Doctor Who: top 11 “other” Doctors

Cameron gives us the run-down on 11 other versions of the Doctor, featuring robots, Dream Lords, and more...

Warning: contains a major spoiler for The Name of the Doctor.

With the curtain-closing, hair-raising Doctor Who finale in the past and now but a fond memory, The Name of the Doctor threw up a new Doctor Who for us all to enjoy (and rampantly speculate about for the next six months). But this is not the first time fans have had to unexpectedly encounter a new, or “other” Doctor. Here’s my favourite eleven below (apologies to Richard Hurndall and all the Morbius Doctors, you just missed out). 

11. The Fatal Death Doctor

Okay, this is a slight cheat but if you want to know why he’s on the list, I’ll explain later. Steven Moffat penned a delightful Doctor Who mini-story for Comic Relief back in 1999; a ball of timey-wimey goodness with the usual fun Moffery. Starring Rowan Atkinson as The Doctor, The Curse of Fatal Death pitted the Time Lord, and his assistant played Julia Sawalha (who had previously turned down a role as companion in Who) against The Master (played with delicious monstrosity by Jonathan Pryce) and The Daleks. Atkinson’s portrayal, although light (as you would expect), is surprisingly good and makes up for the excesses of previous regenerations nicely. Of course, Atkinson would himself regenerate in the story into numerous familiar faces… 

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10. Robot Dr Who

This classic 1966 six-part Dalek story The Chase has a lot of memorable, not to mention fun moments (Dracula and his buddies, Empire State Building tomfoolery, for example) but perhaps the most interesting, and I’m speaking euphemistically here, is the appearance of Dalek creation, the Robot Dr Who (as was titled in the credits, don’t get angry!). Despite being played by “double” (and I use the word loosely) Edmund Warwick, the mechanical version of the Time Lord managed to fool his chums (perhaps because his voice was dubbed by William Hartnell) leaving trusty Ian Chesterton to nearly kill the real Doctor Who in a fight. Thankfully, Barbara was on hand to note the Robot’s gaffe of calling companion Vicki, “Susan” (who had left some time ago) thus restoring parity. 

Please Note: Other robot/android/doppleganger Doctors are available. 

9. Mawdryn

This wily fellow popped up in the Peter Davison 1983 four-parter, Mawdryn Undead. With his skull opened revealing a pinky bulbous and wiry brain, he stumbled aboard the TARDIS and convinced The Fifth Doctor’s fellow travellers Nysaa and Tegan that he was, in fact, The Doctor, merely regenerated. Mawdryn was travelling with fellow scientists who were seeking the secret of Time Lord regeneration, but had discovered, however, a life of the undead being unable to die. So, really, not The Doctor – but a Doctor wannabe. 

8. The Watcher

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“He was The Doctor all the time!” proclaimed smarty-pants Nyssa as this faded, ghost-like creeper merged with Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor and transformed the curly-headed, wide-teethed one into the much more pleasant and affable Fifth Doctor, as played by Peter Davison. The Watcher was an eerie figure that cast a huge shadow over the four-part swan song for Baker, Logopolis, and was an immense addition to the show’s oeuvre, suggesting that The Doctor can help his past self when it comes to regeneration. 

7. The Shalka Doctor

Shortly after the return of Doctor Who was announced in 2003, came this animated web series which had ditched Paul McGann as The Doctor and ploughed on with a Ninth Doctor, his Withnail & I co-star, Richard E. Grant. Celebrating the show’s 40th anniversary, Scream of the Shalka was made available on the official website (and it’s still there!) and had quite the cast; also featuring Derek Jacobi (as The Master no less, a few years before his proper small screen debut as the renegade Time Lord), Sophie Okonedo (who would also pop on telly as Liz Ten) and a little guy known as David Tennant. 

