2MTL 119: Questioning My Kid's Readiness for Series 5

Although there were notable exceptions — many written by Steven Moffat — the baseline atmosphere for the last five years of Doctor Who wasn't overwhelmingly creepy. I'm expecting Series 5 to be a little creepier, and I wonder if my eight-year-old is ready for it.

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  1. I remember as a child flipping through the channels and stopping on a Doctor Who episode one morning. I now know it to be the final installment of a story called "The Brain of Morpheus". By this point, the brain had been installed into a horrible cyborg "head" which was attached to a monstrous body of stitched together parts and it was destroying a lab as it chased the (4th) Doctor and Sarah-Jane around in an effort to bludgeon them to death with the large insectoid claw attached to one of its arms. I was horrified by what I saw, though I was compelled to keep watching and I didn't want to change the channel, but I stood there holding onto the dial (I know I'm dating myself here). And then The Doctor and Sarah-Jane started making fun of the monster, calling it names. By the time they got to "The great and terrible potpourri!" I had taken my hand off the dial.

    Long story short. (Too late.) I think your plan is brilliant.

  2. I haven't even listened to your about this and all I can say is an overwhelming yes!

    It has little to do with age, and more with upbringing. And knowing what I know of you the young-in is ready for it.

    I am in a similar situation. I have a 11 year old and a soon to be 9 year old. I like to think that I am a good parent that has brought them up well enough that they can handle Doctor Who. They have been right by me since Eccleston grasped Piper's hand way back in 2005.

    There are many things I will not show them in other arenas – I am super sensitive to the depiction of violence in movies for example when it comes to my kids. I mean my neighbours kids are 11 or so and they have seen all the Alien/Predator type films, the Saw films, etc etc. I mean my god.

    Doctor Who isn't a problem, as long as you have the strong parental presence there to help them if they need it. For me I have only had to step in once or twice (more so about Who's predeliction for super-sizing common Earth bugs and flying things!).

    I think we also, as parents, underestimate our children's ability to cope with these things. I sometimes forget that I was probably watching similar things at their age, and I turned out fine .

    Let them enjoy it. Just be there for them.


  3. Speaking as a former child myself, I think it's important to focus on the character of the Doctor as well as the creepiness. If the 11th Doctor makes your adorable little tyke feel safe and reassured, then the monsters can provide a few fun scares before being safely dealt with by the Doctor.

  4. Kids are incredibly resilient – as Terry Gilliam put it, "if you drop them, they tend to bounce". So long as they know it's just a show, that it's all going to be alright in the end and that you're watching it with them, they'll love it. You know how much kids love it when you chase them? They love to be scared, they love getting a fright – but that's because it's in a controlled environment and they know there's no *real* danger. Erik and Trevor are both right, the show can be fun for them when they feel safe with it. It's the right kind of scary, but it's not too graphic and the right side always wins in the end.

    My seven year old daughter loves watching it with my wife and me. There's some parts that are concerning to her, but the best thing you can do as a parent is to laugh at it, or say something like "how do you think the doctor is going to beat that?". Kids take their emotional cues from grown-ups, so if you're having fun with it, they will too.

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