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April 16, 2010

Geek Out!: The New Doctor Who

Posted: 02:14 PM ET

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From scifi and fantasy to gadgets and science, if you can geek out over it you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

This Saturday, BBC America will air the season (or "series," in British terminology) premier of Doctor Who.

The new season is either the Doctor's fifth or 31st, depending on who you ask because of a decade-and-a-half hiatus. And it's a good time to jump in and start watching if you're unfamiliar with the venerable British sci-fi franchise.

Here's a basic rundown on the BBC series:

To date, there have been 11 different actors to play the title character of
the show.

When it started in 1963, the first actor to play the Doctor became too
sick to continue, so the writers created an interesting twist in which he died and regenerated into a completely different person.

The concept was a hit with fans and because of that angle, Doctor Who has become the longest running science fiction show in history, according to Guiness Book of World Records.

For most fans, their first Doctor is the one that remains their favorite Doctor for life. (Tom Baker fans, unite! OK ... David Tennant fans, too.)

Doctor Who follows the adventures of an alien known as a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.

Known only as "the Doctor," he travels through time and space in a ship called the TARDIS (an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space). Probably the most recognizable image from the series, the TARDIS looks like a blue British police box from the 1960s.

The Doctor typically travels with a human companion, usually a woman who at some point falls in love with him during their time together. It's a pretty good gig.

This season, we not only get a new Doctor - Matt Smith, who, at 27, is the
youngest actor to ever be cast in this role - but also a new companion named Amy Pond (played by Karen Gillan).

From the clips we’ve seen, the chemistry between the pair is promising. It's a glimmer of hope for fans who have been skeptical about such a young Doctor replacing David Tennant, whose Doctor made such an indelible mark on the franchise.

As longtime fans, we think that the direction of the new season is really exciting and hope it will make us miss the 10th Doctor a little less and start to think of Matt Smith as THE Doctor.

This season, the time travelers will battle villains both classic (the Daleks) and new (vampires?!).

We're especially excited because the entire season will be authored by Steven Moffat.

Moffat is the creator of some our favorite episodes including "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" and "Blink," which featured the Weeping Angels that many agree are some of the scariest opponents ever. And, guess what? The angels will make a repeat appearance this season.

With a following that spans all ages and groups, this is the perfect time to
join on the bandwagon and become a fan of the Doctor.

Are you considering giving the Doctor a shot? And, longtime fans - any thoughts to share with potential newcomers? Let us know in the comments.

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Cory   April 16th, 2010 2:50 pm ET

Matt Smith seems like he'll do a great job in keeping the series fun to watch like David Tennant always did. Seeing Tennant go was one of the biggest letdowns I've ever felt about a tv show because he was absolutely perfect as The Doctor. Of all the previews I've seen with Matt Smith I get more and more excited because the way they are showing his take on The Doctor looks like it will be just as fun to watch as Tennant's was for the three short seasons we got with him. I can not wait for Saturday's premiere, though! No matter who plays The Doctor, I will always be a fan!

Daved   April 16th, 2010 2:57 pm ET

I'm so excited about Moffat. Interestingly enough, in an interview with BBC he Dr. Who is more about a magical mysterious god-like man than strict sci-fi.

poofy   April 16th, 2010 3:03 pm ET

I loved David Tennant and was so sad to see him go. You could see how much he loved playing the Doctor.He was a joy to watch, maybe we could see him in a future episode as a special guest or something? Hopefully Matt Smith will do well, it's a great series....

Lorelei   April 16th, 2010 3:04 pm ET

I watched the first two episodes and I loved Matt Smith's Doctor five minuetes in! Karen Gilligan is lovely as the new companion and for the record they do not always fall in love with him, although recently that does seem to be the trend. Really excited about this series and am waiting for Saturday nights.

Andy   April 16th, 2010 3:05 pm ET

Been a Doctor fan since John Pertwee and through all those years have never thought the 'new' doctor could follow the last.
David Tennant was absolutely brilliant as the Doctor and again think that the new doctor will never be as good. But I am sure that I will soon forget that because no matter who the actor playing him its still the DOCTOR.

J   April 16th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

Sorry, but I saw the first episode and it was a joke. I really, REALLY wanted them to prove me wrong with Matt Smith, but they didn't. After watching David Tennant the last couple of years and then seeing this episode I just wanted to cry. To be fair, Matt Smith DID try, but he just doesn't have that *special something* that you MUST have in order to be believed as a 900+ year old TIME LORD from a far away planet! The story and effects were also extremely weak. I of course will try again out of loyalty, but so far it is not cutting it. *sigh*

Maggie   April 16th, 2010 3:35 pm ET

I've seen the first two episodes of the new series, and Matt Smith does a good job. He's not yet up to the level of the amazing David Tennant, but Smith still can make the role his own. I like the new assistant, Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillian. My favorite assistant was Donna, and I would like to see Amy develop as a best friend like Donna, rather than a love interest.

What I didn't like was that the two episodes recycled plots from other episodes, and didn't really flesh out the stories all that well. The first episode borrowed a great deal from "The Girl In The Fireplace," as well as other episodes. The second episode borrowed not only from other DW episodes but from the pilot of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I hope the writing gets better. If the series fails it will be because of the writing, not because of Matt Smith.

