Watching Classic Doctor Who: The First Two Doctors

If I keep my hair long, I know who I will cosplay when it turns grey!

As a lifelong science fiction fan, I took a surprisingly long time to start watching Doctor Who. I finally started in August 2017, in part because most of the classic episodes are airing on our local RetroTV affiliate, and I can record them on my home-built PVR. I want to share how I am watching the classic part of the series. This post will just address the First and Second Doctors. 

The classic series aired from 1963 to 1989, consisting of multi-episode “serials,” before being revived by a TV move in 1996 and a full-fledged continuation of the series in 2005 that is still running.

I started with the very first episode, “An Unearthly Child,” which is the first episode in a serial sometimes known as 100,000 BC, and am now partway through the Second Doctor’s tenure, currently watching The Wheel in Space. Most of the classic series  airs on RetroTV, but several stories do not for one of two reasons. I discuss them below and how I have or will see them anyway.

  1. The serial is a partial or complete victim of BBC wiping.
  2. [NL] Three serials from the first two Doctors are for some reason not licensed for Retro TV. Most of these are also available on Netflix DVD. I think that all of these plus the episodes airing on RetroTV are available online through Britbox or the Britbox Amazon channel. 

I am currently partway through the Second Doctor’s tenure; he has suffered the most from the BBC wiping. I am currently watching The Wheel in Space.

The table below lists all the serials featuring the First and Second Doctors.  If you are trying to watch all of Classic Doctor Who yourself, you can follow this list. The entries in the “How” column correspond to the codes in square brackets above.

In acse you doing receive Retro TV, I think Britbox has all of the episodes listed below as PVR and NL.

Number Title How
1.01 An Unearthly Child PVR
1.02 The Daleks PVR
1.03 The Edge of Destruction / Inside the Spaceship PVR
1.04 Marco Polo LC
1.05 The Keys of Marinus PVR
1.06 The Aztecs PVR
1.07 The Sensorites PVR
1.08 The Reign of Terror BBC
2.01 Planet of Giants PVR
2.02 The Dalek Invasion of Earth BBC (NL)
2.03 The Rescue PVR
2.04 The Romans PVR
2.05 The Web Planet PVR
2.06 The Crusade LIT:H + LC
2.07 The Space Museum BBC (NL)
2.08 The Chase PVR
2.09 The Time Meddler PVR
3.01 Galaxy 4 LIT:H + LC
3.02 “Mission to the Unknown” LC or Animation
3.03 The Myth Makers LC
3.04 The Daleks’ Master Plan LIT:H + LC
3.05 The Massacre of St Bartholemew’s Eve LC
3.06 The Ark PVR
3.07 The Celestial Toymaker LIT:H + LC
3.08 The Gunfighters PVR
3.09 The Savages LC
3.10 The War Machines PVR
4.01 The Smugglers LC
4.02 The Tenth Planet BBC
4.03 The Power of the Daleks LC
4.04 The Highlanders LC
4.05 The Underwater Menace BBC
4.06 The Moonbase LIT:T1 + LC
4.07 The Macra Terror LC
4.08 The Faceless Ones LIT:T1 + LC
4.09 The Evil of the Daleks LIT:T1 + LC
5.01 The Tomb of the Cybermen PVR
5.02 The Abominable Snowmen LIT:T2 + LC
5.03 The Ice Warriors LIT:T2 + LC
5.04 The Enemy of the World BBC (NL)
5.05 The Web of Fear BBC
5.06 Fury from the Deep LC
5.07 The Wheel in Space LIT:T2 + LC
6.01 The Dominators PVR
6.02 The Mind Robber PVR
6.03 The Invasion BBC
6.04 The Krotons PVR
6.05 The Seeds of Death PVR
6.06 The Space Pirates LIT:T2 + LC
6.07 The War Games PVR
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