With the announcement of Ncuti Gatwa as the 14th Doctorthere’s plenty of excitement about the upcoming 60th Anniversary of Doctor Whoand the subsequent series 14. Both of these are set to air in 2023, with beloved showrunner Russell T Davies also set to return.
Unfortunately, there’s still a bit of a wait for Gatwa’s arrival as The Doctor. But, fortunately, that also means there’s a bit of time to get re-watching, or even get caught up on the modern era of the British sci-fi show. (Don’t forget there’s still one more episode from Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor airing later this year as well).
If you’re looking to watch any of the episodes from the Eccleston, Tennent, Smith, Capaldi, or Whittaker eras of the show, I’ve got the perfect solution for you here. Let’s go!
Every series that has aired since the revival in 2005 is currently available to stream on HBO Max. That includes series 1-12, with the only series that is currently missing being series 13 (also known as Doctor Who: Flux). But, we’re expecting that to also be added in due course. HBO max costs $14.99/month, and you can start streaming right away if you sign up here.
If you’re in the UK, you can watch every episode of Doctor Who on BBC iPlayer, and live on BBC One (this can also be accessed via a VPN).
If you haven’t watched Doctor Who in a long time and don’t know where to start: have no fear, a Doctor Who nerd is here. To help you with the daunting task of watching 12 series of the bombastic show before next year, I come bearing the gift of advice.
There is no need to start from series 1 and move all the way through to series 12 in order if that’s not your style. Doctor Who has plenty of anthology-like episodes, and several standalone epics that you can jump into without needing a lot of context from the rest of the season. So, here are a few episodes that I suggest watching if you want to test the waters, and dip your toe into the show for now.
Remember these episodes are just my suggested appetizers, and will often present you with the key themes that Doctor Who likes to play around with ie morality, loss, responsibility, aliens, time travel etc, while also still giving you those classic, memorable adventures.
Now if you do end up enjoying the series, it is recommended to watch from the beginning of series 1 of the modern era, and make your way back through it all in order. But, don’t be disheartened if you don’t enjoy an episode, a new incarnation of the main character, or even a whole series.
Doctor Who is all about change and experimentation, with a whole slew of writers getting to have a go at making one of the most diverse TV shows ever made. If you’re interested, jump in, try it out, and see what works for you. If you’re lucky, you’ll fall in love with every aspect of the show like I have, blemishes and all. Plus, if you need a further breakdown of every aspect of Doctor Who, we’ve also got you covered.
There’s the whole classic era to check out as well if you’re so inclined, with 26 more seasons in total, running from 1963 to 1989 (available on streaming platform BritBox). There’s also the Doctor Who Movie with Paul McGann (which is officially canon as well), and Big Finish’s audio-dramas, which feature most of the main cast from the show as well.
Good luck, and let me know if there are any other Doctor Who episodes (modern or classic) that you would recommend to newcomers. Moreover, will you be watching next year when Ncuti Gatwa makes his debut?
Robert Anderson is a deals expert and Commerce Editor for IGN. You can follow him @robertliam21 on Twitter.