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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.


Hero Overview
Hello! I'm the Doctor!
~ The Doctor's most frequent greeting.
In 900 years of time and space, I've never met anyone who wasn't important.
~ The Doctor
"The Doctor is a legend woven throughout history. When disaster comes, he's there. He brings the storm in his wake and he has one constant companion."
"Who's that?"
"Death."
~ Clive and Rose describing the Doctor
He's like fire and ice and rage. He's like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun. He's ancient and forever. He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe. And... he's wonderful.
~ Tim Latimer describing the Doctor

"The Doctor" is the titular main protagonist of the popular sci-fi TV show Doctor Who as well as the many comic books and spin-offs spawned from its success. He/She is a Time Lord, a human-like alien who protects the Earth, along with countless other worlds, throughout time and space, from such menaces as the Daleks and The Master (an evil Time Lord who was a childhood friend of the Doctor). Unlike the rest of his/her race of time travellers, he/she uses time travel to interfere with events, which is forbade by his/her race, in an effort to protect civilizations from a variety of threats. He/She is famous for his/her time traveling ship the TARDIS, his/her sonic screwdriver and the ability to regenerate into a new form with a slightly different personality if he/she is either injured or on the verge of death, though his/her species is normally able to regenerate only twelve times. To date, the Doctor has thirteen regenerations, the thirteen being given to him/her along with a new set of twelve regenerations.  

The Doctor has been portrayed by at least seventeen different actors over the course of the series. His previous portrayer Matt Smith, announced that he would leave the series after the 2013 Christmas Special, The Time of the Doctor. His most recent portrayer, Peter Capaldi, took over the role at that point. However in the 2017 Christmas Special, the Doctor regenerated into a female and is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker.

Despite being the protagonist, there have been some episodes of the series where the Doctor is a supporting/minor character and instead one of his/her companions or a guest character takes the role of protagonist for that episode.

History

The Timeless Child

The Doctor came from an unknown planet as a young girl and was found by a woman named Tecteun, who adopted her and took her to her home planet of Gallifrey. Tecteun studied The Doctor with of finding out where she came from, but to no avail.

One day whilst playing near a cliff edge with a young male Gallifreyan, The Doctor lost balance and fell off the cliff onto the ground below. Tecteun rushed over to her and believed her adopted daughter to be dead only to see her regenerate and heal herself. Intrigued by this, Tecteun did many tests on The Doctor to discover how regeneratation worked and wished to make this ability possible for Gallifreyens. Over the years, The Doctor continued to regenerate taking on both female and male appearances. Eventually, Tecteun managed to complete her research by splicing The Doctor's DNA with her own and was able to regenerate herself and become male. This was ability was passed on to several other Gallifreyans who became Time Lords. The Timeless Child would go on to work for the Division, to secretly interfere when deemed necessary. Eventually, the Timeless Child had their memories wiped, and their history was airbrushed by the Time Lords.

Rebirth as the Doctor

The Doctor was reborn as an ordinary Time Lord, with 13 lives. As, a child, the Doctor attended The Time Lord Academy and befriended another student there, who would eventually become The Master. Upon reaching adulthood, The Doctor (as a male) had a family and gained a granddaughter named Susan.

He/She travels through time and space in a spacecraft called the TARDIS, frequently with human companions, averting any crisis he/she comes across using science, technology, and wit. As a Time Lord, he/she has the ability to regenerate, or change his/her appearance and personality whenever he/she is injured or on the verge of death. Although the series is titled Doctor Who, this is not the character's name: he/she is only ever referred to as The Doctor and his/her real name remains mysteriously unknown. From the ninth to eleventh incarnation, the Doctor was believed to be the last surviving member of the Time Lords, and was under the impression that he, during his War Doctor incarnation, had destroyed Gallifrey in order to end a devastating Time War against the Daleks. He later learned differently, when the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor's got the opportunity, alongside their wartime incarnation, to save Gallifrey.

The Time Lords of Gallifrey imposed a limit as to how many regenerations one may have before final death - twelve changes, or thirteen incarnations. Due to the "War Doctor" not accepting the name Doctor, and the Tenth Doctor undergoing an aborted regeneration at one point, the Eleventh Doctor believed himself to be the last incarnation. The Time Lords, however for the fun of it, bestowed upon him a new regeneration cycle, allowing him to ultimately transform into the Twelfth Doctor (which was one of the Doctor’s infinite amount of incarnations). It was the Thirteenth Doctor who found out the truth about the Timeless Child.

