Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’

Ok, we certainly need to talk about this, right?

It’s happening after Firefly. (Well, first we have to have a stupendous liveblog of Serenity, so after that. Which…holy shit, that is so soon.) I have been saying it on Twitter and Tumblr in bits and pieces, but you deserve a full announcement AND I need some help from all you TARDIS-loving fans.

Here is how Mark Watches Doctor Who is going to go down:

  • For the sake of availability, I am starting with the NINTH DOCTOR, which is the beginning of the revival of the series. I AM 100% AWARE THAT THERE ARE 8,000 YEARS OF THE SHOW BEFORE THIS.
  • Because I am interested in past seasons and because I am also hoping some of the newer fans can watch older episodes, WE WILL BE WATCHING/REVIEWING OLDER EPISODES OF THE SHOW.
  • I have not yet figured out the process, but I would like to watch one “older” episode per week, chosen by the community via a voting/nomination process.

That’s where you guys come in. This site is WordPress-based. I am interested in any sort of plugins that can handle voting, nomination, or polling. RECOMMEND AWAY. What do you think will work best?

Expanding on that, what’s the most efficient way for us to “nominate” episodes? Should I just have a free-for-all post where people suggest the name of the episode I should watch, and then I create a poll for the top 10 or something? I’m worried about the masses overwhelming me and other suggesters as well, especially if there’s a particularly amazing episode that not many people have seen.)

Anyway, there’s that. This is really happening and VERY VERY VERY SOON. I imagine we’ll do the liveblog for Serenity next weekend and I’ll start Doctor Who right after that! OH MY GOD THAT IS SO SOON.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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395 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Doctor Who’

  1. redheadedgirl says:


  2. Silverilly says:

    I have no suggestions but I AM SO GODDAMN FUCKING EXCITED ABOUT THIS DEVELOPMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. kaybee42 says:

    Maybe you could take suggestions per doctor/series (depending on how long they lasted)so you could get one or two of the best episodes each? a different poll/post for every season then take one (or two for double parters or special cases) to watch? but that would mean 26 (?) + extra episodes…

  4. kernelm says:

    A suggestion for a future Mark Watches… Avatar: the Last Airbender! The movie (*spit*) is godawful but the show is awesome.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      That is 100% happening after Doctor Who. Then after that is Battlestar Galactica.

      • echinodermata says:

        You're such an enabler.

      • thiamalonee says:

        I saw BSG and got giddy. Oh we want Shit to get THAT real? Awesome. But also, Veronica Mars needs to happen.

      • Openattheclose says:

        I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW, but I hope you will someday do Buffy, because it is amazing.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          I do want to do Buffy, but not right after one Whedon project. We'll see. It's definitely on the list, but I don't know when.

      • lyvanna says:

        OMG YAY to BSG!!! You watching this and Buffy (eventually, no pressure… though you should watch Angel too… and Mark Watches Dollhouse would be interesting…) makes me so happy. πŸ˜‰

        (Also, let me second Mad Men…)

      • simply_shipping says:

        YES! I'm am 1 million percent OVER THE TOP EXCITED about you watching A:tLA. And snarking at the movie because IT IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE AND MAKES ME GAG.

      • nanceoir says:

        Oh, really? Awesome. It'll be my first Mark Verbs that I haven't experienced before (well, I haven't read The Hunger Games, but I don't have much interest in it at the moment). Avatar: The Last Airbender is something I put on my Netflix queue a while ago and just haven't gotten around to yet, so that will be the perfect opportunity to do so.

        So… thanks for that?

        In the meantime… *does the Doctor Who and BSG dance*

      • Ian says:

        You truly have no idea how happy this makes me! Don't subject yourself to the movie, though…

        • Stephalopolis says:

          I say A:tLA Liveblog so we can all snark on it together :DPlus, no one will have problems with it already being rented at the video store/library. Unless they chose to not stock the movie πŸ˜›

          • simply_shipping says:

            Plus, no one will have problems with it already being rented at the video store/library.

            This is one movie that I personally have no qualms about downloading. Normally I feel kind of guilty when I do, even if the thing hasn't been released in my area, but with The Last Airbender? Fuck it, I'm not giving them any more money than the one movie theater ticket.

      • Jenny_M says:

        My God, how do you know EXACTLY WHAT WILL MAKE ME HAPPY ALL THE TIME?

      • tethysdust says:

        Oh man, there is so much to look forward to!

  5. buyn says:


  6. Kaci says:


    As for old episodes, from what little I've delved into Old School, they're not so much "episodes" as they are a serires of episodes. For example, my favorite OS "episode" is Genesis of the Daleks, but it's like…several episodes long. It's an arc. They called them "stories" back then, I think. So that's something to keep in mind when you start this wonderful, glorious, epic adventure.


  7. Syd K. says:

    See, this excites me because A) I LOVE DOCTOR WHO, and yet B) I have been absolutely horrible at actually keeping up with the revival series. So I am coming in damn near as blind as you are and oh man this will be so much FUN I AM SO EXCITED FFFFFFF

    <img src=>

    I know nothing on the topic of poll-y plugins. YET. TIME TO RESEARCH.

    • Treasure Cat says:

      That gif is beautiful omg

      • Syd K. says:

        I am still so insanely impressed that he pulled off the whole Make 'Em Laugh number when he did SNL. I DO LOVE THAT BOY. (AND SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. SO IT WAS A BIG LOVE-IN IS WHAT I AM SAYING.)

