Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer

Greetings and salutations fellow Whovians and people with a passing interest in Doctor Who. The original version of this list came out way back in October 2016 when Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi was still the current Doctor. We are now more than four years later and we have both a new Doctor (Thirteenth Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker) and a new showrunner (Chris Chibnall).

Well the official trailer for soft reboot The Suicide Squad was recently released and featured footage of Capaldi as DC villain The Thinker. And that got me thinking (see what I did there?) that I should update my “where are the former Doctors now” list. And here we are (again). 

War Doctor John Hurt


Now this list will be focusing on living actors only. We lost: First Doctor William Hartnell to heart failure in 1975 at age 67; Second Doctor Patrick Troughton from a heart attack in 1987, also at age 67; Third Doctor Jon Pertwee from a heart attack in 1996 at age 76; and most recently War Doctor John Hurt on January 25, 2017, three days after his 77th birthday. With that said on to the list:

#1 Fourth Doctor Tom Baker, age 87 (1974-1981, last appearance The Day of the Doctor as The Caretaker)

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One of my favourite moments as a Whovian was seeing my favourite Doctor (and the Doctor with the longest tenure) Tom Baker cameo in the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor.

After leaving the show in 1981 and opting out of The Five Doctors special (a decision he later regretted), he continued to work with the show via Big Finish audio dramas, like most former Doctors, and BBC talking books.

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Baker is a veteran voice actor of television, radio, film and video games. His more recent work included reprising his role as the Fourth Doctor in the game Lego Dimensions (2015), playing the force-sensitive creature Bendu in Star Wars: Rebels Season 3 (2016-2017), and the character Boomer in the Nickelodeon animated comedy Wonder Park (2019). 

#2 Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, age 69 (1981-1984, last appearance Time Crash)

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Just taking a breather after a rousing innings

Davison (real name Peter Malcolm Gordon Moffet) returned to his most famous role in the 2007 special Time Crash and was partnered with Tenth Doctor David Tennant. He was also writer and director of the hilarious The Five-ish Doctors Reboot comedy spoof where he was joined by fellow former Doctors Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Paul McGann. He also had a four year stint on Law and Order: UK as director of Crown Protection Service Henry Sharpe.

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His most recent work was last year in the TV series Life and Call the Midwife, and in the sports comedy drama film Dream Horse. Davison is also the father of Georgia Moffet, who played Jenny, the daughter of Tenth Doctor David Tennant. And then Tennant married Moffet making Davison his own father-in-law. Try not to think too hard about it.

#3 Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, age 77 (1984-1986, last appearance The Ultimate Foe)

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Baker’s introduction to the show was actually as another character—Commander Maxil in the episode The Arc of Infinity where he shot then Doctor Peter Davison. After two seasons of dubious quality he was unceremoniously fired and refused to film his regeneration sequence into Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy; McCoy had to wear a wig. He eventually returned in a series of BBC and Big Finish audio dramas. 

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His most recent work is in the aforementioned The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot and appearing in the fan-created non-canon web series Star Trek Continues as Minister Amphidamas in the episode The White Iris.

#4 Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy, age 77 (1987-1989, Doctor Who movie 1996)

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Outside of being the Seventh Doctor McCoy is best known in fandom for playing the pipe-smoking, animal-loving hippie wizard Radagast the Brown in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy.

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In 2020 he appeared in the horror film The Owners and  in the Scottish romantic comedy Lost at Christmas. 

#5 Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, age 61 ( Doctor Who Movie 1996, last appearance 2013 Night of the Doctor minisode)

After his one-off appearance in an abysmal movie McGann redeemed his character in more than 70 audio dramas. And when he appeared in the Night of the Doctor minisode he showed that he had all the makings of a great Doctor and had fans hankering for more.

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In recent years McGann has been appearing in a number of short films including 2015’s The Pit and the Pendulum: A Study in Torture. On TV he has featured on hit BBC crime drama Luther which stars Idris Elba and on British medical drama Holby City. 

#6 Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston, age 57 (2005, last appearance The Parting of the Ways)

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After leaving the show and declining to return due to behind the scenes issues Eccleston has kept himself busy doing work on the stage, in television and in film. He appeared as Destro in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and as dark elf Malekith in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World.

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In television he has appeared in the series Heroes, The Leftovers and the A Word. Eccleston’s most recent films are the 2015 French-British crime thriller Legend where he plays Detective Superintendent Leonard “Nipper” Read who is in charge of taking down identical twin criminals, as Harvey in 2018 British black comedy Dead In A Week (Or Your Money Back) and as Heinz in the 2018 romantic war drama Where Hands Touch. He also finally returned to the franchise this year with a Ninth Doctor Big Finish radio drama series. Hopefully this means we will see him again in live action at some point. 

#7 Tenth Doctor David Tennant, age 49 (2006-2009, Day of the Doctor 2013)

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Many people’s favourite all-time Doctor (he’s my second after Tom Baker) and Barty Crouch Jr. from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, David Tennant has been quite busy post-Doctor Who. From 2013 he has appeared as Detective Alec Hardy on crime drama Broadchurch and would appear as Detective Emmett Carver in the American version of the show Gracepoint. 

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He also had a masterful turn as the villain Kilgrave in Netflix superhero drama Jessica Jones and as the demon Crowley in the series Good Omens. Tennant also does voice over work and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2012 for playing a droid in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He is also the voice of Scrooge McDuck in the DuckTales reboot. 

#8 Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, age 38 (2013-2013, last appearance <full> Time of the Doctor, <cameo> Deep Breath)

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After leaving Doctor Who Smith briefly appeared in the reboot film Terminator Genisys, played Mr Collins in romance drama horror mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and last year appeared in the fantastic horror film His House. Next year he will be appearing in the Marvel film Morbius.

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In terms of television he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for playing Prince Philip in Netflix’s The Crown. Next year he will be appearing in the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon. So post-Who Smith has been super busy and is showing no signs of slowing down. 

#9 Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, age 62 (2013-2017, last appearance Twice Upon A Time)

And here we have our most recently departed Doctor. Since leaving the show Capaldi has appeared in family friendly films Paddington 2 and Christopher Robin and the comedy-drama The Personal History of David Copperfield. But his most high-profile film role will be as the aforementioned Thinker in this year’s The Suicide Squad directed by Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn

In terms of television he has mostly done narration work or hosted shows, though he has mixed it up with some voice work in Watership Down and Being Beethoven

So that’s my list. Which Doctor do you think has the best post-series career? For my article catching up with nine former Doctor Who Companions you can click here. Or for my top nine most wanted Doctor returns you can click here

B0FC059B-BBEE-47CF-90E4-D588C1BACD93 Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.

For my Top 13 Doctors ranking you can click here and for my Top 9 Most Wanted Doctor Returns you can click here.

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B0FC059B-BBEE-47CF-90E4-D588C1BACD93 Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.