On February 1st 2016, Doctor Who expired from Netflix streaming so I thought this would be a good area of discussion for Daddy Daughter Days. While last week was about finding out if my daughters would find a common interest in comic books with me, this week is really about discovering a common interest together. This is the story of how my daughters and I began our journey with the Doctor.
By the time we became interested in tuning in to Doctor Who, the show featured Matt Smith’s eleventh incarnation of the popular British character. Up to that point, I had occasionally heard of the show through various geek podcasts and seeing art online and at conventions, but I had never managed to find the time to actually sit and watch the show or catch up. The final push I needed came from working various toy and comic book shows. It was at these shows where I noticed a few things. One, my customer base was older guys. My biggest repeat customer may also have been a bit touched in the head to be honest. Sometimes he would actually be talking crazily and people would walk on by my table. The second and most important thing I noticed was that while the young kids liked the various collectibles I was selling, their parents were not there to shop for their kids.
This second realization showed me that the customers I had not been reaching were the teenagers who had their own money and would stop by my table looking for any and all things related to the Doctor. I had nothing. I knew nothing. I had to do something and fast. It was time to jump in and since many of the people who had been asking me for this merchandise were girls, I decided to see if my daughter would join me for the ride.
Rather than watching halfway through the Eleventh Doctor’s run, we decided to start at the beginning of the revival series. That in and of itself was a great move because I love Christopher Eccleston. We’re talking real man love here. It also had the effect of being an easy access point to this show that had years and years of backstory. Hey kids, kinda like comics. My daughter also had the chance to really fall in love with the Rose Tyler character and by the end of season 1 all three of us were left feeling that this show was “Fantastic!” as the good Doctor might say.
While we had binge-watched the first season over the course of a few weeks, we took our time with David Tennant’s wonderful run as the Tenth Doctor and finally began to finish that up amidst our move from north NJ to Texas. And my girls loved it. It was refreshing to be able to suggest watching an episode of this show for the kids as well and especially useful when Daddy had enough of one of their other shows. I mean, I’m sure Strawberry Shortcake is a nice kid and all, but after a few episodes of everything being “berry this” or “berry that,” it made me want to hit my head against the wall berry hard.
The three of us worked our way through the series, enjoying this new version of the Doctor, loving the various companions and strange creatures, like those lovable Daleks, from each episode. Since Tennant’s run was a lot longer, my kids really took to this Doctor so it was a shock to their system when the inevitable finally happened. Good old regeneration. It happened so quickly with Eccleston, my daughters hadn’t really questioned it. I had known about that going in while my daughters had not. I began to wonder if they would lose interest in watching the adventures of a different Doctor than the one they had grown accustomed to.
It turns out that they would be fine with it. When we started back up with the Eleventh Doctor’s adventures, they really got into it again. The success can really be attributed to Amy Pond. She was the first companion since Rose that my kids really took to and the stories were really good. Rory and Amy really shined in these episodes especially the beautiful love story involving the Last Centurion. If you haven’t watched these episodes, you should go do that now. If you have seen them, you know what I’m talking about, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to watch them again.
By the time, I have written this, we are caught up through eight seasons of the revival and it has been a fun and entertaining ride. My daughters both want light-up sonic screwdrivers and how could I possibly say no to that. We also had the joy on numerous occasion of seeing our family friend, who grew up on Doctor Who in England, do the best Dalek impression. We’re talking a spot on “Exterminate” while swiveling her head from side to side. Other than some scare provided by Weeping Angels, my daughters love everything about this show. Honestly though, my oldest daughter is afraid of Weeping Angels and our little one isn’t afraid to bring them up when her older sister annoys her.
The show is no longer on Netflix as of the 1st, but I’ve read around that the show may come back if the BBC and Netflix work out a new contract. There’re three people here who are hoping they do. We’re waiting patiently for a chance to see season 9. Come on, BBC and Netflix! My daughters and I are not quite ready to get off the Tardis.