Top 10 Actors to Portray the Doctor

At the time this list was posted, 10 actors had portrayed this Gallifreyan. How do they size up to each other?

The Top Ten

1 David Tennant David Tennant David Tennant is a Scottish actor known for his roles as the Tenth Doctor in the British television series Doctor Who, Alec Hardy in Broadchurch, Giacomo Casanova in the TV serial Casanova, Kilgrave in Jessica Jones, and Barty Crouch, Jr. in the Harry Potter movie series.

Bloody brilliant actor, had a great sense of humor and fit in so well with his companions. And yes, his hair adds into the equation too. He's so intense and really acts like how I think the real Doctor would (if only he IS real... ) Yeah. TENNANT RULES!

David Tennant is the best doctor because his TARDIS is so cool and all the episodes are incredibly original

The best in my eyes - iliekpiez

David was my first Doctor which means he'll always have a special place in my heart as every first Doctor does! He was funny, gorgeous & just had the doctor essence that made him amazing! Matt Smith has really grown on me & I love him too (although I didn't watch him straight after David - David's departure was too much to bare) I would still have to say David is the doctor for me!

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2 Tom Baker Tom Baker Thomas Stewart Baker is an English actor. He is best known as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who from 1974 to 1981, a longer tenure than any other actor, and for the narration of the comedy series Little Britain.

I think the vote is dominated by a younger view point however, they have not really seen Tom Baker in action. He had a really dynamic on screen presence, I have seen all the doctors.. Tom, has a unique voice and a vocabulary that surpassed every other doctor. Don't take my word for it... watch 3 episodes from each Doctor then you decide.

What is Baker doing so low? HE'S A BOSS! BEST DOCTOR EVER! When I think of Doctor Who, I think of Tom Baker with his scarf, not Tennant, his smug face and ridiculous ways of defeating the Daleks.

The fact that Tom Baker is underneath both David Tennant and Matt Smith is a crime. He is way better that both 10 and 11.

How amazing Tom Baker was. He perfectly balanced a fun, jelly-baby-loving eccentric and a dark, mysterious hero. With his trademark scarf and fedora as well as the trusted K9 by his side, he is most certainly iconic.

David Tennant is nothing compared to him. He was the greatest.

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3 Matt Smith Matt Smith Matthew Robert Smith is an English actor. He is best known for his role as the Eleventh Doctor in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, for which he received a BAFTA Award nomination in 2011.

I think he does pretty good as the doctor.

Matt was amazing as the two-hearted alien we all know and love. His graceful clumsiness (apparently that's a thing), his brilliant speeches, his daringness as a doctor and his persuasive ability to make even all of his enemies, combined, in one place, run away in terror just by saying stuff on a speakerphone (stonehenge) is just AMAZING. You are missed Fish fingers and custard. Hope you return!

Matt Smith is Awesome! My favourite doctor! I love his innocent personality. He has tons of hilarious scenes and lines! I love EVERY episode from this doctor. His story arcs were brilliant and well developed (cracks in space and time, The Doctor's name, the Pandorica etc.).

His regeneration was really emotional, in my opinion. I loved his speech about how 'we all change' and 'I'll always remember when the Doctor was me' (My favourite line from the entire show). I cried during his regeneration, I didn't want to see him go but I knew that his time was up.

Matt Smith will always be my Doctor

I like David Tennant, Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker a lot, but I really love Matt's immature and innocent personality. He's quirky and eccentric, yet he is still believable as an ancient man.

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4 Christopher Eccleston Christopher Eccleston

The most realistically written Doctor in my opinion... Just came from the 'last great time war' that wiped out his planet/Species among chunks of other races and parts of the universe.

Suffering survivors guilt with a hefty dose of 'PTSD' as well as 'shell shock syndrome'.. Incredibly complex/multi layered/Dark and able to portray it all in just one look along with his 900 years of pain/tragedy/life.

Haunted, pained, tortured, unstable, but hidden underneath goofiness, mania but you could see through the facade to the incredibly damaged 'Timelord' underneath.

He was the most fully rounded, developed and psychological doctor out of them all, and his journey towards a peace/acceptance/love was riveting to watch.

Nobody could have kicked open the doors to 'Nuwho' and made it the success that it has became but Ecclestone.. A very underrated doctor who was only on the show a season but made a very significant mark in my eyes.

The ninth doctor. Had a leather jacket and short hair. - argon8

Really He Clearly Should be second the most realistic doctor and he doesn't look weird like Matt Smith which is a bonus.

This doctor is my favorite because he has a dark sense of humor and makes me smile every time I see him smile

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5 Jon Pertwee Jon Pertwee

The greatest. Period.

The Third doctor. Had a "mane of white hair". - argon8

Action adventurer.. one of the most significant 'first' five Doctors that set the pacde and legend for the modern series.. Ecclestone? Please no!

6 Sylvester McCoy Sylvester McCoy

Sylvester will always be my number 1 Doctor and here's why:

I know that he didn't have the best debut episode, but if I have to give 'Time and the Rani' credit, it would have to go to some of Sylvester's performance as the Doctor. I found it hilarious how he kept mixing up phrases and words.

I also love the transition from a comedic and kind Doctor to a manipulative and darker Time Lord. I find it absolute BS that he didn't get another season.

McCoy was a major success when it came to portraying the Doctor. A stylish and comedic touch fused with a more darker and manipulative side. What other Doctor would use reverse psychology to destroy a Dalek mothership?

