Who has played Doctor Who? Complete list of Time Lords from Jodie Whittaker to William Hartnell – The Sun | The Sun

JODIE Whittaker’s tenure as the first woman to lead Doctor Who came to a spectacular end after four years on October 23, 2022.

Sex Education actor Ncuti Gatwa has replaced Whittaker as the new Time Lord for 2023, which means Fourteen different actors have now stepped into the shoes of the Doctor since the series first began in 1963.

Who has played Doctor Who before?

William Hartnell (1963-1966)

William was the first version of the fabled Doctor when the series premiered in 1963.

William played the role for three years until 1966 when the character regenerated because his body was wearing too thin in the story The Tenth Planet.

In real life, the Doctor's ability to regenerate was invented to solve the practical problems caused by William's contract expiring and his ongoing battle with arteriosclerosis.

He returned to the hit BBC show for four episodes which aired in 1972 and 1973 entitled, The Three Doctors.

This was to be his last acting role as he passed away two years later on April 23, 1975, aged 67.

His career saw him star in numerous movies including Escape in 1948 with Rex Harrison, Carry On Sergeant in 1958, and This Sporting Life alongside Richard Harris in 1963.


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Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)

Patrick Troughton played the second DoctorCredit: London Media Press

Stage actor Patrick took over the role in 1966.

He also played the role for three years until 1969.

Patrick's regeneration storyline occurred in the ten-episode arc War Games where the Doctor's fellow Time Lords pre-empt his next transformation as punishment for his adventuring.

In his own words, Patrick explained that “Three years was long enough.

"I didn't want to get typecast, and one had to get out while the going was good.”

He also returned for the tenth season opener, The Three Doctors, along with his predecessor and successor.

And he returned for The Two Doctors in 1985, along with sixth Doctor, Colin Baker.

Lost episodes from his stint as the Doctor were rebooted in 2020 – and he even got the cartoon treatment.

His other TV work includes playing Robin Hood in the 1953 TV mini series of the same name, George Barton in Coronation Street (1974) and Perce in The Two Of Us (1986)

His movies include The Omen, in which he played Father Brennan, and Klove in Scars Of Dracula.

Patrick died on March 28, 1987, at the age of 67.



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Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)

Jon Pertwee played the third doctorCredit: Alamy

Jon Pertwee played the third Doctor in the early 70s.

Ron Moody was the first choice for the role but was unavailable at the time.

Before landing the part Jon had previously appeared in Carry On films and various comedic roles.

He played the Doctor as a flamboyant, well dressed and technically intelligent Time Lord with a love for cars, especially his yellow vintage roadster "Bessie".

He returned to the role in 1983, alongside the then-Doctor, Peter Davison.

Jon famously went on to play Worzel Gummidge, and voiced Spotty in SuperTed.

He died at the age of 76 on May 20, 1996.

Tom Baker (1974-1981)

Tom Baker played the Doctor for a record-breaking seven series before he retired from the role.

He is often remembered as the most bohemian incarnation of the Time Lord and was known for his long stripy scarf and love of Jelly Babies.

In 2013, he returned to Doctor Who for the 50th anniversary special, playing a curator in the National Gallery and also appeared in the series in 2017 to finish a lost episode from 1979.

Tom went on to become the voice of Little Britain.

Peter Davison (1981-1984)

Peter Davison was 29 when he took on the role of the Doctor, making him the youngest actor to play the part until Matt Smith took on the role in 2010.

His version of the Doctor wore a stick of celery on his lapel and had a fondness for cricket attire.

He returned to the show for the mini-episode charity special Time Crash which he starred in alongside David Tennant.

Peter is also known of popular TV series All Creatures Great And Small, At Home With The Braithwaites, The Last Detective, Law & Order: UK, The Larkins, and Gentleman Jack.

Colin Baker (1984-1986)

Colin Baker succeeded Peter Davison to become the sixth Doctor.

He made his first appearance on the show in 1983 as Commander Maxil who shot the previous Doctor in the episode Arc Of Infinity.

His time as the Doctor was marked by an 18-month hiatus and a battle with the production team who didn't see a future for the show.