Kristen   April 16th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

It is true that you always remember your first...Doctor. I am fond of Christopher Eccleston because he was my first in a long time. I am a Baker girl at heart. My 6 year old son is all about David Tennant (I had to buy him All Stars so he could look like the Doctor). I hope that he will be ok tomorrow when we see the new Dr. Matt looks like he will do a good job but he seems so young. Especially going back to the earlier Doctors. Do Time Lords age backwards with each regeneration?

paola   April 16th, 2010 4:13 pm ET

i have watched the new season and still wish that David Tenate was still The Doctor, but Matt is starting to grow on me. The new writer is amazing i must admit.

Mike   April 16th, 2010 4:13 pm ET

This has been superior to the last few years that we've had to deal with Tennant. I've been watching Doctor Who for the last 30 years and Smith is a breath of fresh air with his querky ways and not hamming it up all the time like DT did, and as far as Rose and Donna well let's just say good riddance please just leave those characters out of this. The writing seems way more established compared to seasons past so lets hope they keep this up for the rest of the series and it's nice to see a companion who's doing more than batting her eye lids and acting helpless or pig headed. Keep it up so far so good.

biograph1985   April 16th, 2010 4:14 pm ET

I guess Time Lords really DO age backwards! I hope Matt Smith's replacement is a fifteen-year-old!

This is why there hasn't even BEEN a real Doctor since Sylvester McCoy.

Jamie Burkhart   April 16th, 2010 4:16 pm ET

Love the new Doctor!!! I even loved the original Doctor... Technology has changed the show for the better.

mydearwatson   April 16th, 2010 4:18 pm ET

im willing to give this new doctor a shot, although i am sceptical about how young he is and also about how quickly a lot of the companions are to fall in love with the doctor now (i am referring to tennant in this respect, obviously).

i was brought into this show after a friend of mine raved about it and so eccleston was my first doctor 🙂 of course i went and looked at the earlier doctors and fell for tom baker like crazy (although troughton is absolutely wonderful as well, and who doesnt like jamie as companion? a shame most of his stuff was erased D: )

at any rate, am excited to see new stuff! i hope it will be fantastic.

walter   April 16th, 2010 4:19 pm ET

David Tennant can come back as the Doctor.His human double lives in a parallel Universe.So it would be easy to team him up With the new Doctor 🙂

Steve   April 16th, 2010 4:24 pm ET

I have also been a fan of Dr. Who since Jon Pertwee, but really became hooked on the show when Tom Baker took over. Like David Tennant, he made the role of The Doctor his own, different from all of the rest. And to be honest, I am looking forward to seeing Matt Smith take over as the new Doctor. It will take him a little while to make the character his own, but with some good storylines, new villans, and an occasional look in the past at The Doctor's predecessors (for us mostly), I really believe this new adventure will be just as exciting as Dr. Who has always been.

ricou0794   April 16th, 2010 4:24 pm ET

I've been a fan since the Tom Baker era (he's right your first Doctor is always the best) but really did enjoy David Tennant morso than any other Doctor since Tom Baker. Looking forward to the new incarnation of the Doctor and many more.

Ryan   April 16th, 2010 4:26 pm ET

Having seen the first couple of episodes, Matt Smith has great potential. As with every regeneration, there are difficulties accepting the new Doctor. My first switch was from Tom Baker to Peter Davidson. As A kid I was devastated to see the Fourth Doctor go. But after time, and especially after revisiting the original series as an adult, have grown to appreciate most every Doctor. It is a testament to the development of the character by each actor and the writing of the series which started ostensibly an educational show.

To respond to "Kristen", it has never been explicitly stated the Doctor gets younger with each subsequent regeneration, but that seems to be somewhat of a trend.

bluebox   April 16th, 2010 4:30 pm ET

Love love LOVE Doctor Who. I never watched the program when I was younger and stumbled across it on BBC America w/ Christopher Eccleston and absolutely fell in love with the show. My son and I enjoy reserving our Who nights together. We turn off the lights, break out the popcorn, and geek to our hearts content. We even "sing" along w/ the theme music!

Iain   April 16th, 2010 4:32 pm ET

It's true that you will allways remember your first doctor. Mine was William Hartnell, in the original movie, not the series. I can still remember waiting in line outside the theater in Luton. It was both the worst and the best movie I have ever seen in my life. That was 44 years ago and I am still a huge fan. Like all the previous incarnations of the Doctor, I am looking forward to seeing Matt Smith in the role. After all each new actor bringing his own style to the charactor is what has kept me watching for all those years.

David   April 16th, 2010 5:03 pm ET

I keep hearing only good things about Matt Smith from all the British fans I've seen posting online about the new Who series (they've been watching it for about a month now, I believe). It sounds like Moffat and company really did a great job picking their new star, and a bold choice it was going with someone so young and unknown.

Count me hopeful and very excited.

Trevor Pugh   April 16th, 2010 5:07 pm ET

I've watched this series since 1963, when I remember hiding behind the sofa in the scary bits whilst watching on a very dim black and white TV. A cult show with hugely variable content and quality made much better by digital effects, if a little less lovable – nothing like a wobbly BBC space ship, invisible (not) strings and all, crossing your TV screen.

John Smith   April 16th, 2010 5:07 pm ET

The movies, there were 2, were made after the series started. Both stared Peter Cushing as the Doctor.

Geno   April 16th, 2010 5:08 pm ET

I have to admit I didn't like David Tennant at first because I thought Christopher Eccleston was so perfect as the Doctor. But he grew on me quickly and I was so sorry to see him go. Now we get to love a new Doctor all over again!