        • nanceoir says:

          Wait, what is this about a live "Make 'Em Laugh" number? I think I have to see this.

          Also, yay, Singin' in the Rain! I love that movie so hard. COSMO BROWN FOREVER!

          • Syd K. says:

            When Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted SNL… what was this, last year? I forget. But, when he hosted it, he did Make 'Em Laugh for his opening monologue.

            It is not the most polished thing in the world, but it is an INSANELY DIFFICULT NUMBER and he did it LIVE, complete with the walljumps. Bad. ASS.

            I tried to find a YouTube link for you but I failed. Try NBC's website? :X

    • Openattheclose says:

      OMG I love this gif

  8. Lisbry says:



  9. Treasure Cat says:

    I dont have an awful lot of interest in the older series tbh, my mum (who has been watching since the very first Doctor) says the old ones aren't nearly as good. Because of that I wouldnt feel right voting for anything, but thats cool Ill just tune in for the new ones.

    • Elliott Mason says:

      the thing about the old ones, on the whole (with notable, horrific exceptions) is that they're not so much bad as — by our modern standpoints — exceedingly slowly paced.

      They just shot TV differently back then, at least the BBC did; the amount of plot and character that would easily fit into a 1-hour modern Who ep took usually four or five episodes to happen. This makes rewatching nowadays kind of tedious, I'm afraid.

      Then there's the "OH HAI THURR, ZERO EFFECTS BUDGET" hilarity and outcomes. Their costumes and sets are often good (because they carefully went only to eras the BBC already had umpty-squillion sets and costumes for: World War II, Victorian, Roman, etc), but monsters and makeup effects, well. Most one-off YouTube videos nowadays are better.

      On the plus side, it almost never took itself seriously in a po-faced way; it reveled in its own silliness, sometimes.

      There's a moment in the first New Who ep that reassured me that New Who wasn't going to throw out all the old camp with the bathwater, but I won't get specific, because, well, spoiler. I'll comment then. :->

  10. Mitchell says:


  11. azurefalls says:


  12. whatsername says:

    Dude! This is so fucking exciting! From Firefly to Doctor Who, IMO the best sci-fi from this last decade! WHOOO!

    I haven't watched any of the older episodes nor do I know anything about WordPress so I can't be helpful but I am excited at least! πŸ˜€

  13. NB2000 says:

    I haven't seen anything earlier than the TV movie (though I have access to the earlier stuff and plan to watch at some point…eventually) so I can't really make any suggestions about what to watch but I'm also VERY EXCITED for you to start this. [/end of unhelpful comment]

  14. Hokuto says:


    <img src=""&gt;

    For the older episodes – def. a free-for-all post and then vote on the top ten/twenty whatever.

  15. Sha-chan says:

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGG YES DOCTOR WHO!!!!!!!!! /zero coherency

  16. kaleidoscoptics says:

    oh man i am so excite
    <img src=>

  17. Beci says:

    I am so excited that I accidently closed my browser in excitement….

  18. kayla says:

    OK totally not commenting on the topic at hand (not a tech person or an Old Who fan sadly. Though OMG So Excite for all of this!) But the thought just occurred to me I can (potentially depending on when it takes place) participate in this liveblog! Yaaaay! *flails arms*

  19. Minish says:


  20. Ida says:

    A) This is going to be awesome
    B) I think you should watch all episodes in order.
    C) Failing that, see season one, two, three – skip four – and see five πŸ™‚

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      Oh dear, Mark is jumping into a series with a history of fan wanks that are older than most of the posters here. He survived HP; DW shouldn't be too much of an ordeal. Right?

      Mark, you may not be prepared.

      (btw: Series four was my favorite. πŸ™ )

      • SiobhanC says:

        Indeed, Mark really is an innocent to DW fandom, HP will have prepared him but DW despite being a smaller fandom can be equal in fanwank, I have found. Still love the show to bits though.

      • Megan says:

        Series four is my second favorite with series two being my favorite.

    • Openattheclose says:

      Four was my favorite.

    • Diane says:

      I'd skip the excerable Season 2, if I had to pick one from New Who. Season 4 had Donna! Donna who was wonderful and [redacted]!

    • allonsyten says:

      But midnight!! he has to watch midnight and turn left!!!

      • Openattheclose says:

        Turn Left is so wonderful. In general, I like episodes in sci-fi/fantasy that deal with that scenario, and Who did it really well.

  21. Ida says:

    Or perhaps you meant recommend older episodes.

    … sorry my brain. I blame exam times.

  22. Katie says:

    Yeah!!! God I'm so excited for this. You're gonna love it Mark.

  23. Bas says:

    Hooray! I've been meaning to rewatch the newer Doctor Who, and I can't think of a better way than to watch them along with you! Oh, yes, very excited!

    • porcupine8 says:

      Same here! Drs 9 and 10 are both on Netflix streaming, and they're in my queue, I just haven't gotten around to it. Great excuse!

      (Although I am still hoping for BSG sometime!!)

  24. Megan says:

    I knew 0.000001% about it until like, September.

    Then I watched it.

    Then I bought t-shirts and toys and all the seasons on DVD and the specials on Blu-Ray and am buying them for my friends and bought t-shirts for my friends and I even have a keychain.

    Aaaaagh excited!

