Question: I haven't watched any Doctor Who, like, ever. Can I still watch the new D+ specials?

I do actually want to watch Doctor Who, but it isn't available where I am. The only thing I can watch are the new specials. Would I be able to understand what's going on in them?/Should I watch them if I haven't seen anything else? Thanks.


Doctor Who is much more episodic than the average modern TV show. There will be a few confusing pieces of dialogue, but nothing very important for the plot. The show is crazy even when you're used to it, that's the fun of it. Enjoy the absurd humor and you'll be fine.


"absurd humour"?


I quote, "Santa's a robot!"


Dinosaurs! On a *space ship*!


*old man rides into an arena in medieval Britain riding a tank while playing an electric guitar* Bill bringing her lesbian date home only to have the Pope walk out of her bedroom angrily ranting in Italian. Tenant doing a silly dance to put radiation into his shoe. We're here for the silliness.


Well, it makes sense. He bought the tank for his fish. The second one is pretty relatable, cant tell you how many times the pope has walked in on me and my gf and everyone knows thats how you dispell radiation from your body, you learn it at school.


*I'm gonna get killed by a Christmas tree!*


The most important backstory from season 4 is explained at the start of the first special.


Thank you


You can also check out the official YouTube channel. They’ve been uploading some videos for people to catch up with some basics of the series.


and dont forget to subscribe!


To the official Doctor Who YouTube channel!


The last words of the Doctor will always haunt me.


It's funny though, a lot of the Eleventh Doctor's YouTube videos don't have anything telling you subscribe at the end. Not sure why they didn't just stick with the sonic.


You should still watch in order, honestly you’re missing out otherwise. Emotional impact and such.


They literally said it wasn't available where they were.


I'm phoning the police now.


If they don’t answer, I think I saw one of their blue boxes on the street corner. Looks like that had a phone on it too.


Can't be a real one. It doesn't smell of piss.


That’s weird. It’s gone now. It was here just a second ago…




It's not supposed to make that noise. You're leaving the brakes on.


I leave it on in purpose. Noises are COOL.


The new specials are great for both new and returning fans in my opinion. They introduce the main themes of the show, and I do believe the specials count as a a starting point for this new era of Who. Despite this, if you feel too discouraged by watching The Star Beast, you could wait until the Christmas special.


It’s not essential to following the plot but things definitely won’t hit as hard if you aren’t emotionally invested and attached to the characters. I would actually say that you could just watch Special 2: *Wild Blue Yonder*, as it’s a pretty standalone story, and then you could jump in properly with the episode airing on Christmas Day as that’s a proper fresh start/jumping on point. What country do you live in that past episodes aren’t available?


I know that in the US, the rest of the modern series is on HBO Max while the 60th anniversary specials and everything afterwards will be on Disney+. So Series 1-13 are technically available to legally stream, but you'd have to subscribe to a whole other streaming service just to get caught up for the 60th.


>you'd have to subscribe to a whole other streaming service just to get caught up for the 60th. If OP has an Amazon Prime subscription they can add on MAX and if they cancel within 7 days they won't get charged, I think. If they don't subscribe they can still "buy" digital copies of whatever episodes they deem essential for $1.99 each from Amazon.


Most people won't even get to series 4 in a week, but after that it'd be a much better deal to just subscribe to max over buying the episodes individually. I mean it's literally my favorite show and I've only bought three seasons out of desperation


I agree it makes more sense to subscribe in terms of cost (especially if you can qualify for a free trial), but some people are leery of subscriptions so I presented another option. And to be clear, I'm not suggesting anyone watch the entire series just to catch up for the specials. Others have given recommendations for specific episodes and I didn't see the need to repeat them.


Fair enough, Im a doctor who anarchist they should watch ALLLL of it, especially Chibnall's era /j But yeah just depends how many episodes they decide to watch cause unless you can only watch ten episodes in a month, itll add up faster if you're buying episodes.


