Wait. When WAS Doctor Who created? Didn’t it start in the sixties or something? And aren’t there, like, 20 doctors? Guh, see? It’s stuff like this that confuses me and makes me hesitate getting into the show.
Doctor Who started in 1963. The original series ended in 1989, and the modern version debuted in 2005. The current Doctor, Matt Smith, is the 11th.
A show that big can be pretty daunting! But thankfully, there are plenty of good places for a newbie to dive in.
If you’re really fond of retro sci-fi, you could watch the classic series first. (Just about any story makes a good first one, as the classic series is very laid-back about continuity.)
If you’d rather watch the modern stuff first, the best starting places are either “Rose” (the first episode of the modern series and the 9th Doctor) or “The Eleventh Hour” (the first episode for both the current showrunner and the current Doctor.)
The modern series is a direct continuation of the classic series, but you don’t have to watch the old episodes in order to understand the new ones. The modern series does a good job of getting new viewers up to speed on the basic concept. (900-year-old alien, time-traveling phone box, etc.)
Of course, if you end up liking the modern series, I do recommend going back and watching at least a bit of the classic show! :]