All member reviews for Doctor Who

Common Sense Media says

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

Users say

(out of 435 reviews)
age 9+
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Parent of a 12 year old Written byTheOncomingStorm March 28, 2011

Good for tweens

As a Christian mother, I see Doctor Who as a complex, rich allegory without the vulgarity of other modern TV shows. Of course, some of the monsters are a bit scary for small children, but for tweens. No problem. Despite it being a sci-fi show, it is the only show I know of that shows consequences to every action and still contains superb role models. Definitely a favorite in our family.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byobnoxiousm September 6, 2010

Depth, Nuanced Themes, Bowties, and A Lot of Innuendo

Doctor Who has been around for almost my mother's entire life--and I'm an adult. That should tell you something. Since 1963 the values and appropriateness of the show has varied alot. I'll tell you that the earlier stuff is more appropriate than now for most part, and keep my commentary mostly to the new series. Doctor Who started as a family program and it still tries to be that. The story of an ancient, lonely alien who travels through time and space helping people who need it. He has trouble without someone to bounce his ideas off, and he's lonely, so he almost always has a companion, almost always a brilliant or brave young woman. If you have a teenager you needn't worry about Doctor Who. There are the odd racy comment, and a fair amount of violence, but it's nothing your teenager hasn't heard on the school bus, and is often much more elegantly phrased and genuinely funny on the show anyway. My concerns for younger, tween viewers are a few. The biggest iis its mild sexual comments. It's almost all a handful of jokes here and there, but they are subtle jokes that kids might accidentally repeat without a little clarification--and do you really want to explain the other definition of those words? They still aren't that bad, but let me tell you, being the naive kid to repeat that stuff without knowing it is not fun. The violence can be fairly intense, but is usually contained enough. Remember, this is prime time programming in the U.K. The Doctor generally avoids all but the most temporary, emergency violence, preferring to talk, scheme, or sabotage his way out of trouble. His companions do not alwayts agree and there are traditional military battles in later seasons. Creatures are occasionally killed, sometimes violently and callously, and the series features at least one suicide, on-scene but off-screen. Also, expect a lot of mild swearing. Nothing too crazy, but if you don't want your kid spouting the midlest but most religious of four letter words, talk to them before watching. On the bright side, the show features great role models like the Doctor (courageous and resourceful) and his companions (especially Martha, a brilliant and brave woman who knows when to follow along and when to stand up, and Rory, a loyal, courageous friend unafraid to speak up for his beliefs). The Doctor is a flawed role model, and his character arcs in season 2 and 5 are too complicated for younger teens without a parental explanation of deconstruction or a close watch of "The Waters of Mars" and "The End of Time." The show advocates standing up for what's right and heping others, but is also careful to remind us to be careful in our meddling and to pick our batles wisely, with the way fixed points in history cannot be changd. It is a deep, thought provoking show best saved for older teens, but fine for viewing by younger ones and a good conversation starter for tweens and parents. Plus, David Tennant rambling at fifty miles an hour and Matt Smith insisting that bowties are cool. Fun for the whole funny family!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old May 18, 2011

Bow ties are cool

Omigosh I love this show it is EPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am obsessed with it!!!!!! It's SO FUNNY AND SCARY!!!!!!!!! By the way, bow ties are cool. So are fezs. And Stetsons.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byWugmanmax April 4, 2012

Timey-Wimey

Brilliant! Great, imaginative show for all ages. The creatures and situations can be scary, but the Doctor is charming and always saves the day! Some very mild swearing (d*mn, hell and a**) from time to time. The positive messages outshine any negative aspects of the show. Second chances and forgiveness are nearly always offered to the "villains".
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byCheshirekat March 26, 2012

