My old high school mate Konrad asked (a little while back now): How old were your boys when you introduced them to Dr Who and do you think it was the right age? I ask as I’m wondering how old my daughter will have to be before I can introduce her to him.
I think it was early-2003 when I first bought the DVD of Carnival of Monsters and showed it to Isaac, who was 7 or 8 at the time (Jeremy would have been 5).
One of the reasons I chose that story was because the boys were first starting to get interested in visual effects, and amongst the extras on the disc was a demonstration of Colour Separation Overlay (the BBC’s name for chroma key, or blue/green screen), with early-70s producer Barry Letts showing off how to use it. The story was pretty good too, with strange alien blokes, dinosaur-like “Drashigs”, and the Doctor and Jo miniaturised and scurrying through the Scope machine.
As I recall it, Jeremy wasn’t particularly interested, but Isaac was. And we dug out The Five Doctors DVD I had. It’s a bit more scary/violent than Carnival of Monsters, and I recall him initially reacting adversely to the massacre of the Cybermen by the Master. I suppose in retrospect it was quite unlike any television or movies he’d watched before then, with the possible exception of Harry Potter.
We started buying a few more DVDs, and when in late 2003 the ABC started showing all the classic episodes, Isaac watched it every night. He was hooked.
So, for Isaac, seven was the age. Every kid’s different of course, and like anything of this nature, a parental discretion, supervision and guidance will help.