This Saturday, September 1, 2012, the seventh series of the new Doctor Who begins pitting The Doctor against Daleks, dinosaurs and disasters. In honor of the season premiere, "The Geek Twins" give you a guide to everything you need to know to watch Doctor Who series 7.

If you're a new viewer or just a returning "Whovian" fan, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about the next series of Doctor Who. The Doctor is in.

I tried to keep it as spoiler-light as possible. But, as River Song would say, "Spoilers!"

Official Description:
This series will see the last days of the Ponds with Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill returning for their final, roller-coaster voyage with the Doctor. Amy and Rory have been at the Doctor’s side for more than two series but what will he do after their heartbreaking departure?

Series 7 will then see a dramatic turn of events when The Doctor meets a new friend.

Prepare yourselves for thrills, adventures and dramatic surprises as the show builds towards its enormous, climactic 50th anniversary year. Fourteen big, blockbuster-movie episodes – each a brand new epic adventure featuring new monsters and some familiar foes as you’ve never seen them before.

The Show

About: Doctor Who is a BBC television program following the adventures of a humanoid time traveling alien space traveler known only as "the Doctor."
Fun Fact: Technically this is the 34th 33rd season of Doctor Who. After a nine-year hiatus in the 90s the show returned in 2005. BBC decided to reset the number of seasons to one.

The Doctor

The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)
About: The Doctor is a Gallifreyan also known as a "Time Lord." His race was tasked with patrolling the galaxy and traveled through time and space. One man, known only as The Doctor went rogue and began trying to help people. The Time Lords are now extinct after a war with the Daleks.
As a Gallifreyan, The Doctor has two hearts and can recover from mortal wounds by "regenerating" into a new body with a slightly new personality. He takes on a different appearance and slightly altered personality. The eleven actors who have played the Doctor, in chronological order, are William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith.

Recently, he allowed the universe to think that he was killed. He also discovered that his name, his "real one" is the key to the destruction of the universe.
First Appearance: Doctor Who "An Unearthly Child" (1963)
Fun Fact: Matt Smith actually owns the tweed jacket his eleventh Doctor usually wears.

The Machines 

The Doctor carries three devices with him at all times.

Doctor Who TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a sentient time-and-space-travel machine. It's much bigger on the inside. The TARDIS can shape shift, but is permanently stuck in the shape of a blue police call box.
Fun Fact: The TARDIS prop used by Christopher Eccleston sold at auction in 2010 and sold for £10,800 ($17,123).

Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver is a sonic device that can emit a wide range of pulses that can open doors and do other tasks.

"Psychic Paper" that can convince the viewer to see whatever the Doctor wants. He frequently uses it as a form of identification.

The Companions

On his adventures, The Doctor usually travels with one or more individuals. They are known as "companions" and are usually female.

Amy Pond (Karen Gillan)
About: A human from Earth that is plucky and fiercely devoted to the Doctor while still questioning him. As a seven-year-old child named "Amelia" Amy first meets the Doctor. She assumes he's an imaginary friend when he doesn't return for twelve years. He saves her from a "crack" in time and she becomes his companion. Amy eventually marries her best friend Rory and the two have a daughter named Melody Pond, also known as River Song, who becomes the Doctor's wife. This season her character, along with Rory, are leaving the show in an undisclosed manner. Being the mother of the Doctor's wife, River Song, she's his companion and mother-in-law.
First Appearance: Doctor Who "The Eleventh Hour" (2010)
Fun Fact: Her cousin, Caitlin Blackwood, who plays the younger Amy "Amelia" Pond. Gillan never knew her growing up and Blackwood had to audition for the role just like everyone else.

Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill)
About: Born on Earth, he is the childhood friend and husband of Amy Pond. Loyal, brave and devoted to Amy, he has demonstrated a fierce devotion to her. At one point, when he was an android, he guarded her for two thousand years. He is also scheduled to leave the show along with her. He is also the father of River Song.
First Appearance: Doctor Who "The Eleventh Hour" (2010)
Fun Fact: One of a handful of male companions and the only married companion couple.