Long live The Doctor

The Doctor is a family tradition in our home. As a young child, 5 and up, I would curl up with my mum and watch Tom Baker, Peter Davison, and John Pertwee deal with crazy alien situations which I as a child thought were scary and yet very cool! Yes, the old monsters were very cheesy, but the writing drew me in and made me a fan of sci-fi forever more. A few times I do remember hiding my head under the blanket or literally hiding behind the sofa. The new Doctor Who series has been watched by my daughter and I for as long as it has been on, but she didn't really become addicted until 7 years old. Now she watches the old ones with me too, and she is still riveted by the new and the old monsters, and the witty dialog. And I now giggle when she hides her eyes while peaking out over my shoulder or behind the sofa. The Doctor is written as a complex character and yet a knight in shining armor. In some iterations he is darker than in others, but most of his iterations believe in mercy and nonviolent solutions and the inherent human abilities for love, persistence, and compassion. This show is one of the few on TV that I have little to worry about because it is very moral and explains things with the intent that your children are watching. It also does not condescend to children, but rather, since the The Unearthly Child, makes sure to show children that they are valuable individuals full of complex thoughts that are as valid and useful as any adults. In the new series this is especially characterized in the young Amelia Pond and her resulting life as the Girl Who Waited. Bloody brilliant. I will admit that Captain Jack Harkness's behavior did spark some questions from my daughter but they were easily resolved. Some of the Doctor's companions in the new series have been very strong female characters as well, and not just the damsel in distress. Many times these companions end up saving him which gives a much needed twist to the knight in shining armor background that was seen in the older series and sent many women reeling from the misogyny. But now we have Martha Jones, a medical doctor, activist, and security agent; Madge Arwell, the strong mother and war widow; Harriet Jones - Prime Minister; and the incomparable River Song, a mature woman, doctor of Archaeology and time traveler. These strong female role models allow young ladies to see that anything is possible in the future, and that self reliance is attainable and beautiful. As a woman of science with a young daughter, I really appreciate these positive role models. Cheesy at times, scary at times, heartfelt all the time, I really recommend Doctor Who to any family looking for a fun show to gather around the tele and share for a lifetime.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bychesneyj April 9, 2008

Wonderful show

I have seen every episode that still exists and can easily say that this is one of the best shows ever made. It is too intense for little kids, but if they are over 8, they will love it. The new version is different from the original in that it moves faster and has better banter. The show can be violent, people tend to die in every episode. It is not appropriate for preschoolers. I have a 3 year old and I won't let her watch it for a few years. Sex isn't really an issue. The Doctor has never messed around with his companions. There have been occasional kisses but they are played off as jokes. Overall, it is an amazing concept that has been (mostly) well written since it began.
Educator Written byusername October 11, 2014
Been watching the show myself since 4 and think that there are not any explicit messages or content, possible sex refrences in later series but nothing too graphic
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bykat_marie January 25, 2012

Okay for most kids 10 and up

(Note, this is a review of series 2-4 of the BBC relaunch) If parents are looking for a good role model, there isn't a better one than the Doctor. While he sometimes makes mistakes, his heart is always in the right place. His forgiveness of his enemies and choice to always make killing a last resort is a trait not often seen in "action heros" and is, frankly, a breath of fresh air. There is a bit of mild language from time to time as well as some sexual innuendo, but nothing really troubling. If your child is sensitive and gets anxious when tv characters are in tense or sticky situations, however, this is probably not the best show for them.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byblissful March 22, 2011

Perfect for kids who like sci-fi and fantasy, if they're not overly sensitive

Our two boys, ages 6 and 8, completely love Dr. Who! We watch it as a family so we can answer questions that they have. There are often messages about war and how it's sad that creatures try to destroy each other, so this is a conversation opportunity. Occasionally, some episodes get a little "creepy" (an episode called "The Empty Child") was *almost* a bit too scary for the 8 year old, who is more sensitive than his little brother, but he really wanted to see it. We discussed it a lot, and watched early in the day, and he was fine. A very sensitive kid might not have been. This show is great for sci-fi fans, and for anyone looking for a cool role model who travels the galaxy trying to help people and often discusses how important it is to settle things in a nonviolent way. The show is British, so you might find yourself explaining British slang sometimes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bykittykat_33 June 8, 2015

Amazing!

I love this show! Its approiate for most people, has a sense of morality to it, has good role-models(mostly), and is humorous and fun to watch. However, I would not recommend it to families with 7-8 year olds. Language is not much of a problem, as d*mn and h**l are used very slightly, but some episodes are iffy with youngsters. This series tends to get scary for younger children, and very rarely are there intense kissing scenes. It does not, as far as I know, have any sex scenes and does not promote drugs nor consumerism. Besides that,(because violence is not much of a problem with me, though it it still there), it is overall appropriate for almost all ages.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byheather.parker July 15, 2013

Good for adolescents and teens.