Since being on the hit TV show, Colin has appeared in the jungle on season 12 of I'm A Celebrity, where he placed eighth.

He's taken part in Channel 4's Come Dine With Me and Celebrity 5 Go Caravanning, which aired on Channel 5 in 2020, with Tony Blackburn.

In 2018 he made a cameo appearance on Emmerdale.

Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989)

Sylvester McCoy is a Scottish actor and the seventh Doctor.

In the first season that he played the Doctor, he brought humour to the role but the character became increasingly dark in the second series.

He played the Doctor in the 1993 charity special Dimensions In Time and also appeared in the beginning of the Doctor Who TV movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in 1996.

Sylvester went on to play Radagast in 2014 movie The Hobbit Trilogy, and in 2016 he joined celebs Miriam Margolyes and Wayne Sleep in The Real Marigold Hotel.

Paul McGann (1996)

Paul McGann played the eighth Doctor in an attempted reboot of the series in 1996.

He starred in the television film which was intended as a backdoor pilot for a Doctor Who reboot on Fox but it didn't prove popular with US viewers.

However, the eighth doctor survived in various spin-off media and is the longest serving Time Lord in the Doctor Who magazine comic strip.

McGann returned in the Time Lord Victorious in 2020.

Paul starred in Holby City as John Gaskell from 2017-2018 and played Mark North in BBC drama Luther.

Paul is one of four acting McGann brothers.

Older brother Joe has starred in Hollyoaks as Edward Hutchison, while younger brothers Mark and Stephen have appeared in mini-series Stephen and Call The Midwife respectively.

The brothers all starred together in the 1995 mini-series The Hanging Gale.

Christopher Eccleston (2005)

Christopher Eccleston became the ninth Doctor when the series was revived in 2005.

It is believed that he left the role after one series for fear of being typecast.

In 2018 he gave an interview in which he claimed BBC bosses put him on a "blacklist" after he left the show.

Christopher certainly hasn't been typecast since, having starred in Safe House (2015), The A Word (2016-2020) and Close To Me (2021).

David Tennant (2005-2010)

David Tennant was voted the UK's favourite doctor in a survey by Radio Times magazine in 2013.

His companions included Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate).

His costume, characterised by a faux-suede overcoat and converse trainers was inspired by an outfit Jamie Oliver wore on Parkinson shortly after David was cast for the role.

Tennant is also known for Broadchurch and playing killer Dennis Nilsen in Des.

Matt Smith (2010-2013)

Matt Smith became the youngest ever actor (aged 26) to play the doctor when he took on the role in 2010.

His companions throughout his tenure were Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), her husband Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Louise Coleman).

Writer Steven Moffat described the eleventh doctor as an "old man trapped in a young man's body".

In 2022 he starred as Prince Daemon Targaryen in House Of The Dragon.

Peter Capaldi (2014-2017)

Peter Capaldi succeeded Matt Smith to become the twelfth doctor.

He made his first appearance in the role at the end of the 2013 Christmas Special The Time Of The Doctor.

His companions included Clara Oswald, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas).

Peter is known for starring as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It.

Jodie Whittaker (2017-2022)

Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the 13th Doctor in a clip that was released after the 2017 Wimbledon men's final and her first episode was released on Christmas day that same year.

Her companions have included warehouse worker Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), retired bus driver Graham O'Brien (Bradley Walsh), police officer Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill) and Dan Lewis (John Bishop).

Jodie became the first woman to play the part of the Time Lord in the 50 years that the show has been running.

In July 2021, the BBC confirmed that Jodie would be leaving the role after series 13, which began on Halloween 2021, and three specials in 2022.

Jodie made her final appearance as the Doctor on October 23, 2022.

Ncuti Gatwa (2023)

Ncuti Gatwa, who is best known for his performance in Netflix's Sex Education, has replaced Jodie Whittaker as the next lead in Doctor Who.

Gatwa joins the long-running sci-fi series ahead of its 60th anniversary in 2023.

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The 30-year-old told BBC News: "It feels really amazing. It's a true honour. This role is an institution and it's so iconic."

Gatwa will make his debut as the Time Lord in 2023 and is the first black actor to take on the role.

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