Are you or your teens giant Doctor Who fans but can’t afford the fees for the right to the episodes? Are your teens like mine and can’t afford to pay for the cable upcharge or streaming options to get BBC America to watch the newest episodes, and are stuck waiting for them to show on PBS?
Why not have a Doctor but NOT the Doctor marathon? See if your teens can spot their favorite Doctor as NOT the Doctor in the movies below!
None of these movies were vetted through any umbrella licensing company at time of posting. Please check with your umbrella licence vendor you contract with to show movies publicly so as not to get in trouble.
Author’s Note: I originally wrote this for Teen Librarian Toolbox as Reel Thoughts: Can You Spot the Doctor Out of the TARDIS. It was published on July 12, 2013, and was taken down months later by that blog’s owner. For this post, have updated it to reflect more recent appearances and additional Doctors.
Peter Capaldi is Scottish, so the accent he’s using as the Doctor may well be his own, and all the others we see him using everywhere else are ones he puts on, which just adds to my admiration of the man. He’s got a really hard act to follow for all the Doctor Who fans mourning over Matt Smith, but I think he’s going to be excellent. Things that you can see him in:
- The Musketters on BBC
- World War Z
- Dangerous Liaisons
- The Fifth Estate
Matt Smith is the youngest actor to play the Doctor on record so far, and he gave viewers quiet a run with his companions Amy and Rory, and then Clara. We saw him as the playful doctor, then as The Doctor Who Forgot in the anniversary special. His penchant for bowties and fezes made them hugely popular around the world, and his influence can be seen in teens and tweens everywhere. His projects include Lost River (working US title How to Catch a Monster) and Terminator: Genisys with Jai Courtney (Divergent) as John Connor and Emilia Clark (Game of Thrones) as Sarah Connor.
David Tennant was inspired to become an actor by his love for Doctor Who, and in a weird twist of fate ended up marrying the daughter of his favorite Doctor. Having done a lot of voicework as well as stagework before, his Doctor’s style of overcoat and sneakers had everyone talking. Other things he’s been in include:
- How to Train Your Dragon 1 & 2
- Pirates! Band of Misfits
- Fright Night
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Broadchurch (minseries)
Christopher Eccleston is my favorite doctor- he’s the one that had to bridge the gap between the previous Doctors and the new reboot, and had to get fans back onboard, and draw in the new watchers. And he did it fabulously. He’s the one who’s Doctor decided that he was a coward any day instead of a destroyer, and completely loves humans to pieces, even while insulting them at times. He was the Doctor for one season, but he should get complete credit for the success of the “new” reboot. He’s brought to life roles in:
- Thor: The Dark Worlds
- GI Joe: Rise of Cobra
- The Others
- Gone in 60 Seconds
- Unfinished Song
John Hurt caused quite a stir when he showed up as the nebulous person that the Doctor wouldn’t acknowledge- rumors flew that he was the 12th doctor, the new Master, and everything else. When we finally learned he was the “War” Doctor, the one who ended the Time War, fans were both crying for him and puzzled by how everything fits together- if he’s a “Doctor” what number is he? And what does that mean for the legend of only 12 reincarnations? Whatever it does mean, I loved his portrayal of the Doctor struggling with the decision of what to do. You can find him in a number of other places, including:
- The Harry Potter movies (oh, crossing the streams with David Tennant!)
- King Ralph
- V is for Vendetta
Paul McGann was the last Doctor before the reboot. The only Doctor to have a movie special only, the 7th Doctor is taking the Master back to their homeworld when the Master sabotages the TARDIS and crashes it into San Fransico, 1999. Shooting the Doctor as he makes his escape, the Master takes over a paramedic’s body- only to realize he needs a time lord’s instead. Meanwhile, the 7th Doctor is regenerating, and can’t remember what is going on- can he save mankind and himself from the Master before it’s too late? You can also find him in:
- Alien 3
- Queen of the Damned
- Empire of the Sun
- The Three Musketeers
Known for his questions mark attire and walking stick, Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor has the most dramatic change in personality we see so far. The writing starts with him joking and laughing, then pulling in and plotting and taking out whole swaths of his enemies- something that really wasn’t seen before. His attire shifted with the attitude as well. There’s a wonderful quote in the episode The Pandorica Opens (Matt Smith’s time, not McCoy’s) where River Song says, “I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always end up to be him.” Showing that life follows the fairy tales sometimes, you can fine McCoy as Radagast the Brown Wizard in The Hobbit film series, as well as three movies to be released in 2015.
Peter Davison, the 5th Doctor, was born David Moffet, and happens to now be the father-in-law of David Tennant. He started playing the Fifth Doctor at age 29 (then the youngest Doctor) and held that record for thirty years until Matt Smith was cast. Davison starred in Black Beauty, and has been a staple in televisions series, including All Creatures Great and Small and the currently running Law and Order:UK.
The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, was known for his gigantic scarf (which makes appearances in the current series on UNIT scientist Osgood) that is popular around the world with teens and adults alike. His Doctor lasted for seven seasons, currently holding the record for the longest playing Doctor on record. He also had a cameo as the Curator in the 50th anniversary special with Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor, giving Smith’s Doctor the possible true name of the Gallyfryian painting. He can also be seen portraying Sherlock Holmes in The Hounds of the Baskervilles, and in the 2000 film Dungeons and Dragons.
Jon Pertee, the third Doctor, died in 1996 but had a long acting career that included three years as the Doctor. Including voice over work, he can be found in a variety of children’s productions, as well as It’s a Wonderful World and A Strange Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor, I think had the hardest job of them all. He was the first “regeneration” and had to convince audiences who had fallen in with the original Doctor Who that he was the same alien doctor they loved, but completely different with different temperaments and a different face. He did it wonderfully, and was able to pave the way for the distinguished line of actors to come after him. You can see him in a variety of television series, as well as Sinbad and the Tiger, The Omen, and Jason and the Argonauts.