A dozen quirky Doctors

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On the 4th of August 2013, it was announced to the British public that Peter Capaldi, a veteran actor of 31 years and star of over 40 different TV Shows and movie, would play the role of Doctor Who, becoming Doctor number 12. My initial thoughts I will share with you soon, but I will be taking this time to talk about the first 11 men to play the role of Doctor.

NOTE: No, I will not be featuring Peter Cushing, the Valeyard, John Hurt, or the actors who portrayed Doctor Who out of official BBC Canon. Cushing played him in the theatrical film, the Valeyard was a Dark future incarnation and just a manifestation of the Doctor’s dark side, and John Hurt is merely Doctor 8.5, though I am looking forward to seeing him, because he is a good actor. If you like any of the Doctors which aren’t in BBC Canon, then good for you, I ain’t judging.

1: William Hartnell

He was the first Doctor, and was very much a wise old man, despite being in his 400’s. Hartnell was 55 when playing this Doctor, same age as Capaldi actually, and to be fair I didn’t watch any full episode with Hartnell, but from what I saw of him, I thought he was pretty good. Hartnell was a veteran actor then, and this was some of his last acting work as he was becoming ill, hence why they created the regeneration concept, which was a great plan, as it would ensure that the show would survive past the original actors. He was a great Doctor, the original grumpy old man.

2: Patrick Troughton

To be the first replacement for the ailing original Doctor must have been daunting, as Troughton was going into an already established role at this point, and he did it well, bringing his own flute playing, bow tie wearing time traveller. He fought the Cybermen a lot, and was a different Doctor, but that can be good, you don’t want to repeat the mannerisms of another actor, and get them wrong, that’s why to be the doctor, you need to bring yourself into the action. Though I never watched any of his serials, he looked like a good Doctor from what I saw, and did it right, by being different to Hartnell.

3: Jon Pertwee

He portrayed The Doctor as a Science advisor for UNIT, when stranded on earth (see War games synopsis) due to robbing the TARDIS and being a troublemaker in the eyes of his race. I saw a good chunk of his episodes, and I enjoyed him. He’d go in my top Doctor’s list, because he played him good, as a sort of Grandfatherly figure, sweet, but can throw a punch in The Master’s face, he could deal with a Silurian, or a Sea devil, and push over a Dalek with no sweat broken. I loved Jon Pertwee.

4. Tom Baker

I only ever saw one episode of his, which was the one where he met Leela, his companion. Baker was the most memorable Doctor to any Adults (Ask your parents who their favourite Doctor is, it will almost always be Tom Baker). He was memorable, for his love of Jelly Babies, the long scarf, his robotic dog. I didn’t mind him, but he was maybe a tad overrated by the adults, but that’s what Tennant will be like when we’re older.

5. Peter Davison

Another favourite of mine. He was an actiony sort of guy, loved cricket, and had a celery on his lapel. I liked his companions (especially Peri, hmmm) the most out of all the classic Doctor’s travel buddies. He also, in my mind had one of the darkest endings to an episode of Who ever, when Adric died, and he stuck Adric’s gold badge in a Cyberman’s chest (Cybermen were weak to gold then, why you retcon this Davis???!!!) and the episode ended with the credits running silent with a close up on the remains of the badge on the TARDIS Control room floor. I liked Davison, he seemed like the man with a plan.

6. Colin Baker

Baker was mixed for some folks. He was either tolerated by people, or loathed, loathed so much that he put the series on hiatus, that when it came back, it was with the epic Trial of a Timelord 14 part serial which made up a whole season. I didn’t really mind him, he had bad moments, but I think the serials Attack of the Cybermen and Trial of a Timelord were some of the best in classic Who, they were darker when put with some silly stories that Nathan Turner had. Though he had many problems with his colleagues, he left in impact with his multicoloured jacket and gear.

