The best Dr Who

August 13th, 2013 at 4:15 pm by David Farrar

The Herald has the results of an online survey of whom readers thought was the best . The results are:

  1. Jon Pertwee
  2. David Tennant
  3. Tom Baker
  4. Matt Smith
  5. William Hartnell
  6. Christoper Eccleston
  7. Patrick Troughton
  8. Peter Davison
  9. Paul McGann
  10. Sylvester McCoy
  11. Colin Baker

My personal rankings would be

  1. Jon Pertwee
  2. Patrick Troughton
  3. David Tennant
  4. Matt Smith
  5. Tom Baker
  6. William Hartnell
  7. Peter Davison
  8. Paul McGann
  9. Christoper Eccleston
  10. Colin Baker
  11. Sylvester McCoy
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43 Responses to “The best Dr Who”

  1. thedavincimode (6,573 comments) says:

    :?

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  2. kowtow (7,846 comments) says:

    In Aotearoa it’s Dr Foo.

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  3. Evadne (85 comments) says:

    “This poll commits the ultimate sin of survey research – it uses a self-selecting sample.

    People choose to take part based on the topic. This means that the poll only represents the New Zealanders who feel strongly enough about the GCSB bill Doctor Who to take part in the poll.”

    Which, of course, is why the rankings are wrong. Peter Davison is the best.

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  4. graham (2,246 comments) says:

    Apparently the sixth doctor, Colin Baker, didn’t receive any votes in the survey. I wonder if that’s anything to do with people tuning in to watch Peri rather than the Doctor? :)

    Since watching the selection of old Doctor Who programs this year that Sky have been broadcasting, I have far more appreciation for the program now. Weirdly, I feel a bit let down by some of the new programs now, that just don’t seem to have quite the X-factor that many of the old ones did. Can’t put my finger on it exactly.

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  5. Rex Widerstrom (5,307 comments) says:

    When they introduced Malc… sorry, Peter Capaldi someone in that show said “It’s the doctor you grew up with”, which I think is broadly true.

    So even though I subsequently met Jon Pertwee (and was, to my eternal shame, as star-struck as any Belieber in a way I never was with any arguably more famous people I met subsequently, simply because I was standing next to Dr Who), for me it’s always going to be Tom Baker.

    Though hats off to both Eccleston and Tennant for acting chops. It’s weird to think of someone putting on a “received pronunciation” English accent (i.e. one that’s not regional) but when you hear Tennant speak naturally in his Scots brogue you realise just how well he managed it.

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  6. metcalph (1,394 comments) says:

    I’m suspicious at the relatively high ranking of Paul McGann considering that he only appeared in one episode which wasn’t all that great.

    But what is really needed is a ranked list of Doctor Who Companions.

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  7. Don the Kiwi (1,633 comments) says:

    Who gives a shit ?

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  8. metcalph (1,394 comments) says:

    Weirdly, I feel a bit let down by some of the new programs now, that just don’t seem to have quite the X-factor that many of the old ones did. Can’t put my finger on it exactly.

    Many David Tennant stories suffered from the bad writing habit of requiring emotional outbursts as a substitute for plot or drama. The other problem is that the newer stories normally take an episode to investigate a given situation and resolve it whereas the older ones in taking three or four episodes often had the haunting feel that is lacking in newer stories. Admittedly many of the older stories were bloated and could be safely pruned down to half their length without harm but the snappier writing discipline in the newer stories gives buzz without depth.

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  9. Evadne (85 comments) says:

    Metcalph – How’s this for starters?

    Wilfred, Brigadier, Leela, Rory, Donna, Romana, Captain Jack, Nyssa, Sarah Jane, Jamie, Rose, Clara, Susan, Amy, River, Martha, Peri, Tegan, Adric.

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  10. PaulL (5,961 comments) says:

    So DPF, you’re basically saying you like Patrick substantially more than NZ as a whole?

    What we need is a web site with pictures of the companions so I can remember them all properly. No doubt such a thing exists.

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  11. Samuel Smith (276 comments) says:

    Nerd alert.

