I understand this is a very odd question but I have to ask because the Dr. Who story-line is unlike any other sci-fi series I have ever watched. It is fun but I am struggling a bit to find a mindset that will help me enjoy this series as much as possible.
A quick bit of background. My wife and I are total nerds. Recently, we happened to watch a couple of the most recent episodes of Dr. Who on the US-BBC channel. We tried hard to fight it but we have been sucked into the show and are now "binging" on Dr. Who episodes, starting with season 5.
After watching one full season, I can't quite grip how I should process this show. What I mean is that with every sci-fi universe that's been developed, you have to enter the story with a few assumptions and you have to "forgive" the writer(s) for certain, impractical details. Generally speaking, I've developed 3 mindsets. Of these three mindsets, I try to adopt one of them, in order to be able to enjoy the story. They are as listed below.
The Star Trek Mindset
This type of story is high on science and tries to base the story around a universe that is reasonably plausible. You can forgive some scientific inaccuracies if the science-of-the-story is integral to the plot. In general, however, the world/universe should be considered close to the one we live in. Continuity in the story line is important but it can be broken if it rectifies scientific mistakes from earlier series assumptions.
The LOST Mindset
This is a story where continuity is of the utmost importance. Questions should be asked and answers are to be expected. Scientific gibberish can add a layer of fun to the story, but don't consider it to align with reality. The key hear is to enjoy the curiosity surrounded by the story that is being told and you should pay close attention to every detail, for clues to future story development.
The STAR WARS Mindset
Continuity is only somewhat important but legitimate science should be forgotten. For this type of story it is almost best to throw out both ideas and simply "enjoy the ride." For this story, you should enjoy the characters, bask in starships exploding in the roar of space and not ask questions. Just have fun!
As I mentioned, I try to adopt one of these mindsets with any new series that I watch. If I don't, I'll end up being annoyed by inconsistencies that I see throughout the story. I need to have a few base assumptions so that I can forgive the writers for minor inconsistencies that may occur in the story.
However, with Dr. Who I feel that my "mindset" has to shift from episode-to-episode. The default may be to adopt the STAR WARS style mindset, but I can't seem to think from that perspective when the story continually encourages you to pay attention to continuity details.
Also, the writers tend to portray that the Dr. Who universe has a "science" all of it's own that should be consistent within the universe. This may not follow the laws of our physical world, but it seems that I should at least pay attention to the details of the Dr. Who universe because it could be important to the story that's being told
Considering the information stated above, what assumptions should I maintain about the plot, questions and answers, and the general "science" of the Dr. Who universe while watching Dr. Who?