Culturess’ Official Ranking of Doctors in Doctor Who

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Image via BBC

10. First Doctor: William Hartnell

How is the First Doctor so low on this countdown? Well, let’s start with the fact that he wasn’t the hero of his own series. Though his character was the “magical catalyst” for the adventures, the stars of the series when it was first envisioned were schoolteachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. Chesterton, not Hartnell, was the dashing hero who performed the feats of derring do when they were required. Hartnell was just the funny old man with the box. Try and imagine that today, with Danny Pink as the hero of the piece, and Capaldi sidelined to spouting irritating nonsense that only makes sense at the end of the show. That’s why Hartnell ends up so low.

But we have to remember, this show as conceived in 1963 was a far different program than the one it has slowly morphed into today. Today Doctor Who is considered “family friendly fare.” But back then no one thought adults would sit down and watch it. It was too silly. (It wasn’t until the end of the 60s and the Second/Third Doctors that the swinging twenty-somethings tuned in. They watched ironically, considering it high camp.) Only kids watched it at first, and so the BBC designed it to teach the children history. Hence the companions being schoolteachers, along with the other companion being the granddaughter, Susan, who was along for an educational ride. The time travel wasn’t because time travel was cool. The time travel was so the Doctor can let the viewer experience living history.