    • sertcake says:

      Haha, this is so me. I discovered Eleven this summer, and the wonderfulness of Netflix means that I have seen ALMOST every NewWho episode made since 2005 now. SO much excitement

    • pica_scribit says:

      Yeah, I became an insane Doctor Who fan pretty much overnight, too, after years of resisting people telling me I should watch it. It really is one of the best shows ever on TV. Longest running Sci-fi series of all time, and it predates Star Trek! How much more awesome could it be?

    • jonni13 says:

      this is a totally mature and rational response!

    • pbrim says:

      Is it totally wrong of me that one of my criteria in househunting is a back yard with a place to build a replica Tardis for a garden shed?

      But as much as I love the newer Doctors, the Fourth Doctor holds a special place in my heart. He was my first, and you never forget your first Doctor.

    • Peter Rabid says:

      Me too! I had considered watching it before, but a quick check of wikipedia about the logevity of the show intimidated me for a long time. Then, my parents subscribed to BBC America, I caught one of their daily episodes, and I fell in love. I started in August, but I've already seen every New Who episode and a fair few Classic stories. All I want for Christmas is Doctor Who merch!

    • jennywildcat says:

      This is me except I started in June – now I have t-shirts, audiobooks, DVDs and I MADE a keychain. It's just so fun that so many people know next to nothing about DW, but then they watch a few episodes and become huge fans in less than a month (I've now got my little cousins hooked. MWA-HA-HA!)

      Doctor Who=Worse than crack.

  25. diane says:

    I'm a new Doctor Who watcher, currently working through the new series. I'm interested in some older episodes, but (as previously mentioned) older episodes are themselves part of longer series. So my suggestion is to watch older eps after working through the modern Who.

    Also, "Torchwood" is a spinoff of Doctor Who, and characters do cross over between the series. (Like you need more complications.) Torchwood complements Doctor Who very well, with darker subject matter and more adult themes.

    If you want to combine Who and Torchwood, I would suggest watching them in the order they were aired, roughly DW1, DW2, Torch1, DW3, Torch2, DW4, Torch3 (Children of Earth), DW David Tennant specials. DW5.

    • Hanah says:


      It may be aimed at kids but it is AMAZING, if you can get past some of the slightly crappy humour/occassional horrifically hammy acting.

      • Openattheclose says:

        Yes! At the very least, he has to watch the SJA episodes that feature Doctor Who characters.

      • grlgoddess says:

        I know there are many who believe that SJA is better than Torchwood. And I might be one of them. There's a far less wanky fandom (sub-fandom?), that's for sure.

    • Emily says:

      I never could bring myself to like Torchwood. I tried, but I always felt like it was trying way too hard to be edgy. Like it was EMBARRASSINGLY SELF-CONCIOUS about being edgy. (OMG, LOOK AT US, THANKS TO OUR 9PM TIMESLOT WE ARE SO DAMN EDGY).

      If you think too long about any episode from the first season, absolutely none of it made any sense.

      • Megan says:

        WTH was the second episode? Seriously? I was like. Uh. Okay. I get that you're mature. UM. I GET THAT YOU'RE MATURE. Please stop shoving it in my face, thanks.

      • Hypatia_ says:

        They got better in the second season. Still not that great mind you, but there were some good moments. And then we had Children of Earth, which was just goddamn creepy.

        But I totally agree with you about a lot of it. They were trying too hard.

  26. Syd K. says:

    I found a poll widget but I have no idea how decent it is. STILL. Here is a link to the wp-polls widget, just in case it is what you need. <3

  27. moxobee says:

    EXCITE! You will love Dr Who, and the rabid fanbase that comes with it.

    The only suggestion I can make regarding selecting older series is that you should see what you can get ahold of first. I believe that a company called 2 Entertain puts out DVDs of the classic Who series.

    Good luck, can't wait to follow along!

  28. Randomcheeses says:

    Woohoo! I was hoping you'd review this series!

  29. cdnstar says:

    I have no input, but this is super-exciting! Like I needed a reason to rewatch any of the Doctor Who episodes … but I'll take this one πŸ˜‰

    *has already seen all 9/10/11 Doctor episodes AT LEAST 3 or 4 times.

  30. F.A.R. says:

    This is stunning.

    I want to stress what some other folks are saying, which is that the old Who is definitely in units of serials (often two or three episodes, I think), not in units of episodes. This will be a tricky thing in terms of research, since you'll risk exposure to spoilers whenever you check up on serials' details to see how many episodes a story contains (unless you get a dedicated aide to look up recommended serials and warn you how long each is [I recommend this]).

  31. autumnsflame says:

    You made me squee like the giant girl that I am. So excited that I get to relive the Doctor's adventures now. πŸ˜€

  32. takashid says:

    what so what is the doctor who series like? there is an old and a "revival"? like mark, i know nothing about this series, someone please tell me what to look for when mark starts this series so i can keep up.

    • echinodermata says:

      Yeah, the show started in the sixties, ran through the late eighties, then there was a movie sequel in the nineties, then a revival of the show (but not a remake) in 2005 and continuing. Mark's reference to the Ninth doctor is a reference to the start of the 2005 revival.

      I started with the 2005 revival and haven't seen the old stuff, but the revival is totally watchable on its own. I did read some backstory about the show, but that's just 'cause I love backstory and don't mind spoilers too much.

      Also, there's a bunch of books, probably some radio shows, a new animated series, and two current spin-off tv shows. Perhaps there's some other mediums as well (comics? I dunno).

      In other words, there's a helluva lot of canon, and probably fan wars about what's canon and what's not.

