"Doctor Who" will return to BBC America this Saturday, September 1 for the seventh season of the revived series. Newer fans of "Doctor Who" were likely introduced to the franchise via the current series, which debuted in 2005 and featured Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor. But there were eight actors who have officially portrayed the Doctor before Eccleston and two who came later.
The Doctor's ability to regenerate himself a new body and a new personality upon his death is part of the engine that has allowed "Doctor Who" to thrive for nearly 50 years. Every fan of the show has their favorite Doctor… and it is usually the first Doctor that they saw. It's an eternal debate among "Doctor Who" fans. But rather than tell you who our favorite Doctors are, we're turning the decision over to you.
On the far right of this page, you'll see a poll that allows you to vote which Doctor is the best. The results will be announced this Saturday, before the North American debut of "Doctor Who" season 7.
UPDATE: Saturday, September 1
The results of the poll are in! But feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comment section below!
The Eleventh Doctor
Matt Smith is our incumbent Doctor, who is about to start his third season in the title role. Smith also recently committed to an additional season of "Doctor Who," so he's not leaving anytime soon.
The Tenth Doctor
Among the Doctors of the modern era, David Tennant may be the most popular. And in all honesty, he's probably the front runner to win this poll.
The Ninth Doctor
Christopher Eccleston definitely has a following for his more aggressive incarnation of the Doctor, who kicked off the current "Doctor Who" series. The Ninth Doctor was fun to watch, but unfortunately, he only stuck around for a single season.
The Eighth Doctor
Paul McGann only got one chance to play the Doctor on television in the "Doctor Who" TV movie, although he did reprise his role for a few "Doctor Who" audio dramas. The Eighth Doctor is also the only incarnation whose death remains a mystery.
The Seventh Doctor
Sylvester McCoy was the last Doctor of the original "Doctor Who" series, who also briefly returned for the TV movie. The Seventh Doctor was more manipulative and secretive than his previous six incarnations. And he wasn't above making himself look foolish to trick his enemies into letting their guard down.
The Sixth Doctor
Colin Baker's Doctor was sometimes more notable for his wild costume, which some fans deride as the Doctor's "Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." But the Sixth Doctor was characterized by his unpredictable mood swings and his sometimes abrasive ego.
The Fifth Doctor
Peter Davison's Doctor was perhaps his most vulnerable and courageous incarnation. However, the Fifth Doctor could also be plagued by indecision, guilt and doubt. This Doctor had a heavy heart (or hearts), and he was perhaps a better Time Lord for it.
The Fourth Doctor
If there's anyone who can challenge Tennant's supremacy on this poll, it's Tom Baker's beloved Fourth Doctor. As the only actor to portray the Doctor on TV for seven years, Baker's incarnation of the Doctor defined the character for a generation and beyond. Every actor who came after Baker has had to live in the shadow of his Doctor.
The Third Doctor
Jon Pertwee's Doctor is sometimes forgotten or overlooked, but his incarnation may have spent more time on Earth than any of his other selves as a result of being exiled by the Time Lords. Because of this, the Third Doctor seemed to have more fully developed friendships and relationships with his companions and UNIT colleagues. This Doctor was also strong enough to subdue some of his more violent enemies with a single blow.
The Second Doctor
Patrick Troughton's Doctor was more of a trickster character than most of his other incarnations. The Second Doctor hid his intellect beneath the guise of a fool and he even showed an occasional flare for manipulating those around him.
The First Doctor
As far as we know, William Hartnell's Doctor was his very first incarnation… although he was already incredibly elderly by the time viewers first met the Doctor in 1963. Back then, the Doctor was more of a grandfatherly wizard-like figure rather than the increasingly younger Doctors that we're used to. But without the charms of the First Doctor, this adventure would have been over a long time ago.