Doctor (Doctor Who)

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Doctor Who universe character
The Doctor
Race Time Lord
Home planet Gallifrey
Home era Rassilon Era
First appearance An Unearthly Child
Actor William Hartnell
Patrick Troughton
Jon Pertwee
Tom Baker
Peter Davison
Colin Baker
Sylvester McCoy
Paul McGann
John Hurt
Christopher Eccleston
David Tennant
Matt Smith
Peter Capaldi

The Doctor is the central character in the long-running BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who.

He is an alien, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor travels in his space-time-ship, the TARDIS, with which he can go anywhere in time and space. Because the TARDIS' chameleon circuit is broken, it looks like an old British police-box permanently. The Doctor often takes other people with him, who are usually called "companions" or "assistants". They are most often human; the most recent companion is Clara Oswald.

Biography[change | change source]

The Doctor did not want to stay on Gallifrey any longer, so he "borrowed" an old Type 40 TARDIS. In the TARDIS he and his granddaughter Susan Foreman left their home planet Gallifrey. They stayed for a time on Earth in the 1960s, where Susan also went to school. Her teachers, Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton, discovered the TARDIS. They traveled for a while with the Doctor, and returned to Earth two years later. After them the Doctor often took other people with him on his travels.

Anatomy and regeneration[change | change source]

As a Gallifreyan the Doctor looks like a human on the surface, but there are differences. One well-known difference is that he has two hearts. As a Time Lord the Doctor can also regenerate, if his body is badly hurt and he dies. During the regeneration, the body is healed and renewed, which includes a different appearance and personality. The regenerated person is the same person, with the same memories and basic personality traits; but the person also looks different and a changed personality. Because of this the Doctor could be played by different actors. This made it possible for the series to be filmed over a time of nearly fifty years without having to actually "change" the character.

Incarnations and actors of the Doctor[change | change source]

Up until now, the Doctor has regenerated twelve times, and each "incarnation" was played by a different actor.

  1. First Doctor – William Hartnell (1963–1966)
  2. Second Doctor – Patrick Troughton (1966–1969)
  3. Third Doctor – Jon Pertwee (1970–1974)
  4. Fourth Doctor – Tom Baker (1974–1981)
  5. Fifth Doctor – Peter Davison (1981–1984)
  6. Sixth Doctor – Colin Baker (1984–1986)
  7. Seventh Doctor – Sylvester McCoy (1987–1989, 1996)
  8. Eighth Doctor – Paul McGann (1996)
  9. War Doctor – John Hurt (2013)
  10. Ninth Doctor – Christopher Eccleston (2005)
  11. Tenth Doctor – David Tennant (2005–2010)
  12. Eleventh Doctor – Matt Smith (2010–2013)
  13. Twelfth Doctor – Peter Capaldi (2013–)

The Doctor has been played by other actors in other media, in theatre plays, parodies, etc. But these are not officially part of the Doctor Who storyline. Notable among them are:

Other websites[change | change source]