Binge-watching "Doctor Who" with my Daughter

After finishing “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Voyager” my daughter pondered what series she should tackle next. “Enterprise?” “Deep Space 9?” The original series? She went with none of these, opting for the reborn “Doctor Who” instead.

I tell you this because I always find the choices she makes curious. She loves being able to find long-running series on Netflix (or, failing that, Amazon) and plow through them – one or two episodes a night, five or more nights a week, until they’re done.

She will take time off and watch all the Marvel movies or three of the four Indiana Jones films or salivate over the latest “Force Awakens” trailer but she continually returns to her TV series.

At the start of the TV season I had, as you may recall, put together a list of a bunch of shows that I thought she might like, but to this point she only seems interested in one of them – “Supergirl.” If she’s not watching “Supergirl,” it’s “Doctor Who.”

I don’t think that I was wrong with the list of shows I had come up with for her to watch. I think that she would like each and every one of them. The miscalculation was that none of those shows had five or six or seven (or more) seasons available to her instantaneously. She seems to want stories that have a long and evolving mythology and the longer a series has run, the more episodes—and therefore mythology—is available.

If she was older she would get such a kick out of all the options available to her. Binge-watching is tailor made for the way she approaches watching shows, so Netflix or Amazon dropping a full season of something like “Bosch” or “House of Cards” would be right up her alley if she were allowed to watch “Bosch” or “House of Cards.” Okay, fine, if I’m being honest, “Jessica Jones” would be more up her alley, but she’s not allowed to watch that either.

I love seeing how voraciously she consumes these things. She watched an episode of “Doctor Who” and instantly had no fewer than a thousand questions about the TARDIS and the old series and the Doctors and how they regenerate and how long Rose was going to be around. That first episode with River Song, the one in the library? A whole slew of questions. It went on and on and on. I think she goes to bed at night, lies there coming up with questions, and comes downstairs in the morning to eat breakfast and unleash that which she has pondered.

So now here we are, something like a month after she began “Doctor Who” she’s finished the third and final David Tennant season and is about to embark on the specials that mark the end of Tennant’s run. She’s already curious about Amy Pond and Clara Oswald and reading the back of the Blu-ray sets to see when the Weeping Angels might be back. I didn’t save the TiVo recordings from this season so she’s worried about getting to see all of those before the next season starts.

At one point she actively contemplated how she could go back and watch the original run of “Doctor Who.” This might have been after Sarah Jane’s appearance. She has backed off of that, but I’m sure that if she could download the knowledge directly to her brain, she would.

Watching her go about these things I see so much of myself in her, and I wonder exactly what I would have done in her shoes. Growing up we had no TiVo, cable didn’t have hundreds of options, and streaming TV was beyond anyone’s dreams. In grad school, with two VCRs in hand I managed to watch “Buffy” once she entered syndication so that I could be caught up as the showing was moving from The WB to UPN, which is as close as I got to binge-watching (something like 14 episodes a week), but there was still no streaming Netflix (the relatively new service only mailed DVDs).

What would I have done in the world she currently inhabits and what will she do next? Those are the questions that I ponder at night.

photo credit: BBC America

Categories: Random Thoughts

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3 replies

  1. Nice Blog! Ahh, you are a Buffy fan :), so you'll get my reference to Angel in a comment I just made about Quantum Leap, the Finale. I re-wrote the ending card using The Doctor's magic paper 🙂 It's fixed now, & we don't have to wait for the Author, Dr. Beckett lives….

    I had those VHS tapes too.. 3 VCRS & always the worry that I would miss something, then in 2010 I found the DroidTV APP, & as their programming grew, my VHS need ended. I don't use Netflix or any of the other services, I don't even have Internet at home, just my Droid phone & my DroidTV APP & a Miracast device.

    You are fortunate to literally go back in time thru a child's eyes – watching them see something you know, & seeing her reactions to the unknown… “It's Bigger on the Inside!”

    That's pretty cool…
    Great Blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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