My kids- esp. my 14 y.o. daughter-- love this show. But I don't agree that it's good for kids 10 years old or younger. There are a lot of scary characters and there are a lot of guns and violence. I think some people are rating this show based on older versions, which were milder. This show has some redeeming qualities, and is fine for older kids, but I wouldn't let little ones watch it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent Written byArianna Rochelle July 1, 2013

Doctor Who Family Review: Homosexuality, Frightening Sequences, and Clever Humour

My husband, my children and I sit around the television and watch this frequently. Our youngest is 5 and our oldest is 15 (she's obsessed with the show). Although you have to peer past the odd cheesy or 'seriously?' moment, we bond within this show. In fact, we have many inside jokes directly related to this. If you are a Christian or home-schooled family, you should know that this show is not a Christian show, but not sacrilegious in the least. Oh, and for those to whom it matters, there is the odd homosexual reference or relationship (even a peck, but it was entirely humorous- not crude at all), and these are mostly minor characters. There is even a lesbian couple, a "lizard woman from the dawn of time" and her Victorian wife. However, affection doesn't go beyond hand holding, soft smiles, and the occasional "my love" or "sweetie". Speaking of Sweetie... When there's a certain Captain Jack Harkness or River Song around, you can expect the odd innuendo. You must forgive them- they're both from the 51st century! Now on to violence. Expect creepy- but never evil or gory- aliens. Expect to jump, startled, in some moments, but never scream in terror. The monsters are designed to be a little scary at times, even a lot scary, and little ones may be afraid. My 5-year-old girl has decided that the Silence, a horde of skull-like aliens in tuxedos who appear in Series 6 as the antagonists of the season's story arc, absolutely adorable, and other monsters simply "creepy". In conclusion, this is a clever, hilarious, scary, dramatic, family-oriented show, that really is for the ENTIRE family! Even the adults will love the character development and the love stories of devotion and sacrifice. Five stars. Go watch it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 11 year old Written byywei55@netscape.net February 9, 2013

Just watch one episode and you'll be hooked

This is literally my favorite show of all time. Just watch one episode and you'll be hooked. Other aliens might fight and kill a lot but there is rarley ever any blood, and the Doctor absolutley HATES violence, and always uses his clever mind and wits to defeat the enemy
Parent Written byLepida January 5, 2013

An incredibly engaging and complex family programme

I cannot recommend this series enough for both children and adults. It is a fun, exciting programme full of adventure and friendships. Some very poignant and positive messages are conveyed through the easily-accessible medium of science fiction which children will be enthralled by, in a way that they can relate and aspire to. The Doctor experiences moral dilemmas that provoke healthy revisions of one's own ideals, but the boundaries of evil are very clearly defined throughout the series. Engaging and quirky, 10/10.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byParranormalHour July 8, 2012

Where to begin

Doctor Who is an amazing show in my opinion. Though I started watching it when it was with the 9th doctor (The 1st season with Rose). I will say a couple things, Capt. Jack Harkness an overall flirt and is pretty much omnisexual but some how manages to help the Doctor save the world... Almost non-violently. And some seasons are darker than other but isn't that just life? Next there are some scenes with alcohol but considering the alcohol age is lower and slightly flexible in the UK that really isn't reason. Finally the role models, basically every one who befriends the Doctor. And positive messages, this is Doctor Who he saves the world by talking, using a sonic screw driver and a whole lot of running. Anything is possible.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bymgraf January 29, 2011

A fun romp through space and time, with some questionable morality.

You can take this show at face value: A fun romp through space and time with the Doctor and his companion. It's bright, it's colourful, charming, and generally the resolution is a happy one. Or, you can dig deeper and come up against some wonderful moral and social quandries to discuss with your children. While the Doctor is the eponymous hero of the show, some of his actions (particularly in the past) have been incredibly questionable. While there is no doubt he is the saviour of mankind many times over, he has also committed genocide and specicide in order to do so. He may be our hero, but to many others he is a villain; is a single culture worth the destruction of so many others? Discuss how perspective and the individual can radically alter our view of a situation. The alien cultures and races presented are also a wonderful opportunity to discuss prejudice and stereotyping against the unknown in our own lives.
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byarhudson0405 April 12, 2013

Know your children first!