I also wouldn't classify Doctor Who as strictly "science fiction". My daughter normally hates sci-fi shows but she loves this one! I think it's because the stories are so more than just the usual run-of-the-mill TV. The writing is just marvelous and that's what ultimately makes the Doctor who he is, not just the actor.

RIchP Pa   April 16th, 2010 5:11 pm ET

I have been a fan since Tom Baker and missed many years while in the service. I see I will need to renew some of my replaytv friendships, there seems to have been slight tiff between scifi and bbc a while back and i missed an entire season.

Josh Baker   April 16th, 2010 5:13 pm ET

You know David could come back since their is a copy of him in a parallel universe (even thought he is human) with Rose. But i am looking foward to the new Doctor and new villains as well

v8a   April 16th, 2010 5:27 pm ET

I just viewed the preview and I was not impressed. David Tennant should not have been removed from this character. I have only seen Doctor 9 and 10 and loved both actors. This one is too young and not a ladies man at all. If someone falls in love with this doctor, she better ask him to take her and improve her eye sight.

C.R. Bilancia   April 16th, 2010 5:29 pm ET

Despite seeing some of the teasers and feeling a little inadequately satisfied with the new doctor, I will watch the series and give Matt Smith a chance to prove he can carry on the role through its finale.
I know I will cry!

Katie   April 16th, 2010 5:31 pm ET

So, I've totally watched the first 2 episodes of the season already, and I'm am getting on board with the 11th Doctor. I do have to say that David Tennant's Doctor still holds a very special place for me, but I am glad that they seem to be making some different quirks to the show this season to get the fans to focus on the series as a whole and to support the new Doctor. And honestly, this show is just epic, Not just all of space, not just all of time, but all of time and space!! I cannot get enough. Bring on season 5!

PS-Weeping Angels=terrifying. Cannot WAIT for them to return.

Fresno Time Lord   April 16th, 2010 5:37 pm ET

Ive been a Fan of Doctor Who ever since 1992 When I watched on the Night on PBS, they Aired for the first time in years the Complete, newly found print of "Tombs of the Cybermen". That night, I fell in love with the Series.

Tom Baker was my all Time fave. He raised the bar in Being the Doctor.
But as soon as David Tennant came on the program, Tom took the #2 spot in my Faves.

I used to be a Die-Hard Trek Fan..But think Doctor Who has replaced all my Fandom Needs!

Yes, we will all miss David, and Who didn't cry for hours when David Regenerated. I know I did..And oh..That Last line "I Don't want to Go"...Easily beats out
"It's the End, but the moment has Been Prepared For"
(Tom's Last line)
David's regeneration into Matt was So Touching, and So Powerful. Even beating out Peter's regeneration into Colin!

Ive seen the first two Eps, and I like this new young Doctor..But I am giving it until after the 6th Episode to Pass Final Judgement if I am gonna like this new Doctor.

So far, I am liking him, And Amy Pond is fantastic. Also, Stephen Moffatt is Awesome! With stories like "Blink", "The Library Saga", "Time-Crash", and "The Girl in the Fireplace"..Nothing Can go wrong. His writing is top Notch!

Also, the New TARDIS Console room and Console..OMG.....Its amazing!

This is gonna be a Fantastic Ride.

And for all those who Miss David, and want him back..there's always 2013 for the 50th Anniversary!

Please David, If you are reading this...Please Come back for a "Time-Crash" Sequel! And Also, Please Do some Big Finish Audios Soon!

Katie   April 16th, 2010 5:37 pm ET

Josh Baker:
Actually David shouldn't be able to come back with his clone in the other universe, because he was half human/half time lord. If Donna couldn't survive that, how could he?

Derek   April 16th, 2010 5:50 pm ET

I am old enough to have seen more than a few different Doctors and each new Doctor has meant getting use to the newest habits and interpretation of what a Time Lord is. As much as I am a massive fan of Tennant, I was even a greater fan of Russell Davies. The imagination of him and his team of writers is what made the last two Doctors the best Doctors for me. Fortunately Steven Moffat is now behind the scenes and was responsible for some of the best episodes during the last four years. “Blink” was one of the most imaginative and inventive story ideas I seen in a long time, but was also superbly shot and presented in a completely different way than most episodes. (and did also have an Oscar-nominated actress as the lead.)

It will be hard to see another Doctor and especially one so young, but at least he can’t get any younger. How soon until the motion capture technology allows us to have a real alien Doctor, like Gollum from LOTR? I can only pray the show does not become “90210 Gallifrey” as they try to get a younger audience. But the show is in good hands, so I am willing to give the new Doctor enough time to fill the large shoes he’s just regenerated into.

Sparrow Addict   April 16th, 2010 6:01 pm ET

Forget bringing back the weeping angels, bring back Sally Sparrow! Carey Mulligan was divine and "Blink" was the best episode of the "new" Dr. Who.

Loren in CA   April 16th, 2010 6:08 pm ET

I started watching Doctor Who with the mediocre TV movie back in 1996, and then with the new series when it hit SciFi Channel (now mistakenly renamed "SyFy.") I plan to give the new Doctor and the new creative team a try and see how they do.

Thede Vilthatiam   April 16th, 2010 6:13 pm ET

I absolutely love this show! It's my favorite British show ever!

