Doctor Who

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Doctor Who was a fantastic science fiction series which was broadcast on the BBC from 1963 to 1989. Sadly viewing figures tailed off towards the end and the show was finally killed off under the tenure of Michael Grade, never to return.

Okay, that's not strictly true. Doctor Who did return to our screens in 1996 with an utterly appalling film (though Paul McGann gave a cracking performance as the Doctor) which failed to reboot the series. Fans had to wait until 2005 for a proper return, this time with a special effects budget of more than 5p per episode. The new series has divided fans, with opinions across the spectrum from 'nothing will ever be as good as the classic series' to 'this is brilliant'. There are also younger fans who don't even remember the classic series - they can be identified by their opening question of 'so, which of the five doctors is your favourite?'

I became a fan of the show through the 1990s repeats, a period which I refer to as The Wilderness Years. As Doctor Who was no longer broadcast on a regular basis, Whovians were mocked (well, I was anyway) for their obsession with a show that had wobbly sets and monsters which were clearly men in poorly fitted rubber suits. Of course, as soon as the show came back in 2005 it was cool and hip to watch it again.

This wiki mainly covers Classic Who, up to the point just before the series was relaunched in 2005. This means I'll talk about the televised serials, the novelisations, Virgin New Adventures etc., but I won't cover much from the Ninth Doctor onwards, with the exception of a few bits and pieces which I think are particularly relevant.

Unlike some Whovians, I don't hate the new series, but it has gone in a different direction and as a result it has lost some of the charm which attracted me to the classic series. I started off watching every episode, and I thought David Tennant was excellent in the role, but a combination of ludicrous story arcs and annoying companions (Rory, Donna and Clara in particular) meant that I gradually stopped watching. Each time the Doctor regenerates I'll tune in again to see if anything has changed, but I tend to drop out after a few episodes.

Why are there no comments or editing options?

This section of the wiki is intended to be entirely my opinions on Doctor Who, plus some factual information which you can probably find from multiple sources. I don't always try and present a balanced view because each page is an opinion piece rather than the answer to a GCSE question. For non-Brits, GCSEs are exams which you have to sit at the end of secondary school. In some subjects it was common to put forward a statement and you had to give a balanced answer, 'showing that you have considered both points of view'. No one does this in real life.

I do link to other people's thoughts, podcasts etc. in the Elsewhere section of each serial.

If you enjoy Doctor Who, why do you single it out for so much criticism?

The critical nature of Whovians is something which fans of other programmes can find confusing. It's true that many of us, myself included, expound the delights of the show whilst critiquing its poor production values, internal inconsistencies, and occasionally terrible acting.

For me, the reason I criticise the show so much is because I'm a big fan. If you watch a show as often as I watch Doctor Who, you start to notice the small but important inconsistencies, the wobbly sets, the scenes where you can clearly see one of the production crew smoking a cigarette etc.

I'm not a psychologist but I think there is a part of human nature which makes us criticise the things we care about most, because we care. It's a bit like having a best friend whom you take the mick out of, and they reciprocate, but it's all okay because you are best friends. There are things you can say to them that you wouldn't dare utter about a stranger, or even a casual acquintance, just as I don't pull apart Star Trek in the way I do Doctor Who (although I have to admit, the fact that the crew in Next Generation have to be repeatedly rescued by a junior ensign does annoy me somewhat).