Getting into Classic Who can be a bit daunting, since there’s so much of it and it’s a different format than modern TV, and there are all those reconstructions. There are a couple places that are good starting points though either for the show as a whole or for each Doctor.
There are only two places in Classic Who that you can start completely fresh with a new Doctor and new companions. The first is, naturally, at the beginning. ’An Unearthly Child’ is the first episode of the entire show and a great place to start watching. The first season of the show is solid, with great character development and sets up the premise of the show very well.
The only other place in the show where you can essentially start new is ’Spearhead From Space.’ This is the first episode with the Third Doctor, and it’s an entirely new era on the show. There are new companions and it actually shows the Doctor stranded on Earth, working for UNIT. It’s also the first episode in color. You technically don’t need to know anything about the previous seasons, except that the Doctor already met the Brigadier.
While other Doctors aren’t as easily accessible, there are still some ways that you can get into them if you just want to see what they’re like.
Second Doctor: ‘The Mind Robber’ or 'Enemy of the World’
Fourth Doctor: 'Robot,’ 'Face of Evil,’ or 'The Ribos Operation’ (which is the start of the Key to Time arc)
Fifth Doctor: 'Mawdryn Undead’ (which is the start of the Black Guardian trilogy) or 'The Five Doctors’
Sixth Doctor: 'Vengeance on Varos,’ 'The Two Doctors,’ or 'Trial of a Timelord’ arc
Seventh Doctor: 'Remembrance of the Daleks’ or 'Battlefield’
Eighth Doctor: The movie of course, but the EU is a whole other post.
I’m really getting sick of John Nathan Turner ruining MY show. I have watched all of the Tom Baker episodes and am therefore an expert in Doctor Who. I know what it’s supposed to be about. Remember the good old days when the Doctor used to randomly try and snap people’s necks for no real reason? Now he can’t even shoot Davros without pussying out!
And what’s with the blockbuster plots? The ‘Black Guardian Trilogy’, give me a break. And all these episodes called __________ Of The Daleks. Self-referential more like self-REVERential!
Caves of Androzani was just self indulgent. Remember when Doctor Who was fun, not all military executions and wrestling with the concept of redemption? This is supposed to be a show for the whole family, but all people everywhere are just confused by these incoherent, convoluted plots. Mawdryn Undead? I had to carry two whole separate timelines in my head for FOUR episodes. Mess.
Don’t even get me started on this disaster with UNIT. UNIT were such an important part of Doctor Who and now he’s retconned this rubbish that doesn’t even make sense. He’s ruined UNIT. They will never be able to do UNIT again. I bet the Brigadier never reappears.
Still, the gaping plot holes and Peter Davison fangirls were one thing but this new guy, urgh. He strangled his companion! Hello???? And why is everything a joke all the time, Doctor Who is a serious show! This will they/won’t they dynamic is tiresome too. Remember when the Doctor didn’t have to be being clutched to his companion’s heaving bosoms to get ratings? Now we have to sit through this special bumper long series, ALL of it set in a trial, apparently about 'finding out the truth about the Doctor.’ This show is getting so self-satisfied.
Oh well. At least the next Doctor is going to be a bit older so hopefully this will mean a new, mature direction for the show.
“We do not exist in time, therefore there is no moment of time that can see us cease to be. We are Eternals. They’ll survive, merely transfer. You Ephemerals are different. You die so easily. Shall we see? One of the crew, perhaps.”