List of actors who have played the Doctor

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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 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.

This list does not include Doctors who have appeared in fan films or amateur stage shows and audios. Nor does it include rare occasions where a companion or other character has impersonated the Doctor (such as Mawdryn in the story arc Mawdryn Undead or Clara Oswald in the TV episode "Death in Heaven").

The incumbent is Peter Capaldi, who succeeded Matt Smith in the role at the conclusion of the 2013 Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor".[1][2]


Series leads[edit]

Tenure First regular appearance Last regular appearance
William Hartnell
(First Doctor)
23 November 1963 – 29 October 1966 An Unearthly Child
Episode 1
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.

Patrick Troughton
(Second Doctor)
29 October 1966 – 21 June 1969 The Tenth Planet
Episode 4
The War Games
Episode 10
Jon Pertwee
(Third Doctor)
3 January 1970 – 8 June 1974 Spearhead from Space
Episode 1
Planet of the Spiders
Part Six
Tom Baker
(Fourth Doctor)
8 June 1974 – 21 March 1981 Planet of the Spiders
Part Six
Part Four

Tom Baker appeared as the Curator in The Day of the Doctor. 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]

Peter Davison
(Fifth Doctor)
21 March 1981 – 16 March 1984 Logopolis
Part Four
The Caves of Androzani
Part Four
Colin Baker
(Sixth Doctor)
16 March 1984 – 6 December 1986 The Caves of Androzani
Part Four
The Ultimate Foe
Part Two
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.

Paul McGann
(Eighth Doctor)
27 May 1996 Doctor Who
Christopher Eccleston
(Ninth Doctor)
26 March – 18 June 2005 "Rose" "The Parting of the Ways"
David Tennant
(Tenth Doctor)
18 June 2005 – 1 January 2010 "The Parting of the Ways" The End of Time
Part Two

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

Matt Smith
(Eleventh Doctor)
1 January 2010 – 25 December 2013 The End of Time
Part Two
"The Time of the Doctor"
Peter Capaldi
(Twelfth Doctor)
25 December 2013 – present "The Time of the Doctor" N/A


Actor Title Dates Role
Adrian Gibbs Logopolis 28 February – 21 March 1981 The Watcher[Note 2]
Castrovalva 4 January 1982
Richard Hurndall The Five Doctors 23 November 1983 Hurndall replaced William Hartnell, who had died in 1975, as the First Doctor for the show'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, existing somewhere between his twelfth and final incarnations).
Geoffrey Hughes The Ultimate Foe 29 November – 6 December 1986 Mr Popplewick (a disguise used by The Valeyard)
Toby Jones "Amy's Choice" 15 May 2010 The Dream Lord
John Guilor Planet of Giants DVD 20 August 2012 The First Doctor's re-dubbed voice work in the reconstruction of the original 3rd and 4th episodes
"The Day of the Doctor" 23 November 2013 The First Doctor's vocal cameo.
John Hurt "The Name of the Doctor 18 May 2013 The Doctor's incarnation known as the War Doctor,[18] 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
"The Day of the Doctor" cinema introduction 23 November 2013

Outside the show[edit]

