Which Former Doctor Would You Most Like To See Return?

At Collectormania 18, held in Milton Keynes, Tom Baker said he is open to the possibility of returning to Doctor Who for the 50th anniversary next year. So with that in mind which former Doctor would you most like to see back for the landmark anniversary?

First, but gone, the late great William Hartnell as The Doctor.

For obvious reason’s the poll is limited to those actors still with us – I’m sure we don’t need to explain why. Yes current technology could very well do marvellous things and create holograms of the first three Doctors – and that would be most welcome to – but for the purpose of the poll we’re concentrating on Doctors 4 through to 10.

Tom Baker holds the record for the actor to play the Doctor for the longest on-screen clocking up seven years between 1974 and 1981. After leaving Doctor Who he declined to return in 1983 for the 20th anniversary story The Five Doctors; so footage from the un-broadcast story Shada was used instead. However, he did reprise his role for the Children in Need special Dimensions in Time in 1993 and has recently donned the 4th Doctor’s hat once again for several Big Finish audio plays. As Baker has said he is open to returning surely the BBC would be stupid not to take him up on that?

Peter Davison took over from Tom Baker in 1981 and inherited what has widely been dubbed a “crowded TARDIS”. Under producer John Nathan Turner the series returned somewhat to its roots with three companions and more continuity between adventures – each usually linking into one another. Davison has, of course, reprised his role on several occasions most notable for the Children in Need special Time Crash a few years ago opposite David Tennant. The special was written by Steven Moffat who just happens to be Doctor Who’s show-runner now!

Colin Baker became the sixth Doctor in 1984 and his tenure in the show was notably troubled. Despite the show’s continued popularity it was unexpected cancelled in 1985 by Michael Grade who didn’t like the series – feeling it was cheap looking compared to American imports. Rather than give Doctor Who a bigger budget with which to compete Grade axed it; but a big press campaign saved the production and Doctor Who returned in 1986 Baker left the role following his second full season but returned for Dimensions in Time in 1993 and has continued to play the role for Big Finish audio dramas.

Sylvester McCoy made his debut in 1987 and while the show underwent something of a creative revival during his tenure – becoming darker and more adult in tone – Doctor Who struggled to keep viewers. In 1989 it was cancelled by the BBC though they, at the time, merely insisted the series was on an extended production break. That break lasted until the 1996 television movie in which McCoy reprised his role for the first part of the movie before handing over to his successor Paul McGann.

To date Paul McGann has only made one on-screen appearance as the 8th Doctor in the 1996 TV Movie which actually rated quite well in the UK but didn’t fare well in America and so no full series followed. McGann has reprised the character in numerous Big Finish audio plays. Another on-screen outing for the 8th Doctor is long overdue though and what better occasion than the 50th anniversary? McGann has indicated he would be willing to return if asked….

Christopher Eccleston was the first Doctor of the revived series though he was 9th overall. Eccleston played the 9th Doctor for a single season in 2005 but his portrayal helped secure the success of the rebooted programme. He has since indicated, however, that he is not interested in returning at all. Fans would like to see the actor back for the 50th anniversary but at present it seems unlikely but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t feature in our poll!

David Tennant took over from Christopher Eccleston and became hugely popular as the 10th Doctor. Tennant’s portrayal helped keep Doctor Who firmly in the public affections as ratings soared during his time. The departure of the actor in 2009 was a big deal generating lots of press coverage and millions tuned in for his last appearance. Tennant may have left Doctor Who behind but he certainly hasn’t forgotten the series and has already said he would return.

The poll is located on the right side of the site between the Recent Stories and Recent Comments boxes.

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11 Replies to “Which Former Doctor Would You Most Like To See Return?”

  1. Paul McGann should be given a chance to be on the TV show. He only had the TV movie, and he’s such a great Doctor. I expect to see David Tennant for sure also. Heck, why not all of them that are still alive?

