List of actors who have played the Doctor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Since the beginning of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who 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 appearance and personality has facilitated the ability of new actors to take over the role – in official and unofficial productions – while in most cases maintaining continuity with the television series.

The incumbent is David Tennant, who succeeded Jodie Whittaker in the role at the conclusion of the 2022 episode "The Power of the Doctor".[1] In May 2022, Ncuti Gatwa was announced as the next series lead to portray the Doctor.[2]


Series leads[edit]

Tenure First regular appearance Last regular appearance
William Hartnell
(First Doctor)
23 November 1963 – 29 October 1966
(2 years, 11 months and 6 days)
An Unearthly Child
"An Unearthly Child"
The Tenth Planet
Episode 4
William Hartnell also played the Doctor in an initial version of An Unearthly Child. 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 First Doctor appearances (click the "Show" tab on the right)
  • Television: The Three Doctors – 30 December 1972 – 20 January 1973 (last appearance in-character)
Patrick Troughton
(Second Doctor)
29 October 1966 – 21 June 1969
(2 years, 7 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
The Power of the Daleks
Episode One
The War Games
Episode Ten
Other Second Doctor appearances
Jon Pertwee
(Third Doctor)
3 January 1970 – 8 June 1974
(4 years, 5 months and 5 days)
Spearhead from Space
Episode One
Planet of the Spiders
Part Six
Other Third Doctor appearances
Tom Baker
(Fourth Doctor)
8 June 1974 – 21 March 1981
(6 years, 9 months, 1 week and 6 days)
Part One
Part Four

Tom Baker appeared as the Curator in "The Day of the Doctor" (2013). It was implied that he was a future incarnation of the Doctor revisiting "a few of the old favourites" of his past faces, and who had retired from adventuring and was now the curator of the National Gallery in London.[3]

Other Fourth Doctor appearances
  • Television: Disney Time – 25 August 1975
  • LP: The Pescatons – July 1976
  • Radio: Exploration Earth, Episode 3: "The Time Machine" – 4 October 1976
  • Stage: Blackpool Exhibition video skit – 1976
  • Television: Christmas sketch – December 1978
  • Television commercial: Doctor Who Season 17 Trailer – August 1979[4]
  • LP: Genesis of the Daleks – October 1979 (audio version of serial with new narration performed in-character)
  • Television commercials: Keep Australia Beautiful – 1979
  • Television commercials: Prime Computers – 1979–1980
  • Television: Shada – July 1992
  • Cassette: The Evil of the Daleks – 6 July 1992 (audio version of serial with new narration performed in-character)
  • Cassette: The Power of the Daleks – 2 August 1993 (audio version of serial with new narration performed in-character)
  • Cassette: Fury from the Deep – 4 October 1993 (audio version of serial with new narration performed in-character)[5]
  • Television: Dimensions in Time – 26–27 November 1993
  • Television commercials: New Zealand Superannuation Services – 10 February 1997
  • Computer game: Destiny of the Doctors – 5 December 1997
  • Television: Doctor Who Night – 13 November 1999 (in character as a Doctor, after Paul McGann)
  • Audio: Hornet's Nest – 3 September 2009 – 3 December 2009
  • Audio: Demon Quest – 2 September 2010 – 2 December 2010
  • Audio: Serpent Crest – 8 September 2011 – 8 December 2011
  • Audio: Big Finish Productions – 9 January 2012 onwards (first story Destination Nerva)
  • Television: Shada – 24 November 2017
Peter Davison
(Fifth Doctor)
21 March 1981 – 16 March 1984
(2 years, 11 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
Part One
The Caves of Androzani
Part Four
Other Fifth Doctor appearances
Colin Baker
(Sixth Doctor)
16 March 1984 – 6 December 1986
(2 years, 8 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
The Twin Dilemma
Part One
The Ultimate Foe
Part Two

Colin Baker previously appeared on Doctor Who playing a different character in the Fifth Doctor's episode "Arc of Infinity"

