SEX Education actor Ncuti Gatwa has replaced Jodie Whittaker as the new Time Lord for 2023.
Since the series first began in 1963, fourteen different artists have now stepped into Doctor’s Shoes. Here’s your complete guide to all of that …
Who has played the role of doctor before?
William Hartnell (1963-1966)
When the series premiered in 1963, William was the first version of Fictional Doctor.
In The Tenth Planet, William played a role for three years until 1966, when the character was re-created because his body was too thin.
In real life, the doctor’s regenerative ability was explored to solve practical problems caused by the termination of William’s contract and the ongoing battle with arterial disease.
He returned to the BBC’s hit shows for four episodes called Three Doctors, which aired in 1972 and 1973.
His last role came two years later, on April 23, 1975, at the age of 67.
During his career, he starred in a number of films, including Escape with Rex Harrison in 1948, Carrie On Sergeant in 1958, and This Sporting Life with Richard Harris in 1963.
Patrick Trafton (1966-1969)
Stage actor Patrick accepted the role in 1966.
He also held the role for three years till 1995.
Patrick’s reproduction storyline takes place in the ten-episode Arc War Games where Doctor’s colleague Time Lords pre-empt his next transformation as a punishment for his adventure.
In his own words, Patrick explained that “three years was enough.
“I didn’t want to typecast, and had to get out while walking.”
He returned with his tenth season opener, The Three Doctors, his predecessor and successor.
And he returned in 1985 with Sixth Doctor Colin Baker for The Two Doctors.
Lost part of his tenure due to Doctor Reboot in 2020 – and he also received cartoon treatment.
His other TV appearances include Robin Hood in the 1953 TV mini-series of the same name, George Barton in Coronation Street (1974) and Purse in The Two of Us (1986).
His films include The Omen, in which he played Father Brennan and Clove’s Scars of Dracula.
Patrick died on March 28, 1987, at the age of 67.
John Partwi (1970-1974)
John Perthway had a role as the third doctor in the early 70s.
Ron Moody was the first choice for the role but was not available at the time.
Prior to the episode, John had previously appeared in Carrie On movies and various comedy roles.
He loved the role of Doctor as a flamboyant, well-dressed and technically savvy Time Lord, especially his yellow vintage roadster “Bessie”.
In 1983, he returned to the role with the then doctor Peter Davison.
John famously went to play Verzel Gummiz and voiced Spotty in Superted.
He died on May 20, 1996, at the age of 76.
Tom Baker (1974-1981)
Tom Baker had played the role of Doctor for a record-breaking seven series before retiring from the role.
He is often remembered as the most bohemian incarnation of the Time Lord and is known for his love of long striped scarves and jelly babies.
In 2013, he returned to Doctor Hooke for a 50th anniversary special, playing the role of curator at the National Gallery, and also appeared in the series in 2017 to complete the lost part 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 Doctor and became the youngest actor to take on the role until Matt Smith took over in 2010.
His version of Doctor had a celery stick on his lapel and he loved the costume of cricket.
He returned to the show for the mini-episode Charity Special Time Crash, in which he starred alongside David Tennant.
Peter is also known for the 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 became the sixth doctor after Peter Davison.
He made his first appearance on the show in 1983 as Commander Maxil, who filmed the previous Doctor in the episode Arc of Infinity.
His tenure as a doctor was marked by a gap of 18 months and a battle with the production team who had no future for the show.
Since being on the hit TV show, Colin appeared in Season 12 of I’m a Celebrity in the Jungle, where he was ranked eighth.
He has participated in Channel 4’s Come Dine with Me and Celebrity 5 Go Caravanning, which aired on Channel 5 in 2020, along with Tony Blackburn.
In 2018 he landed a small role on Emmerdale.
Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989)
Sylvester McCoy is a Scottish actor and seventh doctor.
In the first season he played the role of Doctor, he brought humor to the role but in the second series the character got darker.
He played the role of a doctor in the 1993 charity Special Dimensions in Time, and also appeared in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie starring Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor.
Sylvester played Radagast in the 2014 film The Hobbit Trilogy, and in 2016 he joined celebs Miriam Margolis and Wayne Sleep at The Real Marigold Hotel.
Paul McGann (1996)
Paul McGann played the role of Eighth Doctor in a 1996 series reboot attempt.
He starred in a television movie intended as a backdoor pilot for a doctor rebooting on Fox, but it did not become popular with US viewers.
However, the Eighth Doctor survived in various spin-off media, and is the longest serving time lord in Doctor Who magazine’s comic strip.
McGann returned in 2020 to the time of Lord Victoria.
Paul starred in Holby City as John Gaskel in 2017-2018 and Mark North in the BBC drama Luther.
Paul is one of four acting McGann brothers.
Big brother Joe has played the role of Edward Hutchison in Holiox, while younger brothers Mark and Stephen have appeared in the mini-series Stephen and Call the Midwife, respectively.
The brothers worked together on the 1995 mini-series The Hanging Gayle.
Christopher Eccleston (2005)
When the series was revived in 2005, Christopher Eccleston became the ninth doctor.
He is believed to have left one series after another for fear of being typecast.
In 2018, he gave an interview in which he claimed that he was “blacklisted” by the BBC boss after he left the show.
Since starring in Safe House (2015), The A Word (2016-2020) and Close to Me (2021), Christopher has definitely not been typecast.
David Tennant (2005-2010)
In a 2013 poll by Radio Times magazine, David Tennant was voted the UK’s favorite doctor.
His accomplices included Rose Tyler (Billy Piper), Martha Jones (Freema Egeman) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate).
Immediately after casting David for the role, the costume worn by Jamie Oliver on Parkinson was inspired by his costume featuring the Fox-Suede overcoat and Converse trainers.
Tenant is also known for playing killer Dennis Nielsen in Broadchurch and Des.
Matt Smith (2010-2013)
Matt Smith became the youngest actor (age 26) to play a doctor in 2010.
He was accompanied throughout his tenure by Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), her husband Rory Williams (Arthur Darville) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Lewis Coleman).
Author Steven Moffat describes the twenty-first doctor as “an old man stuck in a young man’s body.”
In 2022, he plays Prince Damon Targaren in the House of the Dragon.
Peter Capaldi (2014-2017)
Peter Capaldi became the twelfth doctor after Matt Smith.
He landed the role at the end of the 2013 Christmas special The Time of the Doctor.
His accomplices included Clara Oswald, Bill Pots (Pearl Mackie) and Nardol (Matt Lucas).
Peter is best known for his role as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.
Jodi Whitaker (2017-2022)
In the clip released after the 2017 Wimbledon men’s final, Jodi Whitaker appeared as the 13th Doctor, and her first episode was released on Christmas Day the same year.
Her accomplices include warehouse worker Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), retired bus driver Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh), police officer Yasmin Khan (Mandeep Gill) and Dan Lewis (John Bishop).
The couple became the first woman to play the role of Time Lord in the 50 years since the show began.
In July 2021, the BBC confirmed that the pair would leave after the 13th series starting in Halloween 2021 and three special series in 2022.
Ncuti Gatwa (2023)
Ncuti Gatwa, best known for her performance in Netflix’s Sex Education, replaces Jodie Whittaker as the next lead in Doctor Who.
Gatwa is joining the long-running sci-fi series in 2023 ahead of its 60th anniversary.
The 29-year-old told BBC News: “It sounds really amazing. It’s a real honor. This role is an institution and it’s very prestigious.”
Gatwa will make his debut as Time Lord in 2023 and is the first black actor to take on the role.