Whenever I talk about me and J just taking a day to relax and watch some Doctor Who, I sometimes get asked the question, “Is that an appropriate show for him?” In “An Adventure in Space and Time” (TV docudrama), we get a glimpse of how Doctor Who came into existence. There is a scene that where creator/developer Sydney Newman (Brian Cox) is talking with producer/developer Verity Lambert (Jessica Raine) about the show. He said something along the lines of wanting the show to be an educational program that would use time travel to teach children about important historical figures and about new scientific ideas. Yes the show has changed a little from it’s inception in 1963, but I think that at it’s core the ideal is still there. For me the answer to the question posed is yes. I think that Doctor Who can appropriate show for J. But is it appropriate for your children?
When I was doing research (googling) for this post, I came across the Tardis Data Core (a Doctor Who wiki). I read something at the bottom of the first page that said, “Doctor Who is a “family franchise”, which means there’s something in it for all ages. It does not mean that all content is appropriate for all ages.” I feel like I could have just posted this quote under the title and just ended there, but that wouldn’t have been any fun.
Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.
Pro: Doctor Who is a very fun, exciting, magical, family friendly show.
Con: The writers of the show have created some of the scariest creatures that you could think of (The Whisper Men and The Silents for example), they even turned WiFi into something to fear.
Pro: The Doctor rarely reacts with violence. Yes he sometimes wipes out entire civilizations (bad ones like the Daleks and a group of Sontarans), but it is always the last resort.
Pro: The Doctor’s friends/companions. The diversity of friends/companions that The Doctor has had is vast. The Doctor shows no judgement on anyone because of their sex, sexual orientation, skin color, or home planet. This is a message that I want J to really see from watching the show.
Pro: The inspiration that The Doctor gives. One of my favorite Doctor (Matt Smith) quotes went something like this, “… in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important…” Sometimes, even if it’s from a TV show, we all need to hear that everyone is important.
Pro/Con: campy VFX (video effects). This is more of a personal thing. I personally hated the VFX when I saw Doctor Who on PBS, but I have come to enjoy and love the VFX of the show.
Doctor Who in my opinion is a perfect show for families to watch together. I think that there are definitely some episodes that little ones should not watch, but I think that the show as a whole is a fantastic show for all ages. If you have young children (0-6 range), you might want to pre-screen the episodes to make sure that they aren’t too scary for them.
Are there other pros or cons that you would add to my list? Let me know by commenting here or on my Facebook page Nerdy at Home Dad.