I, perhaps somewhat foolishly, have decided to embark upon a science fiction adventure that I would imagine only a relative few have attempted before and even fewer have completed. I’m not sure that I will be able to complete it. Nonetheless, I plan to watch every episode of the BBC classic Dr. Who from creepy beginning (1963) right through the current incarnation (2009). Although it will no longer be 2009 when I finish, and there is no guarantee that the current incarnation will still be current. The show began on November 23, 1963 and ran continuously through 1989, for a total of 26 seasons, plus a few specials and TV movies here and there. Then it reappeared in the current decade, presumably as a continuation of the original series. I have no idea how many episodes this is, but it’s a lot.
Perhaps unique to my particular version of this undertaking is the fact that before starting on my journey I had never watched a single episode of Dr. Who. In fact, I was only vaguely aware of its existence. I’m not British, after all, and PBS was never my favorite channel. But a couple of years ago I became involved in an ill-fated Alternate Reality Game known as the Wyoming Incident. The game involved what was supposed to be a television signal hijacking. Research the hijacking of television signals, learned the only real one that ever occurred happened in Chicago in 1987 during an episode of Dr. Who. I then learned that Dr. Who was a corny, low budget British sci-fi show and dismissed it.
Then, while watching the BBC more recently, I saw an ad for the new version. Wondering if it was an update to the old series, I did some research and learned that it was a continuation of a series that began in the sixties. Intrigued by the show’s ability to remain popular and/or relevant for over 40 years, I decided I wanted to see what it was all about. I hit up Netflix and the Wikipedia and discovered this page and instantly became overwhelmed, especially by the missing serials. So, I thought I’d watch an old serial or two (the show is divided into 4-7 episode serial stories). And they were awesome. And, so, my quest began.
Because of some odd disc numbering choices for the first three serials, I watched “The Daleks” first, followed by “An Unearthly Child,” the actual opening serial. I was hooked and went in search of the others…some are available on DVD via Netflix, some will have to be downloaded from a torrent. Yes, you can download a single torrent including all 26 seasons. It’s 200 GB.
I have already watched most of Season 1, but was inspired by these guys to document my adventure. What separates me from them is I have never before seen any of these episodes, nor am I able to compare them to future Dr. Who. I will be experiencing and learning about the show’s mythology and quirks and delights as I go along. It should be quite entertaining, I hope others will join me.