Doctor Who – EVERY Doctor Ranked

Doctor Who is a show near and dear to my heart, and it’s also a show that I have a lot of spicy opinions on. Since I’m prepared to get flamed in the comments, now seems as good a time as any to rank my favourite doctors.

I’m only including the main Doctor entries (with one exception for the War Doctor), so no Jo Martin or Timeless Children.

Also, you’re going to have to take this ranking with a huge grain of salt – I haven’t seen the classic series, so my opinions on Doctors 1 through 7 are purely based on clips and scenes that I’ve found on YouTube. For a fairer ranking, feel free to ignore their placement entirely!

You can check out some of my related blog posts below:

Terrible

14 – The 13th Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)

I’ve made my distaste of the recent Chibnall era abundantly clear, and a lot of that has to do with the 13th Doctor’s characterisation.

More often than not she acts completely opposite to what we’d expect the Doctor to do, like suffocating the spiders in “Arachnids in the UK” or letting an old man sacrifice himself in her place in “The Timeless Children”, and there hasn’t been a single moment where I felt she commanded the screen and demanded respect from the monster of the week.

Jodie Whittaker is a great actress in things like Black Mirror, but she just hasn’t grown into the role. In another universe, and with a better writing team that aren’t trying and failing to combine the quirks of 10 and 11, a female doctor could have been the breath of fresh air the series needed.

Bad

13 – The 6th Doctor (Colin Baker)

I’m told the 6th Doctor gets better as his tenure goes on, but it’s too little too late.

He acts like such an asshole to everyone around him, and he’s snide to the point of charmless arrogance. Colin Baker is a fine actor but, like with the recent Doctor, he didn’t get much to work with.

Meh

12 – The War Doctor (John Hurt)

The War Doctor is more of a plot device than an actual incarnation of the famous Time Lord, but John Hurt’s grounded performance gives it some weight.

He doesn’t have much to do, and he’s gone before he does anything remotely interesting, but I’m glad such an esteemed actor got to give their take on a more morose Doctor.

11 – The 1st Doctor (William Hartnell)

It pains me to put the original Doctor so low, but William Hartnell’s 1st Doctor hasn’t aged well. He’s a grumpy old man, and the early seasons’ educational focus meant he didn’t have much to do.

I have to give him credit, though, for laying the groundwork of what came after. Without Hartnell, this show that I adore so much would never have made it past a year.

OK

10 – The 5th Doctor (Peter Davison)

Peter Davison had huge boots to fill when Tom Baker left the role, and he couldn’t have come up with a more mundane take on the Doctor.

The 5th Doctor has hardly any original quirks or traits other than the stick of celery in his coat, and it’s only the final story “The Caves of Androzani” where he shines.

9 – The 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

The 7th Doctor has seen as bit of a resurgence lately with some even calling him the most underrated incarnation, but I just can’t see it.

Sylvester McCoy brings a fun wackiness to the role, but his performance and line delivery is too odd for my liking. It doesn’t help that his era is also one of the show’s lowest points, and it led to Doctor Who’s cancellation for 16 years.

Good

8 – The 3rd Doctor (John Pertwee)

The James Bond Doctor, John Pertwee wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in the role and I love it.

The Doctor’s reliance on wacky gadgets and hand-to-hand combat makes him one of the most unique incarnations, but the fact he was forced to stay solely on Earth hurt his era a little.

Great

7 – The 2nd Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

I had little faith in Patrick Troughton after the 1st Doctor disappointed me, but the 2nd Doctor exceeded my expectations greatly.

He was the archetype of every incarnation to come – funny, energetic, but he still had that age-old wisdom whenever his companion needed a pick me up. It’s no wonder he’s a fan-favourite 50 years later.

6 – The 9th Doctor (Christopher Ecclestone)

Like with Hartnell, we owe a lot to Christopher Ecclestone for bringing the show up from nothing. Unlike with Hartnell, I still think the 9th Doctor holds up today (although, in fairness, it’s only been about fifteen years).

This is a darker, more intense Doctor, and that’s exactly what I wanted to see. His troubled past with the Time War is acted out to perfection, and if Ecclestone had stayed for more than one season he could have been the very best.

5 – The 8th Doctor (Paul McGann)

The most underrated Doctor, it’s criminal that we never got a full series with Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor.

Nobody is claiming that the 90’s TV movie is remotely good, but McGann is clearly the best thing about it. He’s romantic and heroic, and I can kinda see the 10th Doctor in him at times.

The 8th Doctor also received a huge revival in the audio medium – Big Finish cemented him as one of the definitive Doctors of the modern age.

Amazing

4 – The 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor might not necessarily be my favourite, but he has a good claim at being the overall best.

If there was ever a man born to play the role, it was Capaldi. He commands the screen in every scene, and his monologues are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The writing let him down from time to time, but even in bad stories the 12th Doctor shines through.

3 – The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith)

The first Doctor that I religiously watched on TV, Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor will always have a special place in my heart.

While he could be a little too wacky at times, Smith was the master of playing the charming alien with a thousand years of history behind the eyes.

All-Time Great

2 – The 4th Doctor (Tom Baker)

I’d always heard that the 4th Doctor was the most iconic and the very best, but it’s only after watching him at work that I understand why.

Tom Baker is such a gem, and this is the role he was born to play. He approaches every scene with an unserious playfulness, and his line deliveries and facial expressions are second to none.

1 – The 10th Doctor (David Tennant)

The 10th Doctor was my first, and any Whovian will tell you that your first Doctor is more often than not the one you love the most.

When I think of Doctor Who, I think of David Tennant. He’s funny, romantic and heroic in the role, and yet the darkness of the Timelord Victorious cemented his Doctor as the most complex. People are quick to point out 10’s flaws nowadays, but I just see them as brilliant quirks.

Aaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:

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