The Doctor (Doctor Who)

The Doctor is the title character in the long-running BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who. Since the show's inception in 1963, the character has been portrayed by thirteen lead actors. In the programme, "the Doctor" is the alias assumed by a millennia-old humanoid alien, a Time Lord who travels through space and time in the TARDIS, frequently with companions. The transition to each succeeding actor is explained within the show's narrative through the plot device of "regeneration", a biological function of the Time Lord race that allows a change of cellular structure and appearance with recovery following a fatal injury.

The Doctor
Doctor Who character
The fifteen faces of the DoctorFirst Doctor (William Hartnell)Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)Fourteenth Doctor (David Tennant)Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa)
The fifteen faces of the Doctor
The Doctor as portrayed by the series leads in chronological order, left to right from top row.
First appearanceAn Unearthly Child (1963)
Created bySydney Newman
Portrayed by
Series leads
Character biography
SpouseRiver Song
Home planetGallifrey
Main incarnations
Other incarnations

A number of other actors have played the character in stage and audio plays, as well as in various film and television productions. The Doctor has been well received by the public, with an enduring popularity leading The Daily Telegraph to dub the character "Britain's favourite alien", while abroad the character has come to be seen as a British cultural icon.[1] The Doctor has also been featured in films and a vast range of spin-off novels, audio dramas and comic strips.

Currently, David Tennant portrays the Fourteenth Doctor, succeeding Jodie Whittaker at the end of "The Power of the Doctor" (2022). Tennant previously played the Tenth Doctor between 2005 and 2010, with his current tenure marking the first time an actor has returned to the role as a new incarnation. He will feature in three specials celebrating Doctor Who's 60th anniversary in 2023 before Ncuti Gatwa takes over as the Fifteenth Doctor in 2024.[2][3]

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