Top 10 Best Doctor Who Episodes of All Time

From the groundbreaking debut in 1963 to the mind-bending twists of today, Doctor Who has spanned generations with unforgettable stories.

This list contains the top ten best Doctor Who episodes from the original 1963 launch date to today. We're talking pulse-pounding chases through history, heartbreaking sacrifices, and the kind of clever wit that can outsmart even the fiercest alien threat.

What are the best doctor who episodes of all time? Were you stunned by a jaw-dropping regeneration? Did a monstrous villain make your skin crawl? Maybe a tender moment still has you reaching for the tissues?
The Top Ten
1 Blink

Great episode with holy statue creatures. A little bit scary and the new things that I assume this means 'the way' the Doctor was taken by the angels, leaving an unknown girl to take care of it.

Very nerve-racking and suspenseful. Made me scream every time Sally's boy-partner (Nightingale) blinked, and the angel popped up in front of him.

The Doctor is barely in it at all, but his presence is tangible. The monsters are iconic, and the characters are relatable.

2 The Day of the Doctor

A fitting celebration for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. Billie Piper excels at playing her old character, but not her old character. Getting Tennant to return alongside Matt Smith led to an excellent meeting. John Hurt makes a very different Doctor, but as the Moment says, "different looks, same software" (if that is a misquote, I apologize). The absolute best part was when you see all the Doctors trapping Gallifrey in a parallel universe.

Good episode. Replying to what someone else said, the War Doctor wasn't a "stupid plot twist." It was actually because Christopher Eccleston couldn't make it (well, that's not entirely true, but we'll leave it at that).

3 The End of Time

Such an amazing episode. The perfect way to say goodbye to the greatest Doctor, David Tennant. An emotional send-off as the Doctor revisited the greatest companions to ever appear in Doctor Who. John Simm also played an excellent job as the Master, making him my favorite villain. I love his send-off too, with his heroic moment.

David Tennant made me love Doctor Who, and he is now my favorite actor and celebrity crush. I had a crying meltdown when he said "I don't want to go." In my brain, I said to myself, "I don't want you to, either!" This was a very heart-breaking episode, but it definitely was the best!

4 The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances

Not my favourite, but I just think that it deserves to be in the top 3 because it definitely makes chills run down your spine! And not to mention Christopher Eccleston, John Barrowman, and Billie Piper's FANTASTIC acting! It was an episode that marked the formation of a wonderful trio.

It's a shame that Captain Jack didn't stick along with Nine after regeneration and that Christopher Eccleston left after one season! Would have loved to have seen more of him. I salute Christopher Eccleston because it's a tough job to bring a faded T.V. show back to the top after so many years and introduce it to an entirely different generation. I'd say that he did his role FANTASTIC-ally (get what I mean?)!

5 Human Nature / The Family of Blood

Yes! This is obviously the best story of all time for me. Both parts are practically perfect on every level. The core premise, that the Doctor becomes human, is so genius. The episodes are even better than that, with emotion, a strong threat (the Family being genuinely unsettling), a great setting, and knock-out performances and writing. Happy to see it's in the top ten, sad it just missed out on the top 5.

Tremendous acting by David Tennant. After only an hour or so, he makes you love John Smith as much as you love the Doctor. "Family of Blood" is certainly the saddest episode I can think of. A unique story that revels in its own simplicity.

6 Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

The introduction of River Song was done absolutely brilliantly. The Vashta Nerada (probably spelling that wrong) were terrifying, but the time traveler's wife idea coming in and having River tell him he looks so young - fantastic! The thing that always hits me hardest, though, is when Donna can't find her husband at the end. When he sees her, his stutter stops him from calling out in time before he's teleported away. It devastates me every time.

THE best episode. It was exceptional. We had the suspense leaving us clutching the edge of our seats, the bit of scariness that added more flavor, the creepiness that made it so amazing. We had the best Doctor, the best companion (Donna), and River Song, which made it even better.

The Vashta Nerada took advantage of a fear many of us have and gave us an impossible, nerve-wracking enemy. The bit with Cal gave it that extra mile. It was frighteningly close to the world we have and the world of Doctor Who. To think that the real world was not real and the dream world was made it so interesting. BEST EPISODE EVER!

