The “Doctor Who” universe comprises over 870 episodes and is part of British cult television. We provide an overview of the Doctors.
The British science fiction series “Doctor Who” has been conquering the screens since 1963. With the timeless concept of an alien time lord who simply calls himself “The Doctor” and travels through space and time, the series has thrilled generations of viewers. Many actors have slipped into the role of the Doctor. It’s easy to lose track of all the incarnations of the Doctor. In our article, we reveal the order in which the individual Doctors have appeared and which actors have slipped into the role.
David Tennant returns as the fourteenth Doctor in 2023! You can get a first impression in the trailer for the 60th anniversary special.
“Doctor Who”: “Classic Who” vs. “New Who”
If you want to start watching “Doctor Who”, you will most likely be faced with a conundrum and need to find out more before you can start your first episode. The seasons of “Doctor Who” are split into two parts. This is because the original first episodes were broadcast in 1963 and the series started with a new first season in 2005. A distinction is made between “Classic Who” and “New Who”. However, “New Who” in 2005 was not a new edition of the series. This is because it is a continuation of the original series from 1963, meaning that the 2005 Doctor is already the ninth incarnation of the Doctor.
The “Classic Who” Doctors
The old Doctors of “Doctor Who” made their appearance from 1963 to 1996. While one of them only appeared in one TV movie, the others survived several episodes with exciting adventures. The old episodes naturally have a relatively old charm, but many fans still like them today. You can find the individual Doctors in the following list. Some episodes can be found on Amazon Prime Video on the BBC Player Channel, but many of the old episodes are not available. Between 1967 and 1978, some episodes were destroyed in the BBC archives. There are no copies of these either, which is why 97 episodes are still missing today.
- William Hartnell played the First Doctor from 1963 to 1966.
- The Second Doctor was played by Patrick Troughton from 1966 to 1969.
- Jon Pertwee took on the role of the Third Doctor from 1970 to 1974.
- The Fourth Doctor was played by Tom Baker from 1974 to 1981.
- From 1982 to 1984, Peter Davison took on the role of the Fifth Doctor.
- Colin Baker played the Sixth Doctor from 1984 to 1986.
- The Seventh Doctor was played by Sylvester McCoy from 1987 to 1989.
- Paul McGann made his appearance as the Eighth Doctor in “Doctor Who – The Movie” in 1996.
The Doctor of the “New Who” era
Russell T. Davies ushered in a new Timelord era from 2005. With new actors and a new incarnation of the Doctor, who once again travels through space and time with his TARDIS. The more complex effects and authentic presentation and staging allow you to immerse yourself even more in the individual science fiction worlds. As the new Doctors begin with the Ninth Doctor, they do not, of course, exclude the old era, but merely give the entire cosmos of “Doctor Who” a new coat of paint. You can find the episodes of the “New Who” era on the BBC Player Channel on Amazon Prime Video. You can stream all other new episodes with a streaming subscription on Disney+. There you can expect David Tennant as the fourteenth incarnation of the Doctor, and soon Ncuti Gatwa as the fifteenth Doctor.
- The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) can only be seen in the first season (2005).
- David Tennant continues the journey as the Tenth Doctor from 2005 to 2010.
- The Eleventh Doctor is played by Matt Smith from 2010 to 2013.
- Peter Capaldi is the Twelfth Doctor and plays the role from 2013 to 2017.
- Jodie Whittaker is the first female incarnation of the Doctor. She played the Thirteenth Doctor from 2017 to 2022.
- The Fourteenth Doctor is a reincarnation of the Tenth Doctor and travels through space and time for three special episodes.
- Ncuti Gatwa will take over the TARDIS as the Fifteenth Doctor.
Further incarnations of the Doctor
If you thought that was all the incarnations of the Doctor, you’d be wrong. There have been repeated allusions to other incarnations throughout the series. Two other incarnations were realized in “New Who”.
- The War Doctor (John Hurt) is located between the Eighth and Ninth Doctor and is therefore actually the ninth incarnation of the Doctor. However, the Doctor supplants this incarnation. The War Doctor can be seen in “The Day of the Doctor”. Three incarnations of the Doctor meet there.
- Another incarnation is the Fugitive Doctor. This incarnation meets the Thirteenth Doctor. Jo Martin has played this role since 2020.