Doctor Who Doctors, ranked from worst to best

Who was the best Doctor Who Doctor? With over thirteen actors embracing the iconic role for nearly sixty years, everyone has a favorite Timelord. Who is yours

In the last 58 years, many celebrities have changed faces here and there. Some experienced a slight thinning of the nose, others the forehead, butt, lips, and hairline. But nobody makes a new face like the Doctor.

So far, thirteen faces, with a couple more, have appeared on our screens and here you will find the list that answers the question: Is Doctor Who the best? This is our list of Doctor Who doctors, ranked from worst to best.

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Doctor Who Doctors, ranked from worst to best

13. Patrick Troughton, Second Physician

Best Doctor Who Doctor

(Image credit: BBC)

The second incarnation of the Doctor was played by Patrick Troughton, from 1966 to 1969. Troughton is on our list for the simple reason that it is difficult to assess his tenure with so many missing episodes.

The BBC took it upon himself to lose several classic Doctor Who episodes, including 53 of Troughton’s 119, so it’s hard to fully appreciate his run these days. The cosmic wanderer stumbled across the universe facing off against Daleks and Cybermen, as well as the Great Intelligence and the Ice Warriors.

12. Paul McGann, Eighth Physician

Best Doctor Who: Picture shows Paul McGann as Doctor Who

(Image credit: BBC)

The Doctor with the shortest time on our screen, McGann was featured in a 1996 television movie that was destined to relaunch the franchise. Sadly, the US public didn’t take, although it was popular in the UK. The idea for a new series was scrapped, but it didn’t stop McGann.

Although his screen time was minimal, The Eighth Doctor has been a part of audio dramas, comic books, and novels throughout the years. We also saw him return for the Doctor’s Day special, putting on a splendid performance as he transformed into the War Doctor.

11. Colin Baker, 6th Doctor

Best Doctor Who: Picture shows Colin Baker

(Image credit: BBC)

Colin, the first of the two bakers on our list, played the titular figure from 1984 to 1986. During Baker’s time on the show, the BBC took an 18-month hiatus from Doctor Who, and Baker was left with just two. companions and a handful of episodes.

His sharp tongue and often unkind personality set this new form of Doctor up against the fun and quirky incarnations that came before. Yet, never to be forgotten, his question mark collars and glittery patchwork jacket kept the viewer’s eyes occupied.

10. Peter Capaldi – Twelfth Doctor

Best Doctor Who: Picture shows Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who

(Image credit: BBC)

From 2014 to 2017, Peter Capaldi, gruff and ready for action, tore an electric guitar to shreds through the TARDIS. This version of the Doctor sported sonic sunglasses instead of the traditional screwdriver, and adored a worn chunky knit sweater. This rock ‘n’ roll version of the double-hearted hero was a far cry from his predecessor (Matt Smith), and the witty, and possibly immortal, Clara Oswald kept it in check.

Capaldi himself was a phenomenal Doctor, bringing that trademark mix of grizzled warrior and cosmic buffoon, but his episodes were a bit unpredictable. However, Heaven Sent is among the best in Who.

9. Christopher Eccleston, Ninth Physician

Best Doctor Who: Picture shows Christopher Eccleston as Doctor Who

(Image credit: BBC)

With just one series under his belt, Eccleston was the face of the 2005 Doctor Who revival. Fans enjoyed his brooding ears, accent, and leather jacket, but sadly it wasn’t long-lasting. Fans rate Doctor 9 as a favorite incarnation, and it’s not hard to see why. For many new Whovians, Eccleston was the first face we met at the helm of the TARDIS.

Eccleston brought a frenzied and wild energy to the Doctor, but when things got serious, God got serious Eccleston. Sadly, his run lasted only one season, and he really felt like he had so much more to give as The Doctor.

8. Sylvester McCoy – Seventh Doctor

Best Doctor Who: Sylvester McCoy

(Image credit: BBC)

Sylvester McCoy saw the end of the classic Doctor Who, as its cancellation directly followed its time in the blue box. Known as a darker version of the Doctor, McCoy’s performance has been praised for its layered and nuanced manipulation from both supporting characters and the audience.

Despite his last appearance on the main series ending in 1987, Doctor 7 appeared in the 1996 television movie, handing over the reins to Paul McGann.

7. Peter Davidson, fifth physician

Best Doctor Who: Peter Davidson

(Image credit: BBC)

Sandwiched between Colin Baker and Tom Baker sits Peter Davidson. The fifth incarnation of the Doctor and one of the best-known actors to take on the mantle, Davidson piloted the time machine from 1982 to 1984. Davidson’s tenure was neither surprising nor particularly bad – he had some great episodes and fought iconic villains, including Cybermen and The Master.

Davidson’s real-life daughter Georgia Moffat joined the Doctor Who family in more ways than one: playing the Doctor’s daughter, Jenny, and also marrying the Doctor himself, David Tennant.

