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Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

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Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Old 08-13-11, 08:56 PM
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Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Yeah, so I've found myself falling into a bit of a rabbit hole with this set of shows, apparently. After catching a commercial for an interesting-looking show called Torchwood: Miracle Day during an episode of Camelot a while back, I do what I always do and set the DVR to record the first episode, just to see if we like it.

For one reason or another, my fiance and I didn't get around to watching it until a week or so ago. After watching the first episode, we both felt like the whole Torchwood thing was something that had been going on before Miracle Day, and sure enough, a quick Google search turns up that it's actually the fourth season of an ongoing show.

Thankfully, it's available on Netflix streaming, so we queue it up to start watching it from the beginning.

However, a few episodes into THAT, we again feel like there's stuff we're missing out on. At first we chalked it up to the show being kind of mysterious and just mentioning stuff that happened offscreen (like Tommy Lee Jones' character in the Men In Black movies), but it didn't quite feel like it. Sure enough, a second Googling turns up that Torchwood is actually a spinoff of Dr. Who, which I've never watched any of.

Now, I know Dr. Who is a long-running show, and according to Wikipedia, there are 777 episodes of it so far, but I was wondering if any of the fans of the show could recommend a good jumping-in point. I've tried to do a little research without spoiling myself, and it looks like the show came back in 2005 after a significant absence from TV, so would that be a good place to start?
Old 08-13-11, 09:02 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Sure. The 2005 series would be a good place to start for Doctor Who. Just keep in mind that when Doctor Who came back on the air in 2005, after a 16 year hiatus (original run 1963-1989 + a TV movie in the 90s), it was sort of still trying to find a good footing to start things off. It wanted to appeal to fans of the older series, as well as to a new audience. I thought it started off a little clunky, but by mid-season, it got stronger and from Season 2 onwards (2006), it was great. If you like the new series and become interested enough to see what it was like in the original series, then you can go there too.
Old 08-14-11, 02:50 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Yeah, start with the 2005 series, which is labeled as "season one." All the older shows are organized by the title of their story arc on Netflix, not set into seasons.
Old 08-15-11, 02:41 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

General viewing order:

Doctor Who: Season 1
Doctor Who: Season 2
Torchwood: Season 1
Doctor Who: Season 3
Torchwood: Season 2
Doctor Who: Season 4
Torchwood: Children of Earth
Doctor Who: Specials
Doctor Who: Season 5
Doctor Who: Season 6 (half season aired)
Torchwood: Miracle Day (currently airing)
Old 08-15-11, 02:45 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

I've been watching Miracle Day on Starz and I don't feel lost like the OP. I've never seen a single episode of the older Torchwood series or even Dr. Who, but I think the new series is self contained enough where new viewers can jump in with no trouble. Hell, part of the writing staff is American with no previous ties to the older seasons. And I think they have made it essentially an Americanized re-boot.
Old 08-15-11, 06:03 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
I've been watching Miracle Day on Starz and I don't feel lost like the OP.
I don't think the OP was lost, but just noticed that it seemed like there was more to the show than just Miracle Day, which is correct.

While I haven't watched it myself, I'm certain that Miracle Day was written in a way to be welcoming to new viewers, especially since it's now an American co-production with Starz. However, it's still faithful to the continuity of the previous seasons of the show, so isn't a reboot.

Also, Torchwood itself starts off with writing that would let people unfamiliar with Doctor Who to watch it without being lost. However, it is a spinoff, so familiarity with the source does provide greater depth to some of the characters and stories.

To the OP: I started off with Doctor Who's 2005 relaunch, and have watched it along with Torchwood when it spun off. For fullest appreciation of Torchwood, you should start there as well, as the 2005 season one of Doctor Who does introduce Captain Jack Harkness.

As for viewing order, after Season 4 of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Doctor Who stay mostly separate continuity wise. So you don't have to necessarily watch all that Doctor Who between Children of Earth and Miracle Day. You could watch those two season of Torchwood back-to-back and then go back to Doctor Who, if you wanted.
Old 08-27-11, 12:57 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Thanks for the advice, all. Just started watching Dr Who the other day, and we're already about six or seven episodes in. Good stuff so far, and I'll have to print out that viewing order to reference. And speaking of which:

Originally Posted by Kevin M. Dean
Doctor Who: Season 1
Doctor Who: Season 2
Torchwood: Season 1
Doctor Who: Season 3
Torchwood: Season 2
Doctor Who: Season 4
Torchwood: Children of Earth
Doctor Who: Specials
Doctor Who: Season 5
Doctor Who: Season 6 (half season aired)
Torchwood: Miracle Day (currently airing)
Those Dr Who: Specials... I'm seeing quite a few things on Netflix that could fit that description and were aired during that time:

The Waters of Mars
Planet of the Dead
The Next Doctor

Are those watchable in any order, and did I miss any? Doing a search for "Dr who" on Netflix returns... well.. quite a lot.


Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
I don't think the OP was lost, but just noticed that it seemed like there was more to the show than just Miracle Day, which is correct.

While I haven't watched it myself, I'm certain that Miracle Day was written in a way to be welcoming to new viewers, especially since it's now an American co-production with Starz. However, it's still faithful to the continuity of the previous seasons of the show, so isn't a reboot.

Also, Torchwood itself starts off with writing that would let people unfamiliar with Doctor Who to watch it without being lost. However, it is a spinoff, so familiarity with the source does provide greater depth to some of the characters and stories.

To the OP: I started off with Doctor Who's 2005 relaunch, and have watched it along with Torchwood when it spun off. For fullest appreciation of Torchwood, you should start there as well, as the 2005 season one of Doctor Who does introduce Captain Jack Harkness.

As for viewing order, after Season 4 of Doctor Who, Torchwood and Doctor Who stay mostly separate continuity wise. So you don't have to necessarily watch all that Doctor Who between Children of Earth and Miracle Day. You could watch those two season of Torchwood back-to-back and then go back to Doctor Who, if you wanted.
Yeah, we certainly weren't lost when watching it, but something about that first episode of Miracle Day made it seem like it was possible to already be familiar with the characters. I think it was that kind of "hero shot" of Captain Jack when he showed up at Gwen's place near the end. Something about the way it was shot and the music made it seem like a "here's the return of the existing character" moment of sorts.
Old 08-27-11, 04:35 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

I believe this is the order:

The Next Doctor
Planet of the Dead
The Waters of Mars
The End of Time, Parts One and Two
Old 08-27-11, 10:48 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

I never watched the old Doctor Who.

I started with Torchwood and watched it all the way through Children of Earth before starting with the new Doctor Who. While Torchwood is mostly self-contained I realized I missed some references because I hadn't seen the new Doctor. So ideally, I would say start with the new Doctor. I suppose the absolute ideal would be the order posted by Kevin M. Dean.

I still have never watched the old Doctor and don't have any interest in doing so.
Old 08-27-11, 02:02 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I believe this is the order:

The Next Doctor
Planet of the Dead
The Waters of Mars
The End of Time, Parts One and Two
Correct.
Old 04-08-12, 08:50 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

I have a similar kind of question, so I thought I'd just pop it in here. I started watching Dr Who via free trials of Netflix and Blockbuster Online (currently in the second season). I want to check out Torchwood, but I was wondering, do I lose anything if I just get all the way caught up on Doctor Who and then watch Torchwood? Or does it work better if I watch the first season of Torchwood after the second season of Doctor Who?
Old 04-08-12, 09:41 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by joltman View Post
I want to check out Torchwood, but I was wondering, do I lose anything if I just get all the way caught up on Doctor Who and then watch Torchwood? Or does it work better if I watch the first season of Torchwood after the second season of Doctor Who?
There's crossover events in seasons 3 and 4 of Doctor Who with the Torchwood cast, so it does work better to watch the shows in order. As Torchwood's on Netflix Instant as well, it shouldn't be that hard to switch between the two.

Note that Torchwood's different than Dr. Who in tone, and the first season of Torchwood is pretty spotty, as they're trying to find the voice for the show. So don't get discouraged if you don't like Torchwood at first, and don't view it as "required viewing" for Doctor Who.
Old 04-08-12, 12:50 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Watch Doctor Who from the 2005 season through when David Tennant makes his exit. Watch all of Torchwood. Sorry Matt Smith fans...I don't like his "Doctor" at all.

I didn't watch Torchwood at all until after I gave up on Doctor Who...I didn't particulary love the Jack Harkness episodes of WHO...but the character is a lot better on TORCHWOOD, in my opinion (partially because, I suppose, TORCHWOOD is a much more "adult" series than WHO is).
Old 04-08-12, 04:30 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post
Watch Doctor Who from the 2005 season through when David Tennant makes his exit. Watch all of Torchwood. Sorry Matt Smith fans...I don't like his "Doctor" at all.
I love Matt Smith as The Doctor, and I'm a big David Tennant fan as well. They are very different takes on the character, but I would advise anyone starting to at least watch a few Matt Smith episodes to make up their own mind.

Shannon, when did you stop watching Doctor Who? I think Matt Smith's performance has gotten better as it's gone on, or at least I've adjusted to it more.

A note about watching Doctor Who on Netflix: There was a season "4.5" that aired between seasons 4 and 5 consisting of 5 special-sized episodes. The first one, "The Next Doctor" is currently appended to the end of season 4 on Netflix Instant. The next special, "Planet of the Dead" is not on Netflix Instant currently, while "The Waters of Mars" and the 2-part "The End of Time" are separate titles. You can probably skip "Planet of the Dead" if you don't feel like renting the disc for it (it's a good story, but not essential to the overall arc), but the others you should watch in the proper order before moving on to season 5.
Old 04-09-12, 09:14 AM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Start with "Time and the Rani".
Old 02-26-18, 12:39 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
There's crossover events in seasons 3 and 4 of Doctor Who with the Torchwood cast, so it does work better to watch the shows in order. As Torchwood's on Netflix Instant as well, it shouldn't be that hard to switch between the two.