      • Megan says:

        The audiobooks with DT are amazingly good. Not so much with MS in my opinion, but. I own all the DT audiobooks.

  33. F.A.R. says:

    Oh, and DO NOT WATCH TORCHWOOD! The writing is crap, it can't stand up under the weight of the heavy concepts it tries to engage. …But there are some very hot queer kisses you should watch on youtube. You'll love John Barrowman, I know this already.

    • Treasure Cat says:

      You know Torchwood is written by Russel T Davies? I think his writing for TW is just as good as DW, if not better in places. Personally I love both TW and DW equally, and although I think Mark should make DW his priority, he would greatly enjoy TW as well.

    • Hanah says:

      Meh, personally I really like Torchwood. Some of it is a bit terrible, especially in the first series, but it's funny and sweet and the cast are awesome. Mark might as well try it out, it being part of the same universe and all.

    • kaybee42 says:

      The first series was a bit 'oooh look how adult and cool and ADULT we are' (see the first episode!) but second series was BRILL and CoE was genuinely a work of art, imo. Have you seen CoE?
      (also I never noticed that Children of Earth has the same initialisation as Church of England…)

      • kaleidoscoptics says:

        This. First season of TW was bearable, but generally even more cheesetastic than DW because of the "Oh look we are adults and can do SEX things" scenes. The show really came into its own in season 2. CoE was incredible.

        • Megan says:

          OMG yes, the sex thing part. That bothered me so much.

          I just don't think DW needs to be THAT much more mature. Not to mention, I feel like TW was no longer an adventure like DW is, and… I just didn't enjoy it at all.

          Although I do love the guest star in the second season a TON, but not because of TW but because of the other vaguely famous show that he was in with that same accent. πŸ˜‰

  34. Nessa says:


    It's really sort of mockable in the beginning of Nine's series. BUT IT GETS SO GOOD WHEN TEN TAKES OVER.

    • echinodermata says:

      I think from Moffat's writing for Nine and on it's pretty good. But yeah, the first couple of Nine episodes aren't great.

    • Emily says:

      In my opinion, the best of Nine was better than the best of Ten, but the best of Ten occurred more frequently.

      (Unfortunately, the worst of Ten is in my opinion worse than the worst of Nine, but I won't say what I think the worst is, because of the fan-wank.)

    • Hypatia_ says:

      Hey, don't try to take away my love for Nine! Ten is amazing, but I will l <3333 Nine forever.

  35. SpiritWolf1201 says:

    I don't usually comment on things just cuz. I like my creeping to be anonymous, I guess, but Doctor Who, man. I looooooooooooove Doctor Who. I didn't start watching it until earlier this year, but I fell in love right away. I have plenty of gifs and macros and photos to share, but I dunno if they can go into comments. I'll figure it out, I guess.

    Also, glad you're watching Firefly. Nathan Fillion is amazing. <3

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      that is so beautiful, nessa.


      • Nessa says:


        By my neck of the woods do you mean close to Pittsburgh?!

  36. echinodermata says:

    Well, David Tennant making funny faces is like 20% of what the show is about, right there.

    But seriously, I AM SO EXCITED OMG DW!

    I haven't watched any of the pre-2005 stuff, but from fannish osmosis I know I want to see Romana. I'm pretty sure that's…the fourth doctor?

    • Thennary Nak says:

      Yep, Romana is the 4th Doctor. Her first story is the Key of Time which is high on my recommendation list as Romana is one of my favorite characters.

  37. elusivebreath says:

    O.M.G. Mark, since I found your blog you just keep finding new ways to bring happiness into my life. I'm tearing up a little bit RIGHT NOW.

  38. Pingback: Tweets that mention Mark Watches Γ’β‚¬ΛœDoctor WhoÒ€ℒ | Mark Watches --

  39. Kat says:

    I am so excited to watch you enjoy Doctor Who! Following along with Firefly has been awesome- I am a longtime fan- and it's fantastic to see it from a newbie's perspective again.

    I also have to put in my vote for Torchwood; it's a fabulous Doctor Who spinoff, and watching them all in order of airdate is a nice bit of continuity. You could watch all of Doctor Who and then jump into all of Torchwood without much confusion, though. Some DW fans are rabidly anti-TW, but as long as you aren't expecting a Welsh DW, TW is a very good series. (The first series is a little back and forth, but they tighten up the writing and storytelling as it goes.)

    Anyway, enjoy! It's going to be awesome.

  40. Emily says:

    9 is still my favorite Doctor, because he was my first! I am so excite!

    (People talk about their "first Doctor" like they talk about their first loves. It's kind of neat.)

  41. Openattheclose says:


  42. Emily says:

    You know, most of the early episodes were multiple-part, with one story line spanning 7 or 8 episodes. Should we limit it to story-arcs that are 3 episodes long or shorter?

  43. trash_addict says:

    Excellent gif. David Tennant's glorious elastic face. I am so excited about this development. I fell tragically behind in Firefly because of a recent all-consuming addiction I developed to Misfits…but woo-hoo, I don't have to do catch-ups with Doctor Who if I don't feel like it (who am I kidding?). I've seen the new seasons – particularly Nine's – so many times.

  44. Doctor Who! Fantastic! I haven't delved too much into the old series, but io9 has a suggestion for how to go about it. I didn't heed it, and have been randomly watching whichever stories are available on netflix instant play with whatever doctor I feel like atm, but it might be something to look into? They include summaries of the suggested old episodes- if you feel those might count as spoilers, maybe gloss over them- but I can't find any spoilers for NuWho in the post. (No promises for the comments on it.) Here's the link:

  45. Tasneemo says:

    David Tennant is the most beautiful man ever <3 I cried when he left doctor-hood πŸ™ Saddest christmas ever!

