My Wife Won’t Watch Doctor Who: PLEASE HELP

Greg here, while Beth is away this week.  I don’t think I’ll make the same mistake a made a few years ago.

I hadn’t planned to hijack Beth’s blog, no matter what she said at the end of her previous post, but, thanks to your comments, I’ve realized I need your help.

Beth writes about our family, openly, honestly, and transparently, and she writes about the importance of community and finding the Elusive Village. Now it’s my turn to tell the truth about what happens in our house and to ask for help from you, Beth’s Village. I think you can see that hijacking Beth’s blog is the only conscionable course of action.

Beth almost shared one of the darker secrets of our marriage in her last post when she alluded to her lack of interest in The Doctor. She didn’t come right out and say it, though, so I will.

Beth doesn’t watch Doctor Who.


This from the woman I love, who eagerly binge watched Battlestar Glactica with me and loves anything Joss Whedon touches. But when she tried two episodes of the most recent series with me, it just didn’t resonate. Even starting with Mat Smith as the Doctor meeting Amelia Pond! She didn’t connect. They had me at fish custard, but not her.

I’m at a loss to convey to her the depth of the pathos, triumph, and tragedy in each new story arc. The whole of space and time, with love lost, found, and lost again, across four dimensions. Death, rebirth, the end of everything, and the rediscovery of hope.

I mean really.  We’re 6 episodes in to the first season of Outlander.


I’ve helped with the DVR, alerted her to new episodes, and held her hand through the drama, without once suggesting we switch over to football (of any variety, round or oblong).

Perhaps it would help to relate it to something closer to her experience.

Story Element Outlander Doctor Who
time travel X X
political intrigue X X
dangerous secrets X X
imminent death X X
lost love X X
new love tinged with guilt/grief over lost love X X
moral dilemas over changing history X X
mysterious use of futuristic science X X
Scottish accents X 12th Doctor
swordplay X X
nightmares in the shadows   X
terrifying statues of angels   X
bigger on the inside (no, cheesy references to Jamie’s heart don’t count) X


I think Beth needs to give the Doctor another chance. We could have something really special together.

PLEASE HELP me compile a list of reasons for Beth’s return.
Why should Beth learn to love Doctor Who?

  1. I love Outlander! But not Dr. Who. I think that the dr is just too daunting and it feels a little wrong just jumping in at the middle of all the seasons. I’m a Trekkie as well and love a good supernatural scifi storyline but the dr feels so big that I feari couldn’t take it on.

    Outlander has men in skirts too. Does the doctor?and we got to see some very sweet naked man butts! More than once!

  2. Your mistake was skipping Nine. DON’T SKIP NINE. And it sounds like the Doctor and Rose’s story will be a good way to pull her in, and then there’s TEN (MY Doctor), and all his companions are BRILLIANT.

    I’m not a huge fan of the Moffat era, but I still watch, and Nine and Ten got me hooked enough that I’ve watched all of classic Who and listen to the audios whenever I can afford one.

    But seriously, START WITH NINE.

  3. No help for you here. I’ve never watched a single episode of the good Dr even though my three adult children are all passionate fans. Outlander, however, is my passion! I’m afraid that the changing Doctors of Who are too unstable for me. Give me Jamie and Claire’s eternal love any day!

  4. Dr. Who is so awesome! I recommend starting with these episodes:
    1. Madame du Pompadour
    2. Blink
    3. Silence in the Library Parts 1 and 2

    By then she will probably be so hooked that she just starts from the beginning of the new series. Tennant was my favorite Doctor, and Donna my favorite companion.

  5. Well … Outlander is a start … and a very good one at that – but totally different from DR Who.
    I loved Eccleston, Tennant (my fav) & Smith but …. I have to admit they kinda lost me when Amy & Rory left the show.

  6. Oh my gosh…
    We just finished all the reboot Dr. Who on Netflix and we love it! We make our friends start with’s a nice stand alone! Just do it!

  7. I am genuinely shocked. I’ve always believed the hard part about introducing people to The Doctor was having to begin with the cheesy graphics of the first (2005) season. Recently I’ve thought, I bet if I could get someone to start with Matt Smith, they would be hooked and then could circle back around to the beginning (because in my mind skipping over Tennant and Piper is just sacrilege). So, I am actually at a loss if she didn’t connect with Smith and Gillan. Maybe just make her stick it out for the rest of the season and then if she still doesn’t like it, you can just accept that sometimes people have issues we can’t fix. In all seriousness though, I love Doctor Who and I refused to watch it for so long because I “don’t like sci-fi”. But this is so much more. It’s life, it’s relationships on all levels, it’s loneliness and finding people to fill up the lonely who also end up making us better people. It’s about love and friendship and absolute trust which almost doesn’t exist in real life for us anymore. It’s perspective, seeing the bigger picture and how small we are, but then just as much about realizing our importance even as a tiny speck in the universe. It’s dealing with loss but continuing on because there are still things to be done and new experiences to be had. It’s always offering mercy even when it isn’t deserved and even when it isn’t accepted. Doctor Who literally covers the entire spectrum of human (and alien) emotion. And it does it with the sharpest wit on television.

