The Thirteen Doctors: Before Regeneration

The new series starts today! #Capaldi4Ever

The new series starts today! #Capaldi4Ever

In which I talk about the actors who played the Doctor in their other roles...

TIME magazine published a video on the other roles of the Doctor. I felt it was too brief however so here is my version:*

*Each name links to their IMDB page.

William Hartnell (First Doctor 1963–66)

I cannot recommend enough the BBC Documentary "An Adventure in Space and Time" that goes through the early years of Doctor Who. There is a particular spotlight on Verity Lambert, the female producer, who was pivotal in starting the series.

William Hartnell had been acting for many years (since the 30s) before his final role as the Doctor. Here's a clip of him in a 40s crime drama:

Sadly there isn't a lot of footage of his old roles on the web.

Quote

"The moment this brilliant young producer Miss Verity Lambert started telling me about Doctor Who, I was hooked. I remember telling her, "This is going to run for five years." And look what's happened!"

Regeneration

Pre Doctor Who Patrick Troughton turned up in lots of old British dramas including this delightfully outdated version of Robin Hood:

Post Doctor Who he popped up in lots of TV dramas including Inspector Morse (creepily looking out of a window at the 22 minute mark):

Quote

"Dunno. Hadn't thought about it. That all is not well with this colony. Add to that one Dalek!"

Regeneration

Jon Pertwee had several iconic roles before being the Doctor. He played several roles including Chief Petty Officer Pertwee on the radio drama the Navy Lark and it would be most remiss to mention his time as Worzel Gummidge: And where would my childhood have been without his voice being lent to the character of Spottyman in SuperTed?

Quote

"Reverse the polarity!"

Regeneration

I've struggled to find any footage pre-doctor but here is his turn as Sherlock Holmes just after he left the TARDIS: He has had a varied career including many voice-overs and TV shows since. I feel I must point out that he starred as the elven king  Halvarth in the so-bad-it's-good Dungeons & Dragons movie†: †This'll be relevant when we get to Paul McGann later: There is a drinking game to this movie. Drink whenever you see blue lips or Jeremy Irons overacting.

Quote

"You may be a doctor. But I'm the Doctor. The definite article, you might say."

Regeneration

Peter Davison was the lead in the sitcom Sink or Swim before his role as the Doctor: While playing the Doctor he took the time to appear in this terrible advert too: Post Doctor Who he went and had a daughter who ended up playing the Doctor's Daughter before marrying David Tennant. He was also in At Home With The Braitwaites which I hadn't realised ran for so long:

Quote

"That's the trouble with regeneration. You quite never know what you're going to get."

Regeneration

Before the Doctor Colin Baker (no relation to Tom Baker) practised his sci-fi chops on Bale's 7 (with a gloriously shiny earring): While most of his roles since have been Doctor related (voice overs and the like) he was in the pilot episode of one of my other favourite shows:

And apparently every few years he gets away with playing a completely different character on Doctors XD

Quote

"That's three I's in one breath — makes you sound a rather egotistical young lady."

Regeneration

Some hilarious special effects in this one!

Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor 1987–89)

Again I've struggled to find any clips of his older roles but he had numerous TV appearances prior to Who including on the kid's show Tiswas and as a storyteller on Jackanory (along with at least two other Doctors).

Sadly he seemed to only have a few roles post Doctor Who. Maybe because people blamed him for the end of Doctor Who? That always seemed a bit unfair to me. Recently though he seems to be having a resurgence on the big screen following his portrayal of the eccentric wizard Radagast the Brown:

Quote

"Are these antiques dotted about all over the building? It really is a splendid piece of audioarchitectonicalmetrasynchosity!"

Regeneration

Prior to the first attempt to revive the series with Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor he starred as "I" in the brilliant film Withnail and I. Famous for the drinking game where you must drink what they drink when you drink it‡:

He was also in Alien³:

Paul McGann in Alien 3
Paul McGann in Alien 3

Since Who he has only starred in the most discerning of movies. Like Lesbian Vampire Killers:

‡There is one scene where they order two quadruple whiskeys and four beers to go!

Quote

"A Time Lord has thirteen lives, and the Master had used all of his. But rules never meant much to him, so I stowed his remains safely for the voyage back. Because even in death, I couldn't trust him. In all my travels through space and time, and nearing the end of my seventh life, I was finally beginning to realise that you could never be too careful."

Regeneration

Finally my first Doctor got to regenerate in 2013:

What hasn't this man been in? His acting credits include the Chancellor from V for Vendetta, Ollivander in Harry Potter, Calligula in I, Claudius to name but a few. Of course there is only once scene that needs to be shown of him pre-Who: You thought I was going to show you the actual chestburster scene didn't you? He's in that too!

Quote

"Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame."

Regeneration

Prior to the Doctor Christopher Eccleston moved from British TV to the big screen in Gone in 60 Seconds: And after leaving the series for fear of being typecast as a time travelling good guy he has had a string of evil villain roles in Hollywood. He's ended up in more make up than most of the aliens on Who in Thor 2:

Quote

"Lots of planets have a north!"

Regeneration

I was lucky enough to happen upon David Tennant pre-Who and Harry Potter so I knew we were in for some excellent acting. I first came across him in Blackpool as a singing Scottish detective: Then he starred as the eponymous womanizer in Casanova: And of course he was Barty Crouch Jr in The Goblet of Fire: And since Who he's been pretty much everywhere. My personal favourite has to be his performance as Hamlet:

Quote

"Oh, how to explain the mechanics of the infinite temporal flux? I know: Back to the Future. It’s like Back to the Future."

and

Regeneration

In my opinion the saddest farewell:

Matt Smith was a young Doctor so hadn't been in much prior to it. He was however in Party Animals: He only has one post-Who credit at the moment and here's the trailer:

Quote

"Bow ties are cool."

Regeneration

To get you excited for this evening:

Peter Capaldi (Twelfth Doctor 2013–)

Most people are well-aware of Capaldi's role in The Thick of It (NSFW): And recently he has been in the BBC version of the Three Musketeers as Cardinal Richelieu. However it is his role in The Hour that has me most excited for his time as a darker Doctor: He was also the Angel of Islington in Neverwhere:

Quote

Well there haven't been many yet but: "Kidneys! I've got new kidneys! I don't like the colour."

Regeneration

Hopefully it won't be for some time! That being said it would be good to see a female Doctor next. Though only if Moffat leaves I expect :/

In Closing

There have been some excellent actors playing Doctor Who over the years and they've also played some hilarious roles elsewhere. I'm really excited for a new direction with Capaldi as The Doctor. It will be good to see a return to darker Who like with the 9th Doctor.

Tom Out!