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DR. WHO:
The Doctors (Part 2)
(Timeline: 2005 to Present)

“You know, Doctor, I can't tell if you're a genius or just incredibly arrogant."
"Well, on a good day, I'm both.”
- Orient Express Conductor and The Twelfth Doctor



The Ninth Doctor
Played by Christopher Eccleston
2005 (Season 1)

"Fantastic!"

    Christopher Eccleston had the unenviable task of being the face of the "New" Doctor Who series in 2005. While the show had many things going for it, including humor, thrills, aliens, action and a beautiful new companion, had Eccleston's take on The Doctor not been appealing to long time fans and new viewers, the show might have lasted only one season. But Christopher was not only successful, he was "fantastic".


"I spent my first day on set chasing a short Glaswegian dressed as a pig in a spacesuit around a studio and it never really got any more normal from there." - Christopher Eccleston, from his memoir I Love The Bones of You.


     Eccleston's "Nine" was a different kind of Doctor from the old days. Gone were the Beatle haircuts and groovy colorful duds. No rock star hair like The Doctor in the 1996 movie, no mile-long multi-colored scarves, silly hats, question mark shirts or celery worn on the lapel. Instead, this Doctor was a man with a plain leather jacket, a bushel full of repressed guilt and goofy faces, and a Northern accent. Aided by a first-class cast featuring Billie Piper as young shop girl Rose Tyler, Camille Coduri as her mum Jackie, and Noel Clarke as Rose's boyfriend Mickey Jones, Eccleston's spot-on performance helped bring Doctor Who back from the dead.


ROSE: "If you are an alien, how comes you sound like you're from the North?"
DOCTOR: "Lots of planets have a North!".

     Unfortunately, Eccleston only stayed the one season. It felt like he was only getting started, yet he was done. The Eccleston season was a lot of fun, eminently rewatchable, and featured several exceptional stories such as "Dalek" and the two-parter "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances", written by Steven Moffat. If Eccleston had have one unforgettable moment, it would have to be his ecstatic "Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once - everybody lives!" near the end of "The Doctor Dances". Also memorable were his final words to Rose in the last episode before regenerating into his next body: "You were fantastic, absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I!" And he was.

Pictured above: Billie Piper as Rose Tyler with The Doctor.


"I saw the fall of Troy. World War V. I pushed boxes at the Boston Tea Party. Now I’m going to die in a dungeon. In Cardiff!"


     Eccleston explained why he left the show over the years without revealing many details. Finally, in a 2018 interview with Radio Times, he gave a more expansive explanation: "My relationship with my three immediate superiors — the show runner [Russell T Davies, obvious - ed.], the producer and co-producer — broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them."

    Eccleston also blamed some of the problems on himself, including not having confidence in his own ability to do comedy. He described himself as "out of my comfort zone" in the part. None of his anger or frustration was aimed at co-star Billie Piper, whom he described as "very brilliant" but "very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced". It's still not the most coherent explanation of his early departure but it is probably all we will get. I have to disagree with Mr. Eccleston on his comic ability - in his one and only season on the show, he was often brilliantly funny.

Pictured above: Christopher Eccleston and Russell T Davies

     Producer/Show Runner Russell T Davies refused to get into a fight with Eccleston in the press, preferring to speak about him in glowing terms in SFX Magazine: "He will always be my Doctor... Chris is a magnificent actor and a magnificent man... and he was a magnificent Doctor as well. I think his comedy is funny - he plays it brilliantly. I think the darkness was off the scale with him - when the Doctor's angry, it's spectacular... It’s a magnificent, never-to-be forgotten Doctor, and it was an honour to work with an actor delivering a performance like that.”


DALEK: But you have no weapons, no defenses, no plan!
DOCTOR: Yeah. And doesn't that scare you to death!


     Around the same time as Eccleston gave his interview, he began showing up at fan conventions for the first time. In 2018 at the London Film And Comic-Con, he ran into Matt Smith, who had played the 11th Doctor for from 2010 to 2013. For Doctor Who fans, this was a historical occasion!

