Doctor Who Explained

doctor who is returning for its 11th

season this year with Jodie Whittaker

taking the lead as the eponymous doctor

as a fan of the show it's always

exciting when a new doctor enters the

TARDIS it gives the show a fresh new

slate to work from a renewed sense of

energy and a snazzy new outfit for the

doctor to wear but most importantly it

offers the perfect jumping on point for

any newcomers to the show each new

doctor offers a soft reboot of sorts

and that big reset is amplified this

time around with the introduction of a

new showrunner a new writing team new

music and new cast hell even a new logo

what I'm getting at is this is the

perfect entry point for anyone that's

been thinking about checking out that

weird British sci-fi show but might

being scared off by 55 years of dense

history law and well stuff like this so

for all of you thinking of jumping

onboard or for those fans that just want

to get excited about the new season

here's a primer on everything you need

to know about Doctor Who but before we

get into our Doctor Who 101 make sure to

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okay so doctor who is a British sci-fi

series that's tied airing on the BBC way

back in 1963 the show follows The

Adventures of the doctor a member of an

alien race known as the Time Lords more

on them later who for all intents and

purposes appears as a human he travels

around the universe in hazel now

technically her TARDIS a spaceship which

appears as a British police box why well

because police phone boxes were anywhere

and everywhere in Britain during the

swinging sixties and it needed to

disguise itself to blend in then it

broke and it's been stuck in that

disguise ever since right so notable

features the TARDIS well firstly it can

travel anywhere in space and time like

anywhere dawn of man end of the universe

round the corner bottom of the ocean

anywhere and secondly it's bigger on the


spear on the inside inside the mouth

it's bigger on the inside

is it unnoticed the main upshot of these

two key features is that an episode of

Doctor Who can take place anywhere and

at any point in time so for example in a

normal season of the show you can have

episodes jumping from medieval England

to the far-flung reaches of the universe

via well


in my opinion this is one of the show's

strongest selling points it's dizzying

sense of variety the show crosses genres

blends time periods and features plenty

of event of set pieces sometimes all at

once while that might sound scattershot

it places the characters and their story

arcs front and center keeping the

ongoing story grounded goodnight

along for the ride is usually an

assortment of companions who effectively

act as the audience is way into the

crazy adventures of the doctor these

characters typically humans are there to

act as foils for the madcap musings of

the doctor giving the audience a

relatable presence amid the hectic

action in some ways they act as the main

character of the show with each new

season typically starting afresh with

the story of the new companion and nine

times out of ten they instantly get

themselves into trouble lending the show

to main source of dramatic peril some

have lived some have died and some are

tragically sucked into alternate

dimensions right in front of our

misty-eyed faces yeah it's a bit of a

roulette travelling with the doctor the

trouble usually comes in the form of a

rogue's gallery of monsters chief among

them the iconic Daleks truth be told the

doctors adversaries define the show

nearly as much as the Central Time Lord

himself and over the years we've had

some cracking monsters there's the

aforementioned Daleks basically space

Nazis that look like salt and pepper

shakers the Cybermen a race of coldly

logical cyborgs the master essentially

an evil version of the doctor the

silence a sinister alien species that

you forget about as soon as you stop

looking at them and the creepy weeping

angels stone gargoyles that can only

move when you take your eyes off of them

but I'm getting ahead of myself let's

get back to the doctor and crucially who

is he or she and why have there been so

many I am the doctor I'm the doctor I'm

the doctor I'm the doctor

hello I'm the doctor so as you can

probably tell there have been a lot of

doctors 14 to be precise and they're all

different versions of the same character

the simplest way to explain it is like

this whenever a Time Lord dies he or she

can regenerate their body into a

completely new one effectively making

them immortal as part of this

regeneration the doctor can change his

appearance style personality sense of

humor and of course gender but most

importantly the doctor retains his

memory all the knowledge and experience

he's accrued over as many lifetimes

that's how the show gets around having

to reboot every time an actor wants to

vacate the TARDIS and while the doctor

essentially remains the same person it

also allows each actor to bring their

own style and personality to the role

basically all 14 doctors are the same

character keeping the show nicely in

continuity all the way back to 1963 okay

let's get into Doctor Who's notorious

continuity as it's definitely one of the

hardest things to get your head around

there are two distinct areas of Doctor

Who the classic era that ran from 1963

to 1989 and the revival area that's been

airing since 2005 the classic era covers

the 1st to 7th incarnations of the

doctor while the revival run covers

doctors 9 through to 13 and if you're

wondering the 8th doctor appeared in a

standalone TV movie that aired in 1996

and is largely best forgotten but the

upshot is that both eras exist in the

same continuity and it all runs

chronologically well as chronological is

you can get for a show about time travel

it's really not necessary to go back and

start watching the show from season 1

unless you have time to watch 840

episodes if so be my guest but if you

really want to go back and check out

previous seasons there are loads of

great starting points you could go and

start with Christopher Eccleston right

back at the beginning of the revival era

or you could skip ahead to when David

Tennant or Matt Smith was the doctor

there are plenty of options to explore

previous seasons of the show whether you

decide to start the latest season or

back and explore previous doctors you

should now have the essentials covered

while doctor who has a reputation for

bargain bin monsters endless corridor

running and British twee it's a show

that's full of heart spirit and a sense

of adventure and I cannot recommend it

enough especially for anyone who likes

sci-fi horror adventure comedy westerns

time travel action romance you get the

point it's great go check it out

and if you're keen for more Doctor Who

content definitely subscribe to GameSpot

universe as we'll be breaking down the

latest episodes of the new season

starting from Monday the 8th of October

and we'll be getting stuck into what you

can expect from the new season in a

future video but in the meantime if you

have any questions queries or thoughts

about Doctor Who chuck them in the

comments below or come and find me on

Twitter and I'll see you next time