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At this writing (12 November 2015) there are twelve actors who have played the Doctor as the series lead:

  • William Hartnell as the First Doctor
  • Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor
  • Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor
  • Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor
  • Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor
  • Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor
  • Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor
  • Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor
  • Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor
  • David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor
  • Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor
  • Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor

There is also John Hurt, introduced in 2013 as an unknown incarnation between the Eighth and Ninth Doctors who was thought unworthy of the "Doctor" name because it was believed that he'd used the Moment to destroy the Time Lords, as well as the Daleks, to end the Time War. The events of "The Day of the Doctor" showed that he'd not in fact used the Moment but had instead saved the Time Lords by removing Gallifrey from the universe, though he didn't remember doing so.

Other actors have played the Doctor in BBC series, or at least some aspect of him:

  • Adrian Gibbs played the Watcher, a manifestation of the Doctor that assisted in triggering his fourth regeneration.
  • Michael Jayston played the Valeyard, an evil version of the Doctor said to be between his twelfth and final incarnations.
  • Geoffrey Hughes played Mr. Popplewick, a disguise the Valeyard used.
  • Toby Jones played The Dream Lord, a manifestation of the Eleventh Doctor's darker side given life via psychic pollen.

A handful of actors have been stand-ins for the Doctor when the regular actor was unavailable.

  • Brian Proudfoot, an uncredited body double for William Hartnell in "The Reign of Terror".
  • Edmund Warwick, who played the First Doctor during part of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" after Hartnell injured himself.
  • Albert Ward, a hand double for Hartnell while he was on holiday during "The Celestial Toymaker".
  • Gordon Craig, who stood-in for Hartnell in the third episode of "The Tenth Planet". He played the Doctor collapsing at the start of the episode when Hartnell was too ill to work.
  • Chris Jeffries, a body double for an unconscious Second Doctor in "The Wheel in Space".
  • Tommy Laird, another "unconscious" body double in "The Seeds of Death".
  • Terry Walsh, a body double for the Fourth Doctor in a fight scene in "The Sontaran Experiment".
  • Richard Hurndall, who played the First Doctor in the 20th anniversary special. William Hartnell had already died by this time.
  • John Guilor, who offered his voice for the First Doctor in the reconstruction of "Planet of the Giants" on DVD and in the 50th anniversary episode "The Day of the Doctor".

Actors who have played the Doctor in audio productions other than TV series leads:

  • Geoffrey Bayldon
  • David Warner
  • David Collings
  • Ian Brooker
  • Arabella Weir
  • Nicholas Briggs
  • Jon Culshaw
  • Trevor Martin
  • David Troughton
  • Terry Malloy
  • William Russell
  • Frazer Hines
  • Tim Treloar
  • James Amey

Actors who have portrayed the Doctor in BBC parodies:

  • Rowan Atkinson
  • Jim Broadbent
  • Hugh Grant
  • Joanna Lumley
  • Mark Gatiss

All of the above appeared in "The Curse of Fatal Death" except Gatiss, who appeared in "The Web of Caves" (parody short).

There was also "Scream of the Shalka" (webcast) from 2003, the originally planned continuation of Doctor Who before it was agreed that RTD would be creating a live action continuation to be released in 2005. This webcast featured a version of the Ninth Doctor played by Richard E Grant, who was then retconned to make way for Eccleston's Ninth Doctor.