List of Doctor Who serials

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This is a list of Doctor Who television serials. Each serial up to 1989's Survival was a multi-episode story; the characters in brackets after the serial titles indicates the code used by the production team to designate the serial (where applicable) and are followed by the number of episodes in the serial. Unless otherwise noted, episodes were 25 minutes long.

A number of serials from the 1960s are either totally missing or have episodes missing, while some of the early 1970s episodes are only held in black and white. See List of incomplete Doctor Who serials for an exact listing.

The three-digit story numbers are not official designations but are merely to serve as a guide to where the story stands in the overall context of the programme. There is some dispute among fans about, for example, whether to count Season 23's The Trial of a Time Lord as one or four serials and whether the uncompleted Shada should be included. The numbering scheme used here reflects that used in popular reference books like The Discontinuity Guide and on the Region 1 DVD releases, which count Trial as four serials and includes Shada.

Starting with the 2005 revival, the production team abandoned the traditional serial format for a largely self-contained episodic format (with the occasional two-part story and loose story arc elements), similar to the style of American dramas such as Star Trek or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


William Hartnell

(In the first two seasons and most of the third season, each episode of a serial had an individual title; no serial had an overall onscreen title until The Savages. The earlier stories did have overall titles though they were not used onscreen, and much confusion has existed over the years, with many sources using different titles due to early fandom and reference works being unable to initially access the production files.)

See: Doctor Who story title controversy

Season 1 (1963-64)

(During the early seasons of the programme, most serials were linked together, usually one leading directly into the next, although there are some breaks such as between the second season finale The Time Meddler and the third season premiere, Galaxy 4.)

Individual episode titles

Season 2 (1964-65)

Individual episode titles

Season 3 (1965-66)

Individual episode titles

(From this point onwards the stories had overall onscreen titles.)

Season 4 (1966-67)

Patrick Troughton

Season 4 (1966-67) - continued

Season 5 (1967-68)

Season 6 (1968-69)

Jon Pertwee

(Starting from Season 7, the programme was broadcast in colour.)

Season 7 (1970)

Season 8 (1971)

Season 9 (1972)

Season 10 (1972-73)

Season 11 (1973-74)

Tom Baker

Season 12 (1974-75)

(All serials in this season continued directly one after the other, although most of the stories are considered standalones.)

Season 13 (1975-76)

Season 14 (1976-77)

Season 15 (1977-78)

Season 16 (1978-79)

(Season 16 consisted of one long story arc encompassing six separate, linked stories. This season is referred to by the umbrella title The Key to Time and has been released to DVD under this title.)

Season 17 (1979-80)

Season 18 (1980-81)

(In a return to the format of early seasons, virtually all serials from the start of Season 18 through to the end of Season 20 would be linked together, often with the final scene of one story leading straight into the next story.)

Peter Davison

Season 19 (1982)

Season 20 (1983)

Season 21 (1984)

(Beginning with this season, serials were no longer directly linked for the first time since Season 18, with the sole exception being the end of Frontios and the start of Resurrection of the Daleks. Resurrection was originally filmed as 4 25-minute episodes but was re-edited into two 46-minute episodes to accommodate coverage of the 1984 Winter Olympics though the 25-minute versions were also circulated to broadcasters overseas.)

Colin Baker

Season 21 (1984) - continued

Season 22 (1985)

All episodes 45 minutes

Season 23 (1986)

(Although broadcast as an epic 14-part serial under the title of The Trial of a Time Lord, Season 23 was structured as four serials, recorded in 3 production blocks. The four serials, with their generally used titles, are listed below.)

  • 144 - The Mysterious Planet (7A) (4 episodes; Robert Holmes)
  • 145 - Mindwarp (7B) (4 episodes; Philip Martin)
  • 146 - Terror of the Vervoids (7C) (4 episodes; Pip and Jane Baker) Also known as The Ultimate Foe or The Vervoids.
  • 147 - The Ultimate Foe (7C) (2 episodes; Robert Holmes and Pip and Jane Baker) Also known as Time Incorporated.

Sylvester McCoy

Season 24 (1987)

Season 25 (1988)

Season 26 (1989)

Paul McGann

Doctor Who (1996)

(No title was ever used for this project other than "Doctor Who", which is highly confusing in a listing of this nature. However, Enemy Within was suggested as an alternative title by producer Philip Segal and has been used by many fans lacking any other title by which to refer to the television movie; other titles have also been used informally by fan groups.)

Christopher Eccleston

(In 2005, the BBC relaunched Doctor Who after a 16-year absence from episodic television. The production team chose to restart the series numbering from scratch, but some fans of the programme prefer to label the 2005 series as Season 27, the 2006 series as Season 28, and so on. Also, for the first time since the 1965-66 season, each episode has an individual title.)

Series 1 (2005)

(Initially promoted as standalone episodes, all 13 episodes of the 2005 series also constitute a loose story arc, dealing with the consequences of the Time War and the mysterious Bad Wolf. Starting from this season, the programme was shot in 16:9 widescreen.)

All episodes 45 minutes

David Tennant

Children in Need special (2005)

An untitled 7-minute mini-episode, set between The Parting of the Ways and The Christmas Invasion was broadcast 18 November 2005 as part of the "Children in Need" appeal.

Christmas special (2005)

(This production is not considered part of Series 2 (2006), though that production's first block is shared with this.)

Attack of the Graske

Immediately after The Christmas Invasion, digital viewers will be able to press their "red button" to view an interactive mini-episode written by Gareth Roberts.

Series 2 (2006)

All episodes expected to be 45 minutes. The information below is subject to change.

(Episode 183 continues the story started in The Satan Pit. Episode 184 is speculated to feature the Abzorbaloff, a monster created by a Blue Peter viewer. Episode 185, by Matthew Graham, is a replacement for a script by Stephen Fry [see Series 3 below]. The order of the episodes may change, based on comments by Russell T. Davies.)

Christmas special (2006) and Series 3 (2007)

(A second Christmas special and a third series have been commissioned. The only confirmed casting details are that the Doctor will be played by David Tennant and John Barrowman will return as Jack Harkness. One story in Series 3 will be written by Steven Moffat. Another story, written by Stephen Fry, was originally commissioned for Series 2, but appears to have been moved to this series due to budget issues. Fry's episode was rumoured to be set on Earth during the 1930s and to have "lots of special effects". Fry told Scotland Today that his story "deals with a well-known British legend.")

See also

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