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Characters: Doctor Who Classic Series Doctors
The first eight incarnations of the Doctor as they appeared on the Doctor Who TV series from 1963-1989, plus the 1996 TV movie and several brief appearances in the revival series.

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    First Doctor 

First Doctor

"One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine."

Played by: William Hartnell (1963-66, 1972-73)note ; Richard Hurndall (1983)
Voiced by: John Guilor (2013)

An eccentric, somewhat grumpy, happily smug old professor-type with an air of mystery about him and a severe case of Hair-Trigger Temper. Soon became a warmer, more avuncular character to his companions, but remained an authority figure. At any point in his Character Development, One is a merry Trickster Archetype, who loves manipulating people and playing games with their lives. As he was never intended to be the "first" (or plural) Doctor, there is novelty in watching him develop into the Doctor as he's known today.
  • Accidental Proposal: The hot cocoa incident.
  • Adopt the Dog: He's Neutral No Longer by the end of the first season, but it's asking Vicki along as a companion that really seals it.
  • Badass Cape: He didn't wear them very often, but One had a thing for long, dramatic capes.
  • Badass Grandpa: About as much as any other Doctor. Perhaps the only one to fight a Roman Assassin with his bare hands, while enjoying the whole fight immensely.
  • Bad Liar: He's awful at it.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Does a masterful one in "The Reign Of Terror", giant hat and all.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As his status as a Grumpy Old Man slowly faded away, this trope slowly replaced it in some situations. In particular, the Doctor's fight against the Celestial Toymaker is a major representation of this trope as the Doctor literally talks the world surrounding the TARDIS into oblivion with just three words and a number (Go to move 1,023!).
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: His old teacher Borusa tells the Fourth Doctor that he was a nightmare to teach during the academy days.
  • Character Development: The first time we ever see the Doctor, he's arrogant, selfish, and prefers to take the easy (even cowardly) way out if it saves him. His evolution over the first handful of serials is an important point in the script as he becomes the heroic Doctor we know and love.
  • Consummate Liar: Not a very good one, though.
  • Cool Old Guy: The oldest-looking Doctor of them all.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: An example of Early-Installment Weirdness, the Doctor smoked a pipe in the first story. It got him in trouble with the local caveman tribe, so perhaps that explains why he dropped the habit.
  • The Exile: Claims that both Susan and he are exiles. It's later implied that this is only Metaphorically True, as both became defectors from decadence and left Gallifrey of their own volition.
  • Famous Last Words: "Ah! Yes. Thank you. That's good, keep warm." (It should be noted the original script contained a line that was much more along the lines of "No... no, I simply will not give in!" for the First Doctor's final words, but these were not filmed, as time was running short, and production was almost at an end — with filming the regeneration still to go.)
  • Grumpy Old Man: Began with this trope firmly in mind, but slowly became more of a grumpy Badass Grandpa, depending on the adventure. This was certainly the case in "The Five Doctors".
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Which Ian frequently triggered by accident.
  • Heroic Fatigue: Fell ill during the events of "The Tenth Planet", putting him out of commission for most of it. He finally mustered the energy to blow up the Snowcap base along with the Cybermen, whereupon he collapsed from exhaustion.
  • High-Class Glass: All the better to peer at aliens with. Eleven still has it.
  • Iconic Item: His prized ring. Arguably, also his cane. When he regenerated, his ring fell off and his second incarnation found it was too big for him. The Doctor doesn't wear the ring again until he discovers it fell into the TARDIS console in his seventh incarnation. In the Doctor Who New Adventures novels, he eventually gives it to Joan Redfern. As for the cane, The Doctor doesn't need it post-regeneration, but later on, Three, Seven, and Eleven have each used stylized canes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Started out with the emphasis heavily on the former, but showed more of the latter as time passed.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: He seems to mentally file away the name "Doctor" when Ian suggests it in "An Unearthly Child." Later Jossed by a Time Lady incarnation of Clara, who gets him to respond to that name before leaving Gallifrey. ("The Name of the Doctor")
  • Malicious Misnaming: The First Doctor evidently likes mispronouncing Ian Chesterton's last name to annoy him.
  • Murder Tropes: The First Doctor had absolutely no problem with the idea of bashing someone's head in with a rock or having his companions Thrown Out the Airlock if they got too obnoxious. He never goes through with it, though, thanks to Ian and Barbara being two of the most level-headed companions he'd ever have, and not putting up with his antics.
  • Neutral No Longer: He starts out rather unheroic, but after a few adventures with Ian and Barbara, he begins to actually suggest doing heroic deeds rather than being forced into it.
  • Nice Hat: Wore one on a few occasions, including his very first adventure.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: His second episode had him deliberately endangering the lives of his granddaughter and their new pet humans, just because he wanted to see the Dalek city up close. He learned to be more responsible in the months following that, but still got downright giddy when he realised he accidentally had a hand in burning down Rome. He gets along extremely well with companion Vicki, another Nightmare Fetishist with the same outlook on things.
  • Parental Substitute: To Vicki. They meet just after the Doctor has said goodbye to Susan, and Vicki has just become an orphan. The two become very cuddly and adorable together.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: At times, though a fairly mild case.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Seen most prominently in "The Sensorites", in which he uses both regular glasses and a monocle.
  • Thicker Than Water: He and Susan are extremely close, and they never even fought before "The Sensorites". Letting her go is a very difficult choice for the Doctor.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Forms a large part of his Character Development as he shifts into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory.
  • Troll: Has his moments, such as a time when he's wired to a machine that shows one's thoughts on screen. When asked how he got into a museum surrounded by an impenetrable wall and a moat with no bridge? A picture of a man riding an old 1800s bicycle appears on screen.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: He's devoted to his grandaughter and is disgusted by villains like the Daleks but aside from that his morals are loose at best, with his flaws ranging from pride and paranoia to outright moral cowardice in trying to abandon Barbara to die on Skaro rather than risk further exposure to radiation, as well as Ian and Barbara becoming his companions only after he trapped them within the Tardis against their will. By the conclusion of the first three stories he gets over this.
  • Verbal Tic: "Hmmm?" and "eh?". This came about because Hartnell suffered from arteriosclerosis, which affected his ability to remember lines, and this allowed the producers to use lines where Hartnell got his lines wrong (re-shooting and dubbing dialogue was not usually an option).
  • Wham Line: Kicks off the climax of The Day of the Doctor.
    First Doctor: Calling the War Council of Gallifrey, this is The Doctor!

