Doctor Who thing: rewatch the modern series (all of them) in chronological order

Torchwood John Barrowman

Catching up — or rewatching — some Doctor Who in preparation for the upcoming one-two punch of the 50th-anniversary special and the Eleventh Doctor’s regeneration into the Twelfth? How about watching them in the order the stories happened? Stuart Ian Burns at feeling listless has created a handy-dandy list of modern Doctor Who episodes in chronological order — that is, by internal story time, not air date, and including Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Chronicles and some of the little bits and extras, such as Comic Relief sketches and online-only prequels and minisodes.

(Spoiler: just where Miracle Day fits in remains a problem.)

Check out the list here.

Burns has done an impressive job… though he does come to a rather depressing conclusion, which I agree with:

Having done of all this, part of me now misses the period when Doctor Who truly did rule television, the salad days of the late 00s when it had three shows on at the same time, of Christmas 2006 which brought The Runaway Bride, two episodes of Torchwood and the first episode of SJA nearly on concurrent days. Now, we’re lucky to get thirteen episodes in a year and thanks to the vagaries of television production, only two episodes have been made in the show’s 50th year. Something’s got to be wrong if I was wishing there was another series of Torchwood on, hasn’t it?


(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

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Wed, Jul 31, 2013 3:29pm

After the mess of the last Torchwood series I’m actually glad that there isn’t another series of Torchwood on.

That really was a pile of shite, especially after the sheer awesome that was series 3 (Children of Earth).

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 5:34pm

I kind of assumed “chronological order” would mean putting “Fires of Pompeii” first (I can’t recall the 9th, 10th, or 11th Doctors going further back than 1st century CE) and “Utopia” last (since that supposedly occurs at the every end of the Universe), regardless of story order. Yes, that means “The Sound of Drums” and “Last of the Timelords” happen looooooong before “Utopia”. It would be like tracking the Doctor’s movements through a history book. That would have been cool.

This looks like the Doctor’s internal chronology, which makes it largely indistinguishable from production order. But given how rarely (as in, next to never) the three shows refer even to characters from the others, let alone events, I don’t see any other way to really order things. Which is why the list is almost entirely in blocks of entire seasons. For example, they have all of Doctor Who Season 3 happening after Torchwood Season 1. Would that necessarily be true? Might there not be some intermingling of chronology there? Is there any way to tell? (Answers: no; probably; no, but you could at least try.)

As fanwank goes, this is a tad weak.

David C-D
David C-D
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, Jul 31, 2013 9:39pm

I had exactly the same thought. I thought I remembered one of the previous Doctor Who things covering this, but couldn’t find it. However wikipedia has this:

The Man in Black
reply to  David C-D
Sun, Jul 05, 2015 6:09am

I’m liking this comment for having what I’m looking for, but I’m also commenting for future readers that apparently it was taken down from Wikipedia. Which is a shame, because I really wanted that timeline’s input on how the Ponds relate to other events…if I’m getting my timeline right, the second half of “The Eleventh Hour” takes place after “Enemy of the World”…