Actor Title Dates Role
Clive Dunn It's a Square World 31 December 1963 First Doctor
Bernie Winters Big Night Out 1964 First Doctor
Gerry Grant Ice Ray Lollies Advert 1967 Second Doctor
Don Maclean Crackerjack's Ello My Dalek 1974 Fourth Doctor
Tony Hughes Mathshow 1975 Doctor How
Rod Hull Emu's Broadcasting Company's Day of the Dustbins 1977 Doctor Emu
Fred Harris End of Part One 1979 Fourth Doctor/Doctor Eyes
Ron Bain A Kick Up the Eighties 1981 Fifth Doctor
Lenny Henry The Lenny Henry Show 1986 The Doctor
Ronnie Barker The Two Ronnies 1986 Third Doctor
Ian Krankie The Krankie's Elektronik Komik 1986 Seventh Doctor
George Layton French and Saunders deleted scene 1987 Fourth Doctor
Jim Broadbent Victoria Wood As Seen On TV 18 December 1987 The Doctor
John Philpott The Corridor Sketch 1991 First Doctor
Rob Sitch "The Late Show (Australian TV Series)" Sketch 1992 The Doctor
Peter Russell-Clarke "The Late Show (Australian TV Series)" Sketch 1992 The Next Doctor
Paul Barber U.F.O. 10 December 1993 The Doctor
Jeremy Beadle Beadle's Hotshots 1996 Doctor What
Steve Vizard Fast Forward 1996 Fourth Doctor/Doctor Hewson
Paul O'Grady The Lily Savage Show 1996 Female Doctor
Bob Mortimer Shooting Stars 1996 The First Doctor
Matt Lucas Shooting Stars 1996 The Second Doctor
Vic Reeves Shooting Stars 1996 The Third Doctor
Mark Lamarr Shooting Stars 1996 The Fourth Doctor
Gary Bleasdale Harry Enfield and Chums 1996 Scouse Doctor
Pauline Quirke BBC Choice Advert 1998 The Fourth Doctor
Rowan Atkinson The Curse of Fatal Death 12 March 1999 The Doctor
Richard E. Grant The Curse of Fatal Death 12 March 1999 The Quite Handsome Doctor
Jim Broadbent The Curse of Fatal Death 12 March 1999 The Shy Doctor
Hugh Grant The Curse of Fatal Death 12 March 1999 The Handsome Doctor
Joanna Lumley The Curse of Fatal Death 12 March 1999 The Female Doctor[Note 3]
Mark Gatiss The Web of Caves 13 November 1999 Eighth Doctor
Jon Culshaw Dead Ringers 2000–07 Fourth Doctor, both radio and television
Les Hubb Hububb: "Dr Woo and the Kelads" 22 February 2001 Dr Woo
John Field Gene Genius August 2004 Third Doctor
Ethan McKinley The Charlotte Church Show 2006 Tenth Doctor
Todd Carty The Charlotte Church Show 2006 Eleventh Doctor
Seth Green Robot Chicken 2006 Fourth Doctor
James Hurn Gina's Laughing Gear 2007 Tenth Doctor
Justin Lee Collins Saturday Night Project 2007 Tenth Doctor
Sylvester McCoy Doctors 2008 Lollipop Man
Catherine Tate Sunday Night Project 2009 Tenth Doctor
Mark Perry Dead Ringers December 2009 Second Doctor
Kevin Connelly Dead Ringers December 2009 Seventh Doctor
Phil Cornwell Dead Ringers December 2009 Ninth Doctor
Jon Culshaw Dead Ringers December 2009 Tenth Doctor
Harry Enfield Harry and Paul 2010 Reg Varney Doctor
Brian Drummond My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 2011 Doctor Whooves
Ian Hislop Have I Got News for You Promo 2013 Fourth Doctor
Paul Merton Have I Got News for You Promo 2013 Fourth Doctor
Lewis Macleod Toast of London 2013 Fourth Doctor
Will Friedle Mad 2 September 2013 Tenth Doctor
Nolan North Mad 2 September 2013 Eleventh Doctor
Tim Roth Robot Chicken's Doctor Who Meets the Nerd 2014 Twelfth Doctor
Phil Vischer VeggieTales' Veggies in Space: The Fennel Frontier 2014 Doctor Who
Lewis Macleod Newzoids 2015 Twelfth Doctor
Peter New My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 2015 Doctor Whooves
Tim Dann OOglies 2015 Doctor Rhubarb
Richard McCourt Diddy TV 2016 Twelfth Doctor


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
Kenneth Williams Carry on Screaming! 1966 Dr Watt (Parody of the Doctor however stated as cousin)


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 4]
Michael Sagar The Seven Keys to Doomsday 24 November – 8 December 1984 The Doctor (alternate version, possibly Fourth)[Note 5][19]
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)
Nick Scovell The Planet of Storms October 1996 The Doctor[20][Note 6]
The Web of Fear June 2000 The Second Doctor[21]
Fury From the Deep 27–30 March 2002
Evil of the Daleks 25–28 October 2006
The Dalek Masterplan 24–27 October 2007 The First Doctor[22]
Nicholas Briggs The Dalek Masterplan 24–27 October 2007 The Doctor (regenerated from Nick Scovell's Doctor)


