A Modern Woman’s Guide to Classic Who: IntroductionDecember 26th, 2010 at 9:07
I’ve had a few female friends discover Doctor Who in recent years and express a sort-of interest in visiting or revisiting Classic Who. But… there’s so much! And while there are some great resources that review Classic Who (in recent years I’ve particularly enjoyed the Chronic Hysteresis, Copperbadge’s season-by-season LJ reviews, and the father-and-son podcast Hoo on Who which reviews the DVD releases in no particular order) most of them are immersed in fan perspective of the the huge, sprawling universe that is, well, Classic Who.
My intention with the series of posts to come is to provide an introduction to Classic Who for the almost-complete newbie, who knows nothing about the old show, might be a bit daunted by the sheer quantity of material, and generally prefer their TV to be modern, snappy and high-paced. I also wanted to focus on some of the more woman-friendly aspects of the old show, when and if they become available. While I love the Doctor, I was usually far more interested in the companions as characters and reading Chicks Dig Time Lords this year showed me that I wasn’t the only one.
I also think that the list of Classic Who stories that are most prized and beloved by fans aren’t necessarily the ones that will appeal to the new fans, either because of their length, their pacing, unexpected landmines of sexism or racism, or reliance on knowledge of the show’s history. Which is not to say that my recs are guaranteed winners, either, but I’m particularly going to try to find stories that might help fill the void during the sad New Who free months to come once the Christmas Special airs. (TEN HOURS TO GO for East Coast Australians)
(Note: this is one woman’s guide, intended to present a (not ‘the’) modern female perspective – I don’t claim to be comprehensive, nor to represent all of womanhood.)
There are several reasons for a New Who fan to want to check out the old series. If you honestly want to immerse yourself in the entire history because you’re desperately hooked and you want to understand what Three/Brigadier slash is all about, or write long epics about Captain Jack Harkness interacting with everyone the Doctor has ever met, then you’re better off with Copperbadge’s reviews of the seasons. I’m still boggled that there are people who decide that they need to watch Classic Who IN ORDER. That’s really not how it works!
My guide is intended to suggest recs for people who:
1. Are interested in the companions and their journeys, and would like to meet some of the kick-ass women (and dreamy young men) in the Doctor’s past, or understand some of the continuity references from the new show.
2. May have been casual viewers of Classic Who in the good old days, and want some points of reference to revisit the show.
3. Need some cheesy Dalek goodness.
THE FIRST DOCTOR YEARS: 1963-1966
THE SECOND DOCTOR YEARS: 1966-1969
THE THIRD DOCTOR YEARS: 1970-1974
THE FOURTH DOCTOR YEARS: 1975-1981
THE FIFTH DOCTOR YEARS (1982-1984)
THE SIXTH DOCTOR YEARS: 1984-86
THE SEVENTH DOCTOR YEARS: 1987-1989
: THE EIGHTH DOCTOR YEARS 1996-