A new Honest Trailer for Doctor Who, the long-running BBC series, has the kind of begrudging affection for the show that longtime fans can appreciate, gently poking fun at its unrelenting Britishness and “series-spanning arcs that will delight fans and confuse newcomers.” In between the jokes, however, the Honest Trailer also acts as a kind of primer to the series as a whole for novices, introducing the concept of Time Lords, zipping through the Doctor’s many companions and enemies, and explaining why the character has gone through so many casting changes—and what various different actors bring to the role:
• Christopher Eccleston*: “The only doctor in the modern era to regenerate due to creative differences with the BBC.”
• David Tennant: “The unquestioned master of staring sadly into the middle distance.”
• Matt Smith: “Combined the face of a handsome 12-year-old with the wavy arms of an inflatable tube man.”
• Peter Capaldi: “Your uncle who never got married and moved to Vegas in his forties.”
• Jodie Whittaker: “The first female Doctor, which, no matter how she performs, is one of the least outrageous things this ridiculous show has ever done.”
If you’re not a completist, you can really just start your Doctor Who journey with Eccleston, who starred in the 2005 revival of the show. But if you’re itching to get the scoop on the classic, old-school Doctor Who, there’s an Honest Trailer for that too.
Correction, Oct. 10, 2018: This post originally misspelled Christopher Eccleston’s first name.