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  12. Michael (898 comments) says:

    Christopher Eccleston, the bitter, damaged Doctor is my favourite. Then Peter Davidson, Tom Baker, Matt Smith, and David Tennant. I think Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy miss out because I don’t think they were shown on NZ TV. I recall it getting push around the time slots when Peter Davidson was the Doctor, and then skipping to the 25th Anniversary episode.

    Donna Noble is my favourite companion of all time, then Adric (I so wanted to be like him when I was 12).

    My favourite new monsters are the Empty Child and the Weeping Angels. The best ‘old’ monster in the new series is the manic Master played by John Simm.

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  13. SGA (922 comments) says:

    Rex Widerstrom (4,993) at 4:38 pm
    Though hats off to both Eccleston and Tennant for acting chops. It’s weird to think of someone putting on a “received pronunciation” English accent (i.e. one that’s not regional) but when you hear Tennant speak naturally in his Scots brogue you realise just how well he managed it.

    Rex – your comment reminded me of this. For those who haven’t seen it already -

    David Tennant is Catherine Tate’s new English teacher in a sketch performed for Comic Relief 2007.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxB1gB6K-2A

    I’m not a huge Tate fan (a little goes a long way), but I find this sketch fun.

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  14. Fentex (891 comments) says:

    I wish I could find a higher definition version of this picture;The Doctor’s companions.

    That list would seem to be a reflection of the best Doctor is the one you grew up, with the exception of Matt Smith. That’s incorrect of course, the best Doctor was Patrick Troughton.

    But I think it could have been Matt Smith if only he’d had the stories, I really liked his slightly fey nature but dislike the Doctor as Messiah theme that permeates recent series.

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  15. GPT1 (2,100 comments) says:

    Surprised that you would put Sylvester McCoy below Colin Baker. Agree on Jon Pertwee. Watching the repeats on UKTV has reminded me just how great he was. Tom Baker remains up there.

    Also as I have got older, for some reason, Peri has become a much more relevant companion…

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  16. GPT1 (2,100 comments) says:

    Sarah-Jane Smith still best companion.

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  17. Fletch (6,093 comments) says:

    I wish I could find a higher definition version of this picture;The Doctor’s companions.

    http://awesomenessmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/doctor-who-girls.jpg

    http://www.wallpaperno.com/TV/Doctor_Who/companion_doctor_who_1680x1050_wallpaper_1759/download_2560x1600

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  18. s.russell (1,578 comments) says:

    My views are like most shaped by the ones I grew up with, and I find the modern Doctor Who too frenetic and silly for my taste.

    But I am surprised at the low rankings given to Sylvester McCoy (and yes he was shown in NZ). I thought he was one of the best – along with Tom Baker and Patrick Troughton. That said, the first McCoy season suffered from some really poor writing and production, but the second and third seasons were terrific, featuring some great stories such as Silver Nemesis, Rememberance of the Daleks, Ghost Light, and The Curse of Fenric.

    I am also suprised by the kind words for Peter Davidson. I thought he would be good when he was named, but was really disappointed. I rank him second to last, ahead of Colin Baker.

    Pertwee was OK, but I thought him a fussy mother hen, and I am surprised he ranks No. 1. I would have guessed Tom Baker – the classic eccentric!

    To be fair to the actors, they were each helped or hampered by script quality and other factors. Colin Baker might heve been better if he had had better writers and producers.

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  19. Fletch (6,093 comments) says:

    …or the artist’s own page on Deviantart –

    http://mimi-na.deviantart.com/art/Doctor-s-Girls-Wallpaper-58513223

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  20. Fletch (6,093 comments) says:

    As far as the old Doctor Who, I really only remember Tom Baker and Peter Davidson, although there must have been others (Pertwee and Colin Baker) of my era. I really didn’t think I’d like each new one that came along (Tennent and Smith) but I find that I like them very much.

    One thing is for sure, I find the older version of the theme song actually scarier.