  46. Tracy says:

    I've been enjoying your Firefly reviews (so few episodes left! *cry*) and have very little familiarity with Dr. Who, so I might watch along. Would be great if the episodes you select to watch are available on the web through Netflix or Hulu or something!

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      The full eps aren't on Hulu, probably because it's a British series. No idea about netflix.

    • buyn says:

      All of the new show is on netflix, and most of it is available streaming.

      • Megan says:

        I do have to caution you though, as someone who has watched all of the streaming Netflix new Doctor Who eps that there is a lot of inconsistency in aspect ratio. I will make this statement here: all of the episodes of Doctor Who are in widescreen. Only about a third of the ones on Netflix are in widescreen, and I don't know why.

        The only episode of the new series that's not streaming (aside from series 5) is the Christmas special on series 3.

  47. Kaderie says:


    One thing though… I don't think it's really feasible to watch one old episode every week. The old episodes are very different from the new ones in format – they're only 20 minutes each, and one continuous story takes between 4 and 12 episodes (very, VERY rarely will they have a "breather" consisting of 2 episodes)

    So I think it would be better/more coherent/less confusing to review the seasons whole (that's 13 episodes each, plus a Christmas special starting with season 2) and to watch one old story (4-12 episodes) between seasons.

    No thoughts on how to determine which episodes to watch, but just thought I'd throw this out there πŸ™‚


  48. Mary Sue says:


    (Oh, sweetie. The fanboys are going to be EPIC in the comments of this, especially the ones who are all, “NEW SERIES SUCKS OLD SERIES 4-EVA!”)

    (Yes, I’m an old school fangirl, but I like the new stuff, too.)


    This video explains Doctor Who very well. No spoilers that you’ll understand, because, dude, forty years of context.

    • buyn says:

      I love that video.

    • kaybee42 says:

      My face was like :O:O:O:O:O:O
      Also "the show is all about the conquest of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism" (paraphrasing that cause I can't remember) is a brilliant way to sum DW up πŸ˜€ although I would change romance for love/friendship πŸ™‚
      I remember Rufus Hound talking about his TARDIS tattoo on Argumental and it made me tear up but I can't find it on youtube anywhere!

    • Openattheclose says:

      I am so glad someone posted that video!

      "It's all about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism."

    • SiobhanC says:

      LOL, Doctor Who fanboys are always amusing. πŸ˜€

    • echinodermata says:

      Whoops, reposting this comment since I replied to the wrong person originally.

      Well, it IS spoilery, especially in some of the lyrics. Assuming one can figure out what's being said, of course (sorry Mr. Ferguson, you have a fairly thick accent, and it's only worse in song form).

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      How have I never seen that before. It's hilarious.

      • Openattheclose says:

        They weren't allowed to air it because of the BBC copyright. Craig was pretty annoyed because it was a lot of work to do, so at the end of the show, he told anyone that had footage of it to leak it to youtube. It was awesome.

    • Karen says:

      I will be one of the ones who is going "NEW NEW SERIES SUCKS. NEW SERIES 4 EVA!". hahaha. I stan RTD hard core and I have ~issues~ with Moffat. I mean I still enjoyed series 5, but yeah… I miss RTD.

      • Openattheclose says:

        I have issues with both, but I have to agree. RTD did HUGE EPIC FINALES like nobody else though.

        • Karen says:

          I just appreciate RTD's characters more. I think he does a much better job in exploring his characters and giving them realistic arcs. Moffat is more about the flashy plots and snappy dialogue which gets old for me after a while (especially after he recycles the same plot devices). So I enjoy Moffat's writing, but I don't have the same emotional investment that I had when RTD was running the show. Also, Moffat is kind of a raging douchebag with a pinch of sexist ass thrown in for good measure which kind of affects my opinion of his work.

          • echinodermata says:

            Yeah, I've learned that I'm likely only going to get disappointed by reading/hearing what showrunners have to say about the show/characters. It's like, do they even get their own show? How can Moffat say such stupid stuff in interviews but give such incredible female characters? It boggles me.

            Still, I prefer Moffat's writing to RTD's – I was only really impressed with him for Midnight.

            • Karen says:

              I actually think Moffat's female characters are (with few exceptions) incredibly problematic. I don't want to say more for fear of spoilers, but I will probably be ~letting my opinions be heard~ when Mark gets to Moffat penned episodes.

              RTD however has wonderfully unique and complex female characters who are so different from each other. Each of the three companions he wrote have their own different arc that really lets the viewer get to know her, and they're all strong in their own unique way. (lol Also Rose Tyler is pretty much one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.)

              I think that RTD's actual writing is a bit… meh sometimes because I just am not drawn to the crash bang finales that he often wrote, but by and large I enjoy a lot of his work. (Waters of Mars which is one of my FAVORITE THINGS TO EVER HAPPEN TO DOCTOR WHO was co-written by him and Children of Earth which he wrote almost all of is pretty much the only worthwhile thing to come out of Torchwood.). But in spite of the fact that I'm not in love with his actual writing all the time, I adored him a showrunner.

