Doctor Who is one of the most popular Science-Fiction British TV dramas. It has enjoyed several decades of successful run since its inception in 1963. It has cult like following not just in Britain but in other parts of the world too. Among science-fiction communities Doctor Who is considered as one of the best programs.
One of the key features of this show is the Doctor(s) who is the main protagonist. Several actors have played the Doctor, who has the ability to regenerate into another form after death or when injured. This regeneration of the Doctor has helped in continuation of the show this long with the same storyline. Each Doctor’s reincarnation has different personality traits and adventure than the others.
Let’s explore each of the Thirteen Doctor of the series.
Just a Quick Recap
For those who are wondering what Doctor Who is all about here is a little recap of the series:
Doctor Who is a science-fiction adventure series that follows the life and adventure of the Doctor. He is a rogue Time Lord from a different planet, Gallifrey. For some reason he had to flee his hometown in his Time Travelling Machine known as the TARDID - Time and Relative Dimension in Space. He travels to Earth on his TARDIS which becomes a blue British police box in order to camouflage into local surroundings. Due to the mal-functioning of the “chameleon circuit”, the TARDIS permanently takes the appearance of the blue British Blue Box.
The Doctor has many adventures in the series where he tries to save people from the evil forces, sometimes changing the history and altering the events.
Meet the 13 Doctors of Doctor Who
The First Doctor
The first ever Doctor of the series was played by William Hartnell from 1963-1966. He is the first of the several incarnations. One of the memorable gadgets that he held was a blue stone ring. His character has an aura of mystery about. Nothing much is known about him except that he is with his granddaughter Susan. He possesses immense knowledge of science and mathematics and he loves time travels. But he is unable to pilot TARDIS since the machine is meant for six pilots, a fact that his granddaughter Susan explains later. He accidentally takes two human companions in one of his time travels. After initial disagreement and tension, the entire team starts to enjoy the journey. He would do anything to achieve his goals even destroy valuable things. After Susan leaves TARDIS to live in 22nd century world, The Doctor mellows down and evolves into this old, grandfatherly figure that children love to spend time with. As his body starts to weaken and thin he decides to regenerate into a different body.
The Second Doctor
The Second Doctor is played by Patrick Troughton from 1966 to 1969. Unlike his predecessor who was serious, dangerous and a bit impulsive, the Second Doctor is a comic relief to the character. During the series he has earned the nickname of Cosmic Hobo. But, he is not all he seems to be. On the surface he is this comical person but beneath the charade he hides a deeper and more calculating mind. He is manipulative and calculating, but he rather wants his enemies to underestimate his abilities than outright recognize his plans. He is also panicky sometimes but he eventually succeeds in defeating his enemies and acting heroically in a given situation. He has got great affinity for the oppressed and does everything in his power to defend them. He is later sentenced to exile by the Time Lords thus forcing him into regeneration once again.
The Third Doctor
The Third Doctor was played by Jon Pertwee from 1970 to 1974. The Third Doctor is different than his predecessors in many ways. Firstly, he is exiled to earth. He is more into cars, fancy clothes, and food and wine and is more traditional when it comes to lifestyle and space-time travelling. He is appointed as the scientific advisor to the paramilitary organization UNIT. He is currently not happy with his position or work, and he is a bit arrogant. Despite his disagreement with the authority and reluctance, he develops a liking towards earthlings and saves them from all kinds of alien threats. His body is destroyed by radiation thus prompting the fourth regeneration of the Doctor.
The Fourth Doctor
The fourth Doctor was played by Tom Baker from 1974 to 1981. He is more in favor of exploration rather than sit in one place. The Fourth Doctor has a bohemian air to himself in regards to his appearance and dressing style. He is much darker and serious in his personality than his previous versions. He can be broody, serious, and at times uncaring. Deep down, he does feel for his travel companions especially Sarah Jane and acts as father figure to them. He too has his share of disagreement with the Time Lords and at times refuses to pay heeds to them. He later admits that human kinds are his favorites. His fall from the top of a radar tower in a battle with the Master initiates his regeneration into the Fifth Doctor.