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  21. cha (3,823 comments) says:

    The original Doctor Who theme by Ron Grainer, arranged and produced by the marvellous Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

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  22. Longknives (4,620 comments) says:

    “But what is really needed is a ranked list of Doctor Who Companions.”

    http://www.toplessrobot.com/2010/07/the_10_hottest_doctor_who_companions.php

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  23. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Peter Davison needs expunging horrible, it might have the tennis/cricket look

    Tennant and then Baker the best

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  24. s.russell (1,578 comments) says:

    McCoy also had some great lines:

    “I loathe bus stations. Terrible places. Full of lost luggage and souls.”

    “Anybody remotely interesting is mad, in some way or another.”

    The Doctor: I don’t suppose you’ve completely ignored my instructions and secretly prepared any Nitro-9, have you?
    Ace: What if I had?
    The Doctor: And naturally, you wouldn’t do anything so insanely dangerous as to carry it around with you, would you?
    Ace: Of course not. I’m a good girl and do what I’m told.
    The Doctor: Excellent. Blow up that vehicle.

    The Doctor: Your species [humans] has the most amazing capacity for self-deception, matched only by its ingenuity when trying to destroy itself.

    [The Doctor explains the history of the Hand of Omega.]
    The Doctor: It’s called that because Time Lords have an infinite capacity for pretension.
    Ace: Noticed that.

    Davros: The Daleks shall become Lords of Time! We shall become all-
    [The Doctor finishes his sentence.]
    The Doctor: Powerful! Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! UNIMAGINABLE POWER! UNLIMITED RICE PUDDING! ET CETERA, ET CETERA!

    “There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do.”

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  25. Longknives (4,620 comments) says:

    And Tom Baker is my No 1 Doctor..
    “Would you like a Jelly Baby?”

    *Special mention to the criminally underrated Eccleston..(Matt Smith wouldn’t be in my top ten- River Song? Bleeuurgh.. )

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  26. Fletch (6,093 comments) says:

    In case you missed it, here is the Children In Need special of Doctor Who where (due to some time thing) the Davison and Tennant Doctors meet.

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  27. Fletch (6,093 comments) says:

    Some of the Tom Baker stories were quite humorous – ghost written by Douglas Adams of Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy fame.

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  28. Left Right and Centre (2,861 comments) says:

    I like Matt Smith and David Tennant. So often times something is brought back and they’ve got to make it suck compared to the old version. That didn’t happen with those two- they’re really, really bloody good. As good as the likes of Tom Baker and John Pertwee. Comparing different eras is always tricky.. we’re talking up to 30-40 years.

    Poor old John Pertwee… his incarnation was stuck on Earth so that was a bit boring.

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  29. adze (1,933 comments) says:

    Tom Baker for me. John Pertwee I could never take seriously because of his “Venusian Karate” (snort).

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  30. Michael (898 comments) says:

    Fletch – what is especially interesting is that they are also related (by marriage) – Tennant married Davison’s daughter. More trivia, Tennant and Davison are both stage names (Real surnames are McDonald and Moffett). Even more trivia, Georgia Moffett (Tennant’s wife/Davison’s daughter) played the Doctor’s daughter in the episode “The Doctor’s Daughter”.

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  31. Fletch (6,093 comments) says:

    I remember that Pertwee’s Doctor also drove around in a vintage car that he called “Bessie”.
    Thinking back, that is kind of weird…

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  32. Ryan Sproull (7,055 comments) says:

    Hm. Let’s see.

    1. Tom Baker. Obviously. What the hell is wrong with you.
    2. Jon Pertwee.
    3. David Tennant.
    4. Matt Smith.
    5. Patrick Troughton.
    6. William Hartnell.
    7. Peter Davison.
    8. Sylvester McCoy.
    9. Colin Baker.
    10. Paul McGann.
    11. Christopher Eccleston. Yes, lower than the guy who only existed for one made-for-TV movie/backdoor pilot attempt.

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  33. SHG (367 comments) says:

    My Doctor will always be Tom Baker. Like the man said, obviously, what the hell is wrong with you.