Powers and Abilities

  • Regeneration: When a Time Lord is dying - either due to old age or mortal injury - they are able to use a process called regeneration. Regeneration is a process in which all the cells in the body are replaced with new ones, with the ultimate result being the Time Lord having a completely new appearance. Even though the Doctor has changed numerous times, he still remains the same person inside and remains a force for good, if neutral, even though his priorities, personality and memories sometimes change, due to the fact that regeneration alters his brain chemistry as well. The regeneration process has been portrayed as either a simple fade between two incarnations, a glowing effect that revealed the next incarnation, or one incarnation morphing into the next. In recent portrayals, it has been portrayed as the incarnation generating or radiating a gold, orange or even white fire-like energy while transforming into the next incarnation. Oftentimes, the regeneration energy manifests in an explosive discharge which could damage or destroy anything or anyone around it. The brunt of the discharge is directed through the hands and head and could be made more powerful and violent if more energy was built up through stalling the process. It was also made violent and even accompanied by a powerful shockwave if a new set of regenerations was given. The Doctor has been able to generate this regeneration energy at will in fiery wisps or as a yellow light, using it to heal non-life-threatening injuries and somewhat stall certain terminal conditions. However, all Time Lords have a finite amount of this energy, which means using it in this manner could be lessen the ability to regenerate. Eventually, the Doctor will lose the ability to regenerate after twelve or thirteen regenerations and incarnations, though he was later given a new set of regenerations by the Time Lords, the process of which caused a giant discharge of regeneration energy and a shockwave that expanded several miles. The regeneration process could also cause a brief period of emotion or mental instability, erratic behavior, mood swings, random spasms, lack of motor skills, confusion, memory loss, and unconsciousness, which is called "regeneration trauma". This period lasted for hours and also allowed the Doctor temporary abilities, such as a healing factor and superhuman strength, though which ability he receives is highly random. However, some regenerations happened without any period of trauma, such as the Eighth Doctor's transformation into the War Doctor.
  • Superhuman Strength: He possess above-average strength, as he once broke down steel doors, chopped a brick in half and ripped a stone arm off a statue. This, however, is a random occurrence and an immediate after-effect of his regeneration, as such abilities only last 15 hours after the occurrence.
  • Superhuman Senses: He is capable of sensing time disturbances and perceive all possible timelines, as well as senses attuned to gravity, spatial location, and acceleration/speed. As well as having smell (sharp enough to identify the atmospheric composition), taste (can identify an age and chemical composition of an object by licking), hearing, and eyesight (can read a name-tag from several hundred yards away, as well as see in the night like a cat) that is superior to humans. He is stated to be able to feel a planet's rotations while on it.  
  • Superhuman Durability: While the level of his durability is undefined, he has been able to survive harsh conditions which include (but not limited to), the low-pressure and coldness of space without a suit (though he still needs air), subzero temperatures, extreme heats of at least 525 degrees Fahrenheit, multiple electric shocks, X-ray radiation, and falls from hundreds of feet, though the Fourth Doctor was injured by such fall to the point where he regenerated into his Fifth incarnation. He is also more resilient to radiation, allowing him to be barely harmed by an x ray machine's radiation, though it was 500,000 rads of radiation was what caused the Tenth Doctor to regenerate into the Eleventh in what seemed to be hours after exposure. He is also resistant to temporal disturbances, allowing him to be fully aware of any changes to time, especially if he is at the epicenter of this change, such as when his supposed death at Lake Silcencio was averted and all of reality began to collapse. The Doctor himself ended up in Ancient Rome, fully aware of what happened. He is immune to alcohol or wine. Normal sleep-inducing drugs take twice as long to take their effect on him as it does a normal human being and are not able to keep him asleep for long. 
  • Omnilingualism: He is able to speak and understand virtually every language in existence. Although his ship, the TARDIS, is said to translate for his companions, the Doctor possesses this ability on his own. He can even communicate with some animals, such as cats and even dinosaurs.
  • Enhanced Lung Capacity: His alien respiratory system allows him to hold his breath for 20 minutes, remain buoyant in water and survive strangulation, as it can be bypassed briefly. His body also has lower need for oxygen and can handle high levels of carbon dioxide that would kill a human. He can even hold his breath in the vacuum of space and survive without a suit for some time. 
  • Superhuman Endurance: Needs only an hour of sleep a day, and tires much less than a human.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: Is stated by the Doctor himself to have reflexes ten times faster than a human being. Is proven when he was able to move across a giant spinning fan. 
  • Superhuman Healing: Besides regeneration, Time Lords heal much faster than humans, as well as a special ability to go into a healing coma which accelerates the healing process even faster. In the span of 15 hours after regeneration, he can regrow entire body parts and be seemingly immune to crippling pain. While the regeneration process started, other minor injuries can heal instantly. 
  • Superhuman Intelligence: The Doctor is vastly smarter and think faster than most beings in the universe. He has an almost universal knowledge of nearly every species in the universe, as well as an expert on technology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, history, non-human biology, genetics and nearly every field (except ironically human medicine, as he is says he is not a medical doctor).
  • Psychometric Telepathy: As a Time Lord, The Doctor is capable of using telepathy and related abilities (e.g. memory control and hypnosis), via physical contact, usually by touching a person's head. He once used a headbutt to make a man named Craig know about his alien origins and incarnations instantly. His psychic senses allowed him to use a telepathic satellite network to channel all of humanities hope when they all spoke and thought his name at the same time, resulting in him being able to recover completely from being aged into a old man and then into a deformed and diminutive creature. While using this accumulated psychic energy, he was glowing with a fiery blue aura that shielded him from energy bolts, allowed him to make the cage he was locked in vanish, made him able to fly and levitate, and even telekinetically disarm an opponent. However, he only had these powers for a few minutes before returning to normal.
  • Longevity: The Second Doctor stated that Time Lords can "live forever, barring accidents." Thanks to regeneration and his own natural longevity, the Doctor has lived for many centuries—his first incarnation alone existed for over 450 years. Time Lords, in general consider 700 years to be middle ages, though its unknown if that is for just one incarnation or their entire lives. By the time of the Seventh Doctor he has stated he is approximately 956 years old. However, the Ninth Doctor he says he has forgotten his age and restarts from 900 years, while the Eleventh Doctor guessed that he was 1,200, though he also said he had forgotten. By the time he has regenerated into the Twelfth Doctor he can be estimated to be at least 2,000 years old, if not older. 

The Doctors

First Doctor

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The First Doctor

One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.
~ The First Doctor's iconic farewell to Susan.

The First Doctor was played by William Hartnell.

The First Doctor was the youngest incarnation of the Doctor, but had the most aged physical appearance, having grown old through a natural lifespan. This Doctor was an unreadable, guarded figure who was, at first, slow to trust newcomers who learnt of him. At heart though, the Doctor was a kind and mischievous figure. He was protective of the young women he took on as companions; they reminded him of his granddaughter, Susan, his very first companion. This Doctor was a brilliant, often short-tempered scientist and keen strategist. He used his signet ring to help get himself through ordeals due to his physical age impeding him. He stole a TARDIS and took his granddaughter with him, joyriding through all space and time, without a clue as to how to drive the thing.