Other Sixth Doctor appearances
Sylvester McCoy
(Seventh Doctor)
7 September 1987 – 6 December 1989
(2 years, 2 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)
Time and the Rani
Part One
Part Three

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

Other Seventh Doctor appearances
Paul McGann
(Eighth Doctor)
27 May 1996 Doctor Who (TV movie)
Other Eighth Doctor appearances
Christopher Eccleston
(Ninth Doctor)
26 March 2005 – 18 June 2005
(2 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
"Rose" "The Parting of the Ways"
Other Ninth Doctor appearances
  • Television commercial: Doctor Who (series 1) "A trip of a lifetime" – 15 March 2005[8]
  • Video: "Dr. Who Proposal" – 21 April 2014[9]
  • Video: "Video message from Christopher Eccleston to #drwhodaniel" – 14 December 2015[10]
  • Video: "Christopher Eccleston reprises Doctor Who role to wish Blaine & Liam well on their wedding day." – 9 September 2018[11]
  • Audio: Big Finish Productions – May 2021 onwards (first story Ravagers)
David Tennant
(Tenth Doctor)
18 June 2005 – 1 January 2010
(4 years, 6 months and 2 weeks)
"The Christmas Invasion" "The End of Time"
Part Two

David Tennant also played the Doctor's half-human clone in "Journey's End" (5 July 2008) and the Fourteenth Doctor from 2022 to 2023.

Other Tenth Doctor appearances
Matt Smith
(Eleventh Doctor)
1 January 2010 – 25 December 2013
(3 years, 11 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
"The Eleventh Hour" "The Time of the Doctor"
Other Eleventh Doctor appearances
Peter Capaldi
(Twelfth Doctor)
25 December 2013 – 25 December 2017
(4 years)
"Deep Breath" "Twice Upon a Time"

Peter Capaldi previously appeared on Doctor Who playing a different character in the Tenth Doctor's episode "The Fires of Pompeii" and in the spin-off Torchwood as John Frobisher.

Other Twelfth Doctor appearances
Jodie Whittaker
(Thirteenth Doctor)
25 December 2017 – 23 October 2022
(4 years, 9 months and 4 weeks)
"The Woman Who Fell to Earth" "The Power of the Doctor"
Other Thirteenth Doctor appearances
  • Escape room: Worlds Collide – 16 January 2019
  • Video game: The Runaway – 16 May 2019
  • Video game: The Edge of Time – 12 November 2019
  • Escape room: A Dalek Awakens – 9 March 2020
  • Web: Message from the Doctor – 25 March 2020
  • Web: United we stand, 2m apart – 8 April 2020
  • Podcast: Redacted – 17 April 2022 – 19 June 2022
David Tennant
(Fourteenth Doctor)[1]
23 October 2022 – present
(7 months and 6 days)
60th anniversary specials Incumbent


