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The Doctor Who's Who: A Guide To The Time Lord's Incarnations Through The Years
The Doctors profiled, vote for your favourite companion and the best episodes to watch

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The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, 2005)

CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON
THE BITTER WARRIOR

 

Nine years after the TV movie, The Doctor returned triumphantly to screens after the BBC decided it was time to try again and handed the reins to experienced writer/producer (and lifelong Who fan) Russell T. Davies. The result was an updated, trendier and more polished form of the show, swapping out the classic serial runs for American-style 45 minute-long episodes and the odd two-parter, with an eye to sales across the pond. Christopher Eccleston, who had worked with Davies on Second Coming, stepped into the role for turned out to be a one-series deal. He was a much darker and more soulful Doctor, brooding, often subtle and quick to anger. A leather jacket, buzzed haircut and northern accent ("Lots of planets have a north!") were his trademark. He could also be jolly and mad when he wanted to be, but his run was coloured by oft-referenced actions in a Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks that resulted in the mutual destruction of both sides (didn't stop plenty of both showing up in the series, though). Davies channelled the original show effectively, adding more action and upgraded effects, and relaunched it for a new generation much more successfully than the US attempt.
 


COMPANIONS

Billie Piper went from pop star to TV star thanks to her role as the wide-eyed, canny and fun Rose Tyler, who got much more to do than the companions of old. She brought along on-off boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke), who evolved from buffoon into a more fully rounded traveller/warrior with the Tenth Doctor. We also met the charismatic, omni-sexual Captain Jack Harkness, a time agent played by John Barrowman. And, for a brief time, greedy genius Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley) travelled with Rose and the Ninth, but couldn't cut it as a companion.
 

Quick poll: Vote for your favourite Doctor Who companion


FIVE EPISODES TO WATCH

1 Rose
As the name suggests, this almost focuses more on Rose Tyler than the Doctor, but it's a great intro to Christopher Eccleston's broody hero. The Autons (and the Nestene consciousness) make a chilling return as they attempt to invade London with plastic people.

2 Dalek
Despite the Doctor's claims that they'd been wiped from existence, the pepper pots never quite seem to go away. This is an emotionally charged, superb return for them, featuring just one Dalek suffering an existential crisis.

3 Father's Day
A tour-de-force for Piper and an intriguing examination of the consequences of time travel as our heroes change the past and suffer the results.

4 The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances
Future boss Steven Moffat announces himself with this wonderful two-part adventure set in World War II London. Captain Jack gets a memorable introduction and the horror element is truly creepy. "Are you my mummy?" Chills. Plus, despite the darkness, everybody lives. Just this once...

5 Bad Wolf / The Parting Of The Ways
Two linked episodes that feature a Dalek armada invading a future space station and Rose briefly getting superpowers to help save the day before The Doctor makes the ultimate sacrifice. Some have pointed to this as Davies raising the stakes too high too early, but it's an epic to compare with American season finales. We also get a nice, emotional send-off for Eccleston.

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1
I might be missing something but shouldn't John Hurt be on the list as the 9th Doctor? More

Posted by CaptainAwesome on Thursday November 28, 2013, 13:53

2 This was great...
...although I guess **SPOILERS** (sort of) you'll have to re-arrange the numerical order now - and although it was a one-off, I would consider Sally Sparrow to be a companion, and definitely one of my favourites - such a shame that now Carey Mulligan has made it SO big, we're unlikely to see her reprise the role... well, not until the 2025 Children In Need special anyway More

Posted by christofurr on Monday November 25, 2013, 15:41

3 RE: Missed one
L: Morehumanthanhuman I'm not a massive Dr Who fan, but I fail to see why Paul Mcgann gets a mention as the 8th doctor and yet Peter Cushing played the character several times never gets a mention. I loved those films as a kid getting constant repeats during the summer holidays. Peter Cushing played A Doctor, not THE Doctor. And he only did it for 2 TV movies. While the two movies, Doctor Who and the Daleks, and Doctor Who: Daleks Invasion Earth were based on the television series, they are not considered as canon within the main, TV universe. Cushing's Doctor was a human inventor, not a Time Lord. He also invented and built his Tardis, rather then it being the product of Time Lord science. The characters name was also Doctor Who. Who being used as the family/surname, rather then just the title of The Doctor. More

