Written by Robert Kuykendall

Classic Doctor Who recommended viewing list

12 March 2013

Skip to Doctor One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight. Check 'Reading the Guide' first!

Last updated January 12th, 2020.

Every season of Classic Doctor Who contains a number of “serials” which are made up of multiple episodes. Below is every Doctor Who serial categorized and ranked. I got my list of episodes from the fantastic Wikipedia entry, “List of Doctor Who serials.” I also consulted Nerdist’s “Doctor Who for Newbies” series ( First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh ), Geeks of Doom’s “10 Classic ‘Doctor Who’ Adventures Worth Checking Out” article, and Doctor Who Magazine's “Big 200” Reader Poll to make sure I didn’t under represent any episodes. Leave any suggestions for changes in the comments below. If you want to start on a later episode, Ritch and Space has a video that covers good starting points and watching habits.

Another great option for getting started is The Doctors Revisited, a BBC series profiling each Doctor and then showed one of their classic stories. It's a great combination of backstory, commentary, and curated stories:

Reading the Guide

Episodes are color coordinated:

Recommended episode ranked: The (#) on recommended serials is their rank among the other recommended episodes from that Doctor. If you only have time for two serials-per-doctor, then just watch the (1) and (2) recommended serials for each Doctor, and so on.

Spoilers hidden in grey boxes: Possible spoilers, such as the monster for that serial, are hidden in grey-on-grey text like this: Spoilers! so that they can be highlighted and read, or even searched, only if you want to see them.

First Doctor, William Hartnell

Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton

Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee

Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker

Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison

Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker

Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Ninth Doctor, and future

Robert Kuykendall — Say hi or in the comments below.