Netflix has four seasons of Doctor Who available on its Instant Queue streaming, except for three specials that they only have on DVD. To watch everything in the right order:
- Watch the first three seasons.
- After season three, you’ll need to watch the Christmas special “Voyage of the Damned” on DVD, then season four.
- After season four, watch “The Next Doctor” and “Planet of the Dead” on Instant Queue, then get the DVDs for “The Waters of Mars” and “The End of Time”.
Then, while you’re waiting for season five to come out (it’s airing now), you can watch three streaming seasons of spin-off Torchwood. The other spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, isn’t available for streaming as of now.
I’m woefully late to the party on Doctor Who. It definitely has some cheesy sci-fi stuff in there that you’ll either love or have to get past, but when it’s on, it’s absolutely fantastic. I think it’s very well served by the BBC’s shorter season length. US series like Flashforward suffer from having to fill twenty-something episodes. Doctor Who, with only thirteen episodes, can have a few one-off shows and slowly build it’s season-long story without too much filler.
Update 12/16/10: All of the specials are now streaming.