.” And “as long as they have characters?” Which are both about what I expected, but neither answer really helps me narrow it down. I think I’ll probably start with Spearhead From Space and either continue on from there or switch to something else depending on what her thoughts are.

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