Quirky but kind Doctor

The seventh doctor. Had a stylish umbrella. - argon8

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7 Peter Capaldi Peter Capaldi

Deserves top 2 - iliekpiez

Peter Capaldi is by far the bravest doctor. He's been through so much and yet still doesn't make a big show about it and still does the right thing. HE'S ALSO A MAGICIAN!

Peter Capaldi's portrayal of the Doctor is dark, but really sarcastic and hilarious. I love it

The most Alien of all. Mercuric and hyperactive, but in some moments sad and solemn. But, overall, enigmatic.

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8 Patrick Troughton Patrick Troughton

The second doctor. Wore plaid pants and played a musical instrument. - argon8

My favorite. And did you see tomb of the cyber men? Best story ever

If people watched the classics this guy would be near the top. He's one of the fan favourites, along with Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, David Tennant and Matt Smith. Patrick Troughton made bow ties cool and he was more than a guy who 'wore plaid pants and played a musical instrument' - Aeterna


9 William Hartnell William Hartnell

Doctor Who is one of those shows that gets progressively worse as it advances.

The first doctor. Had combed, white hair. - argon8

The man who started it all and had passion for it.

Sorely overlooked

10 Paul McGann Paul McGann

His audios stories are fantastic. Big finish deserve series respect for giving us the 8th Doctor stories the BBC couldn't!

The Eighth doctor. From the TV movie; wore a green coat. - argon8

Peter Davison the nicest Doctor? Listen to the audio "Neverland" and tell me Paul isn't the kindest soul to ever pilot the Tardis.

I'm sorry he is the worst Doctor because he did the Telly Movie in 1996. I hated Paul Mcgann's Doctor because he was just awful and his peformance was like Overcooked Toast washed in water, Lots of out of date chocolate spread over it, Butter and marmalade spead over it served with out of date Milk. If that was the case I would not watch the 1996 T.V. Movie and listen to his Big Finish audio book storie and just burn it a Roasted Open Fire.

The Contenders

11 Peter Davison Peter Davison

Peter Davison really brought a new aspect to the role. He was more human like, and didn't always get things right. If he did get some things wrong, he would have to deal with the consequences. So he is by far my favorite actor to play the doctor.

The fifth doctor. Wore a tannish white suit with red trim, and a sprig of celery. - argon8

Underrated! He deserves first spot, he always get into trouble and preferring to be honest and human-y more.. Really great doctor, and mostly travel with 3 companions at once. And and sorry I must dash now

I didn't like his Doctor, but an excellent actor.

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12 Colin Baker Colin Baker

I guess I have a soft spot fir this doctor since we share a first name (my parents actually came up with the name because my dad was a fan), but he really isn't that bad. Sure, his tenure was hurt by behind-the-scenes chaos, but most of the hate comes from people who haven't seen any of his episodes. The actor himself is actually really good as he has a Hartnell-esque style. I love episodes like "Revelation of the Daleks" and "The Two Doctors", but my favorite Colin Baker performance would actually be "The Five-ish Doctors", a real-life set parody created for the 50th anniversary. Anyway, he's no Tom Baker, but he is a lot better than people say. - Hajj

Six needs more love, guys! He's a good Doctor. (Especially in the Big Finish audios. )

When are people going to realize that Colin was actually the best actor to play the Doctor?

The sixth doctor. Wore a clown's jacket and yellow pants. - argon8

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13 John Hurt John Hurt

Personally, I didn't like The Day of the Doctor, but this guy made all worth while. He was just so good. He is a very good Doctor.

14 Jodie Whittaker Jodie Whittaker

So far, and this is not impacted by the fact that she is a woman, I think Whittaker is trying too hard like David Tennant. Many of her lines are really, and I mean really annoying. Her character is not that unique either so far, and following up Capaldi just makes her an even bigger disappointment. - iliekpiez

It's not fair to judge her yet. As of now, she's had one line. 'Oh brilliant.' - MrKite

15 Michael Jayston

The Valeyard - kanetheundertaker25

16 Richard Hurndall

5 Doctors 'Hartnall Replacement'.. Great character actor.. Did the impossible by playing the First Doctor in the special..

17 Peter Cushing

Grand Moff Tarkin.. Yes the Hammer star was the Doctor who was inventor from earth.. Not included in the official screen cannon though!

So what if it's not canon he still played the Doctor, this list isn't exclusive to the canon of the show - kanetheundertaker25

Why is Peter Cushing's Doctor Who film duology so underrated? I actually like him.

I actually really like the two Dr Who films with him in. - IronSabbathPriest


18 David Bradley

His First Doctor is amazing - kanetheundertaker25

19 Frazer Hines

His Second Doctor is spookily accurate - kanetheundertaker25

20 Tim Treloar

His Third Doctor is pretty accurate - kanetheundertaker25

21 David Warner

He's great in the Unbound and Bernice Summerfield audios, wish Big Finish would do more "what if? " stories with Doctors from parallel universes - kanetheundertaker25

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List Stats

600 votes
21 listings
10 years, 17 days old

Top Remixes (21)

1. Tom Baker
2. Matt Smith
3. Sylvester McCoy
1. Christopher Eccleston
2. Sylvester McCoy
3. Tom Baker
1. Colin Baker
2. David Tennant
3. Jon Pertwee

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