A list by FallenKingdomReads about all the actors who have portrayed The Doctor (or will do!)
Since its inception in 1963, the character of The Doctor in the long-running science fiction television series Doctor Who has been played by a number of actors. Here is a list of the actors who have portrayed The Doctor, in chronological order:
William Hartnell (1963-1966)
The original Doctor, Hartnell played the role for three seasons before he was replaced due to health reasons.
Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)
Troughton took over as The Doctor at the end of the show’s third season and played the role for three seasons.
Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)
Pertwee played The Doctor for five seasons, during which time the show transitioned from black and white to color.
Tom Baker (1974-1981)
Baker played The Doctor for a record seven seasons and is often considered one of the most popular and iconic portrayals of the character.
Peter Davison (1982-1984)
Davison played The Doctor for three seasons, during which time the show underwent significant changes in tone and style.
Colin Baker (1984-1986)
Baker played The Doctor for two seasons, during which time the show faced declining ratings and criticism for its darker tone.
Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989, 1996)
McCoy played The Doctor for three seasons in the late 1980s, during which time the show was put on hiatus. He returned to the role for a one-off TV movie in 1996.
Paul McGann (1996)
McGann played The Doctor in the TV movie, which was intended as a pilot for a new series but was not picked up by the BBC.
Christopher Eccleston (2005)
Eccleston played The Doctor in the show’s revival in 2005, which was a critical and commercial success.
David Tennant (2005-2010, 2023)
Tennant played The Doctor for five seasons and is often considered one of the most beloved portrayals of the character. And he’s back for the 60th Anniversary as the main incarnation of The Doctor!
Matt Smith (2010-2013)
Smith played The Doctor for three seasons, during which time the show continued to gain popularity and acclaim.
Peter Capaldi (2013-2017)
Capaldi played The Doctor for three seasons, bringing a darker and more complex portrayal of the character to the series.
Jodie Whittaker (2017-2022)
Whittaker became the first woman to play The Doctor when she took over the role in 2017, playing the character for three seasons.
Ncuti Gatwa (2023 or 2024)
Gatwa will be the 15th incarnation of The Doctor, once David Tennant has had fun in the role once again as the 14th regeneration!