     In 2019, Christopher Eccleston completely warmed up to his place in Doctor Who lore, giving credit to the many fans at various events who helped him realize being The Doctor is something to be proud of. “These days, I feel nothing but positive about the show, to the extent I have even started doing conventions, something I’d been wary of because I always wanted to earn my money from acting.... What I’ve actually found is some amazing people who want to talk to me not only about Doctor Who but Our Friends in the North, 28 Days Later, Second Coming, Shallow Grave, Cracker, and so on,” he writes in his book I Love The Bones of You.

     Having decided back in October of 2016 to check out Doctor Who, I liked Eccleston's Doctor from the word "Run!". Although only starring in that one season, Eccleston was as fine a Doctor as anybody could be, in a season that, although sometimes a bit juvenile in its humor, was one of the most satisfactory series of the modern era.

     If you are in The States like I am, the Eccleston episodes are hard to come by on television. Even when BBC America occasionally runs Doctor Who marathons, they often leave out The Ninth Doctor. Some streaming services have the episodes available, but your best bet may be to track down Season One on DVD or Blu-ray. 13 Episodes, some nice extras, fairly cheap, well worth the investment.

     Selected Films: Jude (1996 - with David Tennant); Gone in 60 Seconds (2000); The Others (2001); 28 Days Later (2002); G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra (2009); Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Selected Television: Second Coming (2003 - created by Russell T Davies); Lennon Naked (2010 TV Movie - he played John Lennon with Naoko Mori of Torchwood playing Yoko Ono) ; The A Word (2016-2017), King Lear (2019).

P.S. If you are a fan of Christopher Eccleston, check out The A Word. Fantastic!

P.P.S. On certain Doctor Who boards and social media centers such as facebook, you may find some people jumping onto the New Who bandwagon, starting with David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. This brought about a rallying cry from others: "Don't Skip Nine!". Even though Eccleston only had that one season, it is, in my opinion, essential viewing for all New Who fans, and, despite some juvenile humor, is better than David Tennant's first season, Matt Smith's final seasons, and both the Capaldi and Whittaker seasons. So... you stupid apes - don't skip Nine!


"Excuse me. Would you mind not farting while I'm trying to save the world?"



THE NINTH DOCTOR REGENERATES
(Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant)




The Tenth Doctor
Played by David Tennant
2006 to 2009 (Seasons 2, 3, 4 and one year of Specials)
2013 ("Day of the Doctor")
Other: The Sarah Jane Adventures: "The Wedding of Sarah Jane" (2009)

"Alons-y!"

     Christopher Eccleston played a huge part in making the new Doctor Who series popular, but David Tennant's take on The Doctor kicked it into high gear. While there are fans who do not like his hyperactive Doctor, many more believe that he was equal to or better than even the great Tom Baker.

     During David Tennant's tenure, The Doctor had three separate traveling companions: shop girl Rose Tyler, physician-in-training Martha Jones, and temp office worker Donna Noble, each of whom brought a different dynamic to the Doctor - Companion relationship, thanks to some smarts scripts and the splendid performances of Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate respectively. Through it all, Tennant was brilliantly manic and hilariously funny, while also keeping much of Christopher Eccleston's Doctor's dark moodiness.


TISH: He cut it a bit fine there, didn’t he?
MARTHA: He always does. It’s more fun that way.
TISH: Who is he?
MARTHA:  He’s… he’s The Doctor.

     Season Two, Tennant's first season of New Who, featured the ongoing love story between The Doctor and Rose, a tale destined to end sadly. Season Three centered on The Doctor and the love-struck Martha Jones saving the world several times. After the excellent Christmas episode "Voyage of the Damned" co-starring pop singer Kylie Minogue, Season Four, with The Doctor and Donna Noble, eventually grew into a celebration of Tennant's run as the Doctor, with companions Rose and Martha returning, as well as time-traveler Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Slayden) and other various cast members of the spinoff series Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, all helping to fight the good fight with The Doctor. (Yes, that was one looong timey-wimey sentence!)


"No second chances. I'm that sort of a man."


