Streaming Saturday: Doctor Who (2005-present)

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In honor of the premiere of the last batch of season 7 tonight, my Streaming Saturday recommendation this week is Doctor Who. The show is, in a word, fun. If you’re a fan of any form of science fiction, there stands a good chance that Doctor Who has covered it in fantastic fashion. It’s got time travel, aliens, space travel, monsters all mixed in a broth of comedy, drama and horror.

For those uninitiated with the Doctor’s adventures, Doctor Who is about the last member of an alien race known as Time Lords. Simply named the Doctor, he travels through space and time showing his companions the stars, often getting into and out of very sticky situations. A pacifist, the Doctor prefers using intellect and cleverness to solve the problems he and his friends encounter.

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The series originally premiered in 1963 and aired on British television for 26 years before it was cancelled in 1989. It stayed dormant until it was brought back to the airwaves in 2005. The new series is a continuation of what was previously aired, though it’s not necessary to watch the classic series.

The new iteration of Doctor Who has seen 7 seasons, several specials and, later this year, a 50th anniversary special. Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and, currently, Matt Smith have portrayed the Doctor since 2005 with a vast number of actors and actresses playing the Doctor’s companions.  Each actor brings a unique brand to the role.

Nearly 100 episodes and counting have aired since 2005 and the show hasn’t gotten stale yet. If you want a fun sci-fi adventure series with its share of scares, laughs and mind-blowing twists, then Doctor Who is your new favorite show.

Doctor Who is a difficult show to recommend. It can come across as too cheesy for some, but beneath an occasionally cheesy shell sits a magnificent series. Don’t feel like jumping right into the series? Here is a list of Doctor Who episodes to get you acquainted with the Doctor and his adventures.

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1. Season 1, Episode 6 (Dalek) – The 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and his companion Rose (Billie Piper) face off against the Doctor’s oldest and deadliest enemy, a Dalek.

2. Season 2, Episode 4 (The Girl in the Fireplace) – The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) lands in a derelict ship in the middle of space. Mirrors aboard the ship act as a gateway to 18th century France. The Doctor uses these gateways to interact with (and protect) Madame de Pompadour throughout her life. It’s the episode that made me fall in love with the series.

3. Season 3, Episode 10 (Blink) – Arguably the best episode for someone new to the series to watch first. It’s a great time travel adventure featuring the 10th Doctor with surprisingly little screen-time and the introduction of the immensely popular Weeping Angels. I’ve seen the episode a ton of times and it never gets old.

4. Season 4, Episode 10 (Midnight) – A personal favorite episode of mine, Midnight is one of the most frightening episodes of the series. The 10th Doctor is trapped on a tourist shuttle filled with passengers at the mercy of a mysterious alien being. The episode is claustrophobic and frightening as it exposes the more terrifying things human beings are capable of when their lives are at stake.

5. Season 5, Episode 10 (Vincent and the Doctor) – The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and companion Amy (Karen Gillan) visit Vincent van Gogh in the past after noticing something odd in one of his paintings. The tormented artist aids the Doctor in hunting an invisible monster. The episode is sure to leave you teary-eyed.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ObsessiveViewer for live-tweets about movies and shows I’m watching and keep up with the blog on Facebook for all the latest posts and blog news.

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