Doctor Who story arcs

In both the original run and since the 2005 revival, the long-running British science fiction television programme Doctor Who has featured a number of story arcs. A story arc is an extended story which takes place over a large number of episodes or serials, characterised by a gradual unfolding of plot points and introduction of narrative devices which come together in the arc’s climax and dénouement. While character arcs exist over the course of many stories, they do not necessarily take the shape of an expanded story arc.

References to these arcs have since been made in both Doctor Who and its spinoffs such as Torchwood. Early seasons would feature story arcs that made up extended serials such as The Trial of a Time Lord but also loose umbrella titles such as The Key to Time. The new series has continued this trend with the introduction of “arc words” that are recognisable to the larger viewing audience such as “Bad Wolf”, “Torchwood” and “Mr. Saxon”, which also constitute the story arcs for individual seasons.

1 Classic series

1.1 The Key to Time
1.2 Entropy
1.3 The Trial of a Time Lord

2 Revived series

2.1 The Time War
2.2 Bad Wolf
2.3 Torchwood
2.4 Vote Saxon
2.5 Medusa Cascade
2.6 “He will knock four times”
2.7 Cracks In Time
2.8 “Silence will fall”
2.9 Trenzalore and “The Fall of the Eleventh”
2.10 The Impossible Girl
2.11 The Promised Land

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