    After Season Four, Tennant, sans the usual companions, performed in five specials from Christmas 2008 through New Years 2010. The first was one of the best: "The Next Doctor", a fun romp in the past featuring David Morrissey (later to be The Governor in "The Walking Dead") in which The Doctor essentially became a companion to a man who believed he was The Doctor. This was followed by the "Planet of the Dead", which featured actress Michelle Ryan as an "almost" companion (and judging from her performance in this special she would have made a great one), "The Waters of Mars", an excellent, creepy episode set on a space station, and the often fun but ultimately disappointing two-part "The End of Time", in which The Doctor finally runs out of luck and is forced to regenerate.

     In 2017, Tennant summed up what it was like to be The Doctor in an interview on The Andrew Marr Show:  “It’s part of the national conversation. It’s part of our cultural furniture. That’s a huge honour to be in the middle of, but it’s quite a responsibility… It changes your life… It’s an undertaking.”

Selected Films: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005); The Decoy Bride (2011)

Selected Television: Broadchurch (2011 - 17); The Escape Artist (2013); Gracepoint (2014 - American remake of Broadchurch Series 1); Jessica Jones (2015 - Netflix Web Series).

In 2016, Tennant replaced the late Alan Young as the voice of Scrooge McDuck in the children's show DuckTales.


"You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!"


Pictured above: (1) Billie Piper as Rose Tyler with The Doctor (2) Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones with The Doctor and (3) Catherine Tate as Donna Noble with The Doctor.                                        

Like Father, Like Son (Hogwarts Edition): In the 2006 two-parter "Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel", The Doctor battles against megalomaniac John Lumic, who is creating an army of Cybermen to take over the world (a parallel world, but a world just the same). A year before, actor Roger Lloyd Pack, who played Lumic, turned up in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire as Hogwarts Ministry Official Barty Crouch, Sr. His son, Barty Crouch, Jr., was played by none other than "The Doctor" himself, David Tennant.

                                            THE TENTH DOCTOR REGENERATES
                                           (David Tennant to Matt Smith)



The Eleventh Doctor
Played by Matt Smith
2010 to 2013 (Seasons 5, 6 and 7)
"Day of the Doctor" (2013)
"Deep Breath" (2014 - cameo)
Other: The Sarah Jane Adventures: "Death of the Doctor" (2010)
"An Adventure in Space and Time" (2013)

"Geronimo!"

     If Christopher Eccleston had the daunting task of being the first "new" Doctor since 1996, Matt Smith had the equally daunting task of being the Doctor who replaced David Tennant. Adding to the pressure, Smith would not be helped by any popular characters from the first four seasons - no Rose, Martha, Donna or Captain Jack returning to aid the Doctor in his adventures. With the exception of River Song, a character who showed up in the Season Four's "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead", viewers would be seeing an all-new Doctor and all new companions. It was like "New Who Version 2.0".


DOCTOR (to the Daleks): You're going to fire me at a planet? That's your plan? I get fired at a planet and expected to fix it.
RORY: In fairness, that is slightly your M.O.


     Matt Smith's version of The Doctor was goofy, funny, lovable, awkward, self-admittedly OCD, and great fun to watch. He believed bow ties were cool and could never pass a fez without trying it out on his head. He invented nicknames for his companions - Amy was "The Girl Who Waited", later companion Clara Oswald was "Soufflé Girl" and "The Impossible Girl". In "The Impossible Astronaut", he introduced his companions Amy, Rory and River song as "The Legs, The Nose and Mrs. Robinson", and in "The Day of The Doctor", he nicknamed The Tenth Doctor and The War Doctor "Sand Shoes and Granddad."


"Has anybody ever told you that you're a bit weird?"
"They never actually stop."


     The Eleventh Doctor's mind worked so fast that his theories on matters often came halfway out of his mouth before they completely reversed themselves and vanished into thin air. He always seemed to want to do ten things at once, and the one thing that really irritated him was sitting around doing nothing. He was the most otherworldly doctor so far in the new series, one who didn't quite get social norms and customs. New show runner Steven Moffat called him "an elegant shambles."


"You're Scottish. Fry something."

     Matt Smith was not David Tennant, but he followed Tennant brilliantly, made the character of The Doctor his own, and became an extremely popular Doctor.

