The Five Doctors
I’ve been a big fan of Doctor Who since I was a kid and I used to watch it on KCET in the early 80s. One of my favorite memories involving the show was watching The Five Doctors special to commemorate the 20th anniversary. Getting good use of my Amazon Prime membership, I recently went back and watched all of the old episodes they have available. I’ve now seen at least 3 episodes involving every doctor in the history of the series, as well as the horrible 1996 TV movie, and can give you a definitive ranking of the 12 doctors (not including the war doctor, and ignoring the fact that the first doctor was played by a different actor in The Five Doctors since William Hartnell was dead).

Here they are, from worst to first:

  • The Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann- I don’t think there’s any debate that the worst doctor was hampered by the fact that he was only in a horrible TV movie and a mini episode. Not really his fault, but it wasn’t good.
  • The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy- he was saddled with one of the worst companions (Ace), and never seemed comfortable with the whimsy the role requires.
  • The First Doctor, William Hartnell- the show was really quite different, and they had no idea that they’d ever change the actor playing the doctor. He had a bit of a 1930s B movie mad scientist vibe to him.
  • The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton- he looked (and at times acted) like Moe from the Three Stooges. I wish the costumers had given him a coat that actually fit.
  • The Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker- he was a bit clownish, but overall entertaining. He was also excellent in The Five(ish) Doctors that every Doctor Who fan should watch.
  • The Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith- he had the best companions and was in the best written episodes of the reboot era. He was able to play the role with both wit and earnestness.
  • The Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston- presiding over the role for the first season of the reboot was a tough situation to be in. He was fun to watch, and helped put the series back on the map.
  • The Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi- while he’s only been in three episodes so far, his start has been fantastic. He brings a darker edge to the role, and I like where it’s headed. He could be moving up this list in the years to come.
  • The Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee- He was the doctor when the show went from pure camp to becoming a classic sci-fi series, and was the first actor to play the character in a serious manner.
  • The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant- the best of the modern doctors (so far), he made the show very fun to watch. He always seemed like someone you’d want to travel with in the TARDIS.
  • The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison- he took over for the longest running doctor, and managed to make the role his own. It was different, but not in a bad way. Very, very entertaining as The Doctor.
  • The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker- the longest running (it seemed he was on the show for almost as many seasons as his scarf is feet long). He was serious, campy, funny, and embodied The Doctor more than anyone else ever has.

So tell me, who is your favorite Doctor, and why is it Tom Baker? If you give me an answer that’s not Tom Baker, how does it feel to know you’re wrong about this?

The Doctors