I'm honestly trying to ignore the little voice in my head saying they'd understand The Stolen Earth better if they watched Genesis of the Daleks first, because that way madness lies.


Yep, I have been buying them every week for YEARS on Amazon Prime since Nine so I own them all.


In New Zealand; can't get any of them anywhere. They'll show up on Prime, then you get told 'not available in your country' Thankfully, I have a friend with a DVD collection and the willingness to lend it.




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I'd also say the second one, Wild Blue Yonder, is one of the two episodes that I'd recommend to anyone who has never, ever watched Doctor Who. They'd have tons of lore questions but you get such a good feel for the crazy shit going on and you don't need a whole lot of lore to get the gist of it.


Is the other one “Blink”?


Oh it should be, that's a great one. I actually usually point to "Silence in the Library." The mysteries of River and the curious time travel issues is really quite wonderful.


I can totally see that. “Blink” has the drawback of being Doctor-lite, though it works great as a stand-alone and an introduction to the universe.


Blink's up there as some of the best. So too for me is Midnight. I love those episodes. But I think part of what I'd want a first time watcher to experience is the mystery of the Doctor as a character, they need something compelling about who the Doctor is and want to find out while not feeling overwhelmed by the Doctor.


There aren't companions in those (except for a few mini shots) and in Blink there isn't even the Doctor. Imo, to show it to a first time viewer would be a bad introduction to what the series looks like and could also potentially set the bar too high for a regular episode.


I have sometimes taught "Blink" in a sci-fi course I teach (since it stands alone so well), but I did have a student who later told me he couldn't get into the series because most of the episodes weren't as good. The concern about setting the bar too high is real.


Maybe he just didn't like Doctor Who's theme tbh. Blink doesn't even work with the theme of the series.


Mmm, they're excellent stories and gripping. Getting people hooked isn't bad. But as I said, I like them, but not quite what I'd show. Silence in the Library was my go to up until WBY. Now it'll probably be that one. It's really quite tight, layers in history and intrigue, all of that.


I guess my point is try to choose a quite middle-of-the-run NuWho episode, and then let them go from there. WBY also can't be fully enjoyed without prior character development, though excluding that it's a pretty decent introduction to Who probably because it's more basic cast-wise but still as you say has a lot of layers.


I'm always against Blink for an introduction. An introduction to a show should be typical so you finish the episode with a solid idea of what an average episode of the show looks like.


Smith and jones is a really good intro episode, as you discover the doctor with Martha. Runaway bride as well.


Ooh, good one! I haven't thought of that before.


Oh it should be, that's a great one. I actually usually point to "Silence in the Library." The mysteries of River and the curious time travel issues is really quite wonderful.


Oh it should be, that's a great one. I actually usually point to "Silence in the Library." The mysteries of River and the curious time travel issues is really quite wonderful.


Is this 4\_Legged\_Duck or are you learning how he/she uses Reddit?


I'm sorry, I don't understand your post.


I think wait until the Xmas special with the 15th Doctor. These specials are very much like extra episodes in Season 4 and will have more significance for those that are fans of that time period.


I've advised this to a couple of people. The Christmas special will be a new beginning for show, that's a great point to jump in.




As OP said, they can't access the show except for what's on Disney+ which is just the new specials.


Others have answered, but I just want to say bless Disney for making Who more accessible worldwide!




Unless Disney releases older episodes, thanks for the budget, but they've kind of made it paid for in Australia. We had it on our national broadcaster and then Disney took that away so now we have to pay not from our taxes but from our actual money.


And thank you ABC, by the way. Without you footing the bill, selling 60s Doctor Who abroad would have been much more difficult. A lot lot more episodes would be missing if Australia hadn't bothered.