     The Matt Smith years were filled with new show runner Steven Moffat's typically "timey wimey" storylines threaded throughout nearly every episode. Where Russell T Davies would move his plot points  from A to B to C, Moffat often started his stories on F, jumped back to B, went forward to Q, back to C, and so on. There is no doubt that Moffat was a talented writer, and his best stuff could blow you away. However, he could also be as annoying as hell when all you really wanted was a decent story and he was attempting to show you how clever he was, something that sometimes marred his Sherlock series too. Through it all, however, Matt Smith shined in his role as The Eleventh Doctor, as did Karen Gillan as Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams as his two main companions. By his final episodes, he was traveling with new companion Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman. And even if everybody knew it was coming, his regeneration into Peter Capaldi was still a semi-shocker.

Pictured above: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, with The Doctor.


"I'm the Doctor. I work in a shop now. Here to help. Look, they gave me a badge with my name on in case I forget who I am. Very thoughtful, as that does happen."


     When Matt Smith announced he would be leaving the show in 2013, he praised the fans effusively: "The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before... Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord..."

Selected Films: Terminator Genisys (2015); Patient Zero

TV: The Sally Lockhart Mysteries (2006 - 2007 - Matt Smith had his first television role in the first episode of this two-episode Billie Piper-led series; The Crown (2016 - Present). While Smith played young Prince Phillip in this Netflix drama, his former co-star and "companion" Jenna Coleman played young Queen Victoria in the BBC series Victoria.


"I'm being extremely clever up here and there's no one to stand around looking impressed! What's the point in having you all?"


Pictured above: Matt Smith and Billie Piper in episode one of "The Sally Lockhart Mysteries"                                

                                       THE ELEVENTH DOCTOR REGENERATES
                                         (Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi)



The Twelfth Doctor

Played by Peter Capaldi
2014 to 2017 (Season 8, 9, 10 and Christmas Special "Twice in a Lifetime")
(2013)"Day of the Doctor" (extremely short cameo, eyes only)
Other: Class: "For Tonight We Might Die" (2017)

"Shut up!"

     Clara Oswald witnessed what must have been the quickest and most shocking regeneration yet. In one split second, the youngest looking Doctor of the new series, the Doctor she "fancied", became the oldest looking one. The Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, was the polar opposite of Matt Smith's. The Eleventh Doctor had nothing but hope for humanity; The Twelfth barely tolerated humans. Eleven showed endless affection for his companions; Twelve looked at the beautiful Clara Oswald and saw nothing but a round head and overly large eyes ("Stop that with the eyes! How do you do that anyway? It's like they inflate!"), and he cringed whenever she attempted to hug him. Eleven enjoyed talking to humans he didn't even know; Twelve deleted people from his brain as soon as they were no longer useful to him.


PSI: I still don't understand why you're in charge.
DOCTOR: Basically, it's the eyebrows.


     Although Steven Moffat was still running the show and contributing scripts, the first two Capaldi years had more pure stand-alone stories, or simple two-parters, with fewer wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey tales. Jenna Coleman's Clara fitted in with The Twelfth Doctor better than with The Eleventh (my opinion - many other fans see it the other way), as, instead of The Doctor trying to figure her out (see our "Companions" page for more explanation on the mystery that was Clara "Oswin" Oswald), it was she who attempted to get to the heart (or two hearts) of The Doctor and help him integrate more with humanity.


"I am not a good man! And I'm not a bad man either. I'm not a hero. I'm definitely not a president, and no, I'm not an officer. You know who I am? I… am… an idiot!  With a box and a screwdriver. Passing through. Helping out."


    When Clara's time with The Doctor was up, he spent many years with his wife River Song, returning to Earth after her death. After some undetermined time, he settled down as a professor at St. Luke's University, where he met Bill Potts, a cafeteria worker at the school who nevertheless attended his lectures. Impressed with her curiosity and positive attitude, he took Bill under his wing and let her travel with him in the TARDIS. Along with Bill Potts, The Doctor recruited his friend Nardole, first seen in "The Husbands of River Song".
 