7 Heaven Sent

It is probably one of the most emotional and gripping episodes in my opinion, alongside Listen. By having only the Doctor, it makes it so much more impactful, as you get these stunning monologues. I think everyone who made this episode did an amazing job because it doesn't just feel like Doctor Who, it feels like Shakespeare. It makes you see things differently.

Capaldi is definitely the best Doctor, and this episode just reinforced that for me. The bit where you get the replays of what happened with every Doctor who goes there could have come off as boring, but it didn't. When he finally broke through the wall, it was like all his hard work had paid off. You really felt like you were there and you forget that it is acting. It feels so real.

8 The Waters of Mars

One of my all-time favorite episodes of Doctor Who. Apart from the Flood being absolutely terrifying, seeing the Doctor, having lost and suffered so much, finally snap is somehow terrifying on another level. When Adelaide tells him no one should have that much power and he says 'tough', in that one word it's like the Doctor has become a different person. As a viewer, I was both scared of and for him. If Adelaide hadn't killed herself, I don't know what would have happened to him. Truly chilling.

My #1 favorite Doctor Who episode. Much more emphasis on the Doctor himself. David Tennant just steals the show in this. Super suspenseful, and it had some really deep moments.

9 Vincent and the Doctor

This isn't just an episode of Doctor Who, it's an artistic statement about beauty, pain, and depression. It also shows that the Doctor doesn't always win, which is akin to the early episodes of the original series where victory sometimes meant getting back to the TARDIS safely. In this instance, Vincent and the Doctor murdered an innocent Krafayis that was just confused, scared, and lonely.

This episode has more emotional impact than any other episode, in my opinion. It also tackles the significant topic of depression and mental illness very well. I also cried several times throughout, and the scene at the end is heart-wrenching.

10 The Eleventh Hour

I was crying. I am very easily moved by things, but this episode is one of the few that made me want to watch it over and over again. Very tragic but amazingly performed. Go, Matt Smith!

Yes! This is when Amy Pond is introduced! I have fallen in love with her Scottish accent! She is fearless, and I love how she has Rory drooling over her!

Can't count how many times I have seen this episode with my family. My kids love it as much as I do. Wish I could vote again and get this one up to at least 3rd place.

The Contenders
11 Dalek

This is a really good one. A great introduction to the series' greatest villains, with brilliant performances from Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. An all-round excellent episode - one of Series 1's better ones.

Established the Time War and the Daleks as a threat extraordinarily well in just one episode.

How could such a beautiful and perfectly written story be so low on the list?

12 Utopia / The Sound of Drums / The Last of the Time Lords

This is an interesting one - on the one hand, it's so magnificently ambitious, so entertaining, so great on so many levels... on the other hand, it's camp and a little unfocused, but still okay.

Utopia, I actually believe to be the weakest of the three. Although the ending is excellent, most of the story feels like a standard 'base-under-siege' story, with not much going on. Sound of Drums is better, with a focus on the Master's manipulation and his relationship to the Doctor and Gallifrey, although the third act falls apart slightly.

Then comes Last of the Time Lords, which I actually really enjoy, even if there are many obvious flaws in it. It's just such an entertaining story, if not the best-crafted one. Overall, this is a pretty decent, but extremely flawed finale. I don't consider it as good as Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, or Journey's End.

13 City of Death

I personally believe this is the best episode of the show. It's witty and has a brilliant plot. Love it!

Awesome episode! It stands the test of time and holds up perfectly.

"What a wonderful butler. He's so violent!"
It's everything I loved about Dr. Who.

14 A Good Man Goes to War

A great episode that should have ended Series 6! It also featured the first appearance of the Paternoster Gang, my favorite recurring characters.

This episode was an awesome intro to Team Vastra, who everyone admits to liking! Madame Kovarian, The Headless, and Dorium in one wonderful episode! All set on an asteroid! The twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat.

The characterization in this could easily put it in the top 5. If I could vote again, it would be in my top five for sure.

15 Horror of Fang Rock

This was a great episode and all, but I still can't get over the fact that someone hacked this episode and broadcasted a Max Headroom intrusion.

This story is so depressing, but it has a strong plot, and I never lose my attention. Plus, the mystery behind the aliens is frightening!

I'm fine if Max Headroom interrupts a sports game. But do not dare interrupt Doctor Who!