After he and Susan were discovered by her teachers, Ian and Barbara, the Doctor kidnapped them to prevent them telling anyone. However, the Doctor regretted his hasty actions, and instead devoted his energies to returning them home. Over time, their influence led to the Doctor becoming a more compassionate and heroic figure, especially after encountering the Daleks. After he let Susan live with a man she loved, they took on Vicki, an energetic youngster who shared much in common with him. After Ian and Barbara found a way to return home, the Doctor and Vicki had gained a new companion in Steven Taylor, with whom the Doctor had a relatively uneasy relationship. Vicki eventually left the Doctor's company as well, during the Siege of Troy.

Shortly after this however, the Doctor, Steven and Katarina, a Trojan handmaiden, were embroiled in a lengthy battle with the Daleks, where Katarina gave her life to protect them, and they would take on security agent Sara, who also died ensuring the Daleks were defeated. This led Steven soon became bitter towards the Doctor, but would forgive him. They were then joined by Dodo Chaplet. Ultimately, Steven decided to stay to help a civilisation they had encountered, while Dodo later decided to remain home, while the aging Doctor found himself joined by Ben Jackson and Polly Wright.

Throughout his adventures, with a developing moral centre, the Doctor played deadly games with the Celestial Toymaker, he fooled Roman emperors, Mongol warlords and French revolutionaries, and he foiled each and every machination of the Daleks. After preventing the Cybermen from absorbing the Earth's energy, the Doctor felt his body “wearing a bit thin”. Initially frightened of the change, as seen in the 2017 Christmas Special Twice Upon a Time, as played by David Bradley, he encountered a later incarnation, and was assured his future was in safe hands. Afterwards, the Doctor regenerated into his Second incarnation.

Second Doctor

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The Second Doctor

Oh my giddy aunt!
~ The Second Doctor's catchphrase

The Second Doctor was portrayed by Patrick Troughton.

The Second Doctor, in contrast to his preceding incarnation, was warm and wise. He was as surprised and frightened of alien menaces as those who faced them with him. He had a knack for manipulation and deception. His predecessor would refer to him as a "clown" due to his bumbling nature. He loved tootling on his recorder and carried around a 500-year diary, trying to record his travels, but ended up discarding it. He wore a big fur coat that dwarfed him, tying it closed with twine. A "cosmic hobo" with a Beatles-esque mop of black hair, he was forever getting himself in and out of trouble.

While "inheriting" Ben and Polly from his previous incarnation, the Second Doctor's closest companion was Jamie McCrimmon, a Scottish Highlander from the Battle of Culloden, who he shared a mutual bond of trust with. After Ben and Polly left them, they met Victoria Waterfield, who the Doctor was asked to look after due to the death of her father. After she found a new home, the Doctor gained an intellectual equal in prodigy Zoe Heriot. During his wanderings, he faced the Cybermen several times, as well as the Daleks, even attempting to bring about their "final end", but encountered new threats, such as the Great Intelligence and his Robot Yeti, and the "Ice Warriors".

In The War Games, while travelling with Jame and Zoe, the Doctor faced the "War Lords", who allied with one of his own people in their scheme to conquer the galaxy. Unable to defeat them alone, the Second Doctor was forced to summon the Time Lords for aid. He was soon separated from his companions, and forced to undergo regeneration - essentially submit to execution - by the Time Lords as punishment for interfering with the affairs of many worlds. However, some stories indicate that the Celestial Intervention Agency was able to stay the execution for a while in exchange for the Doctor providing his services to them, until he was eventually forced to regenerate in exile.

Third Doctor

Third Doctor

The Third Doctor

Where there is life, there is a way.
~ The Third Doctor

The Third Doctor was portrayed by Jon Pertwee.

The Third Doctor was a more dashing figure than his predecessors. He was described by his first incarnation as a "dandy". He had a penchant for inventing gadgets and was skilled at martial arts, particularly Venusian aikido, and owned a vintage car named Bessie. Trapped on Earth without the memory of how to fix the TARDIS, the Doctor worked with UNIT as their scientific adviser, and could seem frustrated and bitter. However, his closest allies knew his deep compassion and scientific knowledge. He was also somewhat of an action man, using Venusian Akido where diplomacy was impossible.

His initially contentious relationship with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart softened into a close friendship during his exile on Earth, lasting through his future regenerations, despite not always agreeing with his actions. He also displayed great affection for his female companions, particularly Jo Grant. He was a gallant action hero who was very protective of his companions. His most common enemy was his childhood friend turned renegade, the Master, which whom he faced a friendly rivalry. He also faced the Nestene Consciousness and its Autons, as well as various invaders, including the "Silurians", the Daleks, the Axons and many others. For a time, he was also sent on missions across time and space by the Time Lords.

After battling Omega, the Time Lords granted the Doctor his freedom, and the Doctor set off a free man with Jo at his side, always making sure to return to Earth from time to time. Eventually, Jo left him, and the Doctor was alone until he ended up encountering feisty journalist Sarah Jane Smith. After travelling together for a while, radiation exposure from battling the giant Spiders of Metebelis III led to his regeneration, the price of correcting a mistake he had made in the past.

Fourth Doctor

FourthDoctor

The Fourth Doctor

Would you like a jelly baby?
~ The Fourth Doctor's usual greeting

The Fourth Doctor was portrayed by Tom Baker.

