back to article Doctor Who returns to our screens next week – so, WHO is the worst Time Lord of them all?

Perhaps 13 is unlucky for some. That is, if you decide that the current Time Lord played by Peter Capaldi – the man who became a household name as shouty, potty-mouthed Malcolm Tucker – is the worst Doctor of all time. And anyway, should one describe the bovver-booted Scot as number 13? After all, John Hurt was known as the …

Seems like

From the comments on here the problem is less with the actual Doctor and more with the people behind the scenes.

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I promise I am not just being contrarian. I think Tom Baker's was the worst. Tom Baker is a great charismatic person - but he is Tom Baker. He played Tom Baker not the Doctor.

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Holmes

Baker's Doesn't

"...I promise I am not just being contrarian. I think Tom Baker's was the worst. Tom Baker is a great charismatic person - but he is Tom Baker. He played Tom Baker not the Doctor..."

As I recall it, Tom Baker was pretty much unknown [at least to us kids] before playing Dr. Who. So it may be fairer to say that his stereotyping/typecasting has happened subsequent to that. As he was so larger-than-life as Dr. Who, everyone employing him since then is probably asking him to play <whatever part> in a similar fashion.

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Re: stereotyping/typecasting has happened subsequent to that

Quite.

For many years Baker was quite bitter about the whole thing. He couldn't get cast as anything BUT another Dr. Who type character. It is why they pulled footage from old shoots to trap him in some sort of anomaly in The Five Doctors. He refused to come in to shoot new scenes lest he become even more trapped in the role.

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Worst Timelord?

Well of course if one were to answer the question posed, the worst Timelord would have to be Paul Jericho - "No, Not the Mind Probe" (and he was lucky it was his mind they wanted to probe.

Of course the Timelord who came to warn JP that the Master was on Earth at the beginning of Terror of the Autons was a bit rubbish too.

I am not sure if Andred counts, is a guard captain of the Chancellery Guard a Timelord or just a Gallifreyan?

I suspect that the question probably should be enquiring as to who is your least favourite DOCTOR, in which case I would have to insist it was the Very Junior Mr Popplewick.

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Anonymous Coward

Just has to be Pertwee

Played the part like a complete clown. Didn't like his Doctor then and still don't.

Just hope the new series manages to get away from thr recent overburden of very obvious man-in-a-rubber-suit aliens

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Re: Just has to be Pertwee

Yeah I gather there just blokes in skin tight spandex with reflective skeletal balls with which to fix CGI Monsters with now.

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Other Time Lords are also available...

I'm surprised we've got this far in the discussion without a mention of the Minister of Chance.

http://www.radiostatic.co.uk/

The title character is loosely based on a character from the BBC's early "webcast" series "Death Comes to Time", but played by Julian Wadham instead of Stephen Fry.

If you're fed up with bad scripts in Who, give this a go. Imagine a Time Lord with no TARDIS, no sonic screwdriver and a companion who keeps screaming "TOSSER !!" at him - sort of like the old-school Doctors who had to *think* their way out of trouble without having convenient plot devices to save their skins.

This was crowd-funded, but the first series is now available for free on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-minister-of-chance/id496483209

(There was an official MP3 version up on SoundCloud, but I can't seem to find it now)

A second series is in development, and they're looking for funding for a film version.

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I thought Doctor Who was going to come back again but I fear we we in for another series of "The Adventures of Clara and Her Time Travelling Companion".

My favourites by the way are Baker, Ecclestone and Tennant.

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Pertwee grows on you, and no one palyed the Master like Roger Delgado.

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Roger Delgado was a fantastic villain - charming, erudite and thoroughly untrustworthy.

The latest reincarnations have been less menancing and more 'care-in-the-communty' psychotic. I like to think some people are just very very bad without having to give them a mental illness to justify their lack of compassion. Delgado glowered. Simm girned.

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The Real McCoy

Poor old Seven had no chance - on telly at least. Saddled with Bonnie Langford's Mel Bush for starters after Six had a lucky escape from her carrot juice regimes and then moving on to Sophie Aldred's Ace (don't get me wrong, I like Sophie Aldred, but Ace was just awful), and coupled with some of the worst stories ever associated with the Timelord (Delta and the Bannermen, The Happiness Patrol, Silver Nemesis, Dragonfire... I could go on...), Seven's tenure seemed like a calculated attempt to kill the show off for ever.

