“You will experience a tingling sensation and then death.” — the antibodies, “Let’s Kill Hitler,” Doctor Who, season 6

Dear readers, are you Whovians? I certainly hope so. I love indie speculative fiction to eensy weensy reanimated bits, but sometimes it’s worth talking about mainstream programming, especially the shows with awesome cult followings.

Besides, it’s Saturday.

The first episode of season 7 is premiering in the UK right about now. It’ll premiere in the US at 9pm tonight on BBC America. The twittersphere has been abuzz for days, including this Dalek takeover of the show’s official twitter.

As part of the promotion for the opener, the BBC has been pushing it’s #newtowho campaign, for which fans share the story of how they discovered the show, what made them fall in love with it and why, etc. So here’s mine:

A friend from college recommended Doctor Who. I didn’t start watching until after we graduated because, y’know, busy and also I didn’t yet have a Netflix account (oh the dark ages). I began with the reboot. Initially, I wasn’t all that impressed. If you remember, a lot of the early episodes are pretty campy, the budget was low, and I didn’t know squat about the original series so why should I care? (in general I also much prefer social science fiction and horror to the more traditional spec fic genres). I warmed up to the show a little bit after “The Unquiet Dead” (Zombies and Dickens? Yes, please!) and “Dalek” (Moral relativism!), but it was the first two-parter in the series “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances” that really won me over. The show managed to combine the horror and mythos of WWII (particularly the bombing of London) with time travel, alien technology gone awry, and science fiction’s favorite bisexual conman, Captain Jack Harkness. That’s when I fell in love with Doctor Who, most especially with the Ninth Doctor, who in my view is severely underrated.

Since then, the show’s gone through an incredible number of changes–in tone, style, budget, cast, creative direction, etc. I’ve been quite happy with the Moffat era thus far and I prefer his aesthetic to Davies, but of course we never would have gotten to season 7 without the people who took the series out of mothballs to begin with.

If you’re new to Who, I absolutely recommend the show (the entirety of it is on Netflix and iTunes, I believe, so get cracking!). I realize it’s overwhelming to start now, when the reboot has accumulated such a following and so much material (to say nothing of the 40+ yrs of series before that). Here are my highlights.

Favorite regeneration: Ninth (Yeah, yeah, Smith and Tennant are brilliant, but you never forget your first.)

Favorite companion: It’s a tie. Donna Noble and Rory Williams

Favorite episodes: “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances,” “The Girl in the Fireplace,” “Blink,” “The Unicorn and the Wasp,” “Midnight,” “Vincent and the Doctor,” “The Lodger,” “The Impossible Astronaut”/”Day of the Moon,” “The Doctor’s Wife,” “A Good Man Goes to War,” and “Night Terrors.”

Incidentally, many of those episodes have my favorite one-off characters, including Sally Sparrow, Craig,  Canton Delaware III, Idris*, Lady Vastra, Jenny, and Commander Strax.

Are you a Whovian? What are your highlights? Excited for the premiere?

*Okay, arguably not one-off at all, but that was the time they talked!


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