Actor Title Dates Role
Christopher Barry The Brain of Morbius 24 January 1976 Past Doctors seen during the Fourth Doctor's mind-bending battle against Morbius
Robert Banks Stewart
Christopher Baker
Philip Hinchcliffe
Douglas Camfield
Graeme Harper
Robert Holmes
George Gallaccio
Adrian Gibbs Logopolis 28 February – 21 March 1981 The Watcher[Note 2]
Richard Hurndall The Five Doctors 23 November 1983 Hurndall replaced Hartnell, who had died in 1975, as the First Doctor for the programme's 20th anniversary special.
Michael Jayston The Trial of a Time Lord 6 September – 6 December 1986 The Valeyard, an evil version of the Doctor, an amalgamation of the Doctor's darker sides from between his twelfth and final incarnations
Geoffrey Hughes The Ultimate Foe 29 November – 6 December 1986 Mr Popplewick, a matrix projection of the Valeyard
Toby Jones "Amy's Choice" 15 May 2010 The Dream Lord, a darker, psychic manifestation of the Doctor
John Hurt "The Name of the Doctor" 18 May 2013 The Doctor's incarnation known as the War Doctor,[22] whose actions in the Time War were so drastic that he deemed himself unworthy of the name "Doctor".
"The Night of the Doctor" 14 November 2013
"The Day of the Doctor" 23 November 2013
John Guilor Planet of Giants DVD 20 August 2012 Re-dubbed voice work in the reconstruction of the original third and fourth episodes
"The Day of the Doctor" 23 November 2013 Vocal cameo
Michael Jones "Listen" 13 September 2014 The First Doctor as a child; uncredited[23]
David Bradley "The Doctor Falls" 1 July 2017 Similarly to Hurndall, Bradley replaced Hartnell as the First Doctor. Bradley also portrayed Hartnell in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time (2013).
"Twice Upon a Time" 25 December 2017
"The Power of the Doctor" 23 October 2022
Jo Martin "Fugitive of the Judoon" 26 January 2020 Previously unseen incarnation known as the Fugitive Doctor[24]
"The Timeless Children" 1 March 2020
"Once, Upon Time " 14 November 2021
"The Power of the Doctor" 23 October 2022
Evan McCabe "Ascension of the Cybermen" / "The Timeless Children" 23 February – 1 March 2020 Brendan, a decoy Matrix construct used to conceal records of the Timeless Child. Brendan is also portrayed as a child and an old man by other, uncredited actors.
Grace Nettle[25] "The Timeless Children" 1 March 2020 An incarnation of the Timeless Child
Leo Tang[26] An incarnation of the Timeless Child
Jesse Deyi[27] An incarnation of the Timeless Child, and the one who joined the Division
Sacha Dhawan "The Power of the Doctor" 23 October 2022 The Master forces the Doctor to regenerate into him.


Actor Title Dates Role
Peter Cushing Dr. Who and the Daleks 23 August 1965 Dr. Who
Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. 5 August 1966


Actor Title Dates Role
Richard E. Grant Scream of the Shalka 13 November – 18 December 2003 A previously official Ninth Doctor prior to the programme's 2005 revival
David Bradley Doctors Assemble![28] 23 May 2020 The First Doctor
Chris Walker-Thomson The Second Doctor
Jon Culshaw The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Doctors
Angus Villiers-Stuart The Sixth and Eighth Doctors
Wink Taylor The Seventh Doctor
Jonathon Carley The War and Twelfth Doctors
Pete Walsh The Ninth Doctor
Elliott Crossley The Tenth Doctor
Jacob Dudman The Eleventh Doctor
Debra Stephenson The Thirteenth Doctor


Actor Title Dates Role
Trevor Martin The Seven Keys to Doomsday 16 December 1974 – 7 January 1975 Alternative Fourth Doctor (shown on stage to be regenerated from the Third Doctor)[Note 3]
Michael Sagar The Seven Keys to Doomsday 24 November – 8 December 1984 The Doctor[Note 4][29]
David Banks Doctor Who – The Ultimate Adventure 29 April 1989 The Doctor (understudy for Jon Pertwee; performed as the Doctor for two performances when Pertwee fell ill)


