Doctor Who: First look at John Bishop as Dan Lewis
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Doctor Who is back on BBC One and this series is especially poignant for actress Jodie Whittaker. The star is coming to the end of a long stint as the latest reincarnation of the travelling Time Lord. Express.co.uk has all you need to know about where all the previous Doctor actors are now.
First Doctor – William Hartnell
The first Time Lord appeared on screen between 1963 and 1966 and he looked much frailer than he was.
Despite his age, he was able to defeat many threats, including the infamous Daleks.
He was played by William Hartnell, an English actor also known for his military roles in The Army Game and Carry On Sergeant.
He was married to Heather McIntyre and had one child, and he died in April 1975, aged 67.
In a rediscovered TV interview, he was heard saying the Daleks were “difficult to play to”.
Second Doctor – Patrick Troughton
The second Doctor appeared between 1966 and 1969 and was the polar opposite of the first incarnation.
He was known for his playful yet dark persona and famously froze the Cybermen in ancient tombs.
He was played by Patrick Troughton, an English actor who trained for stage roles but was best known for his roles in TV.
Troughton reprised his role as The Doctor throughout the early 70s and 80s.
He died in March 1987, aged 67, and he had six children.
Third Doctor – Jon Pertwee
The third Doctor was on screen between 1970 and 1974, and he was known for his confident yet soft nature.
He was played by Jon Pertwee, a comedian, actor and cabaret performer who served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War.
The actor was known for his comedy roles in the Carry On films and in The Navy Lark.
He died in May 1996, aged 76, and had two children.
Fourth Doctor – Tom Baker
The fourth Doctor appeared between 1974 and 1981 and he was one of the most adventurous Time Lords.
He was known for finding the Key to Time and he is the longest-serving Doctor.
He was played by Tom Baker, an English actor and writer who went on to provide the narration for Little Britain.
The father-of-two is 87 years old and his latest role was narrating the Little Britain special on The Big Night In in 2020.
In 2017 he appeared as the Fourth Doctor in a Doctor Who episode titled Shada.
Fifth Doctor – Peter Davison
The fifth Doctor was one of the more empathetic stars and he was known for his cleverness and kind heart.
He was reunited with his previous incarnations to fight on Gallifrey, in the Death Zone.
He was played by Peter Davison, an English actor also known for his role as Tristan Farnon in the original All Creatures Great and Small series.
Fans will also recognise the 70-year-old as playing the foul-mouthed vicar in the current ITV series, The Larkins.
The star is the father of Georgia Tennant, who is married to the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.
Sixth Doctor – Colin Baker
The sixth Doctor was on screen between 1984 and 1986, and he was known for his short temper.
He was played by Colin Baker, a 78-year-old actor who went on to star in shows like Emmerdale and A Christmas Carol.
Colin recently spoke out about who he would like to see take over as the next Time Lord.
Speaking to Digital Spy he said: “I suspect that the trend is going to take us down the BAME route – and quite right, too!
“There’s a whole sector of the acting community that’s been ill-served for decades. It’ll certainly, I suspect, not be a white middle-aged man; I would like to think it will be another female Doctor, because I enjoyed watching [Jodie Whittaker].”
Seventh Doctor – Sylvester McCoy
The seventh Doctor was known for his fun personality, but he still kept plenty of dark secrets.
He was played by Sylvester McCoy, an actor and comedian who returned to the role in a TV film in 1996.
The 78-year-old went on to star as Radagast in The Hobbit films from 2012 to 2014.
One of his latest roles was in Lost at Christmas in 2020.
Eighth Doctor – Paul McGann
The eighth Doctor only appeared once, in a Doctor Who film in 1996, and again in a special clip for the 2013 anniversary.
He was played by Paul McGann, an actor known for his roles in The Monocled Mutineer and Hornblower.
The 61-year-old, who has two children, went on to star in 40 episodes of Holby City as John Gaskell.
One of his most recent roles was in the 2021 series, Annika.
Ninth Doctor: Christopher Eccleston
The ninth Doctor was the only survivor of the Last Great Time War and he was scarred by what he had seen.
He was played by Christopher Eccleston, who is also known for his roles in The A Word and The Leftovers.
The father-of-two has been working on two TV projects, playing Fagin in Dodger and Rob Harding in Close to Me.
The star recently opened up about his struggles with clinical depression and how he “nearly lost everything” as a result.
Tenth Doctor – David Tennant
The tenth Doctor arrived on Christmas Day and appeared on screen between 2005 and 2010.
He was voted the nation’s favourite Doctor and was played by David Tennant, Peter Davison’s son-in-law.
Tennant, 50, went on to play Dennis Nilsen in ITV’s Des, himself in Staged with Michael Sheen and Crowley in Good Omens.
Fans believed he was making a Doctor Who return after he shared a cryptic comment with Digital Spy.
He said: “Anything is ultimately possible. You should never say never to anything.”
Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith
The eleventh Doctor appeared between 2010 and 2013 and he made his entrance in a crashing TARDIS.
He was known for taking on the terrifying Weeping Angels, which are making a comeback in the new season.
He was played by Matt Smith, a 39-year-old actor who went on to play Prince Phillip in The Crown.
The star has just taken on a new role in the Game of Thrones spin-off series, House of the Dragon, as Daemon Targaryen.
Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi
The twelfth Doctor appeared between 2013 and 2017, and he was played by Peter Capaldi.
The actor starred in the 50th anniversary special and had minor roles in previous series.
Peter, an actor, singer and writer aged 63, is also known for playing Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.
His most recent roles were voicing Beethoven in the show Being Beethoven, and as Siegfried Sassoon in the film Benediction.
Thirteenth Doctor – Jodie Whittaker
Finally, the thirteenth Doctor took over in 2017 and she is the first female to play the iconic role.
When the Time Lord first realised they were female, they responded with ‘Aw, brilliant!’
Jodie Whittaker announced the 13th season and two specials would mark her final appearance as the Doctor.
As for who will take over as the Time Lord for season 14, that is yet to be decided.
Some of the top names include It’s A Sin star Lydia West, Death in Paradise’s Ben Miller and Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure.
Doctor Who airs on Sundays on BBC One.
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