Needless to say, I despised Seven.

That said, some of the Big Finish audio plays featuring Seven have been superb - the Klein trilogy from 2010 (A Thousand Tiny Wings, Survival of the Fittest and The Architects of History) being a great example. I've found myself looking forward to Seven's stories more and more - even Ace has turned into a decent character (especially when played off against Philip Oliver's Hex).

I still can't stomach Bonnie Langford though.

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Re: The Real McCoy

Some of the best stories ever?

Remembrance of the Daleks

Ghostlight

The Curse of Fenric

Survival

All a matter of taste admittedly. Viewed in a sympathetic way, Survival was the template for NuWho.

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Meh

John - Wurzell Gummage - Pertwee

Played the whole thing as himself, couldn't act his way out of a paper bag.

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MJI
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Re: John - Wurzell Gummage - Pertwee

Jon please not John

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Defence of Colin Baker

I really liked where he tried to take the character. Sure he was still quirky (and was made to wear a fucking stupid suit by the Beeb) but he was also a bit ruthless when needed and other-worldly. In some ways the only Dr to try to hark back to Hartnell (vaguely.)

Unfortunately this was, in-the-main, the nadir of the beeb's effort towards Dr Who. There were a few good serials but most were fucking terrible :) Not really Colin's fault though.

Same with Sylvester but personally I wasn't as interested in the new direction of the character. Mostly clowny but with a subtle darkness underneath. Mmm, interesting but subtlety can get missed on a kids show.

Anyway, I voted for Eccleston. Just didn't strike me as Dr Who. Might have voted for Smith but I've slept through so many of his eps I don't really know.

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Colin Baker, by a mile.

I'm gonna go against many people and say the McCoy was a really good Doctor. He's definitely in the top half. Yes there were some crappy stories (especially in his first season), but there were some good ones as well (I really liked Silver Nemesis, Battlefield, Remembrance, Fenric, Survival).

Colin Baker, though... ugh.

From the old series:

Hartnell: grumpy old man

Troughton: bit of a clown, flighty, panics

Pertwee: action man, "snazzy" dresser, kindly gentleman

Tom Baker (my favourite): joker, tried to be mysterious

Davison: weak, always a step behind

Colin Baker: arrogant arsehole, worst Doctor evuh

McCoy: brough some sense of fun back, had some good and _awful_ scripts

McGann... I try to forget that film.

Modern Who...

Eccleston: a good way to reboot. Chipper, not too serious, dynamic

Tennant: started off a little too wild and short-attention-span but settled down. In the end I think I liked him more than Eccleston.

Smith: started far too young and was far too weak; too many echoes of Tennant. But grew into the role.

Capaldi: grumpy old arsehole. Not liking him, so far.

Now I'm hoping this upcoming series will be better. I think there's potential, but so far he's the worst of the new Doctors and possibly the second worst Doctor thus far.

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Re: Colin Baker, by a mile.

Capaldi: grumpy old arsehole in a zimmer frame.

Maybe the writers will work out how to script around a near pensioner actor, last season felt so slow and static. Clara is the only thing holding it together right now, much like the semi clad eye-candy did in the Davison and Baker days. Which is very sad :(

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Bah!

Peter Cushing was the worst doctor. Like all the other "terrible Doctors", mostly because of the scripts he had to work with.

But somehow he didn't make your poll.

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I'm definitely in the minority

I couldn't stand Jon Pertwee, the foppish clothes, the ridiculous car, and worst of all being stuck on Earth, 70s UK FFS I was living it I didn't need to see it on TV as a SF drama. Colin Baker was next worse and Tom Baker by far and away the best, with Troughton coming in second. Not keen on Capaldi, but I think a lot of that is to do with the irritating assistant. Next Doctor, Sanjeev Kohli as his Still Game character.

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Re: I'm definitely in the minority

Not saying this to change your mind, you didn't like it, fair enough.

From a behind-the-scene's viewpoint, the first Jon Pertwee series saved Doctor Who at the time. Ratings had been falling and costs of alien world sets and costumes were high. For similar reasons to Ecclestone series making a success of it coming back. The "grounding" with contemporary earth made it cheaper to produce and gave the audience something to relate to.

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I wanted to vote for "every one since John Pertwee" as I am a gentleman of a certain age. I don't even know what this modern toss they turn out today is supposed to be.

