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Discounting stunt doubles, stand-ins & the like, the record for brevity is held by Daniel Anthony, who normally played Clyde Langer in The Sarah Jane Adventures but who played the Eleventh Doctor for a few seconds during the "interstellar body-swap" scene in "Death of the Doctor" (Sarah Jane Adventures story).

In Doctor Who itself, Richard Hurndall made a single appearance as the First Doctor in "The Five Doctors", replacing William Hartnell (who had died 8 years earlier). If you don't count him, then the honour goes to either Paul McGann or Sir John Hurt, both of whom (discounting flashbacks) clocked up a grand total of two stories each as the Doctor, "The Name of the Doctor" and "The Day of the Doctor" for Hurt, and "Doctor Who" (the TV movie), and "The Night of the Doctor" for McGann.

The spoof story "The Curse of Fatal Death" (children in need short) also featured a few very brief Doctors, during a comedy routine in which the Doctor uses up all of his/her regenerations in the space of about a minute, with the last one being a woman, who rejects her companion and falls in love with the Master.