List of actors who have played the Doctor

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This is a list of actors who have played the Doctor role in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Since the series began in 1963, many actors have played the title character of the Doctor on television and in various BBC-licensed spin-offs on television, stage, radio, film, audio plays and webcasts. The character's ability to periodically regenerate his appearance and personality has facilitated the ability of new actors to take over the role – in both official and unofficial productions – while in most cases maintaining continuity with the television series. However, as noted below, some actors have played versions of the Doctor that depart from the canon.

This list does not include stand-ins, stunt men, most actors featured in sketch comedies and send-ups or Doctors who have appeared in fan films, amateur stage shows or audios.


Series leads [edit]

TenureFirst regular appearanceLast regular appearance
William Hartnell
(First Doctor)
23 November 1963 – 29 October 1966An Unearthly Child
Episode 1
The Tenth Planet
Episode 4

William Hartnell also played the Doctor in "An Unearthly Child", also known as 'The Pilot Episode'. This was the first attempt at the first episode of the original series, filmed in September 1963, and first released on The Hartnell Years VHS in 1990.

Other appearances:

Patrick Troughton
(Second Doctor)
29 October 1966 – 21 June 1969The Tenth Planet
Episode 4
The War Games
Episode 10

Other appearances:

Jon Pertwee
(Third Doctor)
3 January 1970 – 8 June 1974Spearhead from Space
Episode 1
Planet of the Spiders
Part Six

Other appearances:

Tom Baker
(Fourth Doctor)
8 June 1974 – 21 March 1981Planet of the Spiders
Part Six
Part Four

Other appearances:

Peter Davison
(Fifth Doctor)
21 March 1981 – 16 March 1984Logopolis
Part Four
The Caves of Androzani
Part Four

Other appearances:

Richard Hurndall
(First Doctor)
23 November 1983The Five Doctors

Hurndall replaced William Hartnell, who had died in 1975, as the First Doctor for the show's 20th anniversary special.

Colin Baker
(Sixth Doctor)
16 March 1984 – 6 December 1986The Caves of Androzani
Part Four
The Ultimate Foe
Part Two

Other appearances:

Sylvester McCoy
(Seventh Doctor)
7 September 1987 – 6 December 1989
27 May 1996
Time and the Rani
Part One
Doctor Who

Sylvester McCoy also briefly played the Sixth Doctor in Time and the Rani, during the regeneration scene, wearing a curly blond wig.

Other appearances:

Paul McGann
(Eighth Doctor)
27 May 1996Doctor Who

Other appearances:

Christopher Eccleston
(Ninth Doctor)
26 March – 18 June 2005RoseThe Parting of the Ways

Other appearances:

David Tennant
(Tenth Doctor)
18 June 2005 – 1 January 2010The Parting of the WaysThe End of Time
Part Two

David Tennant also played the half-human Doctor in "Journey's End" – 5 July 2008

Other appearances:

Matt Smith
(Eleventh Doctor)
1 January 2010 – presentThe End of Time
Part Two

Other appearances:

Other actors who played the Doctor [edit]

