I'm very excited to be getting the complete Doctor Who Series Six courtesy of Stack Exchange. The only issue I have is that my wife and I are still in the middle of series three on Netflix.

Without too many spoilers, can I get a list of episodes from series one through five that are required viewing for all of the plot threads in series six to make sense?

  • FYI for all, Netflix streaming has S1-S5 of the modern Doctor Who. Great resource to watch the below episodes to get caught up.
    – user1027
    Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 6:46
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    Personally, I would take my time and watch the lot. There are some very good stories in those series, it would be a shame to rush past them. Commented Nov 24, 2011 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


The only episodes that are 100% vital for watching series 6 are Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead from series 4, as they introduce a major character for series 6 (River Song), and The Eleventh Hour, The Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone, Amy's Choice, The Hungry Earth, Cold Blood, The Pandorica Opens, and The Big Bang from series 5, as they continue the River Song storyline, and introduce the new Doctor and companions (which are kept around for series 6).

However, I would still suggest watching all of series 5, as it sets up the relationship between the main companions in series 6, and the entire series has a single plot thread (and it's probably my favourite series of the reboot).

Most of the plot-points for the characters in the first four series are wrapped up by the end of series 4, and David Tennant's run as the Doctor is wrapped up in the special between series 4 and 5. Series 5 is almost a complete reboot, though a few old foes return (or at least make a token appearance).

In the interest of completeness, Dalek, The Long Game, Bad Wolf, and the The Parting of the Ways from series 1 are good to watch to get an understanding of the Daleks and get a basic idea of the plot threads from that series. And Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel from series 2 provide an introduction to the Cybermen.

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    While only a handful are required, I would also suggest that it is in your best interest to watch every episode from the very first of Series 1. While not strictly needed, to follow the plot, they add a great deal to the feel and understanding of the show and why things happen and how he came to be like he is now.
    – BBlake
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 0:12
  • We just watched the episode Blink. How does this episode compare to those on your list?
    – Kalamane
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 4:40
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    @Kalamane Blink is probably my favourite episode of series 3, and it's written by the same person who takes over the show in series 5 (Steven Moffat). If you really want, you could skip the last 3 episodes without many problems (they explain what happens to Martha, but beyond that, don't connect too much with anything else), and start in on series 4 (series 4 is pretty good, with only a few episodes that I felt weren't great). This is mostly opinion at this point, however.
    – thedaian
    Commented Nov 26, 2011 at 6:47
  • I would add "A good man goes to war" to get some more good bits of the River Song story. Also "The Wedding of River Song" (Did I mention I was a River Song fan?)
    – JohnFx
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 3:09

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