Thirteen actors have played the Doctor on television. One is still in the role, three have sadly died, leaving nine men who could make a return to our screens as the Time Lord. I’m going to rank these nine in order from who I’d least like to see return to who I’d most like to return. I should say before I start, this is in no way a “Doctor ranking”!
9. David Tennant’s 10th Doctor
This might come as a surprise, David Tennant of course is an almost universally popular actor and his Doctor is widely regarded as one of the best in the show’s history. However, in The Day of the Doctor, Tennant wasn’t essential to the plot at all. It was great to see him again and his chemistry with John Hurt and Matt Smith was marvellous but he was merely fan service. If he was to return, it would seem forced. The tenth Doctor’s story has no loose ends so a return would be unnecessary. Also, a return in which his Doctor was anything other than his usual dynamic self could tarnish his reputation. As a huge tenth Doctor fan, I hope he never returns to the show.
8. Peter Davison’s 5th Doctor
Similar to the tenth Doctor, there really isn’t much need for Peter Davison to reprise the role. I’m glad he returned in Time Crash, the Children in Need special was a wonderful little nostalgic clip between him and the tenth Doctor. But his storyline is finished and he has already appeared in a multi-Doctor story in The Five Doctors. His own production, The Five-ish Doctors in the build up to the fiftieth anniversary was entertaining too but I don’t see any real need for Davison to return to the show as the Doctor.
7. Tom Baker’s 4th Doctor
If it hadn’t been for his cameo in The Day of the Doctor, Baker may have propped this ranking up. However his role as “The (Great) Curator” was so intriguing and although it’s something that probably won’t be revisited, wouldn’t it be great if we saw briefly just how Tom Baker ended up as the curator? Baker mentioned to the eleventh Doctor that he may revisit some old faces in the future so seeing something link in to that final scene of the fiftieth anniversary special would be very satisfying.
6. Colin Baker’s 6th Doctor
Although his regeneration has been written properly in audio form, seeing it come to life on screen would complete the sixth Doctor’s tenure. Although Colin Baker has changed quite a lot since Doctor Who, we see several examples of prosthetics being able to age characters in the show, so I’m sure something could be done to make Baker look a bit more like his Doctor again. Even a flashback from the Doctor, or a minisode similar to The Night of the Doctor would be enough. Every actor deserves a regeneration scene, so it would be lovely to see Colin Baker return to finally get that and round off his story. “Carrot Juice” are such undeserving last words.
5. Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor
The only thing that could halt Matt Smith returning is that his Doctor believed he was the last body right up until the end, so he would have to forget the meeting for this to be valid. However, Smith is still young and perhaps a future incarnation could pay him a visit on Trenzalore. I, for one would like to see more of the Doctor’s time on Trenzalore that spanned for hundreds of years. The eleventh Doctor’s quirky nature would lead to some more hilarious exchanges, carrying on from The Day of the Doctor. Seeing Smith mix with a grumpier Doctor in the future would be great. A return in Capaldi’s era may be too soon but I’m sure he’ll be back in the future, potentially for a sixtieth anniversary special in seven years time.
4. Sylvester McCoy’s 7th Doctor
There are two reasons I want to see the seventh Doctor return to the show. Firstly, he’s the only classic era Doctor not to meet another incarnation of himself. I think every actor deserves a chance to meet another Doctor so even a Time Crash-like special would be brilliant. Secondly, I don’t know if her story has been rounded off in audio form, but I’d love too see what happened to Ace. Whether that meant Ace returning or just a nod from the Doctor to his future self, her character deserves proper closure and a return of Sylvester McCoy and maybe Sophie Aldred too could provide that.
3. John Hurt’s War Doctor
Yes, John Hurt is a world famous superstar and yes, he’s unlikely to ever return on screen as the Doctor, but wouldn’t it be just be wonderful if he did? Based on how he looked in The Night of the Doctor compared to The Day of the Doctor, several hundreds of years must have passed between the two. Seeing some more of the Time War would be brilliant and of course, the War Doctor too. What made the Doctor decide enough is enough and prepare to commit genocide? This is the sort of question that could be explored and answered with a John Hurt return.
2. Christopher Eccleston’s 9th Doctor
Similar to John Hurt, it’s unlikely Eccleston will ever don that leather jacket again, but that’s probably why I’m so desperate to see the ninth Doctor return. One series was not enough and I’d love to see the ninth Doctor straight after regenerating. To see a virtually broken ninth Doctor meet up with a future incarnation who knew that Gallifrey had been saved would be fascinating. The current Doctor would have to console his previously distraught self as he would have believed he’d just murdered his own people and that dynamic would be amazing. This wouldn’t be just a clip, this would have to be a full length episode at least and the BBC should pull out all of the stops to tempt Eccleston back.
1. Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor
Will somebody please just give this man his own series? I don’t know a single Doctor Who fan who would oppose seeing more of the eighth Doctor. We could see the Time War at its beginning and learn about how it started. McGann still looks great and could easily pull off the role. He has so much more to give the show and for all the time he’s put into conventions and for kindly returning in The Night of the Doctor, he deserves a series of his own that he was so cruelly denied back in the nineties. Do you agree with me? Which Doctor would you most like to see return?