List of actors who have played the Doctor
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". In May 2022, Ncuti Gatwa was announced as the next series lead to portray the Doctor.
|Tenure||First regular appearance||Last regular appearance|
|23 November 1963 – 29 October 1966
(2 years, 11 months and 6 days)
|An Unearthly Child
"An Unearthly Child"
|The Tenth Planet|
|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)
|29 October 1966 – 21 June 1969
(2 years, 7 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
|The Power of the Daleks
|The War Games|
Other Second Doctor appearances
|3 January 1970 – 8 June 1974
(4 years, 5 months and 5 days)
|Spearhead from Space
|Planet of the Spiders|
Other Third Doctor appearances
|8 June 1974 – 21 March 1981
(6 years, 9 months, 1 week and 6 days)
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.
Other Fourth Doctor appearances
|21 March 1981 – 16 March 1984
(2 years, 11 months, 3 weeks and 3 days)
|The Caves of Androzani|
Other Fifth Doctor appearances
|16 March 1984 – 6 December 1986
(2 years, 8 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
|The Twin Dilemma
|The Ultimate Foe|
Colin Baker previously appeared on Doctor Who playing a different character in the Fifth Doctor's episode "Arc of Infinity"
Other Sixth Doctor appearances
|7 September 1987 – 6 December 1989
(2 years, 2 months, 4 weeks and 1 day)
|Time and the Rani
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
|27 May 1996||Doctor Who (TV movie)|
Other Eighth Doctor appearances
|26 March 2005 – 18 June 2005
(2 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
|"Rose"||"The Parting of the Ways"|
Other Ninth Doctor appearances
|18 June 2005 – 1 January 2010
(4 years, 6 months and 2 weeks)
|"The Christmas Invasion"||"The End of Time"|
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
|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
|25 December 2013 – 25 December 2017
|"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
|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
|23 October 2022 – present
(7 months and 6 days)
|60th anniversary specials||Incumbent|
|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|
|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, 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|
|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|
|"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||"The Timeless Children"||1 March 2020||An incarnation of the Timeless Child|
|Leo Tang||An incarnation of the Timeless Child|
|Jesse Deyi||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.|
|Peter Cushing||Dr. Who and the Daleks||23 August 1965||Dr. Who|
|Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.||5 August 1966|
|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!||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|
|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]|
|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)|
|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)|
|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|
- ^ 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".
- ^ Nyssa comments, "He was the Doctor all the time."
- ^ At the beginning of the play Martin acted as Jon Pertwee with his face covered and then regenerated.
- ^ 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
- ^ 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).
- ^ Culshaw also impersonated the Fourth Doctor, and currently does Tenth Doctor impressions, in the radio and television series Dead Ringers.
- ^ Lumley is the first woman to play the Doctor in an officially licensed production.
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