Doctor Who: Kids in the TARDIS

TARDIS or flying nursery? You decide, as we check out the average age of Doctor Who casts throughout the years...

Doctor Who through the (mostly pretty young) ages...

With all of the recent publicity granted to Matt Smith and Karen Gillan for being such very young time travellers, it’s time for Den of Geek to look at the various ages of the various TARDIS crews over the years.

The Youngsters

In First Place:

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In early 1981, the TARDIS crew consisted of the Fifth Doctor (played by the 29 year-old Peter Davison), Tegan (played by the 24 year-old Janet Fielding), Nyssa (played by the 19 year-old Sarah Sutton), and Adric (played by the 19-year old Matthew Waterhouse). This team of adolescents and undergraduates crewed the TARDIS from the time of the Fourth Doctor’s regeneration in February 1981 through to Adric’s death in March of the following year. Blame it in the hormones. Or the dislike of both fans and public alike. Whichever, the average age of this TARDIS crew upon its inception was just 23 years old. 

In Second Place:

Yes, it’s Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, who will be 27 around the time of his first episodes, and Karen Gillan, who will be somewhere between 21 and 22. Average age of 24 here.

In Third Place:

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Yes, it’s the Fifth Doctor and another bunch of youngsters. Davison was 32 at the end of his tenure, but ‘Tiny Tot’ Turlough and ‘Playground’ Peri Brown were just 22 and 19 respectively. Average age of just 25 here in February and March 1984.

In Fourth Place:

An age of just over 25 is the average for, yes you guessed it, Messers Who, Jovanka, Turlough and of-Traken when they manned the TARDIS from the February of 1983.

In Fifth Place:

Davison’s teen-o-thon continued in the time between the death of Adric and the near death of the Doctor at the hands of Turlough in March 1982 – February 1983. An average age of 25 and a half this time, for the 30 year-old Doc and 25 and 20 year-old “companions”. Yeah right. He’d still be sacked if they were his students.

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In Sixth Place:

Fifth Doctor and Peri in Caves of Androzani notched up an average age of 26.

In Seventh Place:

Late 26 for the Tegan and Turlough accompanied Fifth Doctor.

In Eighth Place:

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The positively ancient Tom Baker was 47 when he was muttering about “those meddling kids” Tegan (24), Nyssa (19) and Adric (19). He jumped off Jodrell Bank rather than be friends with them. Says a lot really. Average age 27.

In Ninth Place:

Old Man Chris was 41 when he dropped the kids – Rose and Adam, both 22, off at school in ‘The Long Game’ and Dalek, showing off an average age of 28.

In Tenth Place:

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Tennant was 35 and Rose was 23. Indecent. Still, at least it wasn’t his daughter. Average age 28 at the start of their journeys.

Dishonourable mentions…go to the Doctor/Ben/Polly/Jamie line-up with an average age of 29, the same age as the brief Tennant/Rose/Mickey crew and the Doctor/Jamie/Victoria line-up from mid-1967.

As for the oldest crew, that goes for “This body’s wearing a bit thin” Hartnell when he travelled alone with Peter Purves in early 1966. They were 58 and 27, respectively. They probably wore slippers and smoked pipes or something.

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Coming soon…the Eleventh Doctor sneaks into detention to pick up his latest companion, before heading off to the nursery, and finally accompanies a midwife to her latest job in order to pick up his final companion.

The Doctor is over 900 years old.

Most images are from the excellent Doctor Who image archive.