    Second Doctor 

Second Doctor

"There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought!"

Played by: Patrick Troughton (1966-69, 1972-73note , 1983, 1985)

The cosmic hobo with the Beatles haircut. The Second Doctor was a clown who loved annoying everyone he met, and made an art form of out of gleefully insulting his friends and enemies alike. He liked to play the recorder (the musical instrument), and he carried a massive number of useful things in the pockets of his coat, including the now famous sonic screwdriver. (The Tenth Doctor would confirm that, as many fans had long suspected, the Doctor's pockets are bigger on the inside.) A more easy-going and rational figure than his predecessor, but still very much an anti-authority maverick. As he became very close to his companions, he has arguably had the most lasting influence on later Doctors — largely because he was just plain fun.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: A sort of ill-fitting ensemble of early 20th century clothes.
  • Badass Uncle: Still one of the older Doctors.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Not as much as Five or Ten, but still capable of steering an enemy's space fleet into the sun or sparking a massive Dalek civil war when he deemed it necessary.
  • Bowties Are Cool: Always wore them. They were usually small, crinkled, and hanging crookedly from his collar, fitting Two's messy style.
  • Butterfly Of Transformation: Uses it to explain his transformation.
  • Came Back Wrong: Being that he's the first regeneration to appear at a time when the concept didn't exist yet, the 2nd Doctor went through a few rewrites: originally being envisioned as a windjammer captain (!) and then a "Mister Hyde" version of his predecessor, with a tramp version of the 1st Doctor's wardrobe. A few of these traits made it into the final version, and though the Doctor soon mellowed, his initial craziness was the basis for "regeneration" traumas we see again later. It certainly scared the pants off One's companions when the venerable old man shrank down into a giddy, flute-playing nutter.
  • Catch Phrase: "When I say run, run."
    • In his reappearances, some version of "Oh—I see you've redecorated (fill-in-the-blank), haven't you?—hmm. I don't like it." This one actually became a Mythology Gag, with both Ten (to Eleven) and Eleven saying it.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: At long last, the Doctor found one enemy he couldn't fight without sending for reenforcements from Gallifrey: The War Chief. The Time Lords aren't amused: they find the Doctor guilty — with some equanimity — of ruining whole civilizations and then splitting before the clean-up. His sentence is separation from his companions, the dismantling of his TARDIS, and exile in post-sixties London. Oh, and they take away one of his regenerations just for shiggles.
  • Character Tics: Wringing his hands together.
  • Continuity Snarl: Since the Second Doctor got so many opportunities to meet his other incarnations personally, there were going to be continuity glitches. There is even an "Season 6B" theory to explain the references to "The War Games" in "The Two Doctors," which the BBC has officially acknowledged as "making sense".
  • Crazy-Prepared: Always seemed to have some sort of situation-suitable item in those pockets of his.
  • Cuddle Bug: Has his arms around his companions more often than not.
  • Denser and Wackier: Though ultimately, the series proved to be Growing the Beard.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: With much glee.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He does this quite often. Notably in "The Dominators", when he clearly pointed out that the newly formed volcano was erupting, but didn't notice that the volcano was erupting.
    Jamie: C'mon! The whole place is going to blow up!
    Second Doctor No, it's quite all right, Jamie. The planet is quite safe. There's only going to be a localized volcanic eruption. It'll only affect the island.
