Every Doctor Who Series Ranked

Now that the Whoniverse is on BBC iPlayer, which is the best Doctor Who TV series of all time?

Matt Smith, Christopher Eccleston, Jodie Whittaker, David Tennant, Jon Pertwee, William Hartnell, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Tom Baker, Patrick Troughton, Peter Capaldi, Sylvester Stallone
Photo: BBC/Chloe Lewis

It’s Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary month, which calls for two things: celebration, and admin. Fittingly, here’s an administrative celebration of the BBC show, featuring every season/series that’s aired so far. After a six-tab Excel file and a lot of overthinking, it’s a big ol’ list arranging each of Doctor Who’s individual runs in reverse order of excellence.

(A note on methodology: this list does not include runs of Doctor Who specials or the TV movie, and Christmas specials are included under the entries for their relevant series.)

There’s good stuff everywhere in Doctor Who. Sometimes it can take a bit of digging to find it, but much of the time, you hardly even have to look – it’s just there, posing as the Commissioner from Sirius 4, or asking “Do I have the right?”. What follows is an attempt to arrange each season and series of the show since 1963 in order of how much great stuff they contain, and how well it all works as a whole.

39. Season 19 (Fifth Doctor, 1982)

A time of four script editors: Christopher Bidmead commissioned most of the stories (with producer John Nathan-Turner commissioning ′Earthshock′ and ′Black Orchid′ – the latter a story Bidmead had rejected – and doing some script editing too), Anthony Root came in then got seconded to Juliet Bravo – so Eric Saward got a temporary contract – then Root stayed put and Saward stayed on.


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