Jody   April 16th, 2010 6:22 pm ET

I too have seen the first 2 episodes, and I love Matt Smith. it took me a year to build up the will to watch David as well because Chris was my favorite doctor as well. I swore this time around that I would not do that, and I am so glad that I did. Welcome to the family Matt and Amy, and i'm looking forward to watching you two travel the universe.

Quadena   April 16th, 2010 6:23 pm ET

I love doctor who, was a fan since billy piper and company . I hate though that America gets this a year later and it also takes so long for seasons (series) to start in America too. I'm hoping people will see , doctor who takes this above stare trek and , very mind stimulating. I also wish that about the FUNIMATION network. I hate all these reality shows , lets get back to real talent and REALLY promote the arts. America has turned into , if you get a reality t.v. show , your a celebrity lol ok !

Jody   April 16th, 2010 6:23 pm ET

oh, and to add to my last post, no worries about the old characters coming back, from what I've read, the writers are starting all over and not recycling old companions. I must say that I do miss Rose, but I also love Billie's new show.

Quadena   April 16th, 2010 6:27 pm ET

i love billie piper too , im a fan lol . it makes sense not to bring back the old people. the story line really makes sense , everything had to happen like they way they wrote it

Deb   April 16th, 2010 6:31 pm ET

I've seen the 2 episodes that have aired in Britain. Matt Smith is absolutely AMAZING!!! I think he's a much better actor than Tennant, who I never really cared for in the role. All that grimacing and shouting really grated on me. I can't say enough good things about Smith's Doctor.

JP   April 16th, 2010 6:59 pm ET

me and my gf both are enjoying the new series and this "new" doctor (matt?). excellent show. i think if some folks are disliking this they are just stick in the muds becuase i think its really cool.
ive never watched 'docter who' before but this has me wanting to go back and watch all the previous ones.. wow.. lots of them. lol. that will keep me busy for a while!

Rick   April 16th, 2010 7:04 pm ET

@Sparrow Addict

I couldn't agree with you more! I think that Sally Sparrow would make a great companion for the Doctor.

I also hope that Lady Christina de Souza makes an appearance in Doctor Who again sometime soon, but perhaps not as a permanent companion.

Robert   April 16th, 2010 7:11 pm ET

Watched both new episodes and I was incredibly impressed at Smith's doctor. Both episodes were engaging and amazing, as good Doctor Who should be. It would be tough to pass Tennant but Smith is playing his own Doctor and seems to be off to a great start.

Ilana Grallert   April 16th, 2010 7:31 pm ET

I have seen the first two episodes and I have to say that I was prepared not to like Matt Smitth. I think there are only a few actors who can portray the emotional complexities of The Doctor, and no one has done it better than David Tennant. However, I think the chemistry between the two leads is "cute" and after looking past Matt Smith more juvenile antics, I think that he could grow on me, but so far it seems to me that the new direction the show is going in is towards children. I thought there were many moments that were more "Sarah Jane Adventure" than "Torchwood." (Is that why the lowered the age of the doctor from 47 to 27?) The writing, however, remains to notch.

Sean   April 16th, 2010 7:34 pm ET

The new doctore appears to be great! The last two doctors have been excellent as well. This is the best Sci Fi show period.

Robin D   April 16th, 2010 7:40 pm ET

Come on Whovians admit it, this new Dr. can't be anywhere near as bad as Colin Baker *shiver*. I think I loved Sylvester McCoy's Dr. and Ace just because they saved the show. And until "Blink" "Psychic Circus" was my favorite creepy episode (I hate clowns).

When you have a good Dr you love him, but you always know he'll regenerate. I'm willing to let this new Dr have his wings for at least one season (he can always regenerate!) I'm just happy the show is back and I can introduce it to my kids and friends. The Jury is still out on his hair's so floppy.

PS I don't love my first Dr. #3 – Jon Pertwee, but I loved his regeneration. Jelly Baby anyone!

Ronnie, from New Orleans,LA   April 16th, 2010 8:03 pm ET

I have been a DR,Who fan since Tom Baker( If that is the brown curly haired strait talking timelord), I really miss those days in the late 70's and mid 80's.


Sally   April 16th, 2010 8:04 pm ET

Christopher Eccleston was my first Doctor and I still love him. I came to like David Tennant quite well but he never could pull off 'menace' like Eccleston.

Donna Noble never fell in love with the Doctor- and that made her one of the best companions. That and her everywoman-sassy attitude.

I never did like Rose Tyler and was happy to see her and her 'mascara of doom' be replaced by the wonderful normal, levelheaded Martha Jones.

And Capt Jack - Oh, Jack is going to have fun with this new, young Doctor.

AGuest9   April 16th, 2010 8:07 pm ET

Jon Pertwee was my favorite. Tom Baker was fun to watch. Sylvester McCoy was too weird for me. I only saw a few of Peter's episodes, but liked his smart-alec style. David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston grew on me. I guess I'll give the new guy a chance.

Trip   April 16th, 2010 8:13 pm ET

He looks like Dr. Keanu Reeves.

Janice   April 16th, 2010 8:34 pm ET

Not so. The first Doctor I probably ever saw was Tom Baker – at least when he had a small part on Remington Steele, I knew who he was – he was that guy from the British kid show.

The first Doctor I ever paid any real attention to was Christopher Eccleston - but "my Doctor" is David Tennant's and Russell T Davies's Doctor - and from what I've seen of the Matt Smith reboot, sadly, likely to remain so.