  8. Gah – Beth! I LOVE that you love Joss Whedon and Battlestar Gallactica! You must watch the Doctor! If this dad gum site would let me repin this quote I found on Pinterest, that would be lovely. But, I’ll have to take the time to do it myself. You’re welcome.

    Doctor who has taught me…
    1. Nothing is impossible, just highly unlikely.
    2. Never be afraid to act ridiculous. (<— this! This is for you!)
    3. stand up for what is right, no matter the odds. (You again.)
    4. Everyone is important. (You again.)
    5. Time is not a straight line – it's all wibbly-wobbly.
    6. The Universe is vast and complicated – and really, really very beautiful.
    7. Sometimes, winning is no fun at all.
    8. A longer life isn't always a better one. It's not the time that matters. It's the person. (Ring a bell, Beth?)
    9. The greatest things come in small packages.
    10. The best weapon in the world is your mind.
    11. Sometimes, humans are worse than the monsters.
    12. The bad things in life don't spoil the good things. (Paging Beth Woolsey….)
    13. Time is not the boss of you.
    14. Never knowingly be serious.
    15. Be proud of your beliefs… And your fashion sense. (Frankly, my dear, I am beginning to think YOU may be a time lord by this qualification.)
    16. The most ordinary person can change the world.
    17. Every species and individual has the right to live…even if they are an insane genocidal madman.
    18. Not all victories are about saving the world.
    19. Everybody does – this is unavoidable.

    My dear Beth. It's obvious to you now, I'm sure, that I am a Whovian fan girl. You should know, though, that the reasons why I'm a fan girl of Doctor Who are the SAME REASONS why I'm a fan of you. Watch the show. You'll thank us later.

    1. Andrea – this list and your parallels to Beth are amazing!

  9. The love story between Rose and the Doctor is what got me hooked. “Does it need saying?” Oh my, yes, it does! Bad Wolf, Bad Wolf, Bad Wolf everywhere. 🙂

  10. I’m so sorry. But, you know, if both people are willing to work at it, marriage can survive almost anything.

    Okay, I’m going to give some unorthodox advice, but given her other interests, I think it might work – show the episodes out of order. Don’t start with episodes that happen in modern London or on other planets, start with episodes that happen in the past – I might start with The Empty Child (Are you my mummy?). Tooth and Claw, the Girl in the Fireplace, and The Shakespeare Code are good if you think she’ll prefer Tennant as her Doctor. Once she’s seen a few, if she’s still on the fence pull out something that’s big guns – Blink, or the Pandorica. Then go back and watch them in order, starting with Eccleston.

  11. I’m gonna go with everyone else: you shouldn’t try to start with Matt Smith but with Christopher Eccleston.

    (I liked Rose. Donna was okay, too. I REALLY liked Amy, though. Not too fond of Clara yet.)

  12. Beth, depending on your husband’s addiction to Dr. Who, this could prove vital to your marriage!! Please consider starting with the Christopher Eccleston episodes, feel free to skip the Donna episodes, and please watch “The Pandorica Opens” (although, full disclosure, I have a married crush on Rory….).

    And not sure if you are familiar with Sarah Bessey, but she became quite the Dr. Who after reluctantly starting to watch it. She even has started blogging after every episode of the current season.

    And I may have to convince my husband to check out Outlander with me!

  13. I loved Drs 9, 10 & 11. Will watch repeats no problem. I am not enjoying this new Dr. The lovely befuddlement of 10 & 11 on occasion was charming. This new guy seems to have dementia and crabby dementia at that. I am only watching it now to see Clara’s story line play out and then I am done.

    But YES, start at 9 Beth, you need to see this series! Or watch Torchwood – love it as well.

  14. Agree with what was said above, start her off with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. They were so good and then there is David Tennant. Need I say more? I can’t even watch Matt Smith (you all say he’s good, but I think David Tennant was perfect, I’m afraid I’ll be let down by Matt and his hair…).

    Good luck!

    1. Oh, and if all else fails have her watch the episodes with Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. Loved her too!!

  15. I’ve got nothing for Dr. Who–but all I can say is wait till episode 7 of Outlander! And I would recommend that you put the kids to sleep in their own beds that night. It’s THAT hot!

  16. Um, I wrote basically a dissertation on this on my blog:

    I was skeptical at first. I get it. It sounds nerdy and weird and boy-ish.