    Jamie: Maybe so, but we happen to be on the island.
    Second Doctor: Oh, my word!
  • Famous Last Words: "You can't do this to me! No! No no no no no no no...."
  • Future Me Scares Me: Absolutely can't stand Three, and has a lot of fun insulting old "fancy pants" every chance he gets. Two and Six arguing is also a sight to behold.
  • Gainax Ending: His regeneration into Three. The timeline is all screwed up, and it's very possible that what we saw on screen wasn't even his regeneration — these days, the Beeb considers the Season 6B theory valid.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Oh, my giddy aunt!" and variations.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: Harmless lady with a gun concealed in her robes. (It's not like it was even loaded, though.)
  • Herr Doktor: Or as he liked to call himself, Doktor von Wer.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The Doctor and Jamie were together for all but one serial and for more episodes than any other companion.
  • Hobos: More like a WHO-bo.
  • Iconic Item: His recorder (the musical instrument), though it was used less and less over time. Loses one in "The Three Doctors" as a necessary sacrifice, but gets a replacement.
  • Identical Stranger: This regeneration had a doppelganger, Ramón Salamander, a nefarious Emperor Scientist from the near future. Not only was Salamander a capable villain, he bluffed his way into the TARDIS (a feat which few have accomplished).
  • Idiot Hair: There's always this one bit of his hair that loves to stick up.
  • Master Actor: The main selling point of his identity tricks is his ability to act like the person he is trying to portray, arousing little to no suspicion of a fallacy even without a donned disguise.
  • Master of Disguise: The Second Doctor had an interesting fondness for disguises and clever identity lies, which he usually backed up with some persona-appropriate accent.
  • Nice Hat: In addition to wearing a very tall stovepipe hat in his first three stories, the Doctor would sometimes note when he saw an interesting piece of headgear, "I would like a hat like that." It was something of an early catchphrase, discarded (like the hat) after a few serials.
  • Noodle Incident: A possible adventure with the Eighth Doctor, it seems. Also, in "The Five Doctors" he recalls a never-seen adventure with "The Terrible Zodin".
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Usually when he's frightened at something.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Absolutely loved it. His main tactic for any situation. Shown masterfully in "The Three Doctors".
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: As seen in "The Name Of The Doctor", he had a mostly off-screen adventure with the Eighth Doctor.
  • Protect This House/You Shall Not Pass: The "Base Under Siege" episodes. These became a trademark of the 2nd Doctor's tenure, though they're not exclusive to him.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Is often described as Charlie Chaplin IN SPACE!
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Invokes the trope at times, especially towards UNIT.
  • Security Cling: All the time. Given and received.
  • Shot at Dawn: In "The War Games". Don't worry, he was saved... but as the show went on and the writers hammered out what exactly regeneration was, his "change of appearance" later on in that episode was revealed to have been his execution.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: He was so good at this that he successfully did it to himself in "The Three Doctors".
  • Summon Bigger Fish: His eventual undoing.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Used on occasion.
  • Trope Codifier: Having defined most of the Doctor's chief characteristics, Second's role influenced several of the later Doctors, especially the Seventh and Eleventh.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: 99% of his dialogue with The Brigadier is them trying to out-snark each other.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: He loved dressing up.