16 Midnight

Midnight is my all-time favorite episode of Doctor Who. Though the mysterious being is the main 'villain' of the episode, at its core, the Doctor here is put up against the thing he loves most - humans. And not only are the humans against him, but all of the things that usually help him are turned into his biggest weaknesses - his intelligence, his authority, and his open-mindedness.

In this episode, the Doctor's entire world is turned backwards. The fact Donna isn't there as well just shows how off this episode was. A truly terrifying deconstruction of the Doctor that shakes him to his core and leaves him traumatized. 11/10

17 The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang

It is really sad when you watch it for the second time, and every time they say something like "it was built to contain something to stop it harming the rest of the universe", and the Doctor wonders what it could be that was so dangerous, you know how ironic that is.

"I AM TALKING! Who's got the Pandorica? I do. Who's coming to take it from me? ...Just remember who's standing in your way. ...And then! And then! Do the smart thing. Let somebody else try first." BOOM. Great speech.

This was by far the best episode. Every single alien in Doctor Who you can think of in the new series is in the episode along with a great cliffhanger.

"Hello, Stonehenge!"

18 The Caves of Androzani

Always been my favourite. But can everyone stop calling Doctor Who stories "episodes"? Most of these stories actually have several episodes...

Such a fantastic episode. Always number 1 for me. A great shame that it was followed by one of the worst Doctor Who episodes ever made.

It's not my favorite Doctor Who story, but I like it a lot. The cliffhanger to Part 3 was the best!

19 The Robots of Death

Chris Boucher is the best script editor Doctor Who never had, and this is his finest writing. The robots are still creepy, and the deco design fits like a glove for Agatha Christie in space.

This may have been the best if they had named it... well, NOT Robots of Death.

"Please don't throw hands at me." Another classic story.

20 The Time of the Doctor

I loved the 11th Doctor, so it was sad to see him go, but I think it was a good send-off. Clara made this episode even better, and for me, it just shows her loyalty to him as she tries her best to help him.

It's an interesting goodbye for the Eleventh Doctor, but I think the whole "the Doctor defends Trenzalore from a bunch of monsters" section was glossed over just a little too much.

Best by far. I have no idea why people like Blink. It barely has the Doctor in it at all.

21 The Angels Take Manhattan
22 The Girl In the Fireplace

I think this episode is very fun and sad as well. I love the clockwork robots. In fact, (after the gas mask zombies) they are my favorite Doctor Who monsters. Awesome episode! Doctor Who is one of my favorite T.V. shows!

I love this episode. It's in my top two - with Blink. It's tender, heartwarming, romantic, scary, and David Tennant -- well, no spoilers or anything, but we see him more involved, in a different way, than usual?

The plot is great, Madame de Pompadour is great, and the framing device allowing the Doctor to meet Reinette in many different times is great too.

23 The Stolen Earth / Journey's End

A brilliant finale, and one that I see strangely get a lot of hate. You can complain there's too many characters, but I applaud that. Russell basically covers everything great about his first four seasons - the comedy, action, emotion, ambition, and overall entertainment value - and conjures up a perfect piece of each of them.

We get a Dalek Invasion, the 'space-man' scene, Donna's farewell, goodbye to around 10 companions, and the return of Davros, and it's glorious. And it's still under the Trial of a Time Lord?

24 Turn Left

This episode was amazing in every way! Definitely the best Doctor-lite episode I have seen. Usually, episodes focused mainly on a companion can be slightly boring, but this episode is so slick and mind-boggling that you just want to keep watching! Definitely one of Catherine Tate's best episodes!

This episode had me going crazy! It blew me away, especially everything with Rose coming back. This episode proved that everyone's life changes after the Doctor waltzes into their lives. Sarah starting the theory, Martha continuing it, and Rose finally proving it to be true. I loved this episode!

25 Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways

Great lead-in to the Series 1 finale. I love the cliffhanger, and Captain Jack is at his all-time high in this episode. All the TV parodies are really fun too. The second part, The Parting of the Ways, is even better... but it's counted separately a little down lower, so I'll review that episode there.

I gave my brief thoughts on Bad Wolf, and now we come to the Series 1 finale, which I consider to be the better of the two. But really, this finale is a near-masterpiece, with high stakes, a simple story, an emotional center, and one of the best regenerations. Just really, really great television.

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