              • echinodermata says:

                And I found RTD's use of his female characters problematic. Let's just say, if you're a Rose fan, you probably already have some idea why some people don't like her too much (OMG SO MUCH WANK IN THE DW FANDOM) – without getting spoilery, I guess it's the dynamic between 10 and Rose, and 10 and Martha that I don't like so much.

                But I do agree he was a pretty good show-runner – I thought the fourth season (Donna) was fantastic.

                Haha, I wish we could have this conversation without having to avoid spoilers.

    • Megan says:

      This is the second time I've clicked on a link that claims to explain Doctor Who and that video shows up. Buaha. I love that video and I love Craig Ferguson for making that. I'll just go ahead and watch for the 50th time.

  49. Casye says:

    De-lurking to say that THIS IS THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER. I started reading with Mark Reads Harry Potter, and then Hunger Games and Firefly, but OMG, Doctor Who is yet ANOTHER of my obsessions! Can’t wait!

  50. eris21 says:

    I finally got an account so I can post!!!!!! I am sooo excite that you are doing Doctor Who!!!!

  51. Gaz says:

    Just to warn you Mark, Old Skool Doctor Who stories were broadcast in serials, not standalone eps. So a single Old Who adventure was generally about 4 or 5 episodes (I think the old eps were 20 mins apiece). Some are shorter, like 2nd Doctor classic The Chase, but some are even longer. You may want to vet serials for length.

    I gotta admit, I think having commenters suggest/vote for what you watch might be untenable. Pulling a top ten list from one of the big fan sites could be a more expediant solution.

    Also, one final note; if you do get hit with a major spoiler, don’t despair, you’re just faithfully replicating the experience of watching Doctor Who these days – the BBC for some reason LOVES to publicize massive spoilers, even on their news website.

    Actually final note; sorry for tl;dr.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      THANKS! Many have pointed it out and I will watch full serials as well. πŸ™‚

      • Gaz says:

        Yeah, for some reason the eleventy-billion comments to that effect only showed up for me after I posted my own! And then the site wouldn’t let me write anything else for fear I was a spammer. πŸ™

  52. lauranachronism says:

    this news has brightened my day like you wouldn't believe.
    mark you are the king of all the awesome things.

  53. Karen says:

    Yay!!! I am so excited that you're doing Doctor Who. I love it so very much.

    But I'm also a bit scared because I have some Very Strong (and occasionally Unpopular) Opinions about it. haha.

    Good call starting with Nine. You really don't need to have watched any Classic Who in order to understand the new episodes. Also, I'm excited about maybe watching some episodes of the old series that I haven't seen before!

  54. SiobhanC says:

    If watching any DW spinoff it should be the Sarah Jane Advenutes, imo, not Torchwood. πŸ˜‰

  55. Mauve_Avenger says:

    Don't have any comments on Doctor Who itself (haven't watched, but have been spoiled), but…

    I was thinking you could do a sort of free-for-all post (or multiple FFA posts, one per Doctor perhaps) where the fans here tell you their favorite episode and then use the comment rating system you already have in place to uprate or downrate suggestions. Though you'd have to make sure everyone knows to 1) post only one suggestion at a time and 2) read comments before posting so they don't duplicate answers. I've seen quite a few polls done on YouTube this way, and it seems to work alright.

    Of course, that's also assuming people are comfortable with using the rating system that way, given that it seemingly gets factored into the Intense Debate score on people's accounts somehow.

    As far as polling plugins go, the only ones I remember seeing in other people's blogs are WP-Polls and PollDaddy, so I'm guessing they're the most common and probably the easiest to use.

  56. sophpoph says:

    I don't get back from our holiday until a few days before christmas.
    Internet cafe seems the way to go hahaha, or I could just wait…
    I'm so excited for Christmas because I'm getting Doctor Who merch wooooo

  57. Elenatintil says:

    Doctor Who! Seriously??? I thought nothing could be more exciting than Firefly, but this is certainly it! So happy!

  58. carma_bee says:

    Mark! Doctor Who is my favourite show EVER! So I am super super excited for you to get started on this! For the older episodes, it might be a good idea to take suggestions for episodes just for a certain Doctor. There would be fewer episodes to suggest for the first two Doctors because they got destroyed, but there are still some for those. But yeah, I think a suggestion post for each Doctor is good because you'd be going kind of in order of when they were on tv.

  59. grlgoddess says:

    Yay!! I love Doctor Who!

    The classic series, from what I've can tell so far, are 20-some minute episodes and each serial is at least 2 episodes, and up to 12ish. I think the 3rd Doctor's stories were usually around 6 episodes, 4's are mostly 4 episodes long (which I think is the best length), with the occasional 2 or 6 episode ones. I think that 4 episode stories continued to be the standard for most of the rest of the run.

    As for spin-offs, Sarah Jane Adventures, while being more for kids, is the more consistently good show, while Torchwood is Doctor Who for 'grown-ups', and the first series is almost a completely different show than the third. K-9 and Company was a spin-off that never got past the pilot, but is pretty good and lulzy.

  60. Talen says:

    Oh my giddy Aunt, yeeeees!

  61. Agata says:

    WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. This is some awesome news right here.

  62. randomisjen says:

    If I can get my friend Chris over here, she is an old school Who encyclopedia of information. Her recs are always right on.

  63. Hotaru-hime says:

    Tomb of the Cybermen, which is in the 2nd Doctor's era, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, from the First Doctor's era, An Unearthly Child, which is the first episode, and Genesis of the Daleks, which is in the Fourth Doctor's era.
    I'm sure other people have recommended some of these and hopefully more!