Note that Torchwood's different than Dr. Who in tone, and the first season of Torchwood is pretty spotty, as they're trying to find the voice for the show. So don't get discouraged if you don't like Torchwood at first, and don't view it as "required viewing" for Doctor Who.
BUMP

I just started watching Doctor Who (2005) and was planning on watching Torchwood when I finished. Is it still suggested to alternate between series? I remember trying to do this with Buffy and Angel and really didn't care for it. I would much prefer to just burn through Who and then tackle Torchwood.
Old 02-26-18, 01:02 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
I just started watching Doctor Who (2005) and was planning on watching Torchwood when I finished. Is it still suggested to alternate between series? I remember trying to do this with Buffy and Angel and really didn't care for it. I would much prefer to just burn through Who and then tackle Torchwood.
If you really don't want to alternate, you don't have to. There's not really anything where a specific story is told across both series, like with the current DC (Arrowverse) crossovers on CW.

There's the possibility for some Torchwood continuity spoilers if you just watch Doctor Who first, such as cast changes and the like.

You wouldn't need to alternate on an episode level, just on a series(season) level. For example, you could watch all of Torchwood series 1 between Doctor Who series 2 & 3. And then watch all of Torchwood series 2 between Doctor Who series 3 & 4.

After Torchwood series 2, the shows go their separate ways, and Torchwood series 3 and 4 don't tie back to Doctor Who at all. Well, I mean Peter Capaldi is in Torchwood series 3, but not as The Doctor.


Also, there's The Sarah Jane Adventures, which is a more "kid friendly" spin-off, which can be watched after Doctor Who. The Doctor sometimes shows up in SJA, but it never ties back to the main show. The main thing would be to hold off watching SJA until after seeing DW series 2 episode 3 "School Reunion", but you could watch all of DW first.


And then there's the other spin-off Class, which only lasted one season. That had Peter Capaldi's Doctor in the first episode, but otherwise is standalone and doesn't tie back to DW.
Old 02-26-18, 01:33 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

There's really not a lot of crossover between Doctor Who and Torchwood. Jay's advice to watch it between seasons is probably good enough.

Really, though, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Class are all skippable. They're all tonally different from Doctor Who and there's very little direct crossover, just some tie-ins in the DW season finales, and even then it feels kind of like Agents of SHIELD skirts around the MCU films.
Old 02-26-18, 01:57 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by dex14 View Post
BUMP

I just started watching Doctor Who (2005) and was planning on watching Torchwood when I finished. Is it still suggested to alternate between series? I remember trying to do this with Buffy and Angel and really didn't care for it. I would much prefer to just burn through Who and then tackle Torchwood.
Funny that this thread was bumped. I watched a couple episodes of the 2005 series a couple years ago and wasn't that excited about it, so I recently asked friends if I could skip Eccleston and go straight to season 2, but they mostly recommended sticking with season 1 because of key things that happen. I've watched a few more and am still not knocked out, except for the
Spoiler:
Daleks
episode, but I'll finish it off at this point.

So I thought this was a well-timed thread until I realized it was old and I had replied in it already.

I asked friends about the Buffy/Angel thing, and they said to just watch Buffy and go back to Angel later if I want. I'm nearly six seasons through that and may tackle Angel someday, but there's so much TV to watch.
Old 02-26-18, 02:55 PM
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Re: Torchwood & Dr. Who, where's a good place to start with all this?

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
Funny that this thread was bumped. I watched a couple episodes of the 2005 series a couple years ago and wasn't that excited about it, so I recently asked friends if I could skip Eccleston and go straight to season 2, but they mostly recommended sticking with season 1 because of key things that happen...
I'm not sure there's anything "key" in season 1 with Eccleston. It provides a fuller experience if you watch it from the beginning of the 2005 re-launch, but then one could argue that watching all of the older Doctor Who first is also a fuller experience, but a bit too daunting for newcomers.


Typically, if you don't like a particular incarnation of the actors/show, you can always skip forward to the next companion/Doctor/showrunner.

David Tennant's introduction is based pretty strongly on already knowing Rose, but otherwise you could skip forward to it.

Series 3 starts with a new companion, so its first episode acts as a new intro to the show of sorts. Series 4 likewise has a new companion, albiet one introduced in the Christmas episode at the end of Series 2.

Series 5 was new Doctor, new companion, new showrunner, so acts very much as a new intro point, which it was for many in the US.

The mid-series 7 Christmas episode is also a new companion, so could be another jumping in point.


Sometimes, it just takes finding a good entry point to get one excited about the series, and then you can go back to catch up on the previous series.

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