7. Sylvester McCoy

People didn’t like him, and to an extent, I agree. He wasn’t one of the good Doctors, and was the last of the Series original run. I think McCoy had it the worst out of the other actors, he replaced a very unpopular Doctor, and he was still disliked. He had some bad stories, which never helps, and his companions, Mel and Ace were annoying (especially Ace, her accent and repititon of the word professor to address the Doctor, she looked like a mid to late 80’s Blue Peter presenter (and she did actually have a blue peter badge)). If the series continued, I would have liked to see McCoy become a darker, and more menacing Doctor, as was planned, maybe even a Valeyard return could have worked. He had potential, but was ruined.

8. Paul McGann

Not much to say, I thought he was good in the TV Movie, and could have brought back the series after it’s cancellation in ’89. He is the longest running Doctor, with Audio books, and is still doing them with the lost adventures, of which there were probably many seeing how we only saw a few big adventures in the TV show. Though, if McGann got a TV show, we would have an Americanised Dr Who, and for a British show, that can mean larger budget, but it can be not good.

9. Christopher Eccleston

He brought Who to a new generation of fans. He did an alright job, being the first Doctor on TV for 15 years. He was OK though, he didn’t have as much of a personality as the other Doctors, he seemed pretty human for an alien, which is why he is one of my lesser favourite Doctors, but the leather jacket wearing northerner did get me into the show, and made me read up on everything Who and got me watching classic serials on UKTV Gold, which was good. I do hope they’d put them on TV again, please. His companions wer OK, Captain Jack being the best, Rose being the middle and the forgettable Adam being last, who remembers him, anyone?

10. David Tennant

He is everyone’s current favourite, and he was my favourite. He had wit, charm, a smile every girl loves, and fairly good companions. Billie Piper played Rose with Eccleston and Tennant, Freema Agyemann was Martha, and Catherine Tate was Donna. I liked Donna, she was the companion I’d be most like. I liked Tennant, until recently. I think, looking back, he was too emotional with his ‘Last of the timelords’ lonely god gimmick taken from Eccleston (who played it good, he was a veteran in a devastation war against the DALEKS, and killed many people, and had a lot of heavy stuff to do), which I found to be very repetitive looking back, especially with how he was originally with Martha and Donna ‘LEAVE ME ALONE, IM ANGSTY AND LONELY, ROAR!!!!!’ though in Waters of Mars, I did like it there, when he declared himself ‘Time Lord Victorious’ and when the companion shot herself, and the ood appeared he had that look of fear, knowing his death was apporaching and that he went too far. His last episode was the best, along with the episodes: New Earth, Gridlock, Doomsday, Blink and Waters of Mars.

11. Matt Smith

Probably my current favourite, he played the alien side perfectly, and was what Sylvester McCoy wasn’t, dark and manipulative at times, and cheerful and childlike in others. His companions were really good, Rory, Amy, Clara, and of course River Song/Melody Pond.In my opinion, he had some of the best episondes of the current run, The Beast below had a big Dilemma, Victory of the Daleks was good as it had his fear in it, Amy’s choice showed a dark side to the doctor, the finale of series 5 had high sakes, and a good mix of drama and comedy, The Doctor’s wife was an emotional roller coaster, The Girl who waited had emotion too, A good man goes to war was awesome, Dinosaurs on a spaceship, Closing time, The angels take Manhattan, most of series 7 second half  was enjoyable too (except the Cyberman episonde, I don’t like the redesign, they were not Cybermen, but I liked the heads). Smith was a great Doctor, and his last two epsodes best be bloody good, or I will write to Points of View and Radio Times Feedback, with lots of anger and hate, and the letters will be shared on here.

12: Peter Capaldi

So what do I think of this guy, to be fair, I haven’t seen him yet so I can’t say. he looks to be a wiser Doctor, which I really want to see, and with an actor with 31 years experience, I think he’ll be fine. But I’m still unsure, I will be watching, and by god, I will tell you what I think. Mr Capaldi, let’s see what you got!

And now, who I’d like to be Doctor Who:

Stephen Fry

Hugh Laurie

Sir Patrick Stewart

Andrew Scott

Me

My Uncle

My Friend George Darwin Welsby

Daniel Radcliffe

Thanks for reading folks, tell me what you think!

About the author

Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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