Connect with us

ATV Today

Doctor Who: the best loved timelords


Doctor Who: the best loved timelords

As the show returns to BBC One this evening let’s take a look at Doctor Who’s best-loved actors

A new report has revealed the most popular Doctor Who actors ahead of the new season’s release on the 11th 

The study, researched by the company QR Code Generator, looked at public votes for their favourite Doctors on Ranker, naming the best-loved actors across the show’s nearly 60-year-long tenure.  

In first place is Scottish actor David Tennant, who had 9,066 votes and played the Tenth Doctor from 2005 to 2010. The actor stated that the show initially inspired him to get into acting, and landing the role as the Doctor was his dream. Playing the titular character gained him mass popularity and changed his life for the better; Tennant even met his future wife – actress Georgia Tennant, who played the Doctor’s daughter Jenny- on set.  

Matt Smith takes second place with 7,996 votes. Smith played the Eleventh Doctor from 2010 to 2013. At just 26, he was also the youngest actor to ever play the role. Like Tennant, Smith gained recognition for his role, and when it was time for him to leave after three series, he was presented with a Sonic Screwdriver prop from the cast and crew.  

In third place is Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor, with 6,320 votes. During his time as the Doctor, the original series received some of its highest average viewership figures at 9.04 million – this jumped to 10.69 million for the fourteenth season in 1976. His trademark colourful scarf and love of jelly babies have made his take on the Doctor a classic one that even younger audiences can appreciate.  

Christopher Eccleston claims fourth place with a total of 6,420 votes. Eccleston played the Ninth Doctor, reviving the show in 2005 for a single series alongside companion Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper. Eccleston brought the series back to life after its hiatus and only had a contract for one year as the Doctor as showrunners didn’t know whether the revival would succeed. Thankfully, the show proved very popular, and the rest is history.  

Ranking fifth most loved is Peter Capaldi, with 5,819 votes. Another Scottish actor embodying the role, Capaldi previously appeared on the show in 2008 in the episode ‘The Fires of Pompeii’ during Tennant’s tenure as the Tenth Doctor before being announced as the new actor in 2013. 

Doctor Who’s best loved Doctors




Tenure as the Doctor  


David Tennant 


June 2005 – January 2010 


Matt Smith 


January 2010 – December 2013 


Tom Baker 


June 1974 – March 1981 


Christopher Eccleston 


March – June 2005  


Peter Capaldi 


December 2013 – December 2017 


Jon Pertwee 


January 1970 – June 1974 


Peter Davison 


March 1981 – March 1984  


William Hartnell 


November 1963 – October 1966 


Patrick Troughton 


October 1966 – June 1969 


Sylvester McCoy 


September 1987 – December 1989 


Jodie Whittaker  


December 2017 – 2022 


Colin Baker 


March 1984 – December 1986  


Paul McGann  


May 1996 

Following Capaldi, the Third Doctor actor Jon Pertwee places sixth, amassing 3,939 votes. Pertwee played the role between January 1970 and June 1974, and his tenure was the first to be broadcast in colour.  

In seventh place is the Fifth Doctor actor Peter Davison, who gained 3,601 votes. Following him is the First Doctor actor William Hartnell, who debuted the show in 1963 and currently has 3,597 votes on the site.  

The Second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton places ninth most loved after gaining 3,544 votes in the poll. Troughton began his tenure as the Doctor in 1966 for four years until 1969.  

In tenth spot is Sylvester McCoy, who played the Seventh Doctor from 1987 to 1989. He currently has 3,373 votes.  

Jodie Whittaker, the most recent Doctor and the only woman to ever play the role, ranked eleventh place with 3,309 votes, behind Colin Baker with 3,287 votes.  

Lastly, Paul McGann ranks thirteenth with 3,210 votes. McGann played the Eighth Doctor in a 1996 film version that was intended to bring the Doctor Who series to America but ultimately failed. Despite this, his Doctor has enjoyed a long run of Big Finish audio episodes which have proved quite popular.

Continue Reading

More in BBC

To Top