Brian ProudfootTelevisionThe Reign of Terror (Episode 2, titled "Guests of Madame Guillotine")15 August 1964Played the First Doctor, in the first outdoor filmed sequence of the Doctor walking towards Paris. He was uncredited. [13]
Edmund WarwickTelevisionThe Dalek Invasion of Earth (Episode 4, titled "The End of Tomorrow")12 December 1964Played the First Doctor, filling in for an injured William Hartnell. He was uncredited.
Peter CushingFilmDr. Who and the Daleks23 August 1965Dr. Who
Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD5 August 1966
Albert Ward[disambiguation needed]TelevisionThe Celestial Toymaker (Episode 3, titled "The Dancing Floor")16 April 1966William Hartnell was on holiday during episodes two and three. Pre-recordings of his voice were heard in episode two and Albert Ward was a hand double for scenes where the mostly invisible Doctor played the Trilogic Game throughout the story. He was uncredited.
Gordon Craig[disambiguation needed]TelevisionThe Tenth Planet (Episode 3)22 October 1966Played the First Doctor. He was uncredited. William Hartnell did not appear in the third episode. On the Monday before the programme was due to be recorded, he sent a telegram to the production team informing them that he was too ill to work.
Chris JeffriesTelevisionThe Wheel in Space (Episode 2)4 May 1968Played the Second Doctor. Patrick Troughton did not appear in episode 2 as he was on holiday. Chris Jeffries body doubled to substitute for the unconscious Doctor.
Tommy LairdTelevisionThe Seeds of Death (Episode 4)15 February 1969Played the Second Doctor. Patrick Troughton does not appear in Episode 4 as he was on holiday when it was being recorded. Tommy Laird stands in for him in some shots where the Doctor is seen unconscious on the floor.
Trevor MartinStageThe Seven Keys to Doomsday16 December 1974 – January 1975Alternative Fourth Doctor (shown on stage to be regenerated from the Third Doctor)[14]
Audio23 October 2008
Adrian GibbsTelevisionLogopolis28 February – 21 March 1981The Watcher (Nyssa comments, "He was the Doctor all the time.")
Castrovalva (Reprised)4 January 1982
Michael SagarStageThe Seven Keys to Doomsday24 November – 8 December 1984The Doctor (alternate version, possibly Fourth)[15]
Michael JaystonTelevisionThe Trial of a Time Lord6 September – 6 December 1986The Valeyard (said to be an evil version of the Doctor, existing somewhere between his twelfth and final incarnations).
AudioHe Jests at Scars...September 2003The Valeyard (alternate reality version)
Geoffrey HughesTelevisionThe Ultimate Foe29 November – 6 December 1986Mr Popplewick (a disguise used by The Valeyard)
David BanksStageDoctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure29 April 1989The Doctor (understudy for Jon Pertwee; performed as the Doctor for two performances when Pertwee fell ill)
Nick ScovellStageThe Planet of StormsOctober 1996The Doctor[16][17]
The Web of FearJune 2000The Second Doctor[18]
Fury From the Deep27–30 March 2002
Evil of the Daleks25–28 October 2006
The Dalek Masterplan24–27 October 2007The First Doctor[19]
Rowan AtkinsonTelevisionThe Curse of Fatal Death12 March 1999Alternative Ninth Doctor
Richard E. GrantTelevisionThe Curse of Fatal Death12 March 1999Alternative Tenth Doctor
WebcastScream of the Shalka13 November – 18 December 2003Alternative Ninth Doctor
Jim BroadbentTelevisionThe Curse of Fatal Death12 March 1999Alternative Eleventh Doctor[20]
Hugh GrantTelevisionThe Curse of Fatal Death12 March 1999Alternative Twelfth Doctor
Joanna LumleyTelevisionThe Curse of Fatal Death12 March 1999Alternative Thirteenth Doctor[21]
Mark GatissTelevisionThe Web of Caves13 November 1999The Doctor (spoof version)
Geoffrey BayldonAudioAuld MortalityMay 2003Alternative Doctor (possibly first)
A Storm of AngelsJanuary 2005
David WarnerAudioSympathy for the DevilJune 2003Alternative Doctor (possibly third)
Masters of WarDecember 2008
David CollingsAudioFull Fathom FiveAugust 2003Alternative Doctor
Ian BrookerAudioFull Fathom FiveAugust 2003Alternative Doctor (uncredited)
Arabella WeirAudioExileSeptember 2003Alternative Doctor (possibly third)
Nicholas BriggsAudioExileSeptember 2003The previous incarnation of Arabella Weir's Doctor (possibly second).[22]
StageThe Dalek Masterplan24–27 October 2007The Doctor (regenerated from Nick Scovell's Doctor)
AudioThe Seven Keys to Doomsday23 October 2008The Third Doctor
Jon CulshawAudioThe KingmakerApril 2006The Fourth Doctor[23]
Toby JonesTelevisionAmy's Choice"15 May 2010The Dream Lord
Daniel AnthonyTelevisionDeath of the Doctor26 October 2010The Eleventh Doctor in Clyde Langer's body.
David TroughtonAudioSerpent Crest: The Hexford Invasion/Survivors in SpaceDecember 2011The Second Doctor
Terry MolloyAudioThe Curse of DavrosJanuary 2012The Sixth Doctor in the body of Davros
John HurtTelevision"The Name of the Doctor"18 May 2013An unknown incarnation from some point in the Doctor's life who committed a terrible, unknown act. This act was apparently bad enough that the Eleventh Doctor does not consider him worthy of the name "Doctor".
WebStrax Field Report: The Doctor's Greatest Secret (archive image)24 May 2013 [24]

Actors who played characters thought to be the Doctor [edit]