JJ   April 16th, 2010 8:42 pm ET

Our 13 year-old daughter looks forward to sharing this episode with her godfather, a rabid fan since our CU college roommate days in '85. She passionately tried to explain The Doctor to her lacrosse team today. Too many newbies, so little time.

Sam from Golden   April 16th, 2010 8:46 pm ET

Long live the Doctor (Pun intended).

I still have my Dr. Who scarf, given to me by another Doctor Fan, long, long ago.

sparklypants   April 16th, 2010 8:58 pm ET

Excited and trepidatious about the new Doctor. As the article suggested, once you latch onto a Doctor, it's hard to let go of him. But I have high hopes for Mr. Smith. We'll see what the TARDIS has for him this time!

eaglewatch1945   April 16th, 2010 10:24 pm ET

I grew up watching Doctor Who reruns in the '80s on NJN (New Jersey Public Broadcast, even though I lived across the river in PA.) Except for the 6th Doctor, whom few fans enjoyed, all the actors who have played the Doctor have done a great job owning the roll in their own way without detracting from the quintessence of who (or what) the Doctor is. With Moffett in charge of the writing, I'm hoping we bring back more of the mystery of the Doctor and he returns to the line delivered by Sylvester McCoy's 7th Doctor to Davros in "Remembrance of the Daleks" when he coldly says, "I am far more than just another Time Lord."

Sency   April 16th, 2010 10:27 pm ET

David Tenant was great – people say good things about hm

Hid Hisam   April 16th, 2010 10:34 pm ET

Avoid Dr Who if too old for it, otherwise enjoy the new version till next doctor shows up later. Always assume with this series.
On average almost as good as american sci fi for a lot less. Go figure.

Bree   April 16th, 2010 11:20 pm ET

Those weeping angels scared the crap out of me and i don't get scared easily–hmmm–glad to see they're making a return. guess i'm a glutton for punishment..

Allison   April 17th, 2010 12:38 am ET

Blink was my favorite episode, I can't wait for the Angels to come back!

David   April 17th, 2010 12:41 am ET

I have been a Dr. Who fan for awhile as well. Would have liked to seen more of the Master's genesis, if you remember there was a reference I believe in the Colin Baker years that the genesis of the master had something to do with a botched regeneration of the 10th doctor. Maybe the message sent back in time that drove him mad may have been that connection.

Gallifrey is gone. If you recall though it may be possible to bring a regenerated Romanadvoratrelundar or Romana back to the series, which I would like to see. Maybe creating the next generation of timelords. It might be a good idea to bring back K-9.

I liked all the doctors, except the TV movie, and the two other movies. My favorite was Tom Baker, but I think Tennant finally changed my mind, but Tom Baker is a close second.

CAROL   April 17th, 2010 12:43 am ET

I hope somewhere in the works there is another multi-doctor special. They had the Two Doctors, the Three Doctors and the Five Doctors in the series from the 70's and 80's. With the next regeneration we will have four doctors from the current bunch. Bring it!

leapfrog   April 17th, 2010 1:42 am ET

I started with Pertwee, and have accepted each change reluctantly and with trepidation. Every time, the actor has created their own spin on the doctor...and I've come to realize that this is why the show is so vital decades after it started, for it embraces the one thing that is unavoidable in existence – change.

DJI   April 17th, 2010 2:53 am ET

Long live Tom Baker! Got hooked as a kind with Tom Baker, had to do some back tracking to the start with John Pertwee to get the full effect. Also long live WGBH in Boston for airing Dr. Who; i.e. where a lot of us in the colonies got our start. Have tried to follow since but life got in the way. Are all the Dr.'s and series available via DVD, download, etc.... Any chance of seeing K-9, The Master, female assistants clad in revealing animal skins (couldn't resist), Harry Smith, Davros (sic), etc...???

pondstonecommunications   April 17th, 2010 4:10 am ET

Quick tip. The Doctor does not die and then regenerate. He just regenerates. Same person. Different body.

qhabib   April 17th, 2010 4:11 am ET

Yes, I am not a Doctor Who fan nor am I familiar with it. However, itunes has a preview into the new season and I am going to watch it before I decide to join the fan club. I too think that this is a great time to join in for new people with a new cast and writers.

Vanessa   April 17th, 2010 4:15 am ET

I've seen the first two eps. In a nutshell, it's just rehashed Moffat/RTD stuff with a wannabe Tennant actor. The kid tries, I'll give him that but he doesn't have the gravitas necessary to pull off the role like Tennant or Eccleston or Baker or Pertwee... Even McGann in just under 1.5 hours had me sold in the T.V. movie!

The effects were poor especially for an ep that had so much riding on it. The creature in the first ep. looked too much like the ones on the cover of the audiobook The Nemonite Invasion.

And the new opening sequence... BLIMEY! Did an intern do that?!

I thought Moffat was brilliant until I saw these two eps. I'm utterly disappointed thus far but I'll keep watching, of course!

This is some sort of hybrid between Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. It's Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys travel through time and space.

I honestly don't understand why so many people are praising this series already and saying Matt Smith's portrayal will be even better than Tom Baker's.

TobiasStoney   April 17th, 2010 4:53 am ET

I purposely came into series 5 with very low expectations, and that turned out to be a good thing. While the debate on 'who' the best doctor is will still probably be between David Tennant and Tom Baker (I'm a Troughton fan myself), Matt Smith held his own well enough to keep the show fun. Amy Pond might also be one of the most interesting companions the doctor has had in a very long time.