The Fifth Doctor
The Fifth Doctor was played by Peter Davison between 1981 and 1984. One of the remarkable parts of the Fifth Doctor is a sprig of celery pinned to the lapel of his cricket-y ensemble. Character wise, he is the most sensitive one with fair amount of reserve in his personality. He is often indecisive and makes wrong choices. He uses coin flipping method for making a choice. Despite being young he acts as father figure to his companions and he is also more courageous. He was infected with Spectra toxemia and he sacrificed his own life to save his companions’ life. This led to his regeneration into the 6th Doctor.
The Sixth Doctor
The Sixth Doctor is played by Colin Baker from 1984 to 1986. He is the first Doctor with such a hard-love characteristic that people often found it hard to like him at all. At times he could be arrogant, brash, moody and uncaring. He is the one with many colors when it comes to character traits. He is heroic though and cares enough for his companion, but he has less patience than the others Doctors. One of the memorable features of this character is an array of cat badges on the frock coat he wears. He hit his head and injures himself which leads to his regeneration into the seventh Doctor.
The Seventh Doctor
The Seventh Doctor was played by Sylvester McCoy from 1987 to 1996. He is most recognized with his buffoonish characteristics. But over time he evolves into this master manipulator transforming from this silly character into something darker and dangerous. He takes viewers through space and time playing this massive chess game. He is an excellent chess master and plays people like pawns to fulfill his goals. One of the most memorable parts of his personality was the umbrella he carried which had a red question mark handle. He was caught between the gang gunfight in San Francisco and later a complicated surgical procedure led to his regeneration.
The Eighth Doctor
The Eighth Doctor was played by Paul McGann in 1996 and 2013. He is considered as romantic kind with wide-eye look. He is soft spoken, has deeper feelings, is sensitive and calmer than the others incarnation. But he is equally excited about the next adventure as a brilliant scientist and time travel. He is caring as well and seems to be more innocent in comparison as well. One of the memorable parts of his personality is the jelly babies and a sonic screwdriver. He dies in a spaceship crash on the planet karn which initiates his regeneration.
The Ninth Doctor
The Ninth Doctor is played by Christopher Eccleston 2005. He possesses the Time Lord doomsday device called the Moment, which turns into his future companion named Rose. Under his goofiness there is a much darker personality and troubled soul. He suffers from survival’s guilt as being the only survivor of the Last Great Time War. The war has definitely had a huge impact on his personality. He often accuses humans for their faults and look down upon them. With time and help of Rose he learns to fight his loneliness and interact better with the humans. His body weakens much like the First Doctor which initiates his regeneration.
The Tenth Doctor
The Tenth Doctor was played David Tennant between 2005 and 2010. The character had a great sense of humor and looks forward to every new adventure with a childish glee. He is youthful, romantic and more sympathetic to humans than his predecessor. But his personality changes a little when the Time War approaches. He is more relaxed and takes adventure as it comes and faces every challenge with a grin. He absorbed a lethal level of radiation to save his companion Wilf and thus regenerating into the eleventh Doctor.
The Eleventh Doctor
The Eleventh Doctor is played by the flamboyant Matt Smith from 2010 to 2013. He is known to carry a detached Cyberhead companion called “Handles”. He is the most comical as well as unorthodox Doctors of all time. He has unruly hair and a knack for breaking things on regular basis. His walk can turn into a pirouette any time and he acts like crazy and has a wild side too. Together these whimsical things about his personality make him one of the most likable characters. The reason for his regeneration is that he grew old on the planet Christmas and was awarded a new cycle of regenerations from the Time Lords.
The Twelfth Doctor
The Twelfth Doctor is played by Peter Capaldi from 2014 to 2017. He is well known for wearing the sonic glasses. He is much older regeneration of the Doctors. He is quite serious and feels uncomfortable when showing his emotions or affections for others. His former companion Clara helps him become more accepting towards the humankinds. He will be leaving the show after the Christmas special this year and the reason for his regeneration is not yet known.
The Thirteenth Doctor
The Thirteenth Doctor will be the reincarnation of the 12th Doctor and will be played by Jodie Whittaker. She will be the first woman Doctor in the series.
For the fans of the Doctor Who there are plenty of cool t-shirt designs to showcase your favorite Doctor.