Doctor Who 101: What to watch, read and play with

By Chris Troy

Every Christmas, a strange man with a funny accent comes to visit in an odd flying device. Granted his Christmas adventures usually don’t make it to US shore until 6 months after they air, BBC America has done a bang-up job of changing that, as this year’s special actually aired on US TV on Christmas Night. Great hustle BBC America. Of course by now, you’ve probably figured out I’m not talking about Santa Claus, but the Doctor himself (that’s right, his name isn’t Doctor Who, it’s just the title)! The long running British-sci-fi show has always been popular in it’s native company for some time now (some time being half a dozen decades or so), being a cult-favorite at best in the States. But thanks to actors like David Tennant and Matthew Smith, the good Doctor has been a hit for BBC America as well.  And as luck would have it, Forbidden Planet New York is the PREMIERE locale for Doctor Who merchandise in the tri-state area. Today we’re going to get into what’s worth looking at in the WHO-verse, just in case you were curious and didn’t know where to start.

DVDs!

The easiest place to find the Doctor is on DVD. The 5th season starts off current Doctor Matthew Smith’s run on the show (the 11th actor to play the role), and isn’t that bad of a place to get your start on the series, assuming you’re prepared to do some research. If you’re not and you have some cash to blow, then start with Season 1, featuring Christopher Eccleston as the 9th Doctor. Eccleston’s run was short, as he passed the role over to David Tennant and went on to play role in Heroes and GI Joe:Rise of Cobra. Yeah, maybe not the best career choice in the long run. Tennant played the role from season 2-4 obviously, as well as a bunch of made for TV Doctor Who movies. He’s probably the  most well known current Doctor (See, made sure not to upset the Tom Baker fans with my wording), and my personal favorite for reasons I won’t get into here. Anyway, aside from the 5 dvd box sets, there’s a bunch of episodes featuring adventures of older Doctors available as well on DVD if you want to give classic Who a shot. Feel free to check the website or the DVD section of FPNYC for more information!

Literature and comics!

I’ll be honest, I haven’t look into much of the Doctor Who novels, because I am terrible when it comes to reading books without pictures in them. However, comic books make up my very being, so I’ve checked those out. IDW is where you can get your comic Doctor fixed, and they’ve been doing an excellent job bringing out new and old Doctor Who comics! The ongoing, BBC approved Doctor Who series just switched over from the 10th to the 11th Doctor, and is a ton of fun. As for classic Who, British writers such as Grant Morrison and Alan Moore have spun tales of the Doctor in comics, and have been collected for your reading enjoyment. Just don’t go in there expecting “JLA” or “Watchmen”. In addition, FPNYC also stocks several Doctor Who magazines that usually only reach British newsstands, and they are definitely worth checking out between seasons to get your Who fix.

TOYS TOYS TOYS!

No American toy company has attempted to release any collectibles based on the hit show, but that’s okay. Character  Options have us covered. They’ve been putting out an insane amount of Doctor Who figures the last couple years, covering classic and modern Who. The sculpts and articulation isn’t exactly the best, but hey, it’s something.

And what you really want is your own Sonic Screwdriver, because well, it’s awesome. While these collectibles arent as handy as they are in the show, they can light up, make sounds, as serve as actual pens. That counts for something, aside from just looking cool right?

There you have it. A good primer for Doctor Who merch! Season 6 is just around the corner, so if you want to catch up, I suggest you come the store or check out the website ASAP!

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