Doctor Who Seasons 1-12 Ranked Worst To Best

Twelve seasons so far...but how do they hold up against each other?

Doctor Who David Tennant Tenth Doctor
BBC Studios

Doctor Who is the greatest British TV show in history; its legacy is vast and impressive. Even though it went away for sixteen years, it was still able to find success in its revival and run for another sixteen years and beyond.

It’s shocking to think the show has been back on screens for so long now, and over that time we’ve seen some dizzying highs and some awful lows. We’ve seen five Doctors and one hundred and sixty seven episodes over one hundred and thirty nine stories! Now that’s impressive! But how do these seasons hold up against each other?

Some seasons have been stronger than others, and certain Doctors have been instantly loved, while others took time to find their place and make us fall in love. It's a difficult job to rank them all but even the strongest Doctors have episodes that don't work as well.

With season thirteen on the horizon, it feels like the perfect time to look back and reflect on the last twelve. Remember, all seasons are beloved, and no season is "bad." As fans it's our job to love the show no matter what. It's just that one had to go at the bottom.

12. Season Seven

Doctor Who David Tennant Tenth Doctor
BBC Studios

Season 7 was a strange one. Each episode of the entire series was a stand-alone story which followed a loose arc. It was a bold decision to use a mid-season finale, like in season six, to split the series into two parts.

The shorter first half was made of five episodes which saw the end of Amy and Rory's travels with the Doctor. The second half focussed on the Doctor picking up Clara Oswald and trying to solve the mystery of the Impossible Girl.

While the split worked as a good idea to separate the very different stories, it still felt like there was a disconnect between the two halves. The problem was partly due to every episode being self-contained. Without two-parters which often allowed stories more breathing space and chance to develop, things felt very rushed; much like the Impossible Girl arc.

Clara's story felt as if it were all over the place - again, that could be down to the standalone episodes. It all seemed to be resolved too quick and too easily.

Some of the episodes in the series, while having great concepts, didn't quite deliver. The Power of Three, Cold War, Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS and Nightmare in Silver spring to mind. All of which are stories that fell short of what they promised to deliver.

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Simon is a writer, cat dad and presenter of a geeky radio show with his husband. He loves Doctor Who (except 10 who can get in the bin…only joking.) He idolises Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lara Croft and would 100% be a Sith Lord in a galaxy far, far away. He wishes life was like a musical so he’d actually be a good singer.