As someone who lived through the dark days of ‘Doctor Who’ fandom (from 1989 to approximately 2004, with a couple of bright spots around 1996 and elsewhere), it’s gratifying to see so many people identifying themselves as Whovians these days, whether I care for the term or not.  Of course, given that the series is about time-travel, alternate dimensions and mindscrew, featuring a main character who changes appearance occasionally in his 2,000 year lifespan, it’s a given that there are many different camps about what era of Doctor Who is best.  Could it be Tom Baker, the longest-serving Doctor?  Or perhaps the man who initiated the role, William Hartnell?  Many fans will argue that the Tenth Doctor, as engagingly brought to life by David Tennant is the only one who matters, while I will make a case for the extremes of the Fifth Doctor (whom some find bland and unappealing) and the Sixth Doctor (whose loud costume and personality are widely mocked as over-the-top).  Heck, I even enjoyed Richard Grant’s short-lived tenure as the first version of the Ninth Doctor (there are about four of those now, by the by), and with the debut of a new Doctor on the horizon, we confront today’s time-and-relative-dimensional query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) understands why people poke fun at those who are too adamant that the character’s name is The Doctor, while the show’s name is Doctor Who, but names do matter, asking: Which incarnation of The Doctor is your Doctor?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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13 Comments

  1. August 11, 2014 at 11:50 am — Reply

    I don’t care for the term “Whovian” any more than I care for “Fandalorian”, yet I love both The Doctor and Mandalorians.

    “My” Doctor would have to be Pertwee. While I’m far too young to have seen him when he was THE Doctor (I’m only 34), it was his run that fill some of my earliest memories of watching PBS airings of Doctor Who late on the weekends with my grandfather.

    And there is also the added bonus that my grandfather was a pretty close look-alike to Pertwee and even had himself a reasonable Doctor costume that he would wear on Halloween and taking me to my first comic convention.

  2. August 11, 2014 at 11:57 am — Reply

    I guess mine is Eccleston, since first time I watched full season of Dr Who was when new series started airing in here. I remember seeing few episodes here and there long time ago but I was too young to really know what was going on in them.

  3. Frank
    August 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm — Reply

    I am one of those where the current Doctor is my favorite.
    Companions, that is a different story. Amy and Donna are my favorites.

  4. Steve Shumaker
    August 11, 2014 at 2:12 pm — Reply

    I am a Patrick Troughton guy myself. While all of the Doctors have merit (I too like Peter Davidson), Troughton was the Doctor who had the toughest job. His version of the Doctor was the first regeneration and had to follow the very popular Hartnell into uncharted regions. Anyone who is a Matt Smith fan will clearly see where his take on the Doctor came from by watching Doctor #2!

    Sadly my Doctor is the one missing the most episodes as well. Here is hoping Phillip Morris brings a few more back from his worldwide search.

    • August 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm — Reply

      It really is a shame that so many of his episodes are missing. Troughton was superb, and I shudder to imagine how the character would be now without his influence.

      • August 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm — Reply

        Well, there wouldn’t be a lot of the first couple seasons of the Eleventh Doctor without Troughton. :)

  5. Jason
    August 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm — Reply

    In the 80’s the PBS affiliate up here in Minnesota would play Doctor Who late on Saturday nights (right after the wildly under appreciated SCTV), so I would stay up late to watch my Doctor, Tom Baker. It wasn’t until the new series that I could appreciate anyone else in the role.

  6. Kirby
    August 12, 2014 at 5:20 am — Reply

    My pick will always be the Sylvester McCoy Doctor. I really liked the way the played him being the chess-master, just using his words to bring down some enemies, and he had just a certain charm about himself. I find in many ways he is a direct precursor to the “lonely god” persona found a bit in the the new series. A great Doctor can go “I’m playing the spoons” to “You shall not torment people any longer.”

  7. Oldcomicfan
    August 12, 2014 at 5:20 am — Reply

    For me, it would be Tom Baker, because while he was playing the Doctor, the series was available on channels I could get without having to wait up after midnight, so he was the only Doctor I was able to watch consistently. It’s that simple.

  8. b003
    August 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm — Reply

    Baker, first I saw and he had soo much energy! I’d like to see some Paul McGann in flashbacks. He got such raw deal.

  9. Daniel Langsdale
    August 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm — Reply

    I’ve long held out that Pertwee is my favorite, what with the highly capable, active Doctor played off against UNIT.

    But if I’m honest, if someone randomly mentions Dr. Who, it’s usually Davison that comes to mind first. And overall, it’s his era of a full TARDIS complement of companions that has set my ideal standard for supporting cast. (Which, I notice, has seldom been matched in the modern era.)

    -Dan’L

  10. Slappy
    August 15, 2014 at 8:50 am — Reply

    For me it is Troughton. He not only out-thought his opponents regularly, but he also took center stage upon his entry. During Hartnell, it was not uncommon under the shooting schedule for him to disappear for a few episodes thus leaving Ian and Barbara to be the leads. In many instances, Ian was the true Hero of the story as he was the physical hero and sometimes led the others.
    When it was time for #2, the status quo radically changed. We had a doctor who confused others by acting a coward and out thinking. There was the occasional fighter like Jamie, but with Zoe introduced in her hot future outfit, the brains were definitely running the show. While killing a man in cold blood to save people as we did with Hartnell (Not really) showed his darker side, it wasn’t until Troughton that we were certain he was hiding something and this duality of the man became more prominent.
    Directly, Pertwee was his opposite in almost every way. Tom Baker took his distraction to confuse the enemy to new heights. Colin Baker took his unlikableness and occasional superior attitude (which was also displayed by Hartnell). McCoy resumed the mystery and pukish nature while Eccleston also took some of the superior attitude and unlikableness. Matt Smith is the true descendant though. He takes the jester, the controller and on occasion the unlikable man and mixes it all into his angry god who must be humbled by the death of his friends and run away from his wife so he doesn’t see her die.
    Hartnell started it, but Troughton gave him life.

  11. August 19, 2014 at 4:00 am — Reply

    It is hard to say—although a child of the Tom Baker era, I started watching reruns with Jon Pertwee and he became the definitive Doctor for me. Chris Eccleston’s portrayal, therefore, comes closest to that and I liked his acting technique, so Nine just pips Three. Matt Smith has a touch of the alien about him, perhaps more so than Baker One, and I would rate him my next favourite. It will be interesting to see what Peter Capaldi brings to the role.

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