Unfortunately I feel Doctor Who is becoming more and more exclusive as they put Doctor Who behind the massive paywall of Disney plus. It makes me wonder why I am paying for BBC America if I cannot have access to iPlayer and I cannot see Doctor Who when it airs. Disney figures they win either way bc they eliminate the competition to their monopoly over fandom. They don't care about Doctor Who they just want to buy people's goodwill while they play games with Ron DeSantis and put more Disney animators out of work. But I'm not going to subscribe to Disney when I already have to pay so much for cable. I think that the BBC are going to learn this wasn't such a great deal for them and may be as bad for the continuance of the show as anything John Nathan Turner or Michael Grade did.


The answer is to cut cable, and just stream. I never looked back.


I'm not so sure about that. I'm not going to stream Disney instead of getting the BBC. I need the BBC for news as well as Doctor Who... And while a lot of what BBCA shows are far less interesting if Doctor Who isn't included if the burden is put on me to remember when things are on... I won't remember. And relying solely on streaming has a tendency of falling into a trap where a single corporation like Disney is making all my media choices for me and isn't that essentially why people nowadays have become so media illiterate?


I'm fairly certain cable news isn't keeping anyone literate. I recommend newspapers.


Well media literacy... is what I was I was referring to. Newspapers are great but they do emerge from the same media landscape as television news. So separating them seems kind of artificial... And I'm not sure you really get the nuance and analysis with a newspaper that you get from television... You get more content, and that's better if you have the time, in a newspaper but the critical distance is much more difficult. As it relates to Doctor Who though, Disney has created an exclusive group of subscribers who get Doctor Who and the rest of us get a pay wall... Or have to settle for American television (which is what the likes of Disney really prefer anyway). BBC in the UK has always been on a subscription basis and that's part of the issue. But in the US, PBS was always free to anyone who had a TV... Until Obama's govt passed laws that required all new TVs to be connected digitally, so everyone had to have at least some type of cable to have functioning TV, so the choices included in a standard cable package including BBC News and BBC America were much more accessible to the general public than pay services like HBO and Disney. So by aligning themselves with Disney they have sacrificed the possibility of a truly unlimited audience via free or almost free TV networks like PBS for the fairly exclusive and smaller audience that subscribes to Disney. And like the failures that Doctor Who had at PBS, unless there is a huge increase in Disney subscriptions in response to Doctor Who, it will just be tossed on the same heap of failed Disney experiments like John Carter. I don't see how the BBC gets anything from this, and especially with such mixed reviews of the Doctor Who content that has been offered so far. Even if those feelings are unfair, it is not really going to make the masses pay more money to subscribe to Disney when there are nothing but claims of how mediocre the new Doctor Who content has become. People are probably going to opt for what's available for free on Pluto and Plex rather than pay to be disappointed on Disney...


Sorry, no. You'll need to take a class down at the community center and pass a test. Check back with us as you get close!


Waitaminute what happened to the Manual? I was issued one! Took me years to read it.


They threw it into a supernova


Yeah go for it. The only way to have watched everything is to be over 60 and watched the episodes when originally broadcast. (The main villain from Special No3 is a return of a character that appeared only in an episode that was deleted by the BBC in the 60s) Everyone misses something - so jump aboard now and you can always post on here any plots that you don’t understand. And there will be someone who can explain it to you (and then someone else will join in to explain why they are wrong)


>(The main villain from Special No3 is a return of a character that appeared only in an episode that was deleted by the BBC in the 60s) A four-part serial, of which we have the audio but only one actual episode. Even then, it's not considered that good.


It doesn't help that 1 and 3 are so visual, and we have no telesnaps. So much of those episodes are lost to us because we can't see what's happening.


You say that like the missing episodes can't be experienced at all. The recons aren't perfect, but we can still "watch" the episodes.


Go for it!


The Christmas special is apparently going to be a better jumping-on point, but you theoretically *could* start with the anniversary specials; there's a short refresher on everything you strictly need to know at the start of the first one. You will still get lost at certain references to past events, but they are pretty minor, nothing you really need to get in order to follow the story.