There are two things one must think about when deciding for their children if this show is right. Is the child old enough to understand what he/she is seeing is fake and is he/she old enough to process the plots? If the plots are above the child's head then he is just seeing action and reaction. You should ask yourself if that is acceptable. A lot of the creatures on the show are fake looking. (Cybermen come to mind, they look like old 50's style robots that my grandfather played with. Daleks look like massive salt shakers with a wisk on one hand and a toilet plunger on the other.) But you have creatures like the Weeping Angels who if the child is not mature enough could lead to a fear of every statue he/she comes across. This show has a way of taking the most mundane things and turning them into bad guys. (For instance, statues, Wi-Fi, forgetting, disappearing bees, etc...) If your child can't fully process these plot devices then you should think twice about allowing them to watch. Some plots are confusing even for adults. Even the Daleks themselves have turned into very scary creatures once what they truly are is fully recognized. Also, the show is very British. There is a large cultural gap between here and there. Words that we don't quiet understand the meaning up that may very well be cussing overseas. Some things that American parents might find offensive, where British may not and vice versa. But it does open up a child's mind to the fact that not all cultures are the same. A parent must take the maturity level of their children into consideration when choosing this show. I've viewed the show my whole life, and there are plots and events that even I as an adult don't understand. The show is thought provoking for all ages. There is a lot of talk about what if.. And changing timelines and the precautions for that. There is also several opportunities for communication and discussion with your children about moral and ethics. (In one episode the doctor tries to save another time lord even though he was trying to kill everyone. Another he tries to save his greatest enemy.) Over all it's a great family show with a lot going on.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byPanda Incognito August 16, 2011

Clever, deep, and thought-provoking fantasy

I love Doctor Who! It's clever, funny, exciting, and mostly clean. However, it's a niche thing; you either hate it or love it. I'm very difficult to please when it comes to entertainment because I have high standards for morals and for quality, but love this show. Still, I'm a geek, others might not like it as much even though it is very good quality. Most all of the shows are brilliantly clever, well plotted, and deep. This is probably one of the only shows on which shows that there are consequences for actions and has solid role models. And they're not just role models- they're people like us. Believable. They don't always do the right thing, but they almost always learn a lesson when they don't. But more than that, there are rich, complex themes to mull over and dwell on, and ethical tangles where you have to think through the grey areas. What would I do if I were so-and-so? The show can be enjoyed passively, but is far, far, greater when you take time to think through it. Every show has laugh out loud moments and tender, sad times. I've cried in numerous episodes, which is saying a whole lot for me! The situations which come up may be "unrealistic", set on a planet far away with a mad man and his box, but at the heart of it, there are truths and realities which every one of us can relate to. The characters really grow on you, because they are so realistic. I approved this for ages twelve and up. Some younger kids may be able to watch it, but the episodes are very scary. I was a sensitive child who would have been scarred for life had I watched these as a kid. However, some kids can handle it. It all depends. Violence isn’t a big deal. There’s nothing remotely gory, just scary monsters. One thing which delights me is that the Doctor doesn’t use force and weapons to save the day, he uses his wit. This makes the shows cleaner, more interesting, and more ethical. In the shows, there are a handful of words which I don't approve of, and God's name is taken in vain, but there are no plug-your-ears-and-run-for-the-hills moments. Sex is an issue to be considered. While there is nothing remotely explicit, there are some innuendos. While they're not so bad that I feel affronted, they're the kind of thing where some naive, unsuspecting kid might quote something inappropriate and have no clue. As another reviewer said, they're no worse than what you would hear on the school bus. And sometimes... they're actually kind of FUNNY, as much as it gals me to admit it. Also, some females dress in a revealing way. However, you’d be confronted with far worse images just by taking your kids shopping at the mall, so I don’t feel that it’s such a big deal. I wouldn’t dress that way, but it’s not a major turn-off because it isn’t worse than anything someone might be wearing at the grocery store. All in all, Doctor Who is a delightful, brilliant, funny, and overall enjoyable show with surprisingly decent content.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byamtvas August 8, 2011

Fantastic

The only thing I believe might be some problems for some families are the scary situations and some people may have a problem with the sexualities presented (there are sometimes gay characters). My values make it so that this doesn't bother me at all and some families may enjoy it, while others might be bothered by it. However it's a very small part of Doctor Who. Overall it's a fantastic series that gives people of all ages a thrill. It's fun, smart, and quirky and can sometimes scare even the oldest person.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 16 year old Written byreallybusy July 15, 2010

Love, Love, Love Doctor Who!

Keep in mind that this incarnation of Doctor Who is a continuation of a show that started airing in the UK in the 1950s. There are several hundred episodes of the original available on DVD, though the old-timey effects won't work for tech-spoiled younger kids. The newer series - starting 6 seasons ago with Christopher Eccelston as the 9th Doctor and Billie Piper as his sidekick Rose Tyler - is cool, funny and brilliant, though as you progress you'll note unevenness in the writing. Some episodes are very scary (esp. "The Empty Child" and "Blink"), some are more cartoonish. There are very few happy endings. The current Matt Smith is the 11th Doctor: this makes a lot more sense if you start at the beginning (at least with the 9th Doctor and Rose), especially since there are flashbacks to other Doctors.

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