Just like anything else you experience for the first time, they say you never forget your first harlingen doctors. In the last fifty years there have been eleven actors to take on the televised role of Doctor Who. And like always since the first regeneration from William Hartnell into Patrick Troughton back in 1966, the same argument rolls on – who was the best Doctor Who?
William Hartnel appeared on our screens in 1963 and lasted three years till 1966. Patrick Troughton arrived in 1966 and lasted three years till 1969 when Jon Pertwee came on as the Doctor. Jon Pertwee played the time lord for four years when Tom Baker took over in 1974 as the fourth time lord and he was the longest serving Doctor at almost eight years. In the early part of 1981, Peter Davidson became the fifth Doctor for four years when he gave up the role to the sixth Doctor, Colin Baker. Colin Baker was the Doctor for two years, making him the shortest running actor to play the Doctor.
In 1987 Sylvester McCoy became the Doctor and remained the Doctor till the series ended on screen in 1989. McCoy remained the image of the Doctor in novels and comics until 1996 when Paul McGann took over the role. Even though McGann was the Doctor for one televised story, he too remained the image of the Doctor in novels and merchandise until 2005. That was when Christopher Eccelston took over the role for one year and David Tennant came onboard in 2006. Tennant would remain until 2010 when current Doctor Matt Smith took over the role.
This can be a lot to soak to in. Now, of these eleven actors people base a lot of emphasis on time served as to what makes for who was the best Doctor Who. Hands down, fandom has agreed Tom Baker, who was the longest actor to portray the role on screen, is the best Doctor Who. However, each fan has their personal favorites. In a 2003 poll conducted by Doctor Who Magazine, Tom Baker won as the best Doctor Who. In later years this would be challenged by David Tennant once the new series started rolling in popularity. Even now, Matt Smith has his own group of fans who fight hard for this title of best Doctor Who. In the end, it will always be personal choice as to who is the best Doctor Who.