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Incompatibility!

How can John McAfee be in the poll for next Doctor, let alone actually (currently - hoping for an outbreak of sanity here, guys) in the lead!? One of the core character traits of the Doctor is his never using a gun, whereas John, by all accounts, considers them the solution to all problems.

Now, John McAfee as the Master... yes, he's got that air of fun and hedonism that sucks you in until the ultimate plan is revealed is unredeemable evil, plus the capricious, random acts of violence.

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Re: Incompatibility!

"One of the core character traits of the Doctor is his never using a gun"

oh, the Doctor uses them from time to time

Talons of Weng Chiang - against giant rat

Horror of Fang Rock - improvised from a rocket launcher

Invasion of Time - demat gun

Earthshock

Resurrection of the Daleks

Attack of the Cybermen

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Re: Incompatibility!

No to mention Pertwee, who guns down Ogrons with relish in "Day of the Daleks".

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Just my tuppenny spanner, but

In my experience, every new doctor who has been the worst ever, at least for the first series. The writers are still doing scripts for his predecessor, and the audience is still thinking 'Oh, he's not as good as x, is he?'

I think the exception was Eccleston. We'd been waiting so long, we'd have been happyif he was played by a one legged kezbian midget with a cleft palate.

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Eccleston

Being a northerner I liked that he wasnt default posh bloke. And he can certainly act. Just wish he didnt have his head up his arse about it.

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Re: Eccleston

I can understand ecclestons point of view though. He desperately wants his carreer not to be just associated with his one year stint on a BBC sci-fi show. He want's to be recognized as a good actor. not just as a good Doctor Who. And given the carreers of many of the previous doctors he DOES run the risk of forever being associated with just that one role.

On top of that he didn't exactly leave on the best of terms with the production team from what I understand.

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Facepalm

A MAJOR flaw in the poll

Whenever you talk about who will be the next Who, you HAVE to mention Joanna Lumley!!!

BTW, it would have been interesting to see how many votes Peter Cushing got; are you biased against big screen Who??

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Re: A MAJOR flaw in the poll

Agreed. When they made such a huge fuss about who would play the next doctor, I was thinking to myself 'crikey, maybe it's going to be a woman, Joanna Lumley could play a superb Dr Who'. Then, after all that fuss, it was another bloke again. Sigh... Oh, well, at least he's a good actor, and then.. sigh - utter shite for scripts, I stopped watching after three episodes. Nothing against Mr Capaldi, just the dire scripts and some apalling SFX (the amazing shrinking/growing before your eyes dinosaur was partiularly bad. In this day and age, no excuse for not scaling it consistently to its surroundings)

IMO, it's the quality of the script followed by quality of the production that has tended to make or break individual Who episodes. The actors they've had have all been at least competent, but there's only so much you can do with a bad script or poor production.

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No enough reference material

I haven't watched all the old doctor material (watched series 10 through 20 of old Who at some point) so I can't really comment on the old series. When it comes to the new series I find Capaldi so far to be a bit sub par. Too much attention goes to Clara and too little to the Doctor, which means he comes off as just a grumpy twat instead of a grumpy Doctor.

Ever since I saw the first few episodes with him I get the feeling there COULD be more to it. I just hope the writing team have the same sort of idea I'm having. It would explain the whole dynamic and his grumpyness. That he is depressed. He's getting himself in danger and leaving it to Clara to save them because he's having self destructive tendencies. He picked her because he doesn't actually want things to end and she's capable of protecting him, but this means all this burden falls on her shoulders and becomes the grumpy git we see now. Incapable of taking action. I can imagine an episode with him trapped in a galactic insane asylum of some sort talking to a psychologist after much running about and avoiding the issue. "Yes, I'm angry. I'm angry at you, angry at Clara, angry at the Timelords, angry at the Tardis for getting me lost all the time, angry at the Daleks, angry I trapped my people outside of time, angry about failing so many people, angry of letting so many die, angry that I wasn't the Doctor all those times I should have been". Or Clara telling him: "I can't keep you out of trouble any more. I just can't do it. You need help"

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best serious candidate for the next Doctor would be Richard Armitage

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Errr, have people forgot the abysmal movie with Peter Cushing. A great, great actor but an abysmal movie!

