The best Doctor Who ever is ...
The Doctor Who’s in a reverse list of awesomeness!
And, yes, I am well aware that listing the Doctors is highly speculative and guaranteed to cause arguments. The doctor that introduced you to the series is normally your favourite and newer viewers used to the latest incantation of the show probably look down their noses at the classic series but I don’t care, here is my list of the Doctors in reverse order …
14) The Seventh Doctor – Sylvester McCoy.
Poor Sylvester McCoy, His tenure on the show was right at the end of the classic series, at a time when it was obvious that the Beeb had given up on the show. The acting was bad and the scripts were even worse, most of the stories were so childish that if Cbeebies was around at the time then Doctor Who would have been relegated to that Kids TV channel. Yes, it was that bad that some people have even argued that the show was deliberately run down so that the fuss about cancelling it would be reduced! Sylvester himself actually wasn’t too bad, he did his best with what he was given although it was really hard to take his Doctor seriously when the scripts required him to be angry – the less said about his assistants, the better!
13) The Sixth Doctor – Colin Baker.
Colin Baker, like Sylvester McCoy who followed him was also given the shitty end of the stick when it came to his time as the Doctor. Colin did a grand job of being the “Disturbed Doctor” and you really felt that he was a character losing his mind; it could have been so good …. but for THAT costume. Yes, Colin’s Doctor was lumbered with an outfit so vile that it could quite easily have passed as the Test Card. The Sixth Doctors time in the TARDIS was also lumbered with a slow deterioration of scripts and gimmicky assistants. In retrospect, it starts becoming apparent the end of the classic series was starting here.
12) The Eighth Doctor - Paul McGann.
There is no doubt that Paul McGann is a great actor but his Doctor was given just one real outing in the American movie – and what a travesty that was. His Doctor showed little sign of being anything different from any other identikit American action show character. Unfortunately, just as every British fan feared, Americans just do not understand Britishness (that could be a new word there!), everything about this movie was wrong. A big, big mistake but one that Russell T Davis didn’t learn from, he managed to do exactly the same thing with Torchwood - Miracle Day.
11) The Ninth Doctor - Christopher Eccleston.
Christopher Eccleston is a fantastic actor and there is no doubt that he was a major reason for the burgeoning success of the new series but his tenure as the Doctor was very short lived and he is starting to seem like the forgotten Doctor of the new look show. Despite having some of the better storylines of the revamped programme, I only really remember his time as the Doctor for one line, “Lots of planets have a North!” Even all that lovey-dovey stuff that started with the Ninth Doctor and Rose is now best remembered being between the next regeneration and Rose.
10) The War Doctor - John Hurt.
If the War Doctor received much more airtime and stories of his own then I have little doubt that John Hurt’s Doctor could have been one of the best. This Doctor was so different to the other, he wasn’t a life-saver, he was born in fire – destined to only go into war. A battle-hardened, embittered Doctor, emotionless and a loner. He could have been quite something special to watch. I guess we’ll never know now how good he could have been if given a few series to stretch his legs.
9) The Film Doctor - Peter Cushing.
Although Peter Cushing’s Doctor was far removed from the TV Doctor’s, this “human” version of the Doctor had its own bumbling charm. He only appeared in two films and to be honest, didn’t really do much, his assistants did most of the work but you could help but feel attached to this Doctor. Would this kind and gentle Doctor have worked in the series? Almost certainly not but as a 1960’s curio, he’s fondly remembered.
8) The Twelfth Doctor - Peter Capaldi.
Another great actor to step into the TARDIS and it’s also good to see the Doctor as an older figure again, and like the mature First Doctor, this one also has a darker personality. It’s a real shame then that the dip in script quality that marred the end of Matt Smith’s time has continued into this regeneration. Also the latest series has fallen into the pit of political correctness even more so than at any time during the new run of the show, possibly as a result of the scripts being written in anticipation of the Doctor being black – It’s been heavily rumoured that the part was offered to a black actor, who turned it down before being offered to Peter Capaldi – Finger’s crossed that the next series will improve story-wise as the writers get to grips with this interesting Doctor.
7) The Third Doctor - Jon Pertwee.
Now I freely admit that there is nothing wrong with the “Dandy” Doctor and the scripts he was given started to show much stronger signs of maturity than the previous two Doctors were given but for some reason, this Doctor doesn’t really click with me and I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because the whole seventies feel and look of the Third Doctor strongly reminds me of The Avengers. Not that there is anything wrong with that in itself, it’s just that the Doctor isn’t John Steed.
6) The First Doctor - William Hartnell.
How can you not rate so highly the Doctor that started it all? Okay, so William Hartnell occasionally fumbled his lines and sometimes the walls on the sets wobbled a bit but this just adds to the charm. The First Doctor was a short tempered old man and was pretty much unique amongst the Doctors until the latest regeneration whom is the closest to the First. Even though Doctor Who was intended to be a children’s drama, many of the stories hold up well even compared to some of the more “complicated” stories of the new series.
5) The Second Doctor - Patrick Troughton.
The “Clown” Doctor had the difficult task of introducing the whole idea of regenerations and of the Doctor suddenly looking and acting so different so it was lucky that this difficult task fell into the capable hands of Patrick Troughton. Okay, so towards the end, the scriptwriters did overplay the comedy elements and a few of the stories started showing lapses of imagination but Patrick’s impeccable comedy timing kept the show immensely watchable. I didn’t think that Jamie was ever going to leave though!
4) The Fifth Doctor - Peter Davison.
Peter Davison gave the Doctor a more of a gentle and considered approach compared to his predecessor which was all the more surprising considering that he was by far the youngest Doctor at the time. This cricket-loving incantation seemed the least alien of the Doctors but still managed to successfully follow Tom Bakers long-running regeneration helped by classic scripts and great companions – Except for Adric who was really, really irritating, who else cheered when he died?
3) The Tenth Doctor - David Tennant.
No, don’t worry; I haven’t missed out Matt Smith’s Doctor! It’ll surprise some that I only listed David Tennant as third on my list but considering the competition, that’s still a very good placement. David Tennant has defined himself as the best-remembered of the Doctors in the current run – He brought a vulnerability and a sense that the Doctor can be defeated by his enemies to the show (and of cause, his Doctor trod new ground with his attraction to his companion, Rose) The Tenth Doctor’s time was marked by some cracking scripts as well as support from first rate actors. We can largely thank David for Doctor Who’s current global success.
2) The Eleventh Doctor - Matt Smith
Matt Smith came in for a lot of criticism even before he appeared as the Doctor, he was much too young to be the main character, it wouldn’t be good for the show, people said, just like they moaned when it was announced that Peter Davidson was going to replace Tom Baker but Matt Smith’s Doctor turned out to be a real breath of fresh air. His relative youth even worked in his favour; his playful Doctor gave us a bit of an idea what a teenage Time Lord might act like. Of cause, it also helped that he had the companions, Amy and Rory, their love triangle made for better viewing than most soaps. The only downside to the eleventh Doctor’s run was that, especially towards the end, some of the stories were decidedly below par. I mean space-worthy Spitfires anyone?
1) The Fourth Doctor - Tom Baker.
This list couldn’t be topped by anyone else, could it? For many people Tom Baker will always be THE Doctor, the one by whom all others are compared. The fourth Doctor always seemed one of the more alien of the Doctors, seemingly slightly unhinged and always unpredictable. Tom presided over the glory years of Doctor Who with some really top-notch scripts and joined by some of the more memorable companions. And let’s not forget the eye-candy of the scantily clad Leela!
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