Doctor Who’s ten best uses of facial hair

To mark the 49th anniversary of Doctor Who's first broadcast and the month of Movember, here are 10 very fine examples of Who facial hair…

Every November, a wave of free-flowing upper lip growth sprouts across the globe with the spread of Movember, a month of extreme moustache growing in the name of men’s health. There have been many masterful moustaches in geekdom, and Doctor Who alone boasts a bearded botanical garden worthy of Kew. To mark the 49th anniversary of Who‘s first ever broadcast then, here are but ten of the best…

10. The Doctor 

In Day of the Moon, Matt Smith makes a Doctor Who first when, having been imprisoned in Area 51 for some ungodly span, sprouts a beard that would do any hippie proud. This raises a huge existential question of how much time previous Doctors spent grooming themselves. For nearly fifty years, the Doctor never so much as sported even two o’clock shadow, save for Tom Baker’s impressive sideburns. It’s possible the effects of the TARDIS do much to keep its crew looking youthful – as evidenced with the disappearing beard of Steven (Peter Purves), or non-beards of everyone from Adric to Captain Jack.

9. Wyatt Earp (The Gunfighters

Everyone sported wicked facial hair back in the Wild West, clearly a time in which Movember spanned the whole year and much thought was given to the health of one’s prostate gland and/or ten gallon hat. See also: A Town Called Mercy.

8. Li H’sen Chang 

If you can get past the somewhat racist depiction of a Chinese man by a Caucasian actor, John Bennett’s Chang sports a pretty nifty goatee, particularly when his eyes are flashing hypnotic beams of white light (powered by either Weng-Chiang or a night at the opium den, still unclear).

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7. Sabalom Glitz 

Tony Selby’s sleazy scam artist Glitz must have some time on his hands to constantly razor in the stripes on his sideburns with such precision. This is the second character on the list with way-cool facial hair from a Robert Holmes story, and guess who’s next…

6. Milo Clancey 

You either dig The Space Pirates or you don’t, and part of that love/hatred comes down to the character of intergalactic prospector Milo Clancey. It’s not just the moustache you love or loathe, but the checkered shirt, bad attempt at a southern drawl, and the eyebrows that migrate across poor Gordon Gostelow’s forehead. Eat your heart out, Yosemite Sam!

5. Theodore Maxtible 

In Evil of the Daleks, Marius Goring sports enough facial hair for three supporting characters. Throw in his crazed eyes, a lust for turning metal into gold, and a shock of wild head-hair, and you’ve got a man more terrifying than the entire army of daleks he’s working for.

4. The Sensorites 

With their white, wispy beards, this race of eyeless telepaths menaced William Hartnell’s first season. They’re like the love children of Santa Claus and the Ood, itself a thought far more terrifying than anything the Sensorites ever did on television.

3. The Brigadier 

Sure, the stache ain’t real. But it suits Nicholas Courtney so well that whenever he’s without it (Inferno, Mawdryn Undead), its absence is alarming.

2. The Master 

There’s a notable regression in the use of facial hair as we move through incarnations of the renegade Time Lord. Roger Delgado was clearly the goatee’s undisputed Master. Anthony Ainley’s beard lacked his predecessor’s malicious moustachioed powers, and the new series scraps the goat altogether. The big question: now that we’ve used up both the Brig and Master, who could possibly be left for the number one spot?

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1. Tom Selleck 

Just kidding! But we’re pleased you scrolled down this far.

1. The War Chief 

Possibly an influence on Wes Bentley’s facial hair as Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games, no one’s face in the series – new or classic – was ever as finely manicured as this.

This author is so impressed with Edward Brayshaw’s intergalactic styles that he’s decided to try it out for Movember himself. Please enjoy Jeff’s journey, and feel free to donate to a great cause here (and check out his scary new middle grade novel here). 

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