Edmund WarwickTelevisionThe Chase, episodes 4 & 512–19 June 1965Robot Dr. Who, an android replica of the First Doctor created by the Daleks to infiltrate and kill the Doctor and his companions. William Hartnell provided the voice and filmed close-up sequence for this character.
Nicholas BriggsAudioMinuet in HellApril 2001Gideon Crane – While making an emergency materialisation in an alleyway in Malebolgia, the Eighth Doctor's mind is merged with that of Gideon Crane, a British journalist from the London Torch. The Doctor and Gideon briefly swap identities.
Christopher BigginsAudioThe One Doctor17 December 2001Banto Zame, a con-man claiming to be the Doctor, operating in the Generios System in the “vulgar end of time”, with companion Sally-Ann and his Stardis (a teleport device in the shape of a portaloo), until the Sixth Doctor and Mel intervened
Derek JacobiAudioDeadlineSeptember 2003Martin Bannister, a possibly delusional television script writer who believes he is the Doctor
David MorrisseyTelevision"The Next Doctor"25 December 2008Jackson Lake, a human recently moved to London in 1851, who believes he is the Doctor, when the Cybermen's infostamp containing information about the Doctor is transferred into his mind. The 10th Doctor briefly believes Jackson is a future incarnation of himself, until he discovers the truth and helps restore Lake's memories and personality

See also [edit]

References [edit]

  1. ^ This trailer was shown at the end of The Enemy of the World Episode 6, with the Doctor advising younger viewers that the Yeti would be appearing in the next adventure, and would be a little more frightening than their last encounter (The Abominable Snowmen), and if their mummy and daddy were scared to "just get them to hold your hand".
  2. ^ The Fourth Dimension: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS,, retrieved 28 April, 2013.
  3. ^ “” (19 December 2008). "Tom Baker Doctor Who 1979 New season advert". YouTube. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  4. ^ Baker declined to appear in this reunion special, so unbroadcast footage from a never-completed serial, Shada, was incorporated into the storyline.
  5. ^ Howe's Transcendental Toybox: The Unauthorised Guide to "Doctor Who" Collectibles by David J. Howe, Telos Publishing, 2003
  6. ^ The Fourth Dimension: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS,, retrieved 28 April, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Doctor Who News Page: First "Proper" Trailer Airs, plus Screen Grabs". 15 March 2005. Retrieved 23 June 2010. [dead link]
  8. ^ The Fourth Dimension: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS,, retrieved 28 April, 2013.
  9. ^ "The Doctor Who News Page: New Trailer Debuts". 3 April 2006. Retrieved 23 June 2010. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Tennant & Piper are back for the 50th". Blogtor Who. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013. 
  11. ^ P.S. What Happened to Brian and the Ponds?,, Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  12. ^ BAFTA Celebrates 50 Years of Doctor Who,, retrieved 22 May 2013.
  13. ^ 17.14.59 T/R DR. WHO - EPISODE 2: 'GUEST OF MADAME GUILLOTINE' (23/1/4/3160), Television Service- BBC1: Saturday: 15.8.1964, p. 2,, page 4/12, retrieved 11 March 2013.
  14. ^ At the beginning of the play Martin acted as Jon Pertwee with his face covered and then regenerated.
  15. ^ Porirua Little Theatre production, directed by Brian Hudson. This New Zealand production had approval from writer Terrance Dicks, the BBC (for the use of the Doctor), and Terry Nation (for the use of the Daleks) and did not include a regeneration sequence – Retrieved 21 July 2010
  16. ^ The Evil of the Daleks Stage Show: The Plays before Evil, Retrieved 26 July 2010
  17. ^ Scovell also played the Doctor in the Bedlam Theatre fan video production, The Millennium Trap in 1997.
  18. ^ Dalek Links: Evil of the Daleks, Retrieved 26 July 2010
  19. ^ Dalek Links: The Dalek Masterplan, Retrieved 26 July 2010
  20. ^ Broadbent previously played the Doctor in a Victoria Wood As Seen On TV sketch.
  21. ^ Lumley is the first woman to play the Doctor on screen in an officially licensed production.
  22. ^ Briggs had previously played the Doctor in a series of fan-made audio stories for Audio Visuals, including the original version of Minuet In Hell. He appeared in all but the pilot, in which the Doctor was voiced by Stephen Payne. Brigg's Audio Visuals Doctor was the inspiration for a future incarnation of the Doctor that appeared with the Seventh Doctor and Ace, in the Doctor Who Magazine comic adventure “Party Animals” in issue 173. Brigg’s future Doctor made a reappearance in the fourth part of the DWM comic “The Final Chapter” (issue 265), when the Eighth Doctor regenerates into him. This “Ninth Doctor” was revealed to be Shayde acting undercover for the Eighth Doctor in the next story “Wormwood” (DWM issues 266–271).
  23. ^ Culshaw also impersonated the Fourth Doctor, and currently does Tenth Doctor impressions, in the radio and television series Dead Ringers.
  24. ^, retrieved 24 May 2013