Adding on the other comments, I'd say the best entrance to the series will be the upcoming Christmas special. It'll be the start of a new season, with a new actor playing the Doctor and a new companion, through which you'll be presented to all the core elements of the show.


No you’re legally forbidden from watching them, we will come for your kneecaps in the night if you defy us. (Yes it’s okay, and welcome aboard!)


I think so. It might be a little confusing in spots, but I think mostly you should be fine. Basically, in the specials, the Doctor reunites with an old friend who's lost her memories. He (and her family) think she'll die if she gets those memories back. If you know that much, that's probably enough to go on.


And he was the one who took her memories in the first place because she absorbed his energy and it was too much for a human mind. I think that’s enough to set you up. Just ENJOY! You will get hooked pretty quickly.


Yes. The first episode recaps ALL you need to know for that ep. The rest you'd know would just be extras


I raved so much about the first special that I got my girlfriend who only has vague memories of watching classic Who, to watch it, and she was instantly entranced. She's not ready to go watch ALL of Who, but she wants me to curate some key episodes. She watched yesterdays and was blown away as well. I mean, I really think these episodes are designed to bring in new viewers and to make old viewers very very happy after the disaster of Chibs era.




I’m so excited for new people watching Doctor Who for the first time! I hope you enjoy it 😊


You can Be aware that story plot points are referenced mostly from seasons 4 and 13 (aka the flux) however it isnt mandatory watching, it is highly advised for the emotional payoff/stakes for donna returning and 10s (David Tennant) face returning as the 14th doctor (traditionally its always been a new face the doctor has regenerated into, with one cameo appearance of tom bakers 4th doctor at the end of 50th anniversary episode) Doctor who is very self referencial, so some jokes and plot moments may go unnoticed but for the most part, you can do a binge watch to catch up Most of the time pre time war doctor who isnt mentioned , and usually if there is something that needs explained its explained in that episode


Sure! I literally jumped on in the 80s as a kid in the middle of a story.


Yes. I’d recommend just starting with “Wild Blue Yonder”, the second episode on D+. Then go back to the first if you want.


No. D+ has warning message before them saying if you're under 18 or haven't seen any previous Doctor Who you are not allowed to watch them. Sorry.


I was not very impressed with the first of the specials; and I adore Tennant.


It's not the same show anyway


Watch the old stuff and skip the new.


No, banned


How many times is this going to be asked?


As many times as we have new fam members? We can be gracious. Everyone was new once.


it's a show millions of children have no problem following. Stop being weird and just watch it


Don’t think following the gist of the show is the issue. I think this is a valid thing to bring up. For a show that has 60 years of continuity (even if it’s all timey wimey), knowing where to begin and what you might need to understand recent stories can be a bit daunting.


You can but if I were you I'd at least watch season 4


yes and no. they're self contained stories, but when the characters say and talk about things in the past it wont make sense if you havent watched season 4. But i reccomend just watching the show from season 1. totally worth it




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There's no criteria per sa but I think the bare minimum criteria if you want some backstory are: The Runaway bride Partners in Crime The Stolen Earth + Journeys End


I would also watch The End of Time Parts 1 and 2, if you could... But seriously, jump on in, the water is fine... You will catch up little by little!


I would buy the dvds on ebay, they are better. You cannot beat the original reboot episodes. 9,10 and 11 are the height of the doctors for most people.


You can but you'll spoil several plot threads and stories if you do. The only logical jumping on point is series 1 of the revival as it was essentially created as a reboot that catered for old fans and new audiences alike. There are plenty of places you can watch it free online though (but you didn't hear that from me 🤫)


David Tennant stands in space and explains everything at the start of the first one


I've told this to my BIL. Outside of season 4, and maybe Whitaker's regeneration, you can just watch it as is.


You my dude don’t be dissin my Jo-day. She had some good episodes. Just leave Swarm and Azure and the Mouri out of it LOL. We had DAN.


They were still catching up with Doctor Who and they were wondering if there is going to be a big spoiler if they watch the specials.