Clara Oswin (Jenna-Louise Coleman)
About: Little is known about The Doctor's new companion. Insiders on the show say Clara is "more than a match" for the Time Lord and is a computer expert who is "feisty and flirty." Executive Producer Stephen Moffat said, "It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She's funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the Tardis,

"It's not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it's about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that's all you're getting for now.

"Who she's playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor's standards, this isn't your usual boy meets girl."
First appearance: Doctor Who Unnamed Episode 6 (Christmas special) (2012)

Dr. River Song (Alex Kingston)
About: Dr. River Song, a human with Time Lord DNA, has a convoluted history. Melody Pond (later River Song) was conceived by her parents in the TARDIS. Because of this, she has elements of a Time Lord in her DNA. Song was stolen along with her mother and trained by "The Silence" to assassinate the Doctor. Later, she regenerated and becomes the childhood friend of her father and mother as "Mels." She regenerates again to save the Doctor and grows up to be the one who tries to kill him. She is imprisoned for his murder. Song later goes on an archaeological expedition and sacrifices her life to save others in the "Library." Because of her time traveling she has shown up in The Doctor's life at various times and points in his history. Former showrunner Russell T. Davis called her "one of the most important characters" in the Doctor's life.
First Appearance: Doctor Who "Silence in the Library" (2008)
Fun Fact: Executive producer Russell T Davies originally wanted to cast Kate Winslet as River Song. He had worked with her as a writer on the BBC1 teen drama Dark Season.

Enemies and Allies

The Doctor has many returning enemies and allies this season. Here are the ones you need to know about.

The Daleks
About: Cyborgs in giant metal "Pepperpots." Small green tentacled mutants housed in a metal armored frame. Originally from the planet Skaros they were supposedly wiped out in a war with the Time Lords. They were able to unlock Dalek DNA and create a new generation of Daleks.

The Daleks are the Doctor's greatest foe. He has fought them dozens of time and are fan favorites. This time Moffatt promises that "every Dalek ever" will be in this season. That's a bold claim.

All you need to know about the Daleks can be summed up in their signature phrase," EXTERMINATE!" They simply want to destroy all other life in the universe. The Doctor is their greatest enemy because he has stopped their plans so many times. The doctor considered them extinct but they have managed to survive. when he last met them. While the Daleks usually try to kill The Doctor on sight, this season shows them entering an uneasy alliance with him.
First Appearance: Doctor Who "The Daleks" (1963)
Fun Fact: At first the estate of copyright holder Terry Nation refused permission for them to use Daleks in the 2005 show. One of the reasons was because the BBC granting permission for the Daleks to be used in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Steve Martin, who was the one who insisted Daleks be used in the movie, heard about the news and wrote a letter of apology. When they read it, the Terry Nation estate granted permission.

Weeping Angels
About: The Weeping Angels (also known as the Lonely Assassins) are an ancient race of aliens that look like statues when they are being observed. They cannot be destroyed and the only weakness they have is being seen puts them in an immobile "Quantum Locked" state. They feed by sending their victims back in time and absorbing the energy. No one knows where they come from and any statue can be a "Weeping Angel."
First Appearance: Doctor Who "Blink" (2007)
Fun Fact: Since they have to be seen to be stopped, and are so fast, the warning is "Don't blink. Not even once."

Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh)
About: Madame Vastra is a Silurian from Earth.  The Silurians, also known as Earth Reptiles, Eocenes, Homo reptilia and Psionosauropodomorpha, were a species of Earth reptile.They lived during the Silurian era (circa 450 million years) and were the technologically advanced rulers of the planet. After a threat of a planetary disaster the Silurians moved into hibernation chambers deep underground. In "A Good Man Goes to War" it was revealed she hunted and ate "Jack the Ripper" at Britain's request. She helped save Amy Pond from The Silence and calls the Doctor an 'old friend.' She knows a lot about him and owes the Doctor an unnamed "very old debt."
First appearances (Silurians/Madam Vastra): Doctor Who "Doctor Who and the Silurians" (1970), Doctor Who "The Hungry Earth" (2010)

Commander Strax (Dan Starkey)
About: Strax is a Sontaran from Sontar, a highly militaristic race. They reproduce by cloning. Wearing armor, their only weak spot is on the back of the neck. You would think they'd keep their neck protected, but its a point of honor to keep it uncovered.

Commander Strax, a Sontaran, was demoted to nurse by The Doctor as debt for saving his life. He was first seen helping to rescue Any, and her baby Melody, from "The Silence." He died in battle, an honor for a Sontaran, after a strike to the neck at 12 years old. A long life for a member of his race. He's scheduled to appear this season, but we don't know of it's a flashback or not.
First Appearances (Sontarans, Commander Strax): Doctor Who "The Time Warrior" (1973), Doctor Who "A Good Man Goes to War" (2011)

The Silence
The Silence are a religious order led by an alien race of the same name. The race have a unique ability to make people forget about them when they stop looking at them. They have been manipulating human history for decades. They are obsessed with destroying The Doctor before his name can be uttered.

They have created several failed time machines and went through an elaborate plan to create an assassin, Melody Pond, that exists in a "fixed point of time" to kill him. The Silence are continuing to fight the Doctor and will no doubt reappear this season.
First Appearance: Doctor Who "The Impossible Astronaut" (2011)
Fun Fact: Designed by Stephen Moffat to be "scarier" than any other Doctor Who villain, their appearance was partially based on Edvard Munch's painting The Scream.

So there you have it. The history of Doctor Who is much more varied and complex than this. You can read more at the Doctor Who Wiki and watch video clips of Doctor Who online at the official site BBC America.

Don’t miss the season premiere Sat, September 1 9/8c on BBC America!

Are you ready to watch Doctor Who after reading this guide? Did you learn anything? Is there anything a new viewer should know?

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    Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

    Wish that was a show I was excited about, but just never got into Dr. Who. Everyone says this series is one of the best though.

    Patrick Dilloway said...

    That's really convenient how he can just go from one body to another. Makes it easy if one actor starts getting a big head and demanding more money to just replace him. BTW, if a Silence is based on "The Scream" does that mean they would be worth $119 million at auction?

    Melissa Bradley said...

    Wow, I never knew River Song was the Doctor's wife. I have a lot of catching up to do. Thanks for the breakdown!

    MPax said...

    Exterminate! I need to do some catching up on Dr. Who, too.

    TheReluctantGeek said...

    If you read River's section again you will also note that her real name is 'Melody Pond' ie daughter of Amy and Rory, meaning the Doctor's companions are also his in-laws

    TheReluctantGeek said...

    Tom Baker and Peter Davidson will always be the Doctors I love the most. That said Tennent was great in the role and it was his incarnation that brought me back to the series - I really didn't like Baker the 2nd and don't get me started on McCoy. Ecclestone reminded me more of a Northern detective than the Lord of Time but I could tollerate him due to some nice writing by Russell T and d Gang.

    Matt Smith has never really gelled with me as the Doctor. I'm not sure if its the script or his portrayal, but his character just doesn't seem strong enough. In the first episode he seemed to be doing some sort of Tennent impression rather than setting himself apart as a new personality. Then throughout his first series it was Amy who came across as the lead with the Doctor adopting some sort of supporting role. It was almost as if the Doctor had been split and divided into two characters. In his second series I didn't really feel Smith separated himself that much from Amy's dominating presence until the final episodes. I'm hoping that the first few episodes continue to build upon this otherwise Amy's departure may deal a heavy blow to the series - possible to the point of requiring a regeneration.


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