Who’s Who in Who? …For Beginners!

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When you’re dealing with the world of Geekdom, you can expect some very strong opinions on a wide array of topics. There is no exception when talking with Doctor Who fanatics. They are very devoted to “their” Doctor. They also have their favorite companions as well. Usually the Doctor of choice is the first one they watched. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes a certain Doctor’s humor or mannerisms speak to a viewer more than others.

Whenever you are dealing with a specific subject, certain language and procedure develops. Working with computers, you learn about RAM and ROM while animation artists know all about Squash and Stretch. The same is true for the world of Who.

Before I give you the Doctors, let’s make sure we’re caught up on some brief Doctor Who etiquette:
Fan groups tend to get clever nicknames; for example, Star Trek fans are Trekkers. If you are a fan of the Doctor Who TV series, you are not a Whoster, a DocJock, or a Tardiac; Doctor Who fans are “Whovians.”
Second, it’s never ever “Dr.” Who, but only D-O-C-T-O-R Who! I got severely chastised about this when I first started watching.
Third, his name is not Doctor Who; that is the name of the show. He is referred to as simply “The Doctor.” Again, I got a vicious lecture on the matter in my early Who days.
Fourth, he almost always travels with another person, usually a girl. This person is called his “companion.”
Finally, his blue police box is not a phone booth, it’s the TARDIS. This is an acronym standing for Time And Relative Dimension In Space. And it’s bigger on the inside!

Now that you know the important information, let’s talk Docs:
1st Doctor – William Hartnell
2nd Doctor – Patrick Troughton
3rd Doctor – Jon Pertwee
4th Doctor – Tom Baker
5th Doctor – Peter Davison
6th Doctor – Colin Baker
7th Doctor – Sylvester McCoy
8th Doctor – Paul McGann
9th Doctor – Christopher Eccleston
10th Doctor – David Tennant
11th Doctor – Matt Smith
12th Doctor – Peter Capaldi

As the Doctor nears death, he regenerates into a new form (or new actor!). There are some others that have played the Doctor over the years in movies and special storylines, such as John Hurt who played the War Doctor, a Doctor falling in between 8 and 9, totally confusing the numbering system. But the standard way to refer to them is as it is above.

I honestly don’t have much experience in the show prior to the 9th Doctor, but my favorite is the 10th, David Tennant. He is funny and quirky and enjoyable to watch. Matt Smith took some getting used to after him, but I like Smith too.

So for those with some Who experience… Who’s YOUR Doctor and why?

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13 thoughts on “Who’s Who in Who? …For Beginners!

    • I totally agree with you. The more people I talk to about the classic Doctor Who, the more I want to watch it. I tried watching an early 1st Doctor episode. It was a toughy to get through. But I hear good things about Tom Baker.

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  1. I am unable to pick a favorite. They’re all wonderful in different ways. They each have an excellent set of companions/enemies and personal conflicts. My favorite is simply “The Doctor.”

    Having only watched 4 episodes of classic who (and some short scenes from various doctors) I wouldn’t be able to give a proper answer anyways. 🙂

    Focusing on New Who then…

    9th- Fantastic character, and some pretty darn good speeches. I really love him… Eccleston’s performance has a richness and maturity to it.
    10th- If I HAD to pick a favorite. If I were forced. I’d pick Tennant. I feel like he underwent the most in depth character development. His darkest moments are often my favorite parts, and his emotion is so clearly portrayed you just think about his expression when he’s sad… Ahh. And “The End of Time” is my favorite episode(s) for the story and it’s climax. Or post climax? WILF.
    11th- Not so much his character (while he’s great and Smith is EXTREMELY talented and wonderful), I enjoy Smith’s time more for certain story arcs and certain episodes (“The Girl Who Waited” and “The Time of the Angels” always come to mind first).

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    • I like your observations! I agree with all of them. I think the interactions the Doctor has with his companions really has a strong effect on the show. I didn’t like Donna at first, but she really had some deep and sometimes humorous conversations with the Doctor. She very much humanized his character. But I’ll save companions for another post! haha. I really have a hard time picking between Tennant and Smith, they have a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. I have not had a chance to see Capaldi yet, but he seems very different than the past three.

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  2. Eleven is my Doctor! My first Doctor was Nine, and while I love him, Eleven just really stuck with me. I love the fact that he’s a bit goofy and lighthearted while still having the darker side of the Doctor that Nine had. I haven’t seen any Classic Who, so I can’t speak about them. 🙂

    ~ Kayla

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    • I think “goofy” is a perfect way to describe Nine. I don’t mean that in a bad way! His silliness is what makes him enjoyable to watch. I love his saying things are cool, and his awkward kiss hellos.

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  3. I watched Eccleston and he was my favorite. It took me a bit to like Tennant, but then HE became my favorite, and is still my favorite to this day, although I cried buckets of tears for Matt Smith as well. I tend to like them all, but some more than others. 😛

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    • I never got into Eccleston the way I enjoyed Tennant or Smith. He was fine. He was my first Doctor, but nothing about his portrayal sticks out like the other two. It could just be that he had a shorter run.

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  4. Pingback: Doctor Who 101: A Guide to the Modern Companions | Blogs From Geekdom

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