Where every Doctor Who actor is now – from bitter BBC feuds to tragic deaths and surprise marriages with co-stars

THE hunt for a new Time Lord comes after the news of Jodie Whittaker moving on from her role as Doctor Who.

It was reported over the weekend that the 38-year-old actress quit Doctor Who after becoming the first female star to take on the role of the famous character back in 2017.

Jodie became the 13th actor to play the Time Lord, as the Doctor can regenerate making it a nifty way for different actors to take on the role.

While the BBC will neither confirm nor deny the reports that Jodie will leave after her third stint as the Doctor, speculation is already mounting over who could take her place.

Michaela Coel is the early favourite with Ladbrokes to become the next Doctor Who.

The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade and former Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall are fancied at 6/1 apiece with the firm, or there's an 8/1 chance Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge takes on the lead role.

The iconic role is a highly sought after acting gig and has made household names out of the many men – and one women – who have portrayed the space doctor.

Whoever will replace Jodie has very big shoes to fill and will follow in the footsteps of some very big names including, William Hartnell, Peter Davison, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.

Here we take a look at the lives of the past Time Lords.

William Hartnell

The original Doctor first hit screens in 1963 and played the iconic character for three years.

Ill health forced him to leave the series, but he came back for the tenth anniversary special, The Three Doctors.

Hartnell sat down to film his scenes and read his lines from a cue card.

The actor was most well known for his iconic white hair, which was a wig, and Hartnell described the character as "a cross between the Wizard of Oz and Father Christmas".

Patrick Troughton

The second doctor debuted in 1966, with Hartnell describing Troughton as the "only man in England" who could replace me.

The practical joker played the Doctor for three years and would then go on to star in films such as Scars of Dracula, The Omen, and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

Troughton also starred in Coronation Street, All Creatures Great and Small, and The Sweeney.

He would make three more appearances on the series before dying of a heart attack in 1987.

Acting runs in the family with his grandson Harry Melling playing Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films.

Jon Pertwee

The Chelsea born actor completely overhauled the character and turned him into an action hero after being influenced by James Bond.

The radio actor played the Time Lord for four years until 1974, but admitted he left because of the death of his co-star and friend Roger Delgado.

Delgado played The Master alongside Pertwee.

He also became hugely popular after Doctor Who, playing the scarecrow Worzel Gummidge.

Pertwee even had a toy of that character stuck to his coffin after he died of a heart attack aged 76.

Tom Baker

Perhaps one of the most iconic Time Lords, Baker is the longest serving Doctor of all time.

The curly-haired actor was known for his trademark colourful scarf and addiction to jelly babies.

Probably the most popular Doctor, he eventually left the series in 1981 after falling out with the show's producers.

He would go on to narrate Little Britain and play Sherlock Holmes before returning multiple times to appear in Doctor Who cases.

Peter Davison

The actor was at the time the youngest actor to take on the role at 29, but only played The Doctor for three years.

He regretted leaving the show after a short time but had feared being typecast.

Davison later returned for a special where the Fifth Doctor teamed up with the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, who is also his son-in-law.

He created controversy in 2017 when he said a female Doctor would cause "a loss of a role model for boys".

The backlash was swift and led him to quitting Twitter.

Colin Baker

The second Baker – no relation to Tom – to take on the role became quite divisive.

Fans did not like that he strangled his companion in the first episode and his tenure was described as being too violent.

Baker said he regretted his relationship with the producers and thought of himself as "selfish" for not thinking more about the fans.

He later appeared on reality series I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here and Celebrity 5 Go Camping.

Sylvester McCoy

The next doctor only stuck around for two years and became known for making his Time Lord a very dark character.

Sylvester McCoy is also the only actor to have played two different versions of the doctor after Colin Baker refused to come back for his regeneration scenes.

McCoy might not have been on Doctor Who for very long, but his career did not suffer for it at all.

He has appeared alongside Ian McKellen twice, first with the Royal Shakespeare Company in King Lear and then playing a wizard in The Hobbit trilogy.

McCoy has also acted in Casualty, Hollyoaks, The Bill, Doctors and Holby City.

Paul McGann

You'd forgiven for forgetting Paul McGann's Doctor.

He only ever played the Doctor in a TV movie that was supposed to become a hit series in the US, but it did not get the ratings and the big studios didn't want to pick it up.

McGann was keen to reprise the role should Doctor Who ever make it on to the box again, but it never happened.

But he still managed to play the Time Lord in audio versions and appeared in 2013's mini episode The Night of the Doctor.

Christopher Eccleston

The first Doctor with a northern accent because "everywhere has a north", Christopher Eccleston premiered as the Doctor in 2005 when the series returned to television.

Fans were shocked when left after just one season, with no one knowing the real reason behind his sudden departure.

It seemed there was some bad blood between himself showrunner Russel T. Davies and the show's producers.

"They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them," Eccleston has said.

But fans rejoiced when the actor agreed to reprise his role for audio dramas coming out this May.

Eccleston has had a cracking career since 2005, starring TV dramas The Leftovers, Blackout and The A World, and blockbuster films such as Thor sequel, The Dark World.

David Tennant

Doctor Who was not only great for David Tennant's career as he became one of the most popular Doctors, but it's also where he met his wife.

Georgia Tennant is the daughter of Peter Davison and played a genetically engineered daughter to Tennant's Time Lord.

They later married and have four children together, as well as Georgia's son from a previous relationship.

Tennant played the Doctor for four years before becoming an A-List star in films such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

He'll make a guest appearance on the video game Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality and star in an upcoming audio drama.

The Scottish actor has also starred in TV series Jessica Jones, Broadchurch, Good Omens and last year's ITV drama Des.

Matt Smith

Nobody had really heard of Matt Smith before he was named the 11th Doctor, but he soon became a household name.

Matt Smith was a relatively unknown actor when he was cast as the Eleventh Doctor in 2009, with headlines such as 'Doctor Who?' being written.

The youngest actor to take on the role, aged just 26, Matt made it his own and became the first Doctor to be nominated for a Best Actor BAFTA.

He played the Doctor for almost four years before going on to a star-making turn as Prince Philip in the first two seasons of The Crown.

Smith has some meaty projects ahead of him including as Daemon Targaryen in the Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragon.

He will also star in the 2021 Marvel movie Morbius alongside Jared Leto.

Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi rose to fame as the very sweary and angry political staffer, Malcolm Tucker on In The Thick Of It.

Before becoming the Doctor, he actually appeared in the 2008 episode, The Fires of Pompeii as a different character.

The actor got very emotional when describing his decision to leave the series, saying the job goes beyond acting as the Doctor Who 'brand' needs work too.

Viewers will next see Capaldi in the DC movie The Suicide Squad, playing The Thinker.

Jodie Whittaker

The West Yorkshire actress has had a stellar acting career including starring in Broadchurch and Black Mirror.

She made history as the first female doctor when she took on the iconic role in 2017.

It is reported that Jodie is leaving the show because she is keen to take on new roles, with producers preparing for the next regeneration.


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