The Fourth Doctor was more eccentric than his previous incarnations and was the first to seem "young." Rarely without his very long scarf, he always carried jelly babies in his pockets, using them as bluffs, gifts and distractions—and occasionally snacks. He relied on his considerable charm, luck, and experience to get through bad situations. Although he retained his fondness for Earth, he ended his regular association with UNIT almost immediately upon his regeneration and only occasionally returned to the planet. However, he had not properly resigned from the position. He hated to work and preferred travelling but liked history. He usually travelled with only one companion at a time, except at the start and near the end of his life.

He initially travelled with Sarah and medic Harry Sullivan, although Harry soon left after encountering the Zygons in his own time. He and Sarah adventured for a long time, facing various horrific creatures and villains, such as the Osirian Sutekh, the brain of Morbius, the plant based Krynoid, and many more. A summons to Gallifrey caused their separation, whereupon the Doctor encountered the dying and vengeful Master. After travelling on his own, the Doctor ended up travelling with Leela, a tribal warrior who he tried o educate. While adventuring together, the Doctor gained further companionship in the form of the robot dog K9. Returning once more to Gallifrey to stop an invasion of Vardans, Leela and the original K9 stayed behind there. On the White Guardian's orders, the Doctor sought the Key to Time with fellow Time Lady Romana and K9 Mark II. Once that search was concluded, the Doctor and Romana went on the run from the Black Guardian. the Doctor and K9 continued to travel with a regenerated Romana.

After many adventures, when they attempted to answer a Gallifreyan summons, the Doctor, Romana, and K9 accidentally passed into the pocket universe E-Space. During his travels in E-Space, the Doctor gained a new companion in the teenage maths genius Adric. Romana and K9 stayed behind in E-Space as the Doctor and Adric departed for his universe. There, they encountered a Trakenite named Nyssa and a human named Tegan. He regenerated as a result of a fall suffered during an encounter with the Master; on this unique occasion a faceless "in-between" incarnation of the Doctor known as the Watcher assisted in the regeneration.

This incarnation also featured in adverts for Prime Computer from 1974 to 1981.

Fifth Doctor

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The Fifth Doctor

There should have been another way.
~ The Fifth Doctor often lamented killing enemies

The Fifth Doctor was portrayed by Peter Davison.

The Fifth Doctor was fond of cricket and wore a stick of celery on his lapel as a safety precaution for his allergy for certain gases in the Praxis range of the Spectrum. After a difficult regeneration, this Doctor displayed energy, compassion and innocence not seen in his predecessors. His character was very human and vulnerable. Like them, he used improvisation as the best way out of a tricky situation. The Fifth Doctor was the first incarnation since the First Doctor to go "hands free" and forgo the usage of a sonic screwdriver after having it destroyed. He occasionally wore glasses, even though he didn't need them; he only wore them to make himself look clever.

The Doctor initially found himself caught between Tegan's pessimism and Adric's arrogance. Stuck in the middle with him was usually Nyssa, who regularly had to stand as a voice of reason. After Adric died battling the Cybermen, the Doctor was plagued with guilt, and swore to never let another companion die on his watch. The Black Guardian returned, and tried to enact revenge on the Doctor by using stranded alien Turlough as an assassin, but the Doctor trusted him, and Turlough helped defeat the Guardian. However, after adventuring together for some time, Tegan left him for good after a brutal battle with the Daleks and Davros.

Soon after, Turlough left him when he found a way to return home, the Doctor travelled with American student Peri Brown. He was the first Doctor to sacrifice himself for another, when he and Peri were dying from Spectrox toxaemia; with only one dose of the antidote available, he gave her the cure rather than taking it himself.

Sixth Doctor

SixthDoctor

The Sixth Doctor.

I am a man of science and passion!
~ The Sixth Doctor

The Sixth Doctor was portrayed by Colin Baker (not related to Tom Baker.)

The Sixth Doctor was a grandiose and eloquent incarnation. He sported a multi-coloured wardrobe that looked like it was designed by Christian Lacroix; it was often commented upon, occasionally leading to him being mistaken for a jester. This Doctor loved a good quote, often making one he deemed appropriate during an adventure. He was also capable of violent action, much more so than his past lives, even seeing logic in murder. While seemingly arrogant, melodramatic and stubborn, at heart he was  passionate, warm hearted and empathetic. 

Like the Fourth Doctor, the Sixth Doctor spent most of his travels with a single companion at a time. His first companion was Peri Brown, with whom he had a very tumultuous relationship. It took considerable time for him and Peri to stop bickering and speak together on amiable terms, but the Doctor eventually became someone she could rely upon. A important part of his life was his trial by the Time Lords, where he was forcibly separated from Peri which turned out to be a coverup. He also discovered his prosecutor, the Valeyard, was his own dark side made manifest. He would be haunted by this revelation for a long time, putting off travelling with Mel Bush, who he had discovered he would eventually travel with, for fear of going down a dark path. 

After the trial, as seen in Big Finish'e stories the Doctor's gentler side began to blossom largely due to travelling with Evelyn Smythe, a university lecturer whose was equally verbose. Together, they were the first to encounter The Forge. He also travelled with Frobisher, a shapeshifting private detective who preferred the form of a penguin, both during and after his travels with Peri. He also travelled with a future companion, became reacquainted with Jago and Litefoot and travelled with Flip and Constance, two women from very different times. Eventually, the Doctor also began his inevitable travels with Mel, putting up with her attempts to put him on a diet. 

Over the course of his life, as seen in Big Finish's The Last Adventure boxset, the Doctor was slowly manipulated by the Valeyard as part of his genocidal master plan. After discovering his life was dependent of the plan's success, the Doctor willingly ensured his fate by letting his TARDIS be snatched mid-flight by the Rani, causing him to regenerate.