    BUT BETH. MATT SMITH. Matt Smith is all you need to know. I can’t believe you weren’t won over by his first episode but STICK WITH IT. You can do this. Do it for us. Your life will change for the better. Get through Nine and Ten will win you over for sure. Plus in real life David Tennant does have a Scottish accent, for what it’s worth. (one more point on the chart)

    It’s endearing, heart-wrenching, funny, nerdy — all of the good things. Just keep on keepin’ on. It’s worth it. Allons-y. (YOU WILL GET THAT ONCE YOU WATCH IT)

  17. First of all, I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry.

    I remember seeing the Doctor as a child, and that was back in the old K-9 Tom Baker days. I had no idea what was going on! LOL I stumbled across an episode one night (I think it was the one with the Smilers–crrreeepyyyy) and the very next one I saw was BLINK. BAM!! Hooked. Then I got online to find the order, realized it was on Netflix and started with Nine. =) I am telling you, start with Nine. Because those first few episodes ARE cheesy, but just still funny enough to keep you going. And then when Tennant comes on the scene?? Oh.My. So beautiful. So clever. And she loves Jamie?? How about in the episode Tooth and Fang we get to hear David’s REAL Scottish accent?? *thud* Donna is awesome and sassy and doesn’t fall all over herself in the presence of the Doctor like some other companions. The last part of the Journey’s End when Tennant regenerates–I still cry like a baby when I watch it. Beth, YOU ARE MISSING QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST TV SHOW OF ALL TIME!! Don’t do this to yourself, Woman!! I beg you!!

    I found this online, and I agree with everything except what they have to say about the “Love and Monsters” episode. Because ELO!!! =)

    Good luck.

    1. Aaaaannnndddd here’s the link that I didn’t post:

  18. Confession: I don’t watch Doctor Who either. Neither does my husband. I’ve been told that I would love it, but part of my issue is that it’s trendy, and I don’t generally do trendy. I’ll make a deal, though: If Beth will give it another shot, I will watch five episodes. That should be enough time to determine whether or not I will like it.

    And to Beth–like someone else said, sometimes you just have to take one for the team. I let my husband play Joy Electric in our house, and only suggest something different after the first hour or so. Usually. Unless I have a headache.

    1. P.S. I think what you did with the stove was awesome. My husband does laundry while I’m gone, and I’m always amazed at how he manages it with small children running about. I do not multi-task well.

  19. I agree with Paula, you must start with 9. Give it a couple of episodes to let rose truly grip your heart, and only then will she think about coming back. It took me a few tries to get hooked. Matt Smith was passable, he became endearing but was no where near Eccleson or Tennet. (and I am sure I spelled all their names wrong.) It’s the story between Rose and the Doctor that pulls you in, then how could he abandon her and go off with someone else, and by that time you can kiss your free time away. You are hooked, then you meet Donna, and you can’t stand her, but once she leaves you feel so bad for the Doctor. It is then you understand that there is no way you will ever live your life without him again. 🙂 Good luck, I will come if you want to host an introducing her to Doctor Who party!

  20. I haven’t started watching either. But I will if Beth does. We just need to Tripple-Dog-Dare her, to the nth degree. Peer pressure for the win!!

  21. I LOVE matt smith’s Doctor, but you have to start with nine! Eccleson was brilliant and the Doctor & Rose story is sure to hook any girl 😉

    Doctor Who is literally the best show ever. Watch it Beth!!!!!!!!

  22. I’m echoing the other brilliant comments here: you need Donna! There isn’t the romance factor so much, but Donna is my favorite companion because she’s FUNNY. (Well, and for many other reasons.)

  23. I love Donna as a companion, and I am not alone in thinking that David Tennant made an excellent Doctor.

    Beth should watch Dr. Who because he doesn’t just go back in time, and the future is open to endless possibilities; because the companions *choose* to go (unlike the lovely Claire, who went back against her will); because families come in all shapes and sizes, and the Doctor is always seeking his.

    And because of River Song!

    [I love the Ponds, btw.]

  24. Eccleston got me, but after him I didn’t like Rose. ALl the.other.10th.companions were great (maybe a Are you my mummy with Capt Jack) I couldn’t make through even one episode of that flipping Amy Pond, even though the small bits I saw.of.Rory I loved. So don’t count on.Amy Pond to convert anyone. (Family of Blood is my scariest Dr.Who episode. Gave me nightmares, the Doctor, the end. And Martha was great). Donna is my favourite companion (and Doctor too. Only the most important person in the universe…)

    1. Family of Blood was incredible. =)

  25. Hmmm … maybe start with the Donna episodes. Rose was an okay companion, but no one should have to suffer through Martha before being really invested in the series (with the exception of Blink – no one should miss the Weeping Angels; however, Blink is not a typical Dr. Who episode so it is not representative of the series). But Donna, well, she is perhaps the best companion. I liked Amy and Rory a lot, but I liked Donna more (though it was close).

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