6. Matt Smith, Eleventh Doctor

Best Doctor Who: Matt Smith

(Image credit: BBC)

Smith’s three-year tenure began in 2010, and his quirky take on the eponymous, bow-tie-loving hero quickly became very popular. Smith was the Doctor in Residence during the show’s 50th anniversary, teaming up with David Tennant and ‘War Doctor’, John Hurt.

Smith’s Doctor was more cheerful than most of the entries on either side of him, expressing the same childish glee as any ten-year-old if you told them they could fly in a spaceship. It has some truly epic stories, even if some of them got a little messy and made themselves great. Still, Smith takes our middle position, for his fez, bow tie and impressive three-year tenure.

5. Jodie Whittaker – Thirteenth Doctor

Best Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker

(Image credit: BBC)

The current Doctor on our screens, Whittaker made history as the first woman to play the character, and she tackles tough issues in every episode. His tenure in the TARDIS will end in 2022, with a trio of special episodes, and while Doctor 14 has yet to be confirmed, we do know that Russell T Davies, the former showrunner (2005-2010), will once again take the helm behind the scenes.

It’s hard to put Jodie on this list, because her performance has been stellar; it’s only the script and the episodes around it that have been somewhat disappointing. Hopefully Davies can give Jodie one last season to remember. Her groundbreaking inclusion as the first female doctor earns her fifth place, and we can’t wait to see how her time will end.

4. Jon Pertwee – third doctor

Best Doctor Who: Jon Pertwee

(Image credit: BBC)

Jon Pertwee introduced the public to the Doctor on color television, taking on the Autons in his first series. Pertwee’s Doctor is known to be connected to Earth and is employed by UNIT as an advisor. Pertwee himself confessed that his scripts were laden with scientific exposition, often replacing lengthy explanations with a simple “reverse polarity.”

Pertwee also introduced the world to Sarah-Jane Smith, Jo Grant, and Liz Shaw, three of the most beloved peers in the show’s run. One of the best-known faces in Doctor Who history, he misses the top three by a small margin.

3. William Hartnell, first physician

Best Doctor Who: William Hartnell

(Image credit: BBC)

The first Doctor Who, and the blueprint for the next 58 years, William Hartnell is the man who started it all. Hartnell, beginning by being stubborn and often suspicious of humans, turned his Doctor into a wise and grandfatherly figure, traveling with ten companions, from 1963 to 1966. His portrayal of the character was colder than most. of those that came later, but it is still the face that launched the series.

When his term ended, Hartnell chose his successor: “There is only one man in England who can take over, and that is Patrick Troughton.” Hartnell takes the bronze medal in this Top Docs list, without him the show would not be the same.

2. Tom Baker – Fourth Doctor

Best Doctor Who: Tom Baker

(Image credit: BBC)

Tom Baker, one of the oldest reigning actors to take the helm of the Blue Box, served from 1974 to 1981. His iconic scarf, hat, and easy wit made audiences adore him and, of course, everyone. we would like a jelly baby. If you think of the classic Doctor Who, Tom Baker is almost certainly the first face that comes to mind.

He was also the first of the Doctors to really nail that combination of fantasy, action, and horror that makes Doctor Who so great. He had his fair share of scary episodes, serious episodes, and goofy episodes, and he got them right every time.

1. David Tennant – Tenth Doctor

Best Doctor Who: David Tennat

(Image credit: BBC)

Named the most popular Doctor in the show’s history, David Tennant brought an entirely new fanbase to the Who-niverse. An evergreen fan of Doctor Who himself, his enthusiasm and love for the character stood out. From a one-handed Sycorax duel on Christmas Day to saving the very fabric of reality, Tennant made his mark on Doctor Who forever.

While each Doctor has their episodes stand out, Tenant’s career is replete with absolute classics. From the genuinely terrifying Blink to the cosmic horror of The Impossible Planet, Tenant’s Doctor was a golden age for the show.

Honorable mentions

John Hurt – The War Doctor

Better doctor than: John Hurt

(Image credit: BBC)

John Hurt joined the Who family for the 50th anniversary episode, playing a version of the Doctor between series 8 and 9. Hurt’s War Doctor showed the character in his most vulnerable state, trying to save Gallifrey, the world. home of the Timelords.

Jo Martin – The Fugitive Doctor

Best Doctor Who: Jo Martin

(Image credit: BBC)

Jo Martin was the second woman, and the first person of color, to play the Doctor. As part of the Timeless Child story, Martin’s version is of an unknown moment in the seemingly endless life of the mysterious hero.

So there they are, each Doctor and the parts they played to make this iconic show what it is. A universe known and loved the world over, and always a fascinating icon in television history. Will it ever end …? Only Doctor Who knows.

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