Actor Title Dates Role
Steve Hill The Nightmare Fair May 2003 Sixth Doctor
Michael Jayston He Jests at Scars... September 2003 The Valeyard (alternate reality version)
Trial of the Valeyard December 2013 The Valeyard
The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure August 2015
Geoffrey Bayldon Auld Mortality May 2003 Alternative Doctor
A Storm of Angels January 2005
David Warner Sympathy for the Devil June 2003 Alternative Doctor
Masters of War December 2008
The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. Volume Three: The Unbound Universe 24 August 2016
David Collings Full Fathom Five August 2003 Alternative Doctor
Ian Brooker Full Fathom Five August 2003 Alternative Doctor (uncredited)
Arabella Weir Exile September 2003 Alternative Doctor
Nicholas Briggs Exile September 2003 The previous incarnation of Arabella Weir's Doctor.[Note 7]
The Seven Keys to Doomsday 23 October 2008 The Third 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 8]
Trevor Martin The Seven Keys to Doomsday 23 October 2008 Alternative Fourth Doctor
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
Damian Lynch Ghost in the Machine October 2013 The Third Doctor
Katy Manning The Third Doctor in Jo's body
William Russell The Light at the End 23 October 2013 The First Doctor
The Doctor's Tale October 2014
Frazer Hines The Light at the End 23 October 2013 The Second Doctor
The Yes Men September 2015
The Forsaken October 2015
The Black Hole November 2015
The Ios Network January 2016
Tim Treloar The Light at the End 23 October 2013 The Third Doctor
Prisoners of the Lake September 2015
The Havoc Empire
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 the body of Peri Brown
Peter Purves An Ordinary Life December 2014 The First Doctor
Anthony Howell The End of the Line August 2015 Tim Hope (a disguise used by the Valeyard)
John Hurt The War Doctor series December 2015- The War Doctor


Actor Title Dates Role
Richard E. Grant Scream of the Shalka 13 November – 18 December 2003 A previously official Ninth Doctor prior to the show's 2005 revival


  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. ^ Lumley is the first woman to play the Doctor in an officially licensed production.
  4. ^ At the beginning of the play Martin acted as Jon Pertwee with his face covered and then regenerated.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Scovell also played the Doctor in the Bedlam Theatre fan video production, The Millennium Trap in 1997.
  7. ^ 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).
  8. ^ Culshaw also impersonated the Fourth Doctor, and currently does Tenth Doctor impressions, in the radio and television series Dead Ringers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tim Masters (1 June 2013). "Matt Smith to leave Doctor Who at the end of year". BBC News Online. 
  2. ^ "Doctor Who: Peter Capaldi revealed as 12th Doctor". BBC News Online. 4 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Doctor Who: Tom Baker Returns in 50th Special". 23 December 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  4. ^ “” (19 December 2008). "Tom Baker Doctor Who 1979 New season advert". YouTube. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Howe's Transcendental Toybox: The Unauthorised Guide to "Doctor Who" Collectibles by David J. Howe, Telos Publishing, 2003
  6. ^ "Doctor Who: The Night Of The Doctor Schedule Released For BBC Red Button". Retrieved 16 November 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 Doctor Who News Page: New Trailer Debuts". 3 April 2006. Retrieved 23 June 2010. [dead link]
  9. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation (11 December 2012). "'It's Showtime!' with Rob Brydon - Episode Two - BBC One Christmas 2012 Trailer". YouTube. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "BAFTA Celebrates 50 Years of Doctor Who". BBC. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "Doctor Who Trailer to Celebrate the Last 50 Years". BBC. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "#SaveTheDay". Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Day of the Doctor: The Clock's ticking". Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Day of the Doctor: It's All Been Leading...". Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Science of Doctor Who". Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide". Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  17. ^ British Broadcasting Corporation (1 December 2012). "Sprout Boy meets a galaxy of stars: Trailer - BBC One Christmas 2015". YouTube. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  18. ^ "The Night of the Doctor: A Mini Episode – Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor". BBC. 14 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Dalek Invasion of Porirua: 1984". Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "The Evil of the Daleks Stage Show: The Plays before Evil". Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  21. ^ "Dalek Links: Evil of the Daleks". dalek links. Retrieved 26 July 2010. 
  22. ^ "Dalek Links: The Dalek Masterplan". dalek links. Retrieved 26 July 2010.