The BEST Episodes of Doctor Who

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2020

Network: BBC One

Doctor Who is the longest-running science fiction TV series in history, airing initially from 1963 to 1989. Doctor Who is about ideas. It pioneered sophisticated mixed-level storytelling. Its format was the key to its longevity: the Doctor, a mysterious traveller in space and time, travels in his ship, the TARDIS. The TARDIS can take him and his companions anywhere in time and space. Inevitably he finds evil at work wherever he goes...

City of Death (4)

#1 - City of Death (4)

Season 17 - Episode 8 - Aired Oct 20, 1979

Scaroth is determined to go back 400 million years in time to prevent a mistake. But the Doctor must stop him – because the consequences would be disastrous.

star 8.65
136 votes
Directors: Michael Hayes
Writers: Douglas Adams, Graham Williams
The Caves of Androzani (3)

#2 - The Caves of Androzani (3)

Season 21 - Episode 21 - Aired Mar 15, 1984

The situation on Androzani Minor is building toward a violent confrontation. And the Doctor and Peri are slowly succumbing to spectrox toxemia.

star 8.46
105 votes
Directors: Graeme Harper
Writers: Robert Holmes
The Robots of Death (3)

#3 - The Robots of Death (3)

Season 14 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 12, 1977

Under the direction of a madman, the robots continue their rampage as the Doctor finds an unexpected ally.

star 8.45
145 votes
Writers: Chris Boucher
The Robots of Death (4)

#4 - The Robots of Death (4)

Season 14 - Episode 20 - Aired Feb 19, 1977

The Doctor and the surviving humans fight for their lives againt Teran Capel and his growing army of deadly robots.

star 8.41
145 votes
Writers: Chris Boucher
Genesis of the Daleks (6)

#5 - Genesis of the Daleks (6)

Season 12 - Episode 16 - Aired Apr 12, 1975

The planet Skaro, the distant past. The Time Lords divert the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to this war-torn world, and give the Doctor a mission: the evil of the Daleks is about to be born here, and the Doctor is to try to ensure they evolve into less lethally aggressive beings - or, failing that, to avert their creation altogether. But has even the Doctor the right to commit genocide?

star 8.41
271 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Terry Nation
The Robots of Death (2)

#6 - The Robots of Death (2)

Season 14 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 5, 1977

The Doctor and Leela are suspected of murder. But the real foe is using robots to cut down the crew – and even sabotage the sand miner itself!

star 8.41
147 votes
Writers: Chris Boucher
City of Death (2)

#7 - City of Death (2)

Season 17 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 6, 1979

Captured by the Count, the Doctor and Romana uncover an elaborate plan to steal the Mona Lisa. But there is more to Scarlioni's plans than a simple theft.

star 8.39
132 votes
Directors: Michael Hayes
Writers: Douglas Adams, Graham Williams
The Caves of Androzani (1)

#8 - The Caves of Androzani (1)

Season 21 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 8, 1984

The planet Androzani Minor, the distant future. In the planets' caves war rages between government troops and the android warriors of the mysterious Sharaz Jek. But what makes spectrox, the substance they battle to control, so valuable? And how far will the Doctor go to protect his companion?

star 8.32
111 votes
Directors: Graeme Harper
Writers: Robert Holmes
Pyramids of Mars (4)

#9 - Pyramids of Mars (4)

Season 13 - Episode 12 - Aired Nov 15, 1975

England, 1911. The TARDIS is drawn off-course and lands in the country house of archaeologist Marcus Scarman. But what did Scarman unearth on his last visit to Egypt, and how can the Doctor defeat his most powerful foe yet - Sutekh, the God of Destruction?

star 8.25
166 votes
Directors: Paddy Russell
Writers: Robert Holmes, Lewis Greifer
The Caves of Androzani (2)

#10 - The Caves of Androzani (2)

Season 21 - Episode 20 - Aired Mar 9, 1984

The Doctor and Peri have been rescued from the firing squad by the mysterious Sharaz Jek. But he has his own plans for them. And why are they suddenly feeling ill?

star 8.25
105 votes
Directors: Graeme Harper
Writers: Robert Holmes
Earthshock (4)

#11 - Earthshock (4)

Season 19 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 16, 1982

The TARDIS crew arrives on Earth in the 26th Century in a cave system where a military force is investigating the disappearance of a palaentological expedition.

star 8.24
144 votes
Directors: Peter Grimwade
Writers: Eric Saward
City of Death (3)

#12 - City of Death (3)

Season 17 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 13, 1979

The Doctor and Romana unwrap an intricate plot involving aliens, time travel and the Mona Lisa. How is Count Scarlioni living in two times at once? And what does he want?

star 8.22
134 votes
Directors: Michael Hayes
Writers: Douglas Adams, Graham Williams
Genesis of the Daleks (1)

#13 - Genesis of the Daleks (1)

Season 12 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 8, 1975

The planet Skaro, the distant past. The Time Lords divert the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to this war-torn world, and give the Doctor a mission: the evil of the Daleks is about to be born here, and the Doctor is to try to ensure they evolve into less lethally aggressive beings - or, failing that, to avert their creation altogether. But has even the Doctor the right to commit genocide?

star 8.21
294 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Terry Nation
Genesis of the Daleks (2)