Has anyone else noticed a bit of Silvester McCoy's doctor in this new regeneration, or is it just me?

Annie Wheeler   April 17th, 2010 6:42 am ET

Started with Tom Baker many years ago. Have had other Doctors that I've liked....even grew to like Sylvester but only after I met him in person. I've been fortunate to meet Peter Davison also.

That said, I became rather attached to David Tennant as the Doctor. I liked Rose but really found Donna intriguing as a companion...and no, not all, and in fact, most companions do not fall for the Doctor. Rose seemed to be the first to fall head over heels though if Sarah Jane Smith had been older when she first met the Doctor there might have been something then...or perhaps when she met the David Tennant Doctor there could have been something...but too many years had passed.

The new Doctor, I don't know. I've seen interviews and am looking forward to catching some episodes with him but so far from the interviews, I'm not impressed. But I have been wrong before...I didn't like Christopher Eccleston at first but I came to like him as the Doctor.

I was happy to have a nice long run with David Tennant as the Doctor...too many changes too fast becomes hard to adjust to and the older I get the harder it is to make the change.

So I'll give the kid a chance. If for no other reason than to keep up on the story line.

FilmBuffRich   April 17th, 2010 7:15 am ET

"We're especially excited because the entire season will be authored by Steven Moffat."

Really? That will come as a surprise to Mark Gattis, Toby Whithouse, Simon Nye, Chris Chibnell, Gareth Roberts and Richard Curtis* who have written scripts for the new season.

*Yes, THAT Richard Curtis.

John   April 17th, 2010 7:51 am ET


I was sad to see the David Tennant leave as The Doctor, as he and Chris Eccleston were my Doctor(s), since I found out about the series from those two. With the new Doctor, the 11th, it will be interesting to see how he goes and how he handles the part. Hopefully, he will not be a one series actor before they find a new Doctor.

Mr. Tennant is able to return, since a Humasn copy of The Doctor happened in The Stolen Earth/Journey's End. So the possibility of seeinf him is very possible in any future episodes. It will be interesting to see if they do bring Tennant back for an ep or two. Possibly like how they brought allt he previous companions back for the The Stolen Earth/Journey's End.

Although, no matter who the next Doctor will be after Matt Smith, it will be an interesting ride.

Patrick   April 17th, 2010 7:58 am ET

The Doctor is the Best! I will miss David, but
Matt and Amy are growing on me. The second
episode showed them evolving and it
was good. Exciting show to follow.

Ardith   April 17th, 2010 10:57 am ET

Christopher Eccleston was my first Doctor and remains my favorite though I have now watched episodes with several of the others. I was horrified when I found out that David Tennant would replace Eccleston, but I quickly came to accept him in the role. At first glance I had misgivings about Matt Smith, but now that I've seen a couple of episodes I feel certain I will love the new series and the new Doctor too.

lastlap   April 17th, 2010 11:41 am ET

I hate to burst your bubble, but I think you'll find Christopher Lee, not William Hartnell, played the Doctor in the movies. That being said, I've loved Doctor Who since I first saw it on PBS in the 70's. When I first saw Christopher Eccleston, I had my doubts, but I ended up loving him. I've learned not to judge a Doctor by his face.

Tom Baker Fan   April 17th, 2010 2:39 pm ET

Actually it was Peter Cushing.

As for the new series, Matt Smith pretty much wiped away any doubts I had about him in the first 5 minutes. He plays "old man in an young man's body" very well (you forget how old he is pretty quickly) and his performance seems to evolve deliberately through the first episode into the second. He's an incredibly watchable actor and I think he is going to be very, very good indeed.

Barry   April 17th, 2010 2:43 pm ET

I can't wait to see the new episodes. David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston were the best, but only time will tell what happens with this one =) I haven't had the chance to see it yet, aghhhhhh its killing me

Mags   April 17th, 2010 3:59 pm ET

So looking forward to seeing what they do next. Long time Who fan: started with Baker and backtracked to see every available episode (I cannot believe that they got rid of so many of the early ones), but I cannot choose a favorite Doctor. The episodes just before and after the Baker to Davidson regeneration are some of my favorites. Loved Eccelston and was sad to see him go so soon. I thought Tennant was lovely, but hey, regeneration happens.

Also, in Who before the reboot, there was very rarely much if any romantic connection between the companions and the Doctor. Kind of like it that way personally.

Gildanonymous   April 17th, 2010 8:11 pm ET

My favorite Doctors thus far are Tom Baker and Chris Eccleston...I was very sad when I heard we'd only have Chris for a year. I could never get into Tennant. Too goofy for my taste.

I'm waiting to see if Mr Smith will grow on me.

JMW   April 17th, 2010 9:47 pm ET

I am excited about the change- I am the Tom Baker generation.... but will always welcome the new version so the Tardis and travel adventure can live on!

Chris Eccleston was a nice tribute to the long standing francise. Happy it can be shared further with Matt Smith. This new season appears to have actors and writing without the campy flare. I hope this is as good as it appears.

YAY for Doctor Who in 2010!

MC   April 17th, 2010 10:22 pm ET

I have tried to like Matt Smith as Dr Who but just can't. David Tennant is a tough act to follow...very big shoes to fill, especially by an unknown. I thought Christopher Eccleston was great & disappointed when he left but David Tennant had been out there for a while and was a sensible choice. I don't know what they were thinking when they cast Matt Smith. I truly do hope it works out but I will not be going out of my way to watch.

girlie   April 17th, 2010 10:44 pm ET

If this was my first time watching a Doctor Who episode I would probably tune in again out of curiosity. BUT this is not! how boring smith is! who chose him, davies or moffat? moffat is brilliant but smith is horrible! what a mistake! back to DW DVDs for me, im done!