Seventh Doctor

SeventhDoctor

The Seventh Doctor

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.
~ The Doctor in "Survival."

The Seventh Doctor was portrayed by Sylvester McCoy.

The Seventh Doctor had a voice touched by a Scottish burr. Starting out as a light hearted eccentric while travelling with Mel, the Doctor began to show his true colours, as a keen strategist and a planner of the highest order after taking on Ace, a troubled teenager. Embracing the complexities of time travel and his ability to manipulate and plan for the future, the Seventh fully embraced his role of Time Lord, even if it risked alienating his companions. However, he wished to help heal psychological scars which his companions suffered from. Although he initially planned to take Ace home, they ultimately travelled together for several years, only for their strong bond to grow increasingly strained as secrets and death tore them apart.

In the Virgin New Adventures novels, following Ace's initial departure from the TARDIS, the Doctor become known as Time's Champion. Although he did many good deeds while under the title of Time's Champion, his manipulative ways and amoral decisions cost him dearly, leaving him questioning his actions and himself. In Big Finish's stories, he and Ace took on Hex, a young nurse whose past tied into his mistakes in dealing with the Forge, and led to the Doctor's war with the "Elder Gods" becoming more dangerous.

Eventually, the Doctor would spend the latter part of his life on his own, tying up unfinished business, such as Klien, a Nazi from another timeline, and retired from the niche of manipulation. Though wearisome, he decided he would return to Gallifrey when the Time Lords needed his assistance, but having grown complacent, he let his guard down at the wrong time and paid for it with his life. The Seventh Doctor was shot by gangsters, and was killed when his surgery went wrong.

Eighth Doctor

EighthDoctor

The Eighth Doctor.

I’m a Time Lord in a realm where the term is meaningless. My pain has been infinite. Eight lifetimes worth. I left my world to travel, to experience the universe, but there’s been a price for my freedom. Worlds, I’ve seen subjugated or destroyed. Friends I’ve lost. Don’t tell me you’ve tapped yourselves in my mind and you can’t see that. Come on, there’s something else. Some other reason for all this… You’re frightened of me, aren’t you? You think I’ll destroy you.
~ The Eighth Doctor, in The Twilight Kingdom.

The Eighth Doctor was portrayed by Paul McGann.

The Eighth Doctor showed a romantic and sensitive side not displayed by previous Doctors. Less morally flexible than his immediate predecessor, the Eighth Doctor lived a complicated and eventful life. The Doctor's life was haunted by the shadow of the Time War, both in the form of the War with the Enemy, where in the aftermath, the Doctor became an amnesiac for many years, as seen in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, and eventually the War with the Daleks. Due to involvement in the Time Wars, parallel universes, time paradoxes, and alternate timelines, his life was hard to piece together.

An inherently happy adventurer, the Doctor fell in love with companions Grace Holloway and Charley Pollard, and experienced and appreciated very human emotions, from kissing Grace to providing psychological support for Izzy Sinclair. So strong was his affection for humans, that he even claimed to be half-human. The Doctor always tried to remain a cheerful and pacifistic adventurer in spite of a hostile universe.

When the Last Great Time War erupted, this Doctor refused to take part in the Time War, preferring to hep where he could, but after sustaining mortal injuries in a spaceship crash, he was given the rare opportunity to choose the form of his next life, and he chose to be a warrior in order to fight the war.

War Doctor

WarDoctor

The War Doctor.

Time Lords of Gallifrey, Daleks of Skaro. I serve notice on you all. For too long I have stayed my hand. No more. Today you leave me no choice. Today this war will end. No more. No more.
~ The War Doctor announces his intent to end the war using the Moment.

The War Doctor was portrayed by the late John Hurt.

The War Doctor's incarnation was specifically chosen to be that of a warrior in the Last Great Time War and the regeneration was aided by the Sisterhood of Karn. His later incarnation stated that his actions broke "the promise" of the "name of the Doctor." As such, although the label "War Doctor" has been ascribed to him, he did not, in fact, accept the name Doctor (and as such he is not counted in the numbering of incarnations). During his long life, the War Doctor had a contentious relationship with Time Lady Ollistra, and was reluctant to take on companions, due to the increased danger of the War. However, he was regarded as a war hero by the Time Lord military.

Eventually, the events of the novel Engines of War would push him to find a solution to the War by destroying both sides. Shortly before regenerating due to old age, the War Doctor encountered his Tenth and Eleventh incarnations and, between them, they actually came up with an option that allowed the Time War to end without destroying Gallifrey. Due to the laws of time, however, the War Doctor was unable to remember this, and thus his following incarnation believed that he destroyed Gallifrey, and as such "disowned" the War Doctor incarnation.

Ninth Doctor

NinthDoctor

The Ninth Doctor

Do you know like we were sayin'? About the Earth revolving? It's like when you're a kid. The first time they tell you that the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it 'cause everything looks like it's standin' still. I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinnin' at 1,000 miles an hour and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're fallin' through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go... That's who I am.
~ The Ninth Doctor to Rose Tyler.

The Ninth Doctor was portrayed by Christopher Eccleston.

The Ninth Doctor considered himself the sole Time Lord survivor of the Time War. He displayed much of the playfulness of his previous incarnations, but was emotionally and psychologically scarred by the war and his role in it, which sometimes resulted in a detachment that was interpreted by some as cruelty, as well as terrifying outburst of anger. When asked about his voice and accent, he responded, "Lots of planets have a North". He cared deeply for Rose; he began to heal thanks to her. Similar to his first incarnation, this Doctor liked to tease others by pretending not to remember names. He also made dry jokes when facing danger or to diffuse tension. After encountering a surviving Dalek, he briefly took on Adam Mitchell as a companion at Rose's insistence. However, after he used the opportunity of time travel for profit, the Doctor returned him home.

