Doctor Who's the highest rated show in BBC America's history, and the time-traveling alien is such an icon, people are calling for him to be Britain's new patron saint. But what's Doctor Who really about? How can you appreciate it?
Top image: The TARDIS by Disent on Deviant Art.
It may sound daunting when you hear that Doctor Who is closing in on its 50th anniversary in just a few years. It's a long, sprawling saga, with characters and creatures that turn up again and again. How can you possibly understand what's going on, without watching classic episodes like "Rider From Shang-Tu," "The Snows Of Terror," "The Day Of Armageddon" and "Horse Of Destruction"? (Those are all individual titles from the show's early episodes.)
The good news is, Doctor Who has a pretty simple format, and usually keeps all of the backstory under wraps. The other good news is, when the show was relaunched in 2005, it was a pretty clean break, so you can just start watching with the first episodes of "Series One," starring Christopher Eccleston. You can even start from scratch with the first episodes of "Series Five," starring Matt Smith.
Once you've watched the current series, if you want to start delving back into the "classic" series, which ran on BBC from 1963 through 1989, that's pretty easy too. Here's our complete guide to getting into classic Doctor Who for people who've been watching the new series.