SJM   April 18th, 2010 1:55 am ET

I discovered Dr Who with David Tennant in the role, and then purchased the previous season with Christopher Eccleston. I loved David Tennant as the doctor, and watched the shows with my Grandson who also is a big fan. Saw the first episode tonight, and I think I will also like Matt Smith as the new doctor.

Joe   April 18th, 2010 4:05 am ET

First watched on a black & white tv with rabbit ears back in '78. Tom will ALWAYS be my favorite but I haven't seen a Dr. who I didn't like.
Miss a lot of the old characters, (anyone remember a boy called ADRIC, known for his mathematical prowess?) It's good to see the series keeping up and new audiences, like my own children, drifting to it.

Melissa   April 18th, 2010 10:09 am ET

I am an American who has seen the first two episodes of Doctor Matt Smith. Despite what some posters have said he has done an excellent job. What so many people forget or don't know is that when the doctor changes so does his personality. Matt Smith will never be David Tennant because Doctor 11 is not the same as Doctor 10. The Doctor evolves over time.
Matt Smith is doing a really great job. I am sad to see David go but I do not think I will be disappointed with #11.

C   April 18th, 2010 1:08 pm ET

Ah... been a Whovian since Tom Baker on PBS here in the states, still have my ridiculously long scarf. He was so good one suspended the willingness to disbelieve when the FX and production values were pretty silly. Have to hand it to RTD and company for bringing the show back with the production values it always deserved. (No slam on previous producers, they didn't have much to work with! Doctor who in the 60s and 70s was a show ahead of its time.)

Absolutely loved Baker and lost interest when he left – from love to like is a difficult transition. When I stumbled on Tennant's Doctor I was surprised to find myself back in love. Shouldn't have been, since he too is a Whovian and a Baker fan, and he Got It: job one is great acting, to portray the eccentricities, other worldly confidence, intelligence, humor, melancholy, loneliness, morality, deep love for life and hunger for adventure that underpins the character no matter who plays him. Can't discount a boat load of charisma, either, which Baker and Tennant both have. Charisma and even sensuality just make sense for The Doctor, and it's a happy confluence when the actor's charisma and the character's mesh.

Tennant accomplished the same thing as Baker: the surroundings become secondary, the characters primary. Who cares about the FX when you have a great Doctor to watch?

As science fiction, I would say to newbies it's the series concept itself that is genius. Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, an endlessly intriguing notion that will suck you in, and if the actors and writing are good, will keep you there, delighted. Just remember this is fundamentally a children's show. I fear my difficulty now is the same as switching from the fourth to the fifth Doctor: the new Time Lord seems too young and light weight to pull it off for me. (Bow ties and suspenders are just not sensual.) So far, sorry to say, it seems more marketing and less execution, but I'll keep watching for awhile and would be happy to be wrong. I expect plenty of new fans will love this Doctor as much as everyone always has.

Doctor Who is just a brilliant character and a brilliant show.

smitmarv   April 18th, 2010 1:31 pm ET

Of course I'm watching Doctor Who! I have been watching since I was 10 years old and I never get enough. I just LOVE it that Moffat is writing the whole season. I loved his shows the most! So far so good with Matt Smith.

K-9   April 18th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

I was surpised by how good Matt Smith was in the opener. Also, this season feels a bit fresher and has a higher quality production feeling with better camera work. I also liked how the TARDIS regenerated which make me think of the older series.

Linda   April 18th, 2010 3:56 pm ET

I have now watched all 3 new episodes. I was ready to embrace a new Dr. I realize shows like this have to change and evolve and actors rarely stay with one show forever. After watching this last episode, Return of the Daleks, I realized I felt sad, and that I had not laughed or hooted with laughter and glee once.
The thing is I am not sure if that is Matt Smith or the writers. I watch Torchwood and laugh and am appalled and sometimes thrilled by some of the stuff they say and do , but I am never bored, and I even have quite a fun time with Sarah Janes Adventures series, both of whom involve Russell T. Davies. I think he is very cheeky, which I love and maybe I miss that voice.
I do miss David Tennant something about watching him was mesmerizing. I think he is just one of a kind.
Someone mentioned the latest episode felt like a children's show, and you know what it did.
I will still watch the show and I am a fan, ( I only started watching it here in America when this second time around when it came back.)
I quite liked Christopher Eccleston too. The show is bigger then one person so it will live on.

jessie   April 18th, 2010 4:19 pm ET

i have been a Doctor Who fan for sometime now, and i think the new doctor has alot to live up to. i dont think he can match the success or the fan base of David Tennant, or Christopher Eccleston. Both Tennant and Eccleston made the series funny, and more enjoyble. but no matter who plays Doctor Who, the television show will forever be a success.

faith   April 18th, 2010 5:51 pm ET

I watched the first U.S. aired episode of the "new" Dr. Who last night and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. With David Tennant leaving such an indelible mark upon the series I doubted I would be able to accept Matt Smith as the new Dr. both because of David Tennant and because I was not particularly drawn by Matt's looks (shallow of me, I know). But gave him a chance and enjoyed both his performance and the chemistry between him and Amy. Will continue to watch and see if my interest sustains. Of course, the writing, as always, was superb.

faith   April 18th, 2010 5:53 pm ET

One more thing, BRING BACK TORCHWOOD !! Miss that series so much; it was a great complement to Dr. Who.