  64. Tilja says:

    I'm also fairly new to the show, I only started watching like a year ago. With that, you know more than I did when I started watching it, let me tell you.

    Now my important question about the old DW is this: do you consider '1 chapter' = '1 story arc'? I've learned in my year around DW fandom that each story arc is composed of 3 or 4 half hour chapters and that it should be considered as only One Story, which means each of the so called "chapters" would actually be like 2 hours long when put together. I hope you knew that before asking about chapters and that now you can consider that amount of watching all together per week. If that's what you had in mind, then I'll have to try and gather as many 'chapters' as possible from the old series. I only have about a hundred so far, no more. I'm sorely lacking in knowledge myself.

  65. embers says:

    I have to admit that I've only seen a few random episodes from the earlier Doctor Who(s). Enough to recognize Sarah Jane Smith, but not really enough to identify which Who is Who. Certainly not enough to make recommendations. But I did watch all of the Doctors 9, 10 and 11, and I am very excited to hear your take on them all!

  66. Andrea says:

    So my jaw like literally dropped when I saw this. I'm SUPER EXCITED! I love Doctor Who!!! Yayyyy this made my day πŸ˜€

  67. hassibah says:

    Oh man I jumped the gun and started watching it last week, entirely because of this vid (note, if you think that having the premise of the show explained is a spoiler then it's a spoiler, otherwise watch away!) I didn't realise we'd be starting so soon!

    As for me, I am just old enough to remember pre-reboot doctor who and honestly I didn't really do much to make me want to get into it. If someone wasn't to rec what they think are one or two of the best seasons I'd be willing to give em a shot.

  68. Angie says:

    You're going to watch Torchwood too, right? Come on, it's one of the 0.0001% of TV shows that has major GLBT characters! Portrayed in a positive way! πŸ˜€


  69. quellenight says:

    I AM SO BEYOND EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!! Doctor Who is amazing. Your life is about to be changed forever.

  70. Thennary Nak says:

    About a week ago I began my usually rewatch of (nu)Doctor Who and I could not help but wish that you would watch this series for this blog. Especially as I came into Doctor Who in 2005 and knew almost nothing about the earlier seasons myself. It was an amazing experience being so fresh in taking everything in and I began watching the old DW stories between season breaks since then.

    I do wonder what you'll do for the spin offs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. I usually watch them by airdate order as I watch DW for my rewatches and I recommend that if you do decide to watch the spin-offs to do so as well.

  71. Kitzo says:

    Ha. Haha. HA! Ha…. (<-I'm kinda sick and loopy right now)
    Mark, you just made my WEEK. And it is the week before FINALS. πŸ˜€ Hahahahaha!!! SQUEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BEST. THING. EVER. TO. EXIST. EVER. PERIOD…… EVER. Okay, I'm done now. ^_^

  72. vaporeon13204 says:

    OMG, YAY! You have NO idea how excited I am about this! <3

    And to the rest of you, NO ONE SPOIL MARK! >O

  73. Ashley says:

    THE DOCTOR THE DOCTOR THE DOCTOR THE DOCTOR!!!!!!!! You totally just made my day, Mark!

  74. acciochapstick says:


  75. sertcake says:

    Your obsessions are my obsessions. And since we share them, I will advise you that Firefly IS awesome so you should try to watch when you can.

    • SiobhanC says:

      For sure I will, I have always planned too, my brother (who first introduced me to HP many years ago) is a big fan, he also loves Doctor Who so has similar tastes to me so I might just see if he has the DVD's, otherwise I'll have to wait until I have spare money.

  76. Dani says:

    I am, of course, SUPER EXCITE that you're watching Doctor Who <3, but please know that it's a show of extremes. The bad episodes are awful, the good eps are amazing, and the beautiful eps are heartbreaking. If one story leaves a bad taste in your mouth, the next will be ambrosia πŸ™‚

    • Hypatia_ says:

      That, and the mood can swing wildly between "Funniest and/or campiest thing EVER", "OMFG THAT IS SO CREEPY I WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN" and "My heart just shattered into several thousand pieces and I'm going to go somewhere alone and weep silently for a couple hours now". Sometimes all in the same episode.

  77. ladylarla says:

    Only thing I have to say to this is Mark I love you ! My world is possibly complete now.

  78. Laura says:

    I am 99% sure I just had a heart attack of EXCITEMENT. First Harry Potter. Now Firefly. Now Doctor Who. Mark, your world is just getting better and better you have no idea. You are going to love it.

    As for the old episodes – as people have said, the old ones run in stories, which are typically made up of four to six thirty-minute episodes, all with cliffhangers to the next part, forming one complete story. They're a bit longer. And a whole lot harder to find, especially once you get past the more popular ones. One a week might be a lot. Just sayin.

    Not that i want to knock down the project. I am so excited. Soon you will meet Nine! And Ten! And Eleven! And the world will be amazing.

  79. carnilia says:


  80. allonsyten says:

    SO EFFING EXCITED ABOUT THIS YOU DON”T EVEN KNOW! I’m so glad you get to share in the magic that is Doctor Who Mark. πŸ™‚ You are one of my favorite people on the internet, not only for your wit and your writing style, but because you are a feminst and seem like such a cool person. πŸ™‚ You’re going to love DW and I”m going to enjoy rewatching it with you (because I have to rewatch it now~) and reading your blogs !