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there were TWO Cushing movies

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Cushing Numbers

The two Cushing movies were dire. But I think [once again] a lot of the blame lies with the side-kicks. Bernard Cribbins and Roy Castle both played it for laughs, complete with irritating Chaplin-esque 'pratt-falls' which, even as a kid, completely ruined the movies for me.

It's all very well being able to laugh at the silliness and/or campness of series like Dr. Who and Star Trek from the lofty heights of subsequent adulthood. But it's important that the actors at the time play their parts as if they believe in them.

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Re: Cushing Numbers

As a kid I loved the Cushing films, especially the Dalek one where they climb up the fake cliff looking tired.

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Jeremy Corbyn would make a great Doctor Who.

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McCoy, but mainly because the stories were awful

I hated the McCoy era with a passion, but it was the terrible scripts (the Bertie Bassett one in particular) that mostly contributed towards that. Remember that there was a 16-year gap (ignoring the McGann failed one-off) to the next Who TV series...that's the legacy that the horrible McCoy era left behind.

Since the 2005 reboot, I've found Dr. Who to be wildly inconsistent - 1 or 2 good stories per series and an awful lot of sub-standard stories padding each series. It's certainly not a "must see" any more.

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I voted for Tennant, he should have left the show 'bout the same time as blondy. Yes he was likeable, perhaps too much so. I expect to be sh--caned to death by all the fangirls out there. 'Cause I just dumped on Mr. Dreamy

Apropos the McCoy haters... It seems to me that Capaldi seems to be suffering much the same problems... i.e. crappy scripts, or at best mondaine ones. I suspect this is do to Nu-Whos 45 Minute Format though. But he's already a better Doctor in that he seems to be the anti fangirl Doctor.

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"sh--caned to death"

I've heard the american expression "shit-canned" before, but shit-caned? Thats a new perversion. Sounds like school-play BDSM with a messy twist. Where does one go to experience it?

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Costumes

Quite a few comments regarding the costumes. I seem to remember though that they weren't forced to wear the costumes, they were basically given access to the BBC costume department and told to choose what they believed their Dr Who should wear. After that there were a few "quirks" added, such as the recurring theme of the question mark. Certainly all the recent incarnations chose their own costumes, with Peter Capaldi working very closely with the costume department to design his look.

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Zot

It's the writers and the budget that affect Dr Who. The fact that Smith only had a few episodes was pretty terrible. The show will be cancelled when it becomes even more pantomime and cheap.

And someone please stop Moffat from writing any more!!

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For the budget they certainly have the best special FX team going. Dr Who's special effects are done by Millennium FX, owned by a guy I went to school with. They aren't your usual "hire a bunch of theatrical make-up artists on the cheap", their credits include the special FX on Saving Private Ryan and From Hell as well as others. Which also ironically puts me only 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon away from anyone working on Doctor Who in the last few years :)

Have to agree about Moffat's writing though, not a patch on his earlier stuff. We need more Neil Gaiman stories...

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"We need more Neil Gaiman stories..."

Nightmare in Silver was one of the lower rated (by AI) episodes of that season.

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The quality of his writing overall though has been pretty good. But then again Moffat's earlier stuff was also good, his later stuff has been appalling. Saying that the same can be said for most of Moffat's work, the first couple of series of Sherlock were excellent, and then series 3 was a mess. Is it just me or does series 3's Moriarty come across a bit too much like the Master? Then again you could half expect Sherlock to pull out a sonic screwdriver in series 3...

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Based on the ones he's written so far, I disagree.

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Alien

Megabyte Modem

I had to go with Colin (sorry) rather than Sly & mainly due to "The Trial...."(the last part especially).

Production values, scripting, Bonnie fucking Langford & all applied to either of them, but the one thing I can't really forgive is the phrase Megabyte Modem.

PS Why wasn't The Valeyard in the list....

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FAIL

Missing two valid options from the vote.

1 - None of the above.

2 - All of the above.

I opt for the latter.

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Colin Baker was the worst,

Sylvester McCoy was in my opinion one of the best, the character was perfect, the Script writers were pants.

I loved the interplay of Doctor Versus Ace that personal interchange made that incarnation.

On another note What about the Other Doctor? Peter Cushing also played the doctor in Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.

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As for the best doctor, Since Tom Baker the Best has been David Tennant. Without a doubt.

Soooo yummy as well.

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