Weekly Link Post 141 « Rhonda Tipton's WebLog   April 18th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

[...] Geek Out!: The New Doctor Who – Dr. Who rocks! Even though I have not gotten used to the new Doctor. [...]

Keri   April 19th, 2010 8:41 am ET

I LOVE David Tennant even though Tom Baker was my first Doctor. Tom Baker will always hold a place in my WHO heart but no one will top David. Now saying that I will admit that after watching the season opener with Matt Smith I will have to make a little more room in that heart. Matt was fantastic and all my doubts were quashed with one single word, "Run." Matt I welcome your Doctor with open arms and would help you face off against Daleks any day.

Valerie   April 19th, 2010 10:02 am ET

I've been following the doctor through many incarnations, and David Tennant is the one that I miss the most for sure.

Matt Smith is not handsome like Tennant, but he is quirky and youthfully energetic. A complete change in character. Good luck to you Matt- looking forward to seeing what you bring to Doctor Who.

Alex   April 19th, 2010 10:06 am ET

Over the last 25 years I've seen every existing Doctor Who story going all the way back to when William Hartnell was the Doctor. Matt Smith definitely ranks up there with the best of them, and The Eleventh Hour was the strongest introduction story for a new Doctor ever. Smith and Karen Gillan have chemistry I haven't seen since Tennant and Billie Piper, or even going back earlier to Tom Baker and Lalla Ward. The new season will have its ups and downs – they all do – but the show's in good hands and if you love Doctor Who, you accept that the actors change and the writers change. That's why it's lasted 47 years without having to reset itself the way Star Trek has.

Manny   April 19th, 2010 10:59 am ET

Couple inaccuracies with the article, which may have been pointed out by other commentators, but I don't have time to read them all.

The entire season WON'T be written by Stephen Moffat, he's now the executive producer and showrunner. He'll write some episodes, but others (Including novelist Neil Gaiman) will write others.

It is NOT ususal for the Doctor's female companion to fall in love with him. That's a device that Russel T. Davies introduced to extremely annoying effect for some god-awful reason. For the original 26 seasons the doctor never had any romantic interests (except possibly a mere suggestion in a Patrick Troughton serial).

Carmela   April 19th, 2010 1:00 pm ET

I love David Tennent's Doctor. I was so sad to see him go....but let's see how Matt does!

KbMa   April 19th, 2010 2:01 pm ET

Typical american fan – watched on PBS since Baker...loved Peter in it too – a little vulnerability to the role was good. Loved Eccleston – edgy, dark, etc...great way to bring back the series. Tennant – of course Tennant is great. But he also had years to really make his mark so let's back off of the "He's not David" comments and give it a bit. It's just part of the transition and we all go through it!

BUT I canNOT stand the whole "companion falling in love" thing. Get rid of it. The parts of Rose that had nothing to do with being in love with the Doctor were fine (spunky, adventurous), but very wimpy and whiny afterwards (and i thought it was a very teeny-bopper, immature "love" at that, so it really irked me)... I'd love to see a male companion or even 2 (like Peter's) – why not? Having the female now just begs for the whole "will they or won't they" that has ruined so many TV shows and really has NOTHING to do with the core part of Dr. Who.

And "Blink" – absolutely scared the crap out of me and I'm in my 40s!

And yes, really hoping to see Jack back...but after the "Children" episode of Torchwood, hard to know what his state of mind would be!

All I can think of is the classic line from Major League II – "I love this British s***!! I'm moving to England!" 🙂

Annon   April 19th, 2010 6:49 pm ET

Forgive me if this was already asked, but how have some of you already seen more than one episode? It just started this past weekend in the US. Do you live in the UK, or is there some secret site you can divulge?

I think Matt will work out fine. We just need to give them some time to develop his character. I found the first few eps of Who with DT hard to watch after CE left. Once they got his character up to speed I loved DT.

ds   April 19th, 2010 11:49 pm ET

Sorry but have seen the first 3 Smith episodes and am not thrilled. Stories seem recycled and one dimensional. Matt seems like he is trying too hard to be so edgy and quirky. With the Dr and his companion being new the only ties to the old Dr Who show, so far, are the Daleks. New Dr, new companion; the Tardis is different inside and out, now even the daleks get a new paint job. Its like this show is trying to disassociate itself from all the prior Dr's. It's a shame.

Tara   April 20th, 2010 12:04 am ET

I was heartbroken to see David Tennant go, but I've seen one episode with Matt, and he's not bad. I was pretty upset to see Christopher Eccleston go, too, and I'm really glad I gave Tennant a shot. So I will definitely be watching Matt Smith to see how it goes.

I do miss Tennant, though. He was simple amazing!

Eliza   April 20th, 2010 7:44 pm ET

I've had (throught reruns and PBS) the chance to see every Doctor in action and have to say that Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy were my faves. I liked Tennant a lot, though, and just about cried when he changed out. From what little I've seen of Matt Smith, he has some acting skills but his looks are a little off. But that is the nature of the Doctor.

I also agree–bring back Lady Christine!

And, like another poster mentioned, I still have my Doctor's scarf from the Baker era. It is a reminder of many good times. 🙂

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