The All-Time Best Dr Who Stories To Watch

Explanation: I’m not a Dr Who uber-fan, and I’m well aware that if you ask ten fans for a list of the best stories, you’ll get ten very different lists. But despite that, I wanted to watch the best stories, now that nearly all of them are accessible on BBC iPlayer, and I wanted a spread from different eras (i.e. different Doctors).

So I approached the task methodically, and amalgamated half a dozen serious-looking ‘best ever’ lists published online, from fans and from critics. This gave me just over 90 stories which seem to be highly rated.

Then I divided the stories into the various Doctors. I’m well aware that the second-best story from one Doctor may not be as good as the seventh-best from another, but it’s given me a pretty good list to work through.

If you’re also looking for a starting point, whether you want to watch one story from each Doctor or several, I hope it works for you too!

This was written on the eve of the 60th anniversary episodes, and the introduction of the Fifteenth Doctor.


= Generally rated among the very best stories of all.
= First episode of that Doctor – may be a preferable one to begin with.

FIRST DOCTOR: William Hartnell

  1. The Daleks
  2. An Unearthly Child
  3. The Aztecs
  4. The Tenth Planet

SECOND DOCTOR: Patrick Troughton

  1. The War Games
  2. The Invasion
  3. The Mind Robber
  4. The Web of Fear
  5. The Power of the Daleks

THIRD DOCTOR: Jon Pertwee

  1. The Daemons
  2. The Sea Devils
  3. Inferno
  4. The Green Death
  5. Spearhead from Space
  6. Frontier in Space

(Also mentioned often: The Curse of Peladon, Carnival of Monsters, The Three Doctors, The Time Warrior, Day of the Daleks and The Mind of Evil)

FOURTH DOCTOR: Tom Baker

  1. Genesis of the Daleks
  2. City of Death
  3. The Talons of Weng-Chiang
  4. The Pyramids of Mars
  5. The Deadly Assassin
  6. The Robots of Death

(Also mentioned often: The Brain of Morbius, The Seeds of Doom, Planet of Evil, The Ark in Space, Horror of Fang Rock, Image of the Fendahl, Stones of Blood and Terror of the Zygons)

FIFTH DOCTOR: Peter Davison

  1. The Caves of Androzani
  2. Earthshock

SIXTH DOCTOR: Colin Baker

(Sadly, none of this Doctor’s stories appeared in any overall best-of list)

SEVENTH DOCTOR: Sylvester McCoy

  1. Remembrance of the Daleks
  2. The Curse of Fenric
  3. Ghost Light

EIGHTH DOCTOR: Paul McGann

(This Doctor only appeared in a one-off story which did not appear in any overall best-of list)

NINTH DOCTOR: Christopher Eccleston

  1. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
  2. Dalek
  3. Rose
  4. Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways
  5. The Unquiet Dead
  6. Boom Town

TENTH DOCTOR: David Tennant

  1. Blink
  2. Human Nature/The Family of Blood
  3. Midnight
  4. The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End
  5. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
  6. The Girl in the Fireplace

(Also mentioned often: School Reunion, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, Turn Left, The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, The Waters of Mars, Silence in the Library, The Christmas Invasion , 42, Tooth and Claw, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks and The End of Time)

ELEVENTH DOCTOR: Matt Smith

  1. The Day of the Doctor
  2. Vincent and the Doctor
  3. The Doctor’s Wife
  4. The Eleventh Hour
  5. A Good Man Goes to War
  6. The Lodger

(Also mentioned often: The Girl Who Waited, The Time of the Doctor, Power of Three, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, Amy’s Choice and Cold War)

TWELFTH DOCTOR: Peter Capaldi

  1. Listen
  2. Heaven Sent
  3. World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls
  4. Hell Bent/Heaven Sent
  5. Last Christmas
  6. The Magician’s Apprentice

(Also mentioned often: Thin Ice, Twice Upon a Time, Face the Raven, Dark Water/Death in Heaven and Deep Breath )

THIRTEENTH DOCTOR: Jodie Whittaker

  1. Rosa
  2. The Power of The Doctor
  3. Fugitive of the Judoon
  4. Demons of the Punjab
  5. It Takes You Away

(Also mentioned often: Eve of the Daleks and Village Of The Angels)