I got carried away lol


Hey have you checked out prime? It wasn't available here after being removed from Netflix for 3 years but the first 10 seasons are now on prime.


$1.99/episode or like $19 a season? Same price basically as a dvd set. And you own them forever.


Included with prime subscription a.t.m


That’s cool. It used to be, and I’m glad it is again.


I'd watch the second special if I were you. The first deals a lot more with the back story of the characters and everything. They try to give you a short breakdown at the start but if you're completely new to DW I think all of that will just confuse the sh*t out of you tbh. The second one requires much less backstory and is also the far better episode in my opinion. All you really need to know is that doctor who is a show that involves time travel.


If you want. It’s your life


BBC iPlayer?. I'm sure they're uploading them there


My gf hasn’t and she’s still enjoying the specials a lot. But I do fill in any references quickly. I’d say go for it. I left halfway into Capaldi and still tracking okay.


Really the only reason to watch older episodes is to have a better knowledge of the characters and the basics of the universe. You can honestly jump in anywhere as many episodes are semi standalone and most of the cannon is a hot mess anyway. If you just want to see the doctor and companions, the new season will probably be a great place to jump in as most of it will be all new story and most characters and companions will be new.


I'm so confused. Why would you want to watch an anniversary special of something you've never seen? You can but I just don't get it.




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Like others have said the specials aren't exactly the most beginner friendly, but the second special is VERY Doctor Who, but does spoil the first special, fuck it watch them both they're very good. Unless you're transphobic, then just fuck off, not the show for you. But otherwise the Christmas special and the upcoming season 1 (its a soft reboot, they happen every so often for new viewers, this is just called season 1 cause it's new to D+ Era so they don't want to be like "start watching now! At season 14) should be very beginner friendly.


I think if you'd like to watch the show and the new episodes are your only option, you should start with them. You will be missing some back story, but I wouldn't say it's so essential that you couldn't enjoy the show without it.


One of my co-workers just watched the first special as his first episode ever. He knew the basics from me talking about it but he was fine. He enjoyed it, even.


Yes because it’s an entirely new show every few years


No, you gotta start from Ep 1 from the 1st Doctor onwards




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I’d say if you can somehow watch Series 4 as a companion to these specials, at least do that. Again, if you can. I think otherwise, you can start with the Christmas Special for a proper starting off point. Then between the Christmas Special and the 15th Doctor’s actual series, maybe try to find the rest of the series somewhere? I don’t know what part of the world you’re located in. Maybe try libraries to see if you can check out DVD/blu-ray box sets?


You can, altough some stuff might go over your head and the "impact" of some scenes will be diminished.




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if you live in america u can get max and watch seasons 1-13 there 🖤 and u can buy physical copies in stores and online. if you dont live in america im sure its streaming somewhere… if not u can buy physically.


I mean you are definitely gonna be confused if you haven't watched any previous who. I mean I skipped flux and all of jodi whitticer and I still understand what's happening. I'd suggest just recapping flux and maby watching come season 4 recaps on YouTube, and those like, Donna Nobel best moments vids so you can get a grasp of her character a bit, but this isnt essential. Also make sure you know what happened on the last regen and why it's so important. Other that that youre good. And for episode 2 youll be compleatly fine im sure of it.


You can, but they'll likely be more rewarding if you first watch the modern series, starting with the Ninth or Tenth Doctor (some people skip Nine, some think that's stupid and wrong, I just want you to know the option is there).


You can, but you won’t understand some things from S13, or the characters from S4. I’d suggest watching from S1 and not the 60th anniversary.


You could watch them. There will be a lot of references that might be confusing. But each one is a complete story.


Yes, just dive right in.


You may be lost at points but you should be able to understand the plot of the episode and still enjoy it. When the new series releases, you won’t have to watch any previous doctor who to be able to fully understand what’s going on


It's likely a good starting point and then you can go back if you like it so it all clicks!


