Here’s Every ‘Doctor Who’ Doctor And Who Played Them (In Chronological Order)

Through time and space, Doctor Who’s Time Lord has regenerated, evolving with a series of talented actors…

Doctor Who is the longest sci-fi series in television history having first hit the small screen back in 1963. Throughout the years there have been many incarnations of the protagonist, The Doctor, an adventurous alien Time Lord with two hearts who travels across space and time.

The recasting of new actors through the years has been explained within Doctor Who’s lore due to a Time Lord’s ability to regenerate — the process of entirely changing one’s physical appearance and personality but retaining all their prior memories. The concept of regeneration has allowed a ton of different actors to step into The Doctor’s shoes over the years.

It’s a good time to be a Doctor Who fan… the iconic series is celebrating its 60th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, here are all of the Doctor Who Doctors featured in the series so far, in order, and all the actors who have played them.

The First Doctor – William Hartnell
(1963 – 1966)

William Hartnell was the original Doctor when Doctor Who made its debut on November 23, 1963, setting the standard for all subsequent iterations. His portrayal was of an irascible but endearing grandfather figure, setting the stage for the show’s success.

The Second Doctor – Patrick Troughton
(1966 – 1969)

Patrick Troughton’s Doctor was a stark contrast to Hartnell’s, being more of a cosmic hobo with a penchant for mischief. He added a layer of depth and humour to the character.

The Third Doctor – Jon Pertwee
(1970 – 1974)

Jon Pertwee’s era saw the Doctor in a more action-hero role, complete with car chases and martial arts (he practiced “Venusian Aikido”). His Doctor was suave, stylish, and had a fondness for Earth.

The Fourth Doctor – Tom Baker
(1974 – 1981)

Tom Baker is one of the most iconic and longest-serving Doctors. His eccentric portrayal, complete with a long scarf and curly hair, made him a fan favorite. His era also introduced some of the most memorable stories and villains.

The Fifth Doctor – Peter Davison
(1982 – 1984)

Peter Davison’s portrayal was a more vulnerable and human Doctor. He brought a youthful energy to the role, and his era was marked by significant character development.

The Sixth Doctor – Colin Baker
(1984 – 1986)

Colin Baker’s Doctor was known for his colorful costume and an initially abrasive personality. His era faced some challenges but also brought some unique stories to the Whoniverse.

The Seventh Doctor – Sylvester McCoy
(1987 – 1996)

Starting as a more comical figure, Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor evolved into a darker, more mysterious character as his era progressed. He wrapped up the classic series and appeared in the 1996 TV movie.

The Eighth Doctor – Paul McGann
(1996, 2013)

Introduced in the 1996 TV movie, Paul McGann’s Doctor bridged the gap between the classic and revived series. Though he only appeared on screen twice (the movie and the mini-episode “Night of the Doctor”), he’s had many adventures in audio dramas.

The Ninth Doctor – Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston brought “Doctor Who” back to television after a long hiatus. His portrayal was darker and more damaged, reflecting the trauma of the Time War, but he also showed the Doctor’s enduring hope and wonder.

The Tenth Doctor – David Tennant
(2005 – 2010)

David Tennant’s charismatic portrayal cemented the show’s success in the modern era. His Doctor was passionate, energetic, and had a deep emotional range.

The Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith
(2010 – 2013)

With a bow tie and fez, Matt Smith’s Doctor was both ancient and childlike. His era introduced complex story arcs and new depths to the character’s lore.

The Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi
(2013 – 2017)

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor was more introspective, grappling with his identity and morality. He brought a gravitas to the role while also exploring the Doctor’s whimsical side.

The Thirteenth Doctor – Jodie Whittaker
(2017 – 2022)

Jodie Whittaker broke ground as the first female Doctor. Her portrayal was optimistic and compassionate, and her era focused on themes of hope and unity.

The Fugitive Doctor – Jo Martin
(2020 – 2022)

Jo Martin played the Fugitive Doctor in multiple episodes during Jodie Whittaker’s era between 2020 and 2022. Martin’s mysterious incarceration was eventually revealed to be a past version of The Doctor that was wiped from the Time Lord’s memory – however, where she fits chronologically with the other regenerations remains unknown.

The Fourteenth Doctor – David Tennant

In May 2022 it was announced that David Tennant would be returning to Doctor Who for the show’s 60th-anniversary celebrations. In the final moments of “The Power of the Doctor,” Whittaker regenerated into a familiar face and Russell T. Davies quickly confirmed that Tennant would be playing the Fourteenth Doctor in three special episodes set to air in November 2023.

The Fifteenth Doctor: Ncuti Gatwa
(2024 – )

Ncuti Gatwa will play the Fifteenth Doctor and will begin leading the show in series 14 which is due to air in 2024. He does briefly appear in the 60th-anniversary teaser trailer which suggests he may debut before series 14. Little is known about the Fifteenth Doctor at the moment.

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