#14 - Genesis of the Daleks (2)

Season 12 - Episode 12 - Aired Mar 15, 1975

The planet Skaro, the distant past. The Time Lords divert the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to this war-torn world, and give the Doctor a mission: the evil of the Daleks is about to be born here, and the Doctor is to try to ensure they evolve into less lethally aggressive beings - or, failing that, to avert their creation altogether. But has even the Doctor the right to commit genocide?

star 8.21
258 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Terry Nation
Earthshock (1)

#15 - Earthshock (1)

Season 19 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 8, 1982

The TARDIS crew arrives on Earth in the 26th Century in a cave system where a military force is investigating the disappearance of a palaentological expedition.

star 8.18
163 votes
Directors: Peter Grimwade
Writers: Eric Saward
The Deadly Assassin (2)

#16 - The Deadly Assassin (2)

Season 14 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 6, 1976

The President of the High Council has been killed and the Doctor is the prime suspect. The Time Lords are eager to dispense quick justice and the Doctor must race agains the clock to discover the truth... and an old enemy.

star 8.16
174 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Robert Holmes
Genesis of the Daleks (4)

#17 - Genesis of the Daleks (4)

Season 12 - Episode 14 - Aired Mar 29, 1975

The planet Skaro, the distant past. The Time Lords divert the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to this war-torn world, and give the Doctor a mission: the evil of the Daleks is about to be born here, and the Doctor is to try to ensure they evolve into less lethally aggressive beings - or, failing that, to avert their creation altogether. But has even the Doctor the right to commit genocide?

star 8.16
215 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Terry Nation
The Caves of Androzani (4)

#18 - The Caves of Androzani (4)

Season 21 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 16, 1984

Events on Androzani reach a bloody climax. Will the Doctor and Peri survive the carnage? And at what cost?

star 8.15
168 votes
Directors: Graeme Harper
Writers: Robert Holmes
Resurrection of the Daleks (4)

#19 - Resurrection of the Daleks (4)

Season 21 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 15, 1984

The Doctor and his companions strive to defeat both Davros and the Daleks. But their victory may come at a terrible price.

star 8.14
150 votes
Writers: Eric Saward
Resurrection of the Daleks (3)

#20 - Resurrection of the Daleks (3)

Season 21 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 15, 1984

As the surviving station crew work to destroy the space station, Davros consolidates his power and the Daleks launch a fiendish scheme to use the Doctor against the Time Lords.

star 8.12
121 votes
Writers: Eric Saward
The Deadly Assassin (1)

#21 - The Deadly Assassin (1)

Season 14 - Episode 9 - Aired Oct 30, 1976

Gallifrey, planet of the Time Lords. Summoned home by a premonition of murder, the Doctor discovers a dark conspiracy at the highest levels of Time Lord society... and his oldest enemy, who poses a threat to the existence of Gallifrey itself...

star 8.12
177 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Robert Holmes
The War Games (10)

#22 - The War Games (10)

Season 6 - Episode 44 - Aired Jun 21, 1969

The TARDIS lands in what appears to be the front-line trenches at the height of battle in war-torn France, right in the middle of World War I. Everyone they meet are convinced that the crew are spying and it doesn't take long for the crew to be on the run, but not before breaking the hypnotic conditioning of Carstairs and Lady Jennifer. Having escaped one war-zone they find themselves in another - Roman occupied Britain of some 2,000 years ago, then on to the American Civil War. The situation worstens when the Doctor suspects one of his own people, a Time Lord, to be behind the War Games working for a race of aliens trying to run the wars to their conclusions under controlled conditions to find a super-army or fighters. The Doctor is faced with an impossible situation - not only does the War Lords' control over hundreds of thousands of fighters need to be removed, but the soldiers have to be returned to their natural habitats. He concedes defeat, knowing that the TARDIS is not equipped for the task. He sends an SOS, calling in his own people even though it is revealed that he is 'on the run' from them for the theft of a TARDIS and for meddling... The Doctor is caught and faces trial.

star 8.12
195 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Malcolm Hulke, Terrance Dicks
Horror of Fang Rock (4)

#23 - Horror of Fang Rock (4)

Season 15 - Episode 4 - Aired Sep 24, 1977

The Rutan starts picking off the surviving humans one by one as the Doctor and Leela struggle to defeat not only the alien but an entire fleet waiting to occupy Earth.

star 8.09
168 votes
Directors: Paddy Russell
Writers: Terrance Dicks
Horror of Fang Rock (3)

#24 - Horror of Fang Rock (3)

Season 15 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 17, 1977

The Doctor barricades everyone in the lighthouse to protect them from the mysterious deadly creature in the fog. But it may already be inside, biding its time…

star 8.08
173 votes
Directors: Paddy Russell
Writers: Terrance Dicks
Genesis of the Daleks (5)

#25 - Genesis of the Daleks (5)

Season 12 - Episode 15 - Aired Apr 5, 1975

The planet Skaro, the distant past. The Time Lords divert the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to this war-torn world, and give the Doctor a mission: the evil of the Daleks is about to be born here, and the Doctor is to try to ensure they evolve into less lethally aggressive beings - or, failing that, to avert their creation altogether. But has even the Doctor the right to commit genocide?

star 8.06
178 votes
Directors: David Maloney
Writers: Terry Nation