Parents' Guide to

Doctor Who

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Long-running British sci-fi series still thrills fans.

Doctor Who Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 100 parent reviews

age 11+

Great show, at least until season 11

This show has quite a bit of variance between episodes, both in how scary/not scary it is and from award-winning to utter garbage. This is a brilliant show, but it is still hit or miss, and the recent seasons (11-13) are honestly just plain bad. It is a brilliant show, however, and I would really recommend watching it.
2 people found this helpful.
age 15+

Heartwarming, Horrorific, Honorable, Hilarious.

Traveling with the Doctor will change you. I'm always conflicted recommending this show to young adults. Its a lot of fun and has unforgettable moments. Some moments are heartwarming, some are true nightmare fuel. Parents be prepared to discuss: Mortality, Trauma, Ethics, and How-awesome-that-was! Doctor Who is a whimsical romp through the depths of space, time, and the human psyche. Imagine exploring the weirdness and moral challenges of Star Trek, but with Willy Wonka instead of the enterprise crew (the Gene Wilder version of course). The main characters are usually running for their lives while side characters die or lose their agency in new and peculiar ways. They can travel through time, but they don't get to redo unfortunate moments or avoid consequences. It has moments of compassion, humility, and maturity triumphing in a world where primal fears become manifest, alien armies attempt to annihilate or subjugate other planets (often our planet), and when it quiets down, it might be too quiet, there might be something in that dark corner... not just the corner on the screen, the one in your house, behind the couch you are watching from... When my teens asked if they could start Doctor Who i explained that it sticks with you, it can touch your heart and it may get in your head. There were some unsettling moments i wish i could unsee, and that's the price of admission to a whole lot of fun. It's a choice that I think young adults should make.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (100 ):
Kids say (479 ):

Some incarnation of this long-running show has been a presence on and off the small screen since the early 1960s, resulting in a diverse viewer base. Each character regeneration has paved the way for a new and unique version of the good Doctor, and although longtime fans are sure to hold to their favorites in the role, the variety gives the show a certain freshness that enables its longevity. Although many of the plots hint at complicated concepts -- particularly relative to the mind-boggling inter-dimensional capabilities of the TARDIS (that's Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, if you must know) -- the basic concept remains unchanged: An unflappable adventurer goes where he's needed to prevent a rotating cast of interplanetary villains from pursuing their evil agendas.

As sort of an anti-action-hero, the Doctor uses charm and quick thinking to disarm foes rather than guns or fists. Among other likable traits, this gives the character strong appeal and broadens the show's potential fan base. There's still a fair amount of violence and plenty of tense moments, but they're offset by a real joviality that all ages will enjoy. The interactions between the Doctor and his Companions are fun (even if the ladies often fade into the woodwork when the accolades are handed out), and the colorful cast of alien forms always promise some surprises. Though Doctor Who's low budget can show in its CG effects at times, the entertaining stories and iconic protagonist have inspired a longstanding cult following for good reason.

TV Details

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