As the latest ‘Doctor Who’ series landed on our screens last night, families all over the country nestled down on the sofa to watch the popular sci-fi with their kids.
The first episode, featuring Jodie Whittaker as the doctor, received widespread support on Twitter for its diversity. You could argue there were parts of the show that were on the scary side... So how young is too young for kids to watch ‘Doctor Who’?
Cathy Ranson, editor of ChannelMum.com says her son started watching the show from primary school when he was four. She believes it’s down to parents to decide whether their child will be scared by the show. “Dr Who is a family institution loved right across the generations - but when it comes to choosing whether to let your child watch it, you don’t have to be as smart as the Doctor to decide,” she says. “You know your child best so make a savvy judgement that suits your family.”
She does, however, agree, that some of the aliens and special effects can be scary and for young kids with vivid imaginations this could tip into bad dreams or feeling frightened the aliens could be coming after them. “Having Jodie Whittaker as the first female doctor is a major moment and means even more kids are watching than normal,” she added.
You know your child best so make a savvy judgement that suits your family." Cathy Ranson, editor of ChannelMum.com
Dad Han-Son Lee, who blogs at DaddiLife, will be letting his son who’s turning four soon watch the show for the first time this series, although he fell asleep after a busy day at the park, so didn’t catch the first episode last night.
Han-Son has been a ‘Doctor Who’ fan for years. “It’s something I’ve always wanted my son to share with me,” he says. “His interest in sci-fi as a whole means I think he’ll love it, and I think he’ll actually have a basic understanding of what’s happening. I don’t think it’s too scary. I get more concerned by those strange YouTube videos of superheroes trying to torture each other. ‘Doctor Who’ is an institution and I’d love to bring my son into it too, only because I think he’ll really love it.”
And other parents agree. Katja from Manchester watched ‘Doctor Who’ last night with her daughter who is only 17 months. “Whereas most parents probably don’t see a 17-month-old as old enough, I believe it’s up to each family,” she says. “I would never let my daughter watch ‘Doctor Who’ if she ever seemed scared. Instead of scared she gets excited when there’s a lot going on and she’s even been known to tell the TV off, just like she does me if I ever have to raise my voice at her!”
Will Hamilton has two kids ages six and nine who have been watching old episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ solidly for the past month in anticipation of the new series. ”Prior to that, they dipped in and out of the episodes available on streaming,” he says.
He believes the right age is when they’re interested in it and likely to engage with it positively. “It can be scary, intense and occasionally baffling,” he adds. “But that “right age” will differ from child to child, I think.”
And despite putting the kids to bed early to watch ‘Doctor Who’ in peace, Zoe Margetts also feels that there is no age limit on children watching the show. “I have a two-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl and I have no problems with either of them watching it!” she says. “I’m just such a huge super fan I wanted to watch the premier in peace! My daughter will probably watch it at some point on iPlayer.”
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