Actor Title Dates Role
Michael Jayston He Jests at Scars... September 2003 The Valeyard (alternate reality version)
Trial of the Valeyard 17 December 2013 The Valeyard
The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure 17 August 2015
Bernice Summerfield: The Story So Far: Volume Two 25 September 2018
The Eighth Doctor: The Time War: Volume Three 13 August 2019
Geoffrey Bayldon Auld Mortality May 2003 Alternative First Doctor
A Storm of Angels January 2005
David Warner Sympathy for the Devil June 2003 Alternative Third Doctor
Masters of War December 2008
The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. Volume Three: The Unbound Universe 24 August 2016
The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. Volume Four: Ruler of the Universe 20 September 2017
Bernice Summerfield: The Story So Far: Volume Two 25 September 2018
The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. Volume Five: Buried Memories 10 September 2019
The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. Volume Six: Lost in Translation 9 September 2020
David Collings Full Fathom Five August 2003 Alternative Doctor
Ian Brooker Alternative Doctor (uncredited)
Arabella Weir Exile September 2003 Alternative Third Doctor
Nicholas Briggs September 2003 The previous incarnation of Arabella Weir's Doctor.[Note 5]
The Seven Keys to Doomsday 23 October 2008 The Third Doctor
The Ninth Doctor Chronicles May 2017 The Ninth Doctor
Joe Bassett Master October 2003 Child version of the First Doctor heard briefly in a flashback; credited only as "Child".
Jon Culshaw The Kingmaker April 2006 The Fourth Doctor[Note 6]
Peter Purves The Early Adventures December 2014 – present The First Doctor
Frazer Hines The Jigsaw War May 2012 The Second Doctor
The Second Doctor in Jamie's body (The Jigsaw War)
The Lost Stories December 2010 – November 2013
The Light at the End 23 October 2013
The Early Adventures September 2015 – present
Trevor Martin The Seven Keys to Doomsday 23 October 2008 Alternative Fourth Doctor
William Russell The Lost Stories November 2010 – September 2013 The First Doctor
The Light at the End 23 October 2013
The Early Adventures October 2014 – October 2016
India Fisher Solitaire June 2010 The Eighth Doctor speaking through Charley Pollard
David Troughton Serpent Crest: The Hexford Invasion/Survivors in Space December 2011 Clone of the Second Doctor
Terry Molloy The Curse of Davros January 2012 The Sixth Doctor in the body of Davros
Melvyn Hayes The Scorchies 7 March 2013 The Third Doctor in Professor Baffle's body
Damian Lynch Ghost in the Machine October 2013 The Third Doctor in Benjamin Chikoto's voice
Katy Manning The Third Doctor in Jo's body
Tim Treloar The Light at the End 23 October 2013 The Third Doctor
The Third Doctor Adventures September 2015 – present
The Legacy of Time 17 July 2019
The Diary of River Song: Series 6 27 August 2019 The Third Doctor (cameo)
John Banks Trial of the Valeyard December 2013 The Hermit / The Thirteenth Doctor (a disguise used by the Valeyard)
Nicola Bryant The Widow's Assassin 30 October 2014 The Sixth Doctor in Peri's body
Anthony Howell The End of the Line August 2015 Tim Hope (a disguise used by the Valeyard)
Liz White The Brink of Death August 2015 Genesta (a disguise used by the Valeyard)
John Hurt The War Doctor series December 2015 – February 2017 The War Doctor
David Bradley The First Doctor Adventures December 2017 – April 2021 The First Doctor
The Legacy of Time 17 July 2019 The First Doctor (cameo)
The Diary of River Song: Series 6 27 August 2019
Jacob Dudman The Tenth Doctor Chronicles April 2018 The Tenth Doctor
The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles August 2018 The Eleventh Doctor
The Twelfth Doctor Chronicles February 2020 The Twelfth Doctor
Short Trips: Regeneration Impossible May 2020 The Twelfth/Eleventh Doctor
Derek Jacobi Deadline September 2003 The First Doctor (as imagined by Martin Bannister)
The War Master: Hearts of Darkness October 2020 The Eighth Doctor in The Master's body
Jonathon Carley The War Doctor Begins Jun 2021 – present The War Doctor
Michael Troughton The Third Doctor Adventures: The Annihilators February 2022 The Second Doctor
The Second Doctor Adventures July 2022 – present
Stephen Noonan The First Doctor Adventures 12 Apr 2022 – present The First Doctor
Colin Baker Doctor of War 13 April 2022 - 27 September 2022 The Doctor of War (Alternative Fifth Doctor)[30][31]

Official comedies[edit]