     Humor has always been one of the show's strongest points, and although Capaldi's Doctor was more serious than the previous three Doctors of the new series, he could be very funny. Capaldi's version of The Doctor - cranky, easily annoyed, dismissive, sarcastic - had inherent humor in it that often played out when you least expect it.. Still, If your favorite Doctor was the lovably goofy Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi's Doctor could take some time to warm up to.

     After three seasons, The Twelfth Doctor bid his own self goodbye, in the two-part "World and Time Enough" / "The Doctor Falls" and the year-ending 2018 Christmas special "Twice Upon a Time". Taken separately, each episode had its share of flaws, but when watched back to back to back, they made for a rather epic goodbye to Capaldi and his version of The Doctor.


DOCTOR: This is Clara, not my assistant. She's, er, some other word.
CLARA: I'm his carer.
DOCTOR: Yeah, my carer. She cares so I don't have to.


     Peter Capaldi loved the series as a child and thought he had achieved his life long dream of being on Doctor Who when he was cast in the fourth season episode "The Fires of Pompeii", never dreaming that only a few years later, he would be " The Doctor". Still, after three seasons, Capaldi left the show. "I feel sad," he said in an interview with BBC Radio. "I love Doctor Who, it's a fantastic program to work on. It's been a huge pleasure to work with a family. I can't praise the people I've worked with more highly, but I've always been somebody that did a lot of different things. But I've never done one job for three years. This is the first time I've done this, and I feel it's sort of time for me to move on to different challenges."

Selected Films: Lair of the White Worm, Dangerous Liaisons (both 1988); In The Loop (2009 - film spinoff of the TV series The Thick of It, also starring Capaldi); World War Z (2013)

Selected Television: John and Yoko: A Love Story (1985 - played George Harrison); The Thick of It (2005 - 2012); Torchwood: Children of Earth (2009).


"So who's in charge now?  I need to know who to ignore."


Pictured above: (1) Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald with The Doctor and (2) Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts with The Doctor.

The Little Gray Cells and The Big Blue Box: From 1989 to 2014, actor David Suchet starred on television as Agatha Christie's famous fictional detective Hercule Poirot. Peter Capaldi had been working steadily since 1981, appearing in many movies and television shows, so it was almost inevitable that Capaldi would eventually wind up in an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot. In 1991, he played a part-time clown and artist in the episode "Wasp's Nest". Many years later, Suchet would return the favor, appearing in the 2017 Doctor Who episode "Knock Knock" as a creepy landlord.

Who Doctor? Me Doctor! : A few years before taking over the role of The Doctor from Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi appeared in the zombie film World War Z. His character, a World Health Organization Doctor, wasn't given a name in the film.  In the ending credits, he was listed as "WHO Doctor".

     As stated above, Peter Capaldi played the Roman Lobus Caecilius in the fourth season episode "The Fires of Pompeii". Before becoming the Twelfth Doctor, however, Capaldi played mid-level government man John Frobisher (pictured left) in the 2009 five-part Torchwood:  Children of Earth. While the Doctor Who episode "The Girl Who Died" answered the question "Why did The Twelfth Doctor have the same face as Lobus?", we still wonder why Frobisher and The Doctor also look so much alike. My only real scientific guess is... they were both played by Peter Capaldi.


THE TWELFTH DOCTOR REGENERATES
(Peter Capaldi to Jodie Whittaker)






The Thirteenth Doctor
Played by Jodie Whittaker
"Twice Upon a Time" (Christmas Special 2017)
and Season 11 (2018)

Catchphrase Pending

She’s working class, she’s northern, what can go wrong?” - Working Class/Northern Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston, approving of the new Doctor.



ALIEN: You're interfering with things you don't understand.
DOCTOR: Yeah, well, we all need a hobby.


    Such a major change in the show ("The Doctor is a woman!") had the fan base erupting in major discussion, much of it level-headed and polite debate, much of it useless squabbling and name-calling. Having watched all ten seasons so far, I have no problem with The Doctor regenerating into a woman. I found the tenth season disappointing (no really bad episodes, but, not counting the two-part finale and the Christmas special, no really amazing episodes either) so it was probably a good time to mix up the formula. As for The Doctor regenerating as a woman, yes, it may be a bit shocking, but only a little more shocking than Matt Smith's lovable Doctor regenerating into Peter Capaldi's grumpy Doctor.