  2. I would like to see all 10 previous Doctors make some kind of cameo appearances. Obviously to try and accomodate them all equally in a script would be messy and untenable. The best bet would be to give each one a micro-story within the main plot, which would have a continuous running thread carried by Matt Smith, who would pull it all together throughout, and at the end too. For Doctors 1 to 3, it could be either re-using old footage a la Tom’s appearance from Shada used in The Five Doctors, or else try to convince someone talented yet willing like Bill Nighy to bat for Bill Hartnell, David Troughton for his late great father, and ditto for Sean Pertwee as Dr #3. I don’t know how we can get around the ageing of Doctor’s 4 to 7, except by some plot device in which their aged appearance on-screen is a result of something that has gone wrong. Maybe if the plot were set around The Time War with the daleks, somehow the Doctor has become so diminished and battered that it has impacted on all his previous selves, who must all fight their own battles in the said ‘micro-scripts’ to eventually together help their future selves [8 to 11] survive?

    For sure it would be a huge challenge to try to accomodate so many Doctors into a script without it being too messy, and to keep them all happy with at least two minutes screen-time each whilst satisfying the actors involved would be difficult too.

    But if they all entered into the spirit of it, for ‘what it is’, it’s do-able!

    I know there are many fans who say “never look back”, “it wouldn’t work”, “why do it”, etc, and I wouldn’t dare disagree because their points would be valid and well-reasoned.
    It is just that the 50th anniversary is a watershed in itself. It won’t come again. In 10 years time there may be no Dr Who on tv. The actors who have played the role will all be another 10 years older. This chance in 2013 is a unique opportunity to fully celebrate everything about Doctor Who, with all the Doctor’s guises on show, one more time, before a line is drawn under this oft-requested scenario, then the show can move on again, having had the epic and multi-Doctor story that quite a few fans would love to see, and would also surely draw enormous positive media attention.
    Let us pray :O)

    1. I agree with SJI 100%, except I know that Christopher Eggleston has stated many times that he would not do any Dr. Who appearances. I would love to see a big 50th anniversary Dr. Who with as many of the previous actor’s who are still around to do a cameo. I have been a big Dr. Who fan since I saw John Pertwee as Dr. Who(#3), as our public station in Philadelphia started showing Tom Baker’s episodes as Dr. Who #4, first. I was so happy when the SciFi network started showing Christopher Eggleston as Dr. Who #9, and I am so happy that Matt will be getting Jenna-Louise Coleman even though I liked Amy and Rory. When BBC America wanted to show Dr. Who in the U.S., SciFi decided to let BBC America have the rights to show Dr. Who and they continued to broadcast Dr. Who #9 thru #11. I cannot wait for the new season to begin for 2012-2013.

  3. would love to see them all if not in one episode maybe spread out over one or two series.As SJI pointed out there are various different ways this could be done to get over the problems of deceased and aging doctors.Fans will appreciate whatever the talented writers can come up with.Some or all would make the anniversary feel truly celebrated honouring the valued past and enriching the prosperous future.The younger doctors can do all the fighting and running while the older Doctors can form a TARDIS crew and do the Techno babble and clever insults to his other selves that we all want to see.2013,2014 let the celebration never end!!

  4. Tom Baker of course; Eccleston if he would {as he’s most like TB in the Doctor part}, and having said that I would say Peter Davidson/David Tennant for the same type reason. Of course, it would be nice to have all of the {4th to present} on there….

  5. Looking forward to the 50th anniversary. I really wanna know what’s in store for us. I think DT has definitely got to be there (as you can see from the poll results) and they’d be crazy not use TB when he’s said he would return. I’d like to see PM make a well awaited comeback. Like everyone else, think his Doctor was brilliant, just let down by a stupid storyline. I’d like CE to return but seems unlikely now. Peter Davison is my 3rd greatest Doctor so I would love for him to return and I didn’t really like the 6th and 7th Doctors but, I wouldn’t mind if they came along for the ride. Might like them this time round.

    1. I have never watched a single episode of any incarnation of DOCTOR WHO and I feel pretty guilty about it. lol One of these days I’ll anchor my butt to my couch for a weekend and dive into some DVDs from epsiode one onward. Should I start with vintage or modern WHO?

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