Later though, while dealing with the "Empty Child", the Doctor met Time Agent turned conman Captain Jack Harkness, and he and Rose travelled with him for a while. In the Titan Comics series, they began a quest to recover Jack's memories that were wiped by the Time Agency, running into a future Mickey Smith, sharing an adventure with the Brigadier, and ending up with a stowaway companion in Tara Mishra. By all accounts, this incarnation was very short-lived compared to the others; when he encountered the Daleks who had survived through their Emperor. During the Battle of the Game Station, Rose managed to defeat them with the power of the Time Vortex. To save her, he fatally absorbed the energy fro her, and regenerated after saying a fond farewell.

Tenth Doctor

TenthDoctor

The Tenth Doctor

I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the Constellation of Kasterborous. I'm 903 years old and I'm the man who is gonna save your lives and all 6 billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?
~ The Doctor to Rickston Slade in "Voyage of the Damned".

The Tenth Doctor was portrayed by David Tennant who also voices Scrooge McDuck, Charles Darwin and Angus.

The Tenth Doctor had a manic personality with a fondness for human pop culture references. However, his more outgoing personality traits largely existed to hide leftover emotional trauma from the Time War (like his Ninth life, he was unable to retain his memory of having worked with the War and Eleventh Doctors to change the outcome). While he had a bright, playful side, darker traits occasionally emerged. He continued his previous incarnation's love for Rose Tyler, though he was unable or unwilling to express his exact feelings. He experienced other romances on occasion, including with historic figures Madame de Pompadour and Queen Elizabeth I. However, they all ended badly. As well as this, he was completely oblivious to Martha Jones' feelings toward him, and insisted upon a platonic relationship with Donna Noble. The departure of each of these companions marked time's in his life where he would abstain from having companions at all.

He was also the first Doctor to explicitly fear and dodge regeneration, because he had grown attached to his attributes and felt like it was a form of death and loss of identity. As such, when shot by a Dalek and about to regenerate, he was able to use his cunning to abort the regeneration - though it still counted towards the limit imposed by the Time Lords - and continue on. When the time came for him to regenerate for real - this time from radiation exposure absorbed in order to save the life of his elderly companion, Wilf - he was completely heartbroken before accepting his destiny, But not before visiting every companion he had ever known, in this life and before.

Eleventh Doctor

The doctor

The 11th Doctor.

I've lived a long life. And I've seen a few things. I walked away from the last great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time, no space. Just me! I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman! And I watched universes freeze and creation burn! I have seen things you wouldn't believe! I have lost things you will never understand! And I know things, secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken! Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze!
~ The Doctor's speech in "The Rings of Akhaten."

The Eleventh Doctor is portrayed by Matt Smith.

The Eleventh Doctor was smug about his abilities and exhibited a renewed, youthful enthusiasm for adventure. He had keen observational skills, an obsession with seeming trivial. This Doctor could quickly turn frantically angry and ruthless when events demanded. He frequently referred to himself as being old, showing his age on more than a few occasions. He offered to sacrifice himself if it meant saving others on a universal scale. This incarnation's most notable enemy was the Silence, who were responsible for destroying his TARDIS, causing the cracks in time, which eventually consumed the universe, though he restored it with the Pandorica. His multi-century war with the Silence critically involved companions Amy Pond, Rory Williams and their daughter, River Song. Ultimately, the most significant defeat of the Silence required him to marry River in a wedding ceremony, that both regarded as genuine.

his Doctor's concern for his companions was greater than his predecessors; he left Amy and Rory back home to protect them, though eventually resumed travels with them, which ended in heartbreak. After this, the Doctor became darker and more depressed, claiming he was "retired". His attitude changed as he got to know Clara Oswald, whom he then invited to join him in the TARDIS before she fell to her death, breaking the Doctor's hearts again. He later became aware that Clara was, impossibly, scattered through time - he had previously encountered another incarnation of Clara who had died as a Dalek convert. Later, he found a third Clara, this one living in modern-day London, and the two were eventually able to learn why she was scattered through time.

A key moment in the Doctor's life occurred as the Eleventh Doctor teamed up with the Tenth and War Doctors to come up with an alternate way of ending the Time War without actually destroying Gallifrey. Although War and Ten were unable to remember this, the Eleventh Doctor found himself relieved of centuries of guilt and with a new purpose. He went on to spend 9 centuries as the guardian of a town called Christmas on the planet Trenzalore. There, he aged into an ancient old man and prepared to die as the final incarnation. The Time Lords of Gallifrey, however, no longer wiped from history and on Clara's request, were able to renew his regeneration cycle, and he was able to transform once more.

Twelfth Doctor

TwelfthDoctorSleepNoMore

The Twelfth Doctor

I'm not trying to win. I'm not doing this because I want to beat someone, or because I hate someone, or because, I want to blame someone. It's not because it's fun and God knows it's not because it's easy. It's not even because it works, because it hardly ever does. I do what I do, because it's right! Because it's decent! And above all, it's kind. It's just that. Just kind.
~ The Twelfth Doctor's speech in The Doctor Falls

The Twelfth Doctor is portrayed by Peter Capaldi.

He first appears in the 50th Anniversary Special "The Day of the Doctor" were he assisted his other incarnations in saving Gallifrey during the Time War. He made his first official appearance at the end of the 2013 Christmas special The Time of the Doctor. The Doctor, no longer chained down by guilt, became a less amiable character, as he no longer needed to cover the pain of the extinction of the Time Lords, with a withdrawn attitude who habitually questioned his own goodness. He often dispensed with niceties in a tense situation, becoming cold and calculative when needed. However, despite his ruthless exterior, the Doctor was actually deeply caring and empathetic, always striving to help others for the sake of being kind. Unlike other incarnations who grew into their appearances, this version of the Doctor seems fairly self-conscious, having gone from a young man to a much older one despite being renewed. He also notices that he resembles Lobus Caecilius (a character he met in The Fires of Pompeii) with a Scottish accent.

