Since 1963, Doctor Who has introduced the world to an iconic character: a Time Lord who travels through space, time and space again with his ten companions. There have been 14 iterations of the eponymous hero, each one bringing something new to the table as the series progressed.
William Hartnell was the first to wear the mantle of the eponymous hero, and his take on the character was the blueprint for every subsequent iteration that followed. Starting off stubborn and mistrustful, Hartnell grew into a wise and grandfatherly figure, travelling with his ten companions from 1963 to 1966.
Patrick Troughton regenerated into the Second Doctor, a role that wasn’t easy to fill in the wake of William Hartnell. While he had some trouble, Troughton eventually found his voice and crafted the goofy, enthusiastic professor we see today.
Troughton’s take on the character is arguably more playful and fun than Hartnell’s, making him one of the most memorable iterations of the eponymous Time Lord in the series. He also established much of the Doctor’s persona, from indignant retorts to puckish retreats and grave proclamations of doom.
Tom Baker took over as the Fourth Doctor, and he became the definitive version of the character for decades. He continued to bring his own alien mannerisms and vocal eccentricities to the role, and even in the most baffling stories of the era, Baker never wavered in his commitment to the character of the Doctor.
Peter Davidson was the seventh iteration of the Doctor, and while he wasn’t the most popular version of the character, he did make an impact on the show and a name for himself in the process. He was a charming, measured and warm Doctor with a huge following who took a very different approach from many of the other actors in the role.
David Tennant was the tenth iteration of the character, and his tenure as the Doctor was relatively short, but he made an enormous impression on fans of the series. His wacky version of the Doctor was a delight to watch and he managed to balance his quirky sense of humour with some genuine gravitas, which is what makes him our bronze medalist for this list.
Christopher Eccleston was the twelfth iteration of the Doctor, and although he wasn’t quite as light-hearted as his predecessors, he still played the character with a lot of humour and flair. He also had a grumpy side, and he played the Doctor in a slightly more serious way than the previous iterations.
Ncuti Gatwa is the thirteenth iteration of the Doctor, and he has a big job ahead of him as he takes up the mantle from Jodie Whittaker next year. But he is also one of the most talented iterations of the character, and his performance will surely be remembered by fans for years to come.
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