     I also wonder if the support for or backlash against a female Doctor is related to how long fans have been watching Doctor Who. That is - are the long-time fans of Classic Who whose first Doctor might have been William Hartnell, Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker more apt to be against a female Doctor than the fans who tuned into New Who and whose first Doctor may have been Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant or perhaps even Peter Capaldi? No idea, but it is an interesting hypothesis. 


"Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind."
 - The Twelfth Doctor's advice to his immediate future self.


     A pal of mine who likes Whittaker (as do I) thinks that she is being held back by the powers that be. It's like she can be goofy, but not too goofy; she can be angry, but not too angry, and so on. Because we are now "woke" (God how I despise such misuse of the English Language), Whittaker's Doctor is not just the new Doctor but a political symbol and, sadly, a weapon of attack on some fans. If you didn't like Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, you just didn't like him and life went on. A close friend of mine thought that Capaldi's Doctor was awful, and I disagreed - he's my third favorite Doctor. Yet we remain friends. But in many circles, if you don't like Jodie Whittaker, you may be called a hater, a misogynist, an "old white guy" and much more. They may even say "Okay, Boomer", which, from what I can gather, is supposed to be an insult to anyone who, like me, grew up a Baby Boomer. Just go to any Doctor Who forum and look for posts on the subject. It's sad.

     Here's what I think has happened -

     In many cases over Jodie Whittaker's seasons, she and the rest of the cast have been let down by show runner Chris Chibnall's mediocre story writing, as well as his incessant need to shoehorn his feminist views and what I call "Chibnall's Cause of the Week" into just about every episode. There's also always plenty of male bashing going on. If you're a male character in an episode, and you're not Graham O'Brien, Nicholas Tesla, Captain Jack or a white married gay couple, Chibnall will probably peg your character as evil or stupid or both.

     As for the companions (Graham, Ryan and Yaz), they suffer too, often given little to do but to stand around and tell The Doctor how wonderful she is. Bradley Walsh, as Graham, has been around the block and is a consummate pro and a natural comedian, so he usually gets a few good lines in, but Tosin Cole as Ryan Sinclair may have a quick, and often boring, few moments here and there while Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan might as well not even be in the show half the time, given how little she is given to do. It's like Chibnall made sure he had a nice, diverse cast of companions, and then forgot that story and characterization really matters with companions. Unlike just about every other set of companions in history, these three rarely if ever disagree with The Doctor. No moments like Martha Jones refusing to leave New Earth until The Doctor tells her about Gallifrey in "Gridlock", or Donna Noble begging The Doctor to save at least one person in "Fires of Pompeii". You'll find no Clara Oswald, Amy Pond or Bill Potts to stand up to The Doctor in this series. The three companions also lose out when there's one of those claustrophobic episodes where The Doctor and companion land in a stranded spaceship or some similar place and have to deal with five or six new characters. Chibnall himself wrote such an episode in 2007's  "42", featuring The Doctor and Martha Jones. Although it was a mediocre story, at least he had plenty of room for companion Martha to be a major part of the episode while The Doctor was doing other things. Compare that to most "crowded spaceship" episodes in Season 11 and/or 12, where, with a multitude of new characters running around, the companions once again get so little to do.

     The massive changes to the series that Chibnall and the BBC insist on has taken its toll on the ratings. When Jodie Whittaker showed up for her first episode ("The Woman Who Fell To Earth") in 2019, ten million people tuned in. Nearly a year later, with Doctor Who coming to the end of Whittaker's second season, the show has lost roughly half of their audience. Whatever Chibnall thinks he is doing, it isn't working.


DOCTOR: You just ran really quickly out of a room looking really scared. Tell me exactly what's going on, omitting no detail, no matter how strange.
JACK: A giant spider just smashed through my bathtub and took out my bodyguard, Kevin.
DOCTOR: Right. Very succinct summary, well done.


