So I;m thinking about starting to watch Dr. Who, but I don't really wanna go all the way back to 1963's season 1. Where should I start watching, is there a season I absolutely have to begin with?
If you aren't interested in the old series (I haven't watched a scrap of them, personally), picking up with the first season of the reboot is as good a starting place as any. It takes a little while to find its footing (first handful of episodes are pretty rough, tonally), but I think it's worth it to watch everything in chronological episode order.
As someone who has never seen an episode of Dr. Who but know people who do, the usual response is start at the reboot with Christopher Eccleston. I'm told the David Tennant Dr. Who is most people's favorite, though, but I'm probably talking out of my ass.
Although I think it would be pretty rad if someone binged every single Dr. Who episode from 50 years ago.
i have seen most of the "re-booted" series.....i would say start with the beginning of a season and watch till the end of the season (and maybe the x-mas special), then move onto another season. i have spent most of the time bouncing from season to another and i enjoy it. for example if i have seen ahead in the series, seeing how the forthcoming story line is set up is amazing, and if it fills in some "back story" it also is great. i recommend start with the re-booted series (just can't seem to enjoy the old version) pick a season and enjoy, repeat as necessary.
Start with the first season of the new series with Chris Eccleston. You do have to be patient though, the production values in the first few seasons were subpar, but give it a chance at least till you watch "the empty child", after that chapter you can decide if continue watching or not.
I started with Matt Smith's first season and then watched the rest, it works like that too i believe, however, some things happen in Matt's last season that tie to the very begining so is better if you do it cronologically.
we shouldn't be calling the new series a reboot, its more of a revival, every season since William Hartnell is canon and the 12th doctor has lived the life of every other doctor preceding him.
One more thing, if you stay with it and get sucked in like many of us, after season 5 or 6 please watch "An adventure in space and time" a movie about the first season of doctor who and how it came to be.
Start at the first season of the reboot, the Eccleston episodes are OK and it's a short stretch before he gets replaced the the great David Tennant. Most of the greatest and most iconic episodes are in the 5 season stretch before Matt Smith came along and IMHO the backstory is kinda important if you want to appreciate Dr. Who to it's fullest.
Start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start. When you read you begin with ABC. When you watch Dr.Who you begin with episode 1 series 1 1963.
Quite a few letters are missing from that alphabet though. Even if you did go back to the very first episode there are a lot of missing episodes from the early series. Not to mention the older series are very dated. If you already have an appreciation for Doctor Who there is a novelty to them, but I doubt many people jumping into the series for the first time would get much out of them.
@fredddi43: Definitely start with the Eccleston revival. You could also start at Series 5 if you wish as that started a sort of brand new arc with brand new characters. I started at series 5 and then went back to the beginning of the revival. Either works but if you have the time, start with Eccleston.
If you love it and are a crazy person, you can watch from the very beginning.
The Christopher Eccleston (9th Doctor) season is the best place. It doesn't get good for a few episodes but episode 9/10 are an amazing two-parter which you could honestly just try out standalone if you know the basic concept of Dr Who. Even as a big fan of Dr Who, I used to get up at 6am on a Sunday to watch the repeats of the old serials with my Dad then go back to bed, I would suggest watching a couple episodes of the 9th Doctor (unless he in particular appeals to you) then go on to the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) which is a much more consistent show since they have had time to perfect and practice it. So I would suggest you watch:
Ep. 1 - Rose
Ep. 6 - Dalek
Ep.9+10 - The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (The best episode in the Series)
Ep.12+13 - Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways (The Series finale)
Series 1 Christmas Special (Introduces David Tennant).
Then go onto the Tenth Doctor and just watch the episodes in order. If you get really into it then go back to the first season of the revived series which is enjoyable.
When you start to really get into Dr.Who I would still not suggest just watching from the very, very beginning since its a different show and would instead suggest you start with the best episodes and when you find an older Doctor you really like just watch their run through. There is almost no continuity in the show early on so its not really a problem. I would suggest starting with Tom Baker and specifically City of Death or Genesis of the Daleks.
@max_cherry: I don't know. I mean as someone who is a fan of Doctor Who it makes sense to watch the old episodes but thats because I already know I enjoy the show and want to go back and see the first time the Doctor encounters the Daleks or Cybermen. But as @zeik points out one of the main draws of the older episodes is exactly that element of novelty rather than the quality of the show in comparison to what a modern day viewer might be looking for. There's also a shit ton old episodes and nearly a 100 of them are not available so that's a pretty daunting thing to try and overcome. If they find themselves enjoying Doctor Who then I would recommend that they start watching from beginning but I don't see a problem with "starting" with series 1 (2005).
I think the best option for getting into Doctor Who is to start with the revived series and the Ninth Doctor and stick with it. Doctor Who is the kind of show that I think it takes a while to get a good appreciation of. When I first started watching it was more about watching bizarre English TV then actually enjoying the show. Now I can't wait to see how Peter Capaldi does as the Twelfth. Part of me (most of me) really hopes that it just turns out Malcom Tucker was the Doctor all along. John Smith style or something.