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

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 3:41 pm,

doctor who viewing tips Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List

Doctor Who is a complicated show full of enough wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff to make any veteran Whovian’s head spin. For that reason, we’ve also put together a list of tips for watching the series that should help newcomers make sense of certain informational bits that might be confusing at first. We’ve also compiled notes that, first and foremost, stress the importance of Christmas episodes and other specials – as well as addresses a number of frequently asked logistical questions.

The Basics:

  • Doctor Who is the question, The Doctor is what he’s refered to as, Doctor is what people call him.
  • Doctor Who is always written as Doctor Who, never Dr. Who.
  • The Doctor has a name but will only reveal it in special circumstances, to certain people (viewers do not know it).
  • The Doctor is 900+ years old, can regenerate (12 times – 13 incarnations), and is currently on the 11th iteration.
  • Regeneration can occur willingly or as the result of dire circumstances. All memories stay while personality quirks and traits change. However, the Doctor can learn traits from previous incarnations (i.e. to not be so serious).
  • 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.

The Logistics:

  • Christmas Specials are part of the overall story – with lead-ins and cliffhangers to the previous and upcoming episodes/seasons.
  • The “Season 2008-2012 Specials” are also essential to the overall Doctor Who story – linking the show’s fourth and fifth seasons.
  • Doctor Who has a companion series called Doctor Who Confidential, which shows the making-of/behind-the-scenes of each and every episode. Doctor Who Confidential only aired in the UK but is available on the US DVD & Blu-Ray releases. The BBC canceled Doctor Who Confidential following the season 6 finale.
  • Doctor Who DVDs are expensive because they also include every episode of Doctor Who Confidential for the season, plus commentaries, video diaries & more.
  • Every episode of Doctor Who (seasons 1-6) is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix (in the US) – with the season 4 special “Planet of the Dead” and season 5 Christmas special being Netflix exceptions.
Are you a frequent companion of The Doctor and have a tip for new viewers? Make sure to share it in the comments below.

doctor who the last centurion Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List

We’ve already shared the best episodes to whet your appetite for more Doctor Who but which of the Time Lord’s adventures are the overall best? We’d never be so bold as to put together a “best” episodes list – since there are plenty of high quality installments in the series that appeal to viewers for different reasons. However, we’ve listed our personal favorites below for the sake of discussion.

  1. Blink
  2. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
  3. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
  4. Vincent and the Doctor
  5. The Girl in the Fireplace
  6. Human Nature/The Family of Blood
  7. The Girl Who Waited
  8. Father’s Day
  9. Amy’s Choice
  10. The Doctor’s Wife

Honorable Mention: Time Crash, Stolen Earth [Ending], The End of Time [Ending]

It was hard for us to narrow down our choices to just ten (plus a few honorable mentions) – so we again invite you to share your favorite episodes and Doctor Who memories in the comment section.

Continue reading for a complete list of episodes, specials, and where the Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures crossovers fit in…

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TAGS: doctor who, torchwood

152 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.

  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.

  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.

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    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.

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