    As far as pairings go I’d put Tennant and Tate right up there next to Baker and Sladen.

    From the old days my fave stories are mainly Baker; Pyramids of Mars, Ark in Space, Deadly Assassin, that vintage, with some older Pertwee stories like Green Death and Sea Devils thrown in.

    Of the new batch my faves would be eps like Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace (both Tennant stories by Moffat), Waters of Mars (Tennant by Davies), The Beast Below (Smith by Moffat) and The Doctor’s Wife (Smith by Gaiman).

    I think Smith has been brilliant as Doctor Eleven, but he’s had to work really hard with what have been, imho, lacklustre scripts during the Moffat-produced era.

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  34. ChardonnayGuy (1,168 comments) says:

    Mine is:

    1. David Tennant
    2. Peter Davison
    3. Sylvester McCoy
    4. Chris Eccleston
    5. Tom Baker
    6. Matt Smith
    7. Patrick Troughton
    8. Paul McGann
    9. Colin Baker
    10. William Hartnell
    11. Jon Pertwee

    McCoy rates highly in my version because of the excellent quality of some of his later scripts and because he doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Hartnell was kidzone and so was Pertwee, except for some individual serials like “Green Death”, “Day of the Daleks” and “Inferno.”

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  35. SHG (367 comments) says:

    Metcalph, Evadene:

    Sarah Jane, obviously, what the hell is wrong with you
    Donna
    Romana
    Rose
    Captain Jack
    The Ponds (Amy started off strong but devolved into a plot device to be rescued)
    Wilfred
    Leela
    River
    Jo
    …all the others, after this point it’s kinda pointless.

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  36. SHG (367 comments) says:

    Rex W said:

    It’s weird to think of someone putting on a “received pronunciation” English accent (i.e. one that’s not regional) but when you hear Tennant speak naturally in his Scots brogue you realise just how well he managed it.

    Nah, Tennant put on something far more Estuary than RP. If you listen to Baker’s plummy vowels and rolled Rs and then listen to Tennant they’re miles apart.

    IIRC this was the only time in his tenure as Doctor that Tennant actually got to speak without putting on an accent:

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  37. E. Campbell (90 comments) says:

    Personally, I’m surprised at how well William Hartnell fared in the rankings given how creaky, bloated and dated those stories were. “Hmmm, hmmm, yes yes!!”

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  38. damocles (83 comments) says:

    IMHO, the most interesting aspect of the Herald Dr Who poll is what it says about the age group of the Herald Online readers .. more Gen Xers than any other demographic, given the dominance of Pertwee as the doctor they grew up with.

    Put the same survey to Herald print readers and they’d be much more likely to opt for William Hartnell … or even Doctor Paul.

    (And if you have to ask, you’re too young).

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  39. SHG (367 comments) says:

    Pertwee left the show in 1974, so anyone voting for him is a sixties child.

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  40. Inky_the_Red (741 comments) says:

    For me

    1. Patrick Troughton
    2. Tom Baker
    3. Jon Pertwee
    4. David Tennant
    5. Matt Smith
    6. William Hartnell
    7. Chris Eccleston
    8. Colin Baker
    9. Peter Davison
    10. Sylvester McCoy
    11. Paul McGann

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  41. Evadne (85 comments) says:

    SHG & Damocles: Pertwee lovers don’t have to be 60′s children – The Pertwee, Baker episodes were all re-run on NZ TV during the early-mid eighties, alongside Davison. (Shown after school, three times a week).

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  42. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    Here is the story of why Colin Baker got the shaft:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUF5EAw63zk

    I thought the reboot was queer as. Turns out that even the classic shows had a big gay following “inside” the show as well as out.

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  43. SHG (367 comments) says:

    Russell T Davies, the man who made the reboot happen and wrote most of the first and second series, is as gay as an extremely gay thing. The fact that he also created and wrote “Queer As Folk” might have been a bit of a giveaway.

    I thought the queerness of the reboot under Davies was awesome. The Jack Harkness character would never have happened under a straight male showrunner.

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