Doctor Who Series Highlights

For years, one of my many geeky pursuits has been the acquisition of all of the available episodes of Doctor Who on DVD. Buying one or two per month, I knew it would take a while. So, to make sure that if I ever needed to quit, I’d at least have the best stories I could have gotten to that point, I decided to do what all geeks do–make a spreadsheet!

I wanted to rank every episode from best to worst using the accumulated votes of as many fans as possible. So, I went looking and found four sites that fit the bill:

  • The Global Episode Opinion Survey (GEOS), which is a survey of over 90 current and classic genre TV shows, including everything from Alias to Xena: Warrior Princess.
  • Doctor Who Dynamic Rankings, a site that has been surveying every Doctor Who episode, including spinoffs like Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures since 1995.
  •, an online community of TV watchers that includes pretty much every television show past or present.
  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a site that, since 1990, has invited internet users to rate and rank every movie and television program ever made.

I averaged together the ratings users gave to each story on these sites and then assigned each one a letter grade, A thru F, based on how close its score came to the top rated story (which has been “Blink” from David Tennant’s 2nd series for a long, long time).

Once I had my spreadsheet, I wasn’t content with a simple list of episodes to use in my DVD buying. I also came up with a document that lists, chronologically, all the episodes where something significant occurs (Doctor regenerates, companion enters or leaves, etc.) and all the grade “A” and “B” episodes.

I used the season titles and episode descriptions from Shannon Patrick Sullivan’s brilliant A Brief History of Time (Travel).

With the end of the Matt Smith era and yet another eight months to go before we see anymore new Who, I thought it was a good time to make this opus available to my fellow Whovians. If you want a copy, I have place a PDF on my site for download: Doctor Who Series Highlights

If you’re especially over-the-top geeky, I might even share the spreadsheet with you.

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4 Responses to Doctor Who Series Highlights

  1. TheChic says:

    I am not over-the-top-geeky or even geeky at ALL, but could I get that spreadsheet, pretty please? I would also like to request that you add a column that indicates whether or not the episode has been viewed at Sgt. Grumps location by a certain group of Whovians. One more thing. Request viewing of any episode in the top 20 which have not already been viewed to be done monthly during said eight month drought.

    Kind of feel like I should be singing this…to the tune of Santa Baby.

    Happy 2014, Sol! Coolest geek I know.

  2. Solonor says:

    Here’s the Top 20. I’m not sure which ones you have not seen…except that I know we have seen all of the 11th Doctor and none earlier than the 9th.

    Blink – 10th Doctor and Martha
    The Day of the Doctor – 50th Anniversary Special
    The Name of the Doctor – 11th Doctor and Clara
    The Girl in the Fireplace – 10th Doctor, Rose and Mickey
    Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead – 10th Doctor and Donna
    The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances – 9th Doctor, Rose and Capt. Jack
    Human Nature / The Family of Blood – 10th Doctor and Martha
    Genesis of the Daleks – 4th Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry
    Talons of Weng-Chiang – 4th Doctor and Leela
    The Doctor’s Wife – 11th Doctor, Amy and Rory
    City of Death – 4th Doctor and 2nd Romana
    The Caves of Androzani – 5th Doctor and Peri
    The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang – 11th Doctor, Amy, Rory and River
    Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways – 9th Doctor, Rose and Capt. Jack
    The Eleventh Hour – 11th Doctor and Amy
    Doomsday – 10th Doctor and Rose
    The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon – 11th Doctor, Amy, Rory and River
    Dalek – 9th Doctor and Rose
    Pyramids of Mars – 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane
    The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit – 10th Doctor and Rose

  3. Thudfactor says:

    A masterful piece of genre scholarship. Thanks!

  4. RicTheSchmuck says:

    I chuckle when you get list crazy…and now with computers, you take it to another level.

    Good stuff chummy

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