Posted by GrizBe on Monday November 25, 2013, 00:05

4
livapr99. There WAS A Christmas Carol for the Doctor. It was called a Christmas Carol and aired on Christmas Day 2010 More

Posted by PaoloCorleone on Sunday November 24, 2013, 20:58

5 Missed one
I'm not a massive Dr Who fan, but I fail to see why Paul Mcgann gets a mention as the 8th doctor and yet Peter Cushing played the character several times never gets a mention. I loved those films as a kid getting constant repeats during the summer holidays. More

Posted by Morehumanthanhuman on Sunday November 24, 2013, 13:39

6
Nice handy article :) Also concur that The Girl In The Fireplace and Blink should be in the mix. Still don't understand why Moffatt's more intellectual approach to story-telling is often viewed negatively - beats the dumbed down approach of RTD's run (The Big Red Button Era). I would disagree with the comment on the 10ths Master - Jacobi was fantastic, Simms was pantomime dreadful! RTD's period was often camp, but Simm's Master was better suited to Adam West's Batman. Shame, as he is a great actor usually. More

Posted by sirvolkar on Sunday November 24, 2013, 11:54

7
until I saw the bank draft that said $8966, I be certain ...that...my father in law woz like they say truley bringing in money in their spare time on their apple laptop.. there neighbour has done this less than seventeen months and resently paid the dept on there mini mansion and bought a gorgeous Porsche 911. I went here,...JUMP85.COM More

Posted by RachelMcCarter9012 on Sunday November 24, 2013, 02:53

8 Love the article. But...
...it's DEREK Jacobi. Not David. More

Posted by wgfuzzydunlop1 on Friday November 22, 2013, 20:36

9
What about 'A Christmas Carol' for the Eleventh Doctor? Overall, though, a good article. More

Posted by livapr99 on Friday November 22, 2013, 18:25

10 Where's K-9?
You forgot the snooty dog thing. Both of them. More

Posted by Sean Alexander on Friday November 22, 2013, 17:23

11 Great Article
Fantastic piece this. Genesis of the Daleks from the Tom Baker era has to be my favourite Doctor Who story, even though I am a huge fan of the modern era shows. Despite the still somewhat wonky sets, Genesis was the first thing on television that showed me that a TV series could have real dramatic depth and still be entertaining. His moral anguish when on the brink of committing genocide is brilliantly played by Tom Baker, off an excellent script. More

Posted by Topper_Harley on Friday November 22, 2013, 00:48

12 Probably one of the best articles you've written for a while...
But I agree with the others. Girl in the Fireplace and Blink defiantely needed to be on the list for the 10th, and A Good Man Goes to War and Vincent defiantely for the 11th. More

Posted by GrizBe on Thursday November 21, 2013, 21:36

13 Great list but....
Great list but for me Girl in the Fireplace & Vincent and the Doctor are 2 of my favourites. Blink is a great episode too and well deserved to be on the list. More

Posted by casheliser on Thursday November 21, 2013, 20:19

14 Amazing Feature
But for the 11th Doctor, I feel "A Good Man Goes To War" should included. It perfectly shows eleven's wit and his amazing sense of showmanship, as well as his wrath. Best 11 episode in my opinion. More

Posted by tommyinglis on Thursday November 21, 2013, 19:23

15
Awesome list but there's an episode missing from Tennant's run in my opinion: the awesome Girl in the Fireplace; my favourite tenth stand-alone More

Posted by cahoopuk on Thursday November 21, 2013, 14:53

16
Excellent feature and beautifully presented. Thanks. More

Posted by TimEdwards on Thursday November 21, 2013, 13:57

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