It was not until his first battle with Missy, a female incarnation of the Master, that the Doctor resolved his morality crisis, realising he was simply "an idiot with a box and screwdriver" who went around helping others. Following this, the Doctor began to show his lighter side more clearly and forged a closer bond with Clara. The Doctor continued his travels with Clara, haunted by the reemergence of the Hybrid prophecy he had head of in his childhood. After Clara was killed due to a trap set for him, in Face the Raven, the Doctor was trapped in his own confession dial, where he was trapped for over four billion years. In the Series 9 finale Hell Bent, the Doctor broke his own moral codes and unleashed his wrath upon the Time Lords in an ultimately futile attempt to save Clara, and after realising he was becoming the metaphorical Hybrid, accepted losing his memories of her as a price for his reckless actions.

In the 2015 Christmas special The Husbands of River Song, the Doctor reencountered River Song, who for the majority of the episode, was unaware of his true identity until he said "Hello Sweetie" to her. After defeating the robotic body of King Hydroflax, the Doctor and River spent a 24-year long night at the Singing Towers of Darillium. In the 2016 Christmas special The Return of Doctor Mysterio, the Doctor, with the help of River's former assistant Nardole and a man named Grant (whom as a child, met the Doctor and accidentally ate a gem, which granted his wish to be a superhero, resulting in him becoming the Ghost), defeated brain-like aliens called The Shoal of Winter Harmony.

In Series 10, the Doctor and Nardole guarded Missy, going "cold turkey" from evil in the Vault, for decades under St Luke's University while the Doctor acted as a tutor. The Doctor noticed a student, a woman known as Bill Potts who he took on as a companion after discovering Heather, the woman Bill was interested in, had become a sentient oil creature. Initially sneaking away to travel with Bill, the Doctor was joined by Nardole in Oxygen, where being exposed to the vacuum of space left him blind. Shortly after this, the Doctor became aware of The Monks, but when his unwillingness to talk about his blindness left him in a dire situation, his sight was restored at the cost of Earth's freedom. Eventually, the Doctor, Bill and Nardole, with advose from Missy, were able to defeat the Monks. After this, the Doctor decided his time between adventuring with Bill and Nardole, and focusing on helping Missy.

Eventually, when it seemed that she had reached a turning point, the Doctor had Missy have a go at being him by rescuing a ship from a black hole. Soon, the situation went off the rails, and the Doctor discovered that the ship was a Mondasian Colony Ship, Bill was converted into a Cyberman, and events were being manipulated by Missy's previous incarnation, to create a new breed of Cybermen. Left to defend the remaining colonists, the Doctor fought off the Cybermen, and was mortally wounded. Bill was restored by Heather and the two put the Doctor in his TARDIS, going onto travel together, whilst Nardole remained on a solar farm to protect it from Cybermen. In the 2017 Christmas special Twice Upon A Time, the Doctor, refusing to regenerate, due to his world weariness, encountered his first incarnation and met a glass avatar of Bill. Convinced to carry on living, the Doctor bade farewell to the avatars of Bill and Nardole and regained his memories of Clara (resulting in him seeing a vision of her). The Doctor returned to the TARDIS to regenerate, giving some final advice to his successor.

Thirteenth Doctor

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The Thirteenth Doctor

None of us know for sure what's out there. That's why we keep looking. Keep your faith. Travel hopefully. The universe'll surprise you... constantly.
~ The Thirteenth Doctor, The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos.

The Thirteenth Doctor is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker.

Unlike the previous Doctors, this incarnation is female. She made her first appearance in the 2017 Christmas Special Twice Upon A Time where shortly after regeneration, she was ejected from the Tardis which teleported away, leaving the Doctor plummeting to Earth. In the series 11 premiere The Woman Who Fell to Earth, The Doctor crash lands in Sheffield, where she befriends Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin "Yaz" Khan and Grace (Ryan's grandmother) and Graham O'Brien. After losing the sonic screwdriver in the fall, the Doctor makes a new one. The Doctor and her new friends come up against T'zim Sha (whom the Doctor dubs Tim Shaw) a member of the Stenza warrior race, who came to Sheffield to hunt a human trophy. The Doctor with help from her friends are able to defeat him, but Grace dies in the process. Afterwards the Doctor attempts to find the Tardis by using a teleporter, but accidentally takes Ryan, Yaz and Graham with her.

In The Ghost Monument, The Doctor and her friends find out that the Stenza forced scientists on the planet Desolation to make weapons for them. As well as this, the Doctor was taunted over the "Timeless Child". After finding the redecorated TARDIS, the Doctor headed for Sheffield. Eventually returning, after a few detours, the Doctor's friends all agreed to stay with the Doctor as "Team TARDIS". Over the course of their travels, the Doctor helped her new "fam" take on issues with their families, avoiding mentioning her true origins, and eventually they faced the vengeful Tzim Sha again. In the New Year's special Resolution the Doctor and her "fam" faced a Dalek that had been buried on Earth for centuries.

In series 12 the Doctor discovered her old foe the Master had returned, plaguing the Doctor and Team TARDIS with a plot to wipe out humanity. Furthermore, the Master revealed he destroyed their home planet, Gallifrey, on the basis of the secret of the Timeless Child, as Time Lord history was built on a lie. Later, the Doctor finally opened up about her origins to Team TARDIS for the first time. Some time after, while dealing with the Judoon's attempt to find a fugitive, the Doctor was shocked to discover the fugitive was a previously unknown incarnation of herself, with neither having memories of the other. After this encounter, her companions told her about their encounter with Captain Jack, who warned of the Lone Cyberman, and the unsettled Doctor felt there was something coming for her. 