Now, due to the events of The Name of the Doctor, is it possible to retro-fit The Great Intelligence as an incarnation of everyone’s favourite Gallifreyan, albeit briefly? Probably not, but it’s fun game nonetheless. Interestingly, Scream of the Shalka gets a DVD release all to itself later this year. 

6. The Dalek Movies Dr.

Good old Peter Cushing starred as Dr. Who (yup, you read correctly) in the two fantastic Dalek movies from the mid-sixties, Dr. Who & the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150AD. But rather than being an alien, a wanderer in space and time, Cushing’s role was that of an Earth-based scientist who had built his own time-travel machine, TARDIS (they dropped the definite article, fact fans). He plays it for laughs, largely, in the debut but the Hammer actor is perfect in the brilliant sequel, putting in a performance that outshines a number that followed after him on television. 

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5. The Doctor/Donna

Or The Meta-Crisis Doctor, as some might say. This is what happens when your hand gets lopped off by a Sycorax on Christmas Day, said hand is kept in a reciprocal by a mysterious omni-sexual time agent and then returned to your TARDIS where it sits for a few adventures until it breaks open and bonds with a temp from Chiswick – the feisty human female, Donna Noble. And out of that fiery start came the genocidal maniac who wasn’t quite as compassionate as his original Tenth Doctor, but he could share his feelings with Rose Tyler, so we forgave him. Aw, the feels. 

4. The Next Doctor Doctor

Much was made of the 2008 Christmas Special and its “Next Doctor” David Morrissey, so much so that the actor himself played along with the thought that he might, in fact, be the new Doctor. Jackson Lake, as it turned out, had his mind fused with an Infostamp, containing information on The Doctor and his lives, in an encounter with the Cybermen in nineteenth century London. Morrissey was a fan’s dream, so perfect for the role (complete with archetypal, old-skool Doctor Who costume) – made so alive in his first doppleganger-esque meeting with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor as they brandished their “sonics” in the opening pre-titles sequence. One can still hope that the actor could make a return… 

3. The Dream Lord

To paraphrase Belloq from Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Dream Lord is a shadowy reflection of The Doctor. Golden Globe nominated actor Toby Jones lit up the screen as the trickster messing with the minds of The Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory in the cracking 2010 episode Amy’s Choice from Men Behaving Badly writer Simon Nye. As a scrunched up, more grotesque (but still bow-tie wearing) version of The Time Lord, the Dream Lord revelled in revealing the uncomfortable truth. Bizarrely, the little devil’s plan seem to be that he wanted to kill The Doctor which, we would assume, would have meant in his own demise. Excitingly, the end of the episode displayed that the Dream Lord was not defeated, and perhaps lying dormant until the next time some psychic pollen arrives in the TARDIS. 

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2.  The Valeyard

Talking of shadowy reflections, this guy was a huge figure during The Trial of a Time Lord (if you can sit through its sprawling fourteen episode epicness), The Valeyard was “an amalgamation of the darker side of the Doctor’s nature” sitting somewhere between his twelfth and final regeneration (according to The Doctor’s BFF, The Master). He took delight in goading and prodding himself during the tiresome trial but his plan to take the Doctor’s remaining regenerations (and also to destroy the Time Lords) failed, though he would survive to fight another day (hopefully). Bat-eared viewers will have noted that The Great Intelligence name-checked The Valeyard when show-downing with The Doctor on Trenzalore. 

1. Introducing John Hurt as…

… The Doctor. Having said that, only seconds before Matt Smith’s Doctor said that he wasn’t The Doctor, but confirmed the mystery man was “me”. The name of the Doctor is a promise, one which The Hurt Doctor, as we should probably start calling him, broke and remains skulking in the TARDIS as a dirty and possibly villainous secret. “What I did, I did without choice. In the name of peace and sanity,” he told his future/past self. But just what did he do? Destroy the Time Lords and the Daleks in the Time War? Fake documents to say he was half-human?? Go back in time and save Adric??? Whatever it is/was – I guess we’ll find out on the 23rd of November.

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