    • allonsyten says:

      And I just read you don't identify as a feminist and think most people what identify as feminists are transphobic. Sorry about that. I hope I didn't offend you. :/

  81. pica_scribit says:

    Good Lord! How did I not see this post earlier today?! I am a huge Doctor Who fan, but since I'm American, I have only really come to it in its new incarnation.

    As I am sure other people have mentioned, many of the old Doctor Who episodes (mostly first and second Doctor) were purged from the BBC archives and no longer exist. This is a tragedy and a travesty and all kinds of terribly things. However, the very first gew episodes do still exist, and it was a lot of fun for me to go back at watch them after becoming familiar with the new show, just to see where it all began. Definitely worth a look.

    Besides that, I recommend at some point getting your hands on the horrible Doctor Who movie they made in the 90's, which is the only screen version of the eighth Doctor (though he did a lot of audio episodes). The movie is pretty awful, but Paul McGann as the Doctor is sort of marvelous. The movie is not really available in the US, and I had to buy a pirated copy online.

  82. Suspicious Cookie says:


    I literally just..screamed. A real life squee, if you think about it.

    I hope my neighbours don't think I've been horribly injured or whatever.


  83. Alex says:

    I am exited! I've been meaning to watch dr. who for forever and now i can watch it for the first time and then read your review! This excites me because I love your blog but get frustrated with you having the perspective of a first time reader/watcher and I've got all these fully formed opinions based on the whole of cannon and repeated views that it… gah! here i run out of words.


  84. jonni13 says:

    That is the smartest plan ever! The old ones make sense to me because I grew up on them (the green death one gave me nightmares, and a few of the kind you have when awake) but are an acquired taste. I tried to show them to the kids but they just gave me "THE LOOK".
    They make the original Star Trek look well produced and "to the point".


  85. blackrose says:

    Just a note for those of you wondering where to watch DW, seasons 1-4 of the new Who (and all of the specials for those seasons) are available for instant watch on Netflix. And all of the Torchwood seasons are available there as well. So, if you have Netflix, you're all set.

  86. blackrose says:

    "Another Doctor Who thing worth seeing that is hard to get in this country (except on YouTube) is the 1999 Comic Relief special starring Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) as the Doctor."

    Funniest thing ever! Wonderful parody. And speaking of Rowan Atkinson, you should totally watch "Black Adder." Love that show!

    • pica_scribit says:

      EVERYONE should watch Blackadder. Seriously, how many period sitcoms have there ever been in the history of television? And this one is so damn awesome! And! And! It's got Hugh Laurie! And Stephen Fry! And Miranda Richardson! And Robbie Coltrane! And Tony Robinson! And just about everyone else!

  87. tethysdust says:

    I'm really sorry if this has already been suggested, but I've got to run out the door in a sec. The comments here have up/down votes, so if people cooperate, you could use a comment section. Instead of 1 thousand people submitting a name of an episode, you could tell them to upvote if it's already present, and only add a comment if its not yet present (and tell people not to comment anything except for an episode name).

    Then all you'd have to do is sort by rating and you've got your top 10 right in a row. As for the poll, I don't know. I usually use doodle, but I don't know if it can be embedded.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      It was suggested and I'll make a post next week when i finish Firefly to explain how voting will work.

  88. niamheryoumind says:


    I grew up watching Doctor Who.

    Horror Of Fang Rock.
    The Mind Robber.

  89. niamheryoumind says:

    OH, OH OH OH!

    There are free animated episodes on the BBC website. Eight, Richard E Grant and Six. They are the equal of any of the live action episodes.

    There is no such thing as canon in a show with so much time travel. πŸ˜€

  90. azurefalls says:

    Mark- maybe you could do a poll to decide on a Doctor to watch, then single it down to a specific episode within their seasons?

  91. Remus5 says:

    I have to say i'm a little surprised that you decided to review Dr Who because it's an ongoing show with two ongoing spin offs. Will you try to watch them all before the start of season 6?

  92. Inseriousity says:

    How exciting. I love this show but it’ll be good to see you review it as it’s got a mixture of good/bad episodes. Mostly good though πŸ™‚

  93. Plummy says:

    I'm excited for this! I've actually only seen one episode, but I really enjoyed it–I just haven't known where to start with this behemoth of a series! It will be good to have a 'guiding hand' into Doctor Who.

  94. Fiona says:

    If you do Doctor Who after S2(new series), you must then watch Torchwood, because that ties in with everything, then after S3 of Doctor Who you should watch Sarah Jane Adventures because it merges together at end of S4.

  95. Stephalopolis says:

    Once again, Mark Watches is gonna introduce me to another show I never got around to watching.Question for all you folks out there- Is Dr. Who on Hulu or Netflix, or am I gonna have to go search around town/friend's houses to find them?

    • samarkand says:

      Seasons 1-4 are on Netflix streaming, but season 5 you'll have to actually get the DVDs mailed.

    • Fiona says:

      Most new doctor who episodes are on youtube, just go to wikipedia, find the episode name and then search youtube for the episode e.g. Doctor Who Boom Town part 1.

  96. Cyna says:

    Oh my god, Mark, you're hitting every one of my nerd buttons, I think I may love you. Have fun with Doctor Who, it's AMAZING.

  97. Hannah says:

    Mark, I have been reading your blog(s) since Twilight, and I have never commented nor signed up for an account, but I HAVE to let you know how excited I am for you to join the Doctor and his companions! Maybe it's because I just finished watching all of the revival series, but I am so fraking excited for you to watch! You are not prepared. Wheee!

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