After dealing with the Praxeus virus, and defeating a pair of immortals, the Doctor took her team to Villa Diodati to meet Mary Shelly and her friends. There, they encountered the Lone Cyberman, who sought the Cyberium to rebuild the Cyber race. Forced to give him the Cyberium to protect history, the Doctor took off after the Cyberman, Ashad, to stop his schemes. Finding herself being drawn to Gallifrey by the returned Master, who revealed her past as the Timeless Child. With encouragement from her other self, the Doctor faced the Master's plan to use the Cyberium to create his own breed of Cybermen out of the Time Lords. Forced to send her companions away, the Doctor managed to thwart the Master and his CyberMasters, but was arrested by the Judoon.

Other versions

  • Dr. Who, a human scientist from Dr. Who and the Daleks, and Daleks Invasion Earth: 2150 AD, played by Peter Cushing.
  • The Doctor (Scream of the Shalka), the Ninth Doctor from the web animation Scream of the Shalka, played by Richard E. Grant.

Quotes

Hello? Who's there? Hello?
~ First Doctor's first lines
Slower... SLOWER! Concentrate on one thing... ONE THING!
~ Second Doctor's first lines
Shoes... I must find my shoes...
~ Third Doctor's first lines
Key, key … key, key … key, key … Yes, of course. Obvious place
~ Fourth Doctor's first lines
Ah... You've come to help me find the Zero Room. Welcome aboard. I'm The Doctor... Or will be if this regeneration works out!
~ Fifth Doctor's first lines
You were expecting someone else?
~ Sixth Doctor's first lines
Oh no, Mel... Ah, that was a nice nap! Now down to business... I'm a bit worried about the temporal flicker in sector thirteen... There's a bicentennial refit of the Tardis to book in... I must just pop over to Centauri Seven and then perhaps a quick holiday... Right, that all seems quite clear, just three small points, where am I? Who am I? And who are you? The Rani! Stay back!
~ Seventh Doctor's first lines
Who am I? Who am I? Who... Am... I?
~ Eighth Doctor's first lines
Doctor no more
~ War Doctor's first lines
Run!
~ Ninth Doctor's first lines
Hello! Oka- New teeth. That's weird... So where was I? Oh, that's right... Barcelona!
~ Tenth Doctor's first lines
Legs! I've still got legs! Good. Arms, hands. Ooh, fingers. Lots of fingers. Ears? Yes. Eyes: two. Nose... I've had worse. Chin... blimey! Hair... I'm a girl! No! No! I'm not a girl! And I'm still not ginger! There's something else... Something important, I'm... I'm... I'm... Crashing! Geronimo!
~ Eleventh Doctor's first lines
Kidneys! I've got new kidneys! I don't like the colour.
~ Twelfth Doctor's first lines
Oh, brilliant!
~ Thirteenth Doctor's first lines

Navigation

          Doctor Who Heroes

The Doctor
Dr. Who | The Doctor (Scream of the Shalka) | Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor | The Doctor (Fugitive of the Judoon)

The Doctor's companions
Susan Foreman | Ian Chesterton | Barbara Wright | Vicki Pallister | Steven Taylor | Katarina | Sara Kingdom | Dodo Chaplet | Ben Jackson | Polly Wright | Jamie McCrimmon | Victoria Waterfield | Zoe Heriot | Liz Shaw | Jo Grant | Sarah Jane Smith | Harry Sullivan | Leela | K9 Mark I/K9 Mark II | Romana I/Romana II | Adric | Nyssa | Tegan Jovanka | Turlough | Kamelion | Peri Brown | Mel Bush | Ace | Grace Holloway | Chang Lee | Rose Tyler | Mickey Smith | Captain Jack Harkness | Mickey Smith | Martha Jones | Donna Noble | Amy Pond | River Song | Rory Williams | Clara Oswald | River Song | Nardole | Bill Potts | Graham O'Brien | Ryan Sinclair | Yasmin Khan
Prose companions
Bernice Summerfield | Roz Forrester | Chris Cwej | Sam Jones | Fitz Kreiner | Compassion | Miranda Dawkins | Anji Kapoor | Trix | Cinder
Comics companions
Sharon Davies | Frobisher | Izzy Sinclair | Kroton | Destrii | Tara Mishra | Majenta Price | Gabby Gonzalez | Cindy Wu | Alice Obiefune | John Jones | ARC | The Squire | The Sapling | Hattie Munroe
Audio companions
Oliver Harper | Thomas Brewster | Erimem | Evelyn Smythe | Charley Pollard | Jago & Litefoot | Flip Jackson | Constance Clarke | Raine Creevy | Hex | Sally Morgan | Lyandra Aristedes | Mags | Elizabeth Klein | Charley Pollard | C'rizz | Lucie Miller | Tamsin Drew | Molly O'Sullivan | Liv Chenka | Helen Sinclair | Bliss

Allies
UNIT (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sergeant Benton, Captain Mike Yates, Brigadier Bambera, Kate Stewart, Osgood) | Jago & Litefoot | Sabalom Glitz | Bernice Summerfield | Bad Wolf | Torchwood Institute (Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Ianto Jones, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato) | Bannerman Road Gang (Sarah Jane Smith, Luke Smith, Clyde Langer, Rani Chandra, K9 Mark IV) | Hostess | Craig Owens | Paternoster Gang (Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, Strax) | Danny Pink | Coal Hill defenders (Charlie Smith, Ram Singh, April MacLean, Tanya Adeola, Andrea Quill) | Grant Gordon

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