List of Doctor Who serials

This is a list of Doctor Who television serials. Each serial was a multi-episode storyline; 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 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)

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)

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.)

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. Also, for the first time since the 1965-66 season, each episode has an individual title.)

Series 1 (2005)

All episodes 45 minutes

David Tennant

Christmas special (2005)

Series 2 (2006)

Thirteen episodes, expected to be 45 minutes each (writers to be confirmed, but reported in Doctor Who Magazine to be Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Matt Jones, Tom MacRae and Toby Whithouse as well as Russell T Davies).

Christmas special (2006) and series 3 (2007)

A second Christmas special and a third series have been commissioned. The only confirmed detail is that the Doctor will be played by David Tennant.

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