A Note On Doctor Who To A Friend...

Travelling from the north to the south of this olde country (makes it sound like Game of Thrones - and winter is definitely coming around here) with Frank LaNatra a few weeks back, I promised him I would send him a list of Doctor Who episodes that he should watch to get on track with it. Then I forgot until I noticed that yesterday that Mr Gaiman has posted his own 'good places to start' which in turn reminded me that I had forgotten - I kind of like the fact that he and I think more or less the same on this front. So - Frank - this is for you... I'll keep it down to six episodes so that you at least have a chance of making sense of it.

1. Human Nature/Family of Blood (it's a two parter)

My favourite episode of all time and also I think, the best written of them. What's great about it is that there's nothing to dislike about it - ever.

2. Blink

The infamous 'Doctor-light' episode but it's up here at the top simply because it's so well written and pared down to the bone. I miss Sally Sparrow...

3. The Girl In The Fireplace

Great aliens, nice time misplacement/displacement - there's even a horse in it. Everybody loves an episode of Doctor Who with a horse in it, right?

4. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (another two parter)

...because who knew that a shadow could be so cool - and it's our first introduction to River Song.

I also need to add The Impossible Astronaut and Day Of The Moon (also a two parter) because it has those suited up dudes in it which are the best new aliens in something like 30 years.

Damn - I'll stop there because that's eight and I promised six, (nine if you include the fact that I am going to casually mention The God Complex) but let's face it Frank, as I sit and write this, you have 17 days before the big 50th anniversary monster special we've all been waiting for in which to chew up seven seasons - you can do it man - but make sure you watch The Name of the Doctor as well before that or you might come a little unstuck.

This trailer will explain absolutely nothing at all for you but it's very cool and I like having it here:

It's worth noting that every single frame of this, every noise you hear and every word spoken is the entire 50 year history of the show in 60 seconds. My geek-out is now complete.

One day, I'd like to be able to add The House of Sipan to that list - but first I must finish writing it...

Footnote to Frank: I assume you can find this in the USA - the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood ran a five episode long series called Children of Earth a few years back, which in my humble opinion is the finest science fiction writing of all time. For me, it's practically flawless in its delivery.

That should keep you busy - not that you're sitting around looking out of the window right now...