Actor Title Dates Role
Lenny Henry The Lenny Henry Show (S2-E5) 3 October 1985 The Seventh Doctor
Rowan Atkinson The Curse of Fatal Death 12 March 1999 The Doctor
Richard E. Grant The Quite Handsome Doctor
Jim Broadbent The Shy Doctor
Hugh Grant The Handsome Doctor
Joanna Lumley The Female Doctor[Note 7]
Mark Gatiss The Web of Caves 13 November 1999 The Doctor

See also[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. ^ Nyssa comments, "He was the Doctor all the time."
  3. ^ At the beginning of the play Martin acted as Jon Pertwee with his face covered and then regenerated.
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ 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).
  6. ^ Culshaw also impersonated the Fourth Doctor, and currently does Tenth Doctor impressions, in the radio and television series Dead Ringers.
  7. ^ Lumley is the first woman to play the Doctor in an officially licensed production.


  1. ^ a b "David Tennant is the Doctor! | Doctor Who". Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Ncuti Gatwa: BBC names actor as next Doctor Who star". BBC News. 8 May 2022. Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Doctor Who: Tom Baker Returns in 50th Special". 23 December 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Tom Baker Doctor Who 1979 New season advert". YouTube. 19 December 2008. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  5. ^ Howe's Transcendental Toybox: The Unauthorised Guide to "Doctor Who" Collectibles by David J. Howe, Telos Publishing, 2003
  6. ^ a b Allen, Ben (4 July 2018). "Doctor Who stars David Tennant and Peter Davison set to join The Muppets live on stage". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Doctor Who: The Night of the Doctor Schedule Released For BBC Red Button". Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  8. ^ "The Doctor Who News Page: First "Proper" Trailer Airs, plus Screen Grabs". 15 March 2005. Retrieved 23 June 2010.[dead link]
  9. ^ Methven, Nicola (6 February 2015). "Christopher Eccleston plays Doctor Who to help a young couple get engaged". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  10. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (14 December 2015). "Christopher Eccleston plays the ninth Doctor again in a touching video for sick Doctor Who fan". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Christopher Eccleston is back as Doctor Who for fans' wedding video". Radio Times. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  12. ^ "The Doctor Who News Page: New Trailer Debuts". 3 April 2006. Retrieved 23 June 2010.[dead link]
  13. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation (11 December 2012). "'It's Showtime!' with Rob Brydon - Episode Two - BBC One Christmas 2012 Trailer". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  14. ^ "BAFTA Celebrates 50 Years of Doctor Who". BBC. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  15. ^ "Doctor Who Trailer to Celebrate the Last 50 Years". BBC. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  16. ^ "#SaveTheDay". Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  17. ^ "The Day of the Doctor: The Clock's ticking". Retrieved 18 November 2013.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "The Day of the Doctor: It's All Been Leading..." Retrieved 18 November 2013.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "The Science of Doctor Who". Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  20. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide". Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  21. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation (1 December 2012). "Sprout Boy meets a galaxy of stars: Trailer - BBC One Christmas 2015". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  22. ^ "The Night of the Doctor: A Mini Episode – Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor". BBC. 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  23. ^ Cook, Benjamin (16 November 2017). "Double Bill". Doctor Who Magazine (519): 16.
  24. ^ "Doctor Who brings back major fan favourite – and then drops another huge reveal". Digital Spy. 26 January 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  25. ^ "𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗥𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 on Instagram: "Proud to see myself and Mark Jermin family on Dr Who😊 #markjerminmanagement #markjerminkids #drwho #doctorwho #BBC"".
  26. ^ "Spotlight".
  27. ^ "Spotlight: JESSE DEYI". Archived from the original on 5 March 2020.
  28. ^ Doctor Who: LOCKDOWN | Doctors Assemble!, retrieved 28 May 2020
  29. ^ "The Dalek Invasion of Porirua: 1984". Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  30. ^ "9. Doctor Who: Unbound: Doctor of War 1: Genesis - Doctor Who - Unbound - Big Finish". Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  31. ^ "10. Doctor Who: Unbound: Doctor of War 2: Destiny - Doctor Who - Unbound - Big Finish". Retrieved 25 January 2023.