Everyone has a favorite incarnation of the Doctor. Some people have two or three. It’s only natural to gravitate towards the peculiar quirks of one or two of the eleven versions of the Doctor who have traveled through the time vortex for almost 50 years.
Personally, I like most of the Doctors for different reasons (the Sixth Doctor is just creepy, if you ask me). Where does each incarnation fall on the spectrum? Well, read on, gentle reader, and find out for yourself.
11. Sixth Doctor
Remember the first time you watched Willy Wonka and realized that, despite the garish wardrobe and frizzy blond ‘fro, Gene Wilder’s candy tsar was a certifiable sociopath? I give you the Sixth Doctor. He looks ridiculous, but he was the most arrogant, petulant, and egoistic incarnation of the Time Lord to date.
10. Eighth Doctor
I really have nothing against the Doctor’s Byronic eighth incarnation–except that bit about the grabassery in the TARDIS. THERE IS NO GRABASSERY IN THE TARDIS! The Eighth Doctor’s position at #10 has more to do with a lack of familiarity. (Side note: I really should check out the Eighth Doctor audio dramas.)
9. First Doctor
Frail yet tough. Cantankerous yet fatherly. Brilliant yet forgetful. Everything about the Doctor’s first incarnation screams “cranky wizard” and, as such, I consider him one of the least interesting Doctors.
8. Fourth Doctor
Prior to 2005, if you asked your average American about Doctor Who, odds are the scarf-wearing Fourth Doctor would have been what they thought of. He’s often considered the most “alien” of the Doctors and has a certain bohemian quality about him. At times, I find him unnecessarily standoffish and, I’m afraid, a little dull.
7. Fifth Doctor
The youngest of the Doctor’s classic incarnations, there was a reason the Fifth Doctor wore an Edwardian cricket uniform: he was youthful and energetic. The Doctor’s fifth incarnation was also compassionate, sensitive, and vulnerable. Perhaps as a result of his youthful appearance, the Fifth Doctor viewed his companions as equals, rather than as assistants.
6. Ninth Doctor
Guilt-ridden and alone, the Doctor’s ninth incarnation was devoid of most of the personality quirks of his previous selves: no gaudy colors or anachronistic outfits for the Ninth Doctor. He could be quick to anger, but also had a self-deprecating sense of humor. This incarnation was grittier and more down-to-earth, making him the perfect Doctor to reintroduce the series to a new generation.
5. Tenth Doctor
The Doctor’s tenth incarnation started as a welcome change from the broodier Ninth Doctor. The Tenth Doctor was witty and talkative, friendly and easy-going, at least until he went into an emo nosedive towards the end of his life. But, when the Tenth Doctor was fun, he was a blast.
4. Third Doctor
The Third Doctor was more physically active than his previous two incarnations, going so far as using martial arts to disarm his opponents. Exiled to Earth, this incarnation of the Doctor was a dapper man of action, not unlike John Steed of The Avengers. The Third Doctor loved gadgets and automobiles, and had a genuinely paternal attitude towards his companions.
3. Eleventh Doctor
The Doctor’s eleventh incarnation is twitchy and daft. While no less brilliant than his previous selves, the Eleventh Doctor could easily get distracted by a cool hat or a shiny doorknob. Like his earlier incarnations, the Doctor’s goofy demeanor hides a dark side and he’s not above deceit or manipulation. The Eleventh Doctor may appear to be the youngest Doctor yet, but at times he carries himself like someone three times his age.
2. Second Doctor
The Doctor’s second incarnation was a goofy little clown in baggy pants, a crooked bow tie, and a Moe Howard haircut. The Second Doctor was a clever manipulator who used his bumbling behavior to lull his adversaries into a false sense of security. Also, unlike the First Doctor, whose main goal was escaping danger with his companions safely in tow, the Second Doctor was the first to decide to actively face evil: “There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought.”
1. Seventh Doctor
Maybe it’s the Scottish burr. Or the fact that his hat and umbrella make him look like a carnival barker. Or maybe it’s that question mark jumper. Whatever the reason, the Doctor’s seventh incarnation is, no doubt, my favorite. The Seventh Doctor was affable, charming, and a tad bumbling, but he could also be a manipulative, deceitful chess master, willing to lie to his companions without a second thought for the greater good.