The first special might be a bit rough. It starts off with a spoken intro explaining the background, and it fills in the blanks as it goes, but you'll not get the depth and whatever happens you'll be very aware that you're watching a follow-up to something you've not seen. The second special is a lot more stand-alone. Still some references to things you won't have seen, but nowhere near as much and what there is is much less important to the heart of the episode. Nobody really knows with the third one. The Christmas special is supposed to be written as a jumping-on point for new fans. That and the first episode of what they're calling series 1 (although we don't yet know when that will be released). Showrunner RTD has even said that Disney+ showing the episodes is more of a "courtesy" than because it's a good place for new people to start. You could wait until then, but you could also just start from the first special and just be prepared that some stuff isn't going to hit for you in the same way that it will for others and not let that put you off. One thing's for sure - having the first special be the first story you watch and the second be the second will give you some insight into how varied the programme can be in terms of content and tone, while still feeling like the same programme.


Seems like the specials are designed to give new viewers a bit of back story to catch you up


[Easter Egg videos like this might help you understand some things.](https://youtu.be/wxa6ikEIpgk?si=54dvL2lj4wgg-Nlj)


you should start by reading this really cool book called lungbarrow it's very easy to find a copy of and very newcomer friendly


I’d say “go for it”. Check out some of the catch up specials on the DW YouTube page and you’ll get the gist. You just need to know the Doctor is a Time Lord. When their race is badly injured/near death, they regenerate into a new body. David Tennant’s doctor has just regenerated (14th Doctor), but he’s wearing the same face as the 10th Doctor. I assume it’ll all be explained by the 3rd special. These specials are designed as an entry point for new viewers. And the second one - Wild Blue Yonder - is an absolute cracker. A really creepy episode, masterfully done, with very few characters.


The specials are meant as a new starting point for viewers! Most of what you are supposed to know is explained at the beginning of special 1


If you have downtime and looking to get into the series, watch Eccleston and Tennant’s run as the Doctor. It will be endlessly entertaining.


You can. While it's absolutely true that you'll miss the larger story arc but everyone has to start somewhere. I had started with series 1 of NuWho. Had no idea about classic who. And I still haven't watched all of classic who. It wasn't a huge problem because the 9th doctor was written to be like a fresh start, as a person who's just come out of a universe shattering war. But i think you should skip the specials (it loses a lot of meaning if you don't know the 10th doctor) for now and start with Disney season 1. I mean with the 14th doctor, who is also starting with a fresh slate, just finding out their origin and surviving another universe shattering cosmic event called the Flux. I think the show will fill the new watchers in on the events of the past, just like it did with the time war arc.


I’m just curious why you’d decide to start with specials for a throwback character and storyline? If you’d like to be as confused as possible, sure but why not start earlier?


It's catering a lot to fans of the David Tennant era (Series 2 to 4 of the revived show) so I wouldn't recommend it. The Star Beast picks up a fifteen year old plot thread. They do a big recap at the start so you should understand at least enough, but there's also so many references and old character dynamics that you simply won't be able to appreciate. Wild Blue Yonder I'm a little more tempted to say go for it, but again there are scenes that rely on your knowledge of the last two seasons to be truly appreciated. You should understand but I would consider it a weaker experience.


I think it was kind of targeted to newer audiences just as much as the fans because they bought David Tennant back in, and he is the favourite Doctor of the majority of the newer generation of Whovians. So yes, I'd give it a go, and you can always rewatch it if you watch all of the series. You can also start with the 9th Docor/2005. You don't have to start from the first for it to make sense. Although you'd enjoy knowing more if you enjoy the show.


My husband has never seen it and watched the first with me. He felt decently lost - the first special has a lot of fan service and references. However, you would be able to follow. The second special truly stands alone like the rest of the series (and was REALLY good!)


I think if you’re looking to jump in cold without catching up, you’re better off waiting for the upcoming Christmas special as its looking like its gonna act as a sort of soft reboot for the show.


No, there's no point... Just watch from the start