  TRAILER FOR SEASON 11

<


"Why are you calling me 'madam'?"
"Because... you're a woman?"
"Am I?! Does it suit me?"
"What?"
"Oh yeah! I remember now! Sorry - half an hour ago I was a white-haired Scotsman."


Selected Films: Attack the Block (2011)

Selected Television: Broadchurch, Series 1 - 3 (2011-17); "The Entire History of You" (Black Mirror, Episode 3, 2011)

It All Comes Out in the Walsh: Actor, presenter, and game show host Bradley Walsh plays Graham O'Brien, one of the 12th Doctor's new companions. A versatile performer, Walsh is probably best known in his home country for hosting game shows and for his eight-season stint as Detective Sergeant Ronnie Brooks on Law and Order: UK, created by Dick Wolf.

     Wolf commissioned Chris Chibnall to find American Law and Order episodes that could be reconfigured and converted to stories that would work under British law. The show became a hit in Britain, and for several seasons, Walsh shared screen time with Doctor Who alumni Freema Agyeman Peter Davison as Henry Sharpe, head of the CPO. Walsh stayed on the show for eight seasons, outlasting all the other main actors. Among his other work, Walsh played Danny Baldwin in Coronation Street from 2004 to 2006, and the shape-shifting alien in a 2008 episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

     Even with a shorted ten-episode season and sharing screen time with two other companions, The Doctor and whoever they were battling, Walsh made his mark on Doctor Who, with his character Graham O'Brien becoming, in my opinion, one of the best modern companions.


My Ranking Of All The Doctors

I've listed every Doctor to date in order of my own preference. Need to say though - I like them all.

1. David Tennant (10th Doctor)

I loved the Eccleston series, but David Tennant's run as The Doctor blew me away. It helped that I loved all three of his main companions.

2. Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor)

A superb Doctor, the James Bond of the Doctors, who defined his era with a flourish and a lisp!

3. Peter Capaldi (12th Doctor)

Not the most user-friendly Doctor, at least not at first. His three-year character growth, helped by his companions, hooked me. Let down several times with lousy episodes, but he was never less than outstanding as The Doctor.

4. Tom Baker (4th Doctor)

If I watched the original series before the new series, Tom Baker would undoubtedly be my favorite Doctorthough seven seasons was possibly a season too many.

5. Matt Smith (11th Doctor)

There is usually a short period when a new Doctor arrives in which you have to adjust. It took about 10 minutes before I adjusted to Matt Smith.

6. Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor)

A surprise for me - I didn't expect him to rank so high. Like David Tennant, McCoy gets extra points for having one of the greatest companions ever in Ace (played by Sophie Aldred).  The Seventh Doctor is a much better Doctor with Ace than without.

7. Christopher Eccleston (9th Doctor)

An excellent Doctor. If only he had stayed one more season.

8. William Hartnell (1st Doctor)

Simply wonderful! He paved the way for everybody who followed!

9. Colin Baker (6th Doctor)

His reign as The Doctor was problematic for many, but he had a Roger Moore quality to him that really worked. It took a friend of mine to really make me understand where this Doctor is coming from.

10. Paul McGann (8th Doctor)

Great in the 1996 movie and superb in the 2013 mini-episode "Night of the Doctor". Had he done more, I would have ranked him higher than Colin Baker.

11. Patrick Troughton (2nd Doctor)

I couldn't get much of a handle on him - too many missing episodes. But he was fun, likable and always humorous and possibly the most loving Doctor.

12 Jodie Whittaker (13th Doctor)

After nearly two years, the Thirteenth Doctor is is still somehow a work in progress. As with Peter Capaldi, she has to struggle with some pretty underwhelming stories, but she doesn't have Capaldi's gravitas that made him compelling even in some very bad episodes.

13. Peter Davison (5th Doctor) He was a nice guy but not much of a personality. His three years though were very entertaining overall with some wonderful stories.

14. John Hurt (The War Doctor) (unnumbered)

Not much to say except he was John Hurt, and that can't be a bad thing. I can't rank him any higher, though, because he was only in one episode.



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The Secret Vortex

"Wait. You're going to go back in time. How do you do that?"
"Extremely well."
- Mason Bennett and The Twelfth Doctor