‘Doctor Who’ Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List

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Doctor Who Viewing Guide Header Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List

Once viewed by many TV lovers as a niche sci-fi program, Doctor Who and the TARDIS have been popping up with increasing regularity on television screens around the globe. In the past few years, the cult British staple has become a full-on global phenomenon. These days, being a Whovian is, as the eleventh Doctor (played by Matt Smith) would say, “Cool.”

However, with over six seasons of the Russell T. Davies 2005 series relaunch plus three spin-off shows (Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and K9) available online and in stores, it can be an especially daunting task to get started – and that’s not even taking the hundreds of classic Doctor Who episodes into consideration.

Fortunately, we’ve put together the following handy guide to help viewers figure out which episodes are a good barometer for whether or not someone will enjoy the series, where to find the show online (in addition to retail shelves), as well as a complete list of Doctor Who episodes, specials, shorts, prequels and tie-ins - including where the Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures, and K9 crossovers fit in (assuming you want the “complete” Doctor Who experience).

doctor who david tennant matt smith Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List

That said, our guide will only focus on the modern series (starting in 2005) – since the copious amount of content in the classic chapter could be pretty daunting for most viewers who are new to Who. We recommend that interested viewers follow our guide and then, if they’re up for it, go all the way back to the beginning of the franchise with Season 1, Episode 1: “An Unearthly Child” (1963) – which featured the first, and grumpiest, iteration of The Doctor (played by William Hartnell).

Continue reading for suggestions on where best to start adventuring with The Doctor…

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TAGS: doctor who, torchwood

166 Comments

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  1. Great job – you’re just missing the Night and the Doctor mini episodes (Last Night, First Night, Good Night, Bad Night, Up All Night) which importantly adds to the the Doctor/River relationship.

    • Thanks! I’ve added those links in as well.

    • DO you know where those are in the Blu Ray/DVD releases? Which season?

      • They should be included in the season 6 DVD and Blu-ray sets.

  2. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be book-marking it
    and checking back often!

  3. Accept that you’re not going to like any incarnation of The Doctor at first. You will also initially hate every newly regenerated Doctor replacing the previous Doctor.
    Similarly, be aware that you will likely not be happy with each new companion at first.
    This is so true :D
    And i would put yourneys end and before that
    Its awesome that everyone is coming back to help the doctor one last time

  4. Could you update this to the recent episodes, mini episodes, and specials? It was really helpful when I first started Doctor Who and would like to use it further in the future if I could

  5. Is this page ever going to be updated? I love it. The animated episode was a great tip, even my biggest whovian friends missed that one. But I’m worried that as I catch up with the series I’m going to miss more suggestions.

    • We update the guide before and during each new season. As such, I just updated it ahead of season 8.

  6. Not sure if anyone knows this, but on HULU+ you can catch Classic Doctor Who episodes along with Doctor Who (2005) including every episodes up to Season 7′s Christmas episode. Granted there are commercials, but to get to see all 7 seasons is a big enough treat for me. It’s been a whirlwind ride for me having only watched Classic episodes. I knocked out all 7 seasons in about a week.

  7. Ben Kendrick, thank you so much for this guide. I’m down in Australia where we don’t have Netfilx so this guide was very valuable for me as I made my way through the 7 seasons (remarkably, in order). I now consider myself a fellow Whovian and can’t wait for the next season.

  8. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe
    you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    • This is not a picture book, it’s a speculative news site, so its main medium is text. If you want more images, Google is your friend… Many articles already are several pages long (this very one totals 4), I’d hate for them to multiply pages because of an epidemy of pictures. After all, the important thing is information, isn’t it? I, for one, find the design perfect: easy on the eye with its dark background, not too sober and not too flashy, and easy enough too read precisely because the articles aren’t overwhelmed by a proliferation of images.

  9. I started with Blink, and right after I watched The Eleventh Hour. I was hooked for life.

  10. I just started watching Doctor Who a couple weeks ago after I stumbled across it on Netflix. A ton of my friends are obsessed with it so I decided to give it a go starting with the 2005 reboot. While I’m not obsessed or ultimately hooked. I’m six episodes in and find it mildly entertaining. I had been thinking of asking my friends more about the show, if I was starting in the right place and if I could expect it to get better. The timing of this guide couldn’t be better. Think I will stay the course.

  11. I find this guide’s lack of Classic Who…disturbing. “Complete Episode List” indeed. Hmmph.

    • You did see the part where we said the guide focuses on the modern series only right? ;) Nearly 50 years of Doctor Who is a lot to digest for someone who is thinking about getting into the show. The guide is to help people get on board – then they can go back and watch the classic series if they want.

  12. Hey thanks for this!! Seriously – This is a big help to someone who wants to start watching the show. :)

  13. I started watching Doctor Who just 2 days ago, and I’ve started with the classics (those which are there at least) Any tips?

    • Netflix has some “best of” collections for several of the Doctors that highlight many of the most iconic episodes. Catching up on the classic series is a little more complicated – since availability of the episodes is inconsistent across different platforms.

      That said, Hulu Plus has most (but still not all) of the classic episodes.

  14. Happy premier day whovians. I hope yall enjoy the show. As for me, I will be waiting till monday to watch to watch the premier on the big screen :-)

  15. Here’s my “Viewing Tip:”

    DON’T WATCH THE “NEXT TIME ON…” BITS! They’ve gotten better, but especially in the first few (reboot) seasons, they’re terrible about revealing twists and major plot details. Skip to the next episode the instant the text appears on screen or it’s inevitable that something big in the next episode will be spoiled.

  16. Couple of minor errors and extra stuff:

    Wedding of SJS and Children of Earth should be BEFORE Waters of Mars, not after.
    Chronologically, The Infinite Quest can pretty much go anywhere in series 3 before Utopia.
    The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End is a crossover with SJA as well as Torchwood. Same goes for End of Time, but that one’s more minor.
    There is another animated episode, Dreamland, between Planet of the Dead and Waters of Mars.
    The end of Torchwood S1 leads directly into Utopia and has a sort-of appearance by the TARDIS (may be worth a mention).
    There are a few prequels missing (Impossible Astronaut, Black Spot, two for Name of the Doctor, the second Snowmen prequel).
    DVD minisodes for series 5 – two Meanwhile in the TARDIS eps, set after Eleventh Hour and Flesh & Stone respectively.
    DVD minisodes for series 7 – The Inforarium (after Wedding of River Song, before Angels Take Manhattan), Clara and the TARDIS and Rain Gods (both anytime after The Bells of St John).

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