    Third Doctor 

Third Doctor

"Courage isn't just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway."

Played by: Jon Pertwee (1970-74, 1983, 1993)

The suave Edwardian man of action. Spent a great deal of time stuck on Earth in the 20th Century, as he'd been exiled from Gallifrey (and his TARDIS rendered inoperative), and often got into adventures with his friends at UNIT, especially The Brigadier. A noticeably James Bond-esque Doctor, known for his "Venusian Karate/Aikido" and his fast cars, Bessie and the Whomobile. He revealed much of his Bizarre Alien Biology (notably the two hearts) and was the first Doctor to be broadcast in color. As this Doctor's tenure was largely confined to present-day London, he also inaugurated the grand old Doctor Who tradition of everyday objects trying to kill you. When the Time Lords finally returned to him his knowledge of driving the TARDIS, he became much more of a gentleman to his companions. It was also this incarnation that formally introduced his greatest individual Arch-Enemy, The Master, who's present for many of Three's episodes.
  • Action Hero: Villain holding his companion at gunpoint? No problem! Karate-CHOP!
  • Actor Appeal: The Third Doctor stories have a lot of car chases, because the writers enjoyed indulging Pertwee's love of fast cars and odd vehicles. In his final story, by way of a send-off, there's a completely gratuitous chase that lasts twenty minutes and involves several cars, a flying machine, and a hovercraft.
    • Terrance Dicks, script editor at the time of Jon Pertwee's run, has actually said that he often asked Pertwee if the actor desired anything in his tales beyond the story being fun. Being given this massive potential of a request, all that Pertwee asked for was "a moment or two of charm".
    • As for all the gadgets and undercover military work in Three's era — in 2013, footage unearthed by journalists revealed that Jon Pertwee worked for Naval Intelligence during World War II, and his job involved briefing spies and commandoes in the use of espionage and assassination gadgets.
  • Agent Peacock: He was also the best dressed Doctor, famous for his frilly shirts, opera cape and smoking jacket. Believe it or not, this was standard attire for British sci-fi at the time, best personified by Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius (and later nicked by Grant Morrison's Gideon Stargrave). The concept of a shrewd Dandy working for a team of investigators is similar to Jason King, which ran at the same time. Pertwee captures the zeitgeist pretty well.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Velvet, ruffles and capes.
  • Badass: One of the most physically oriented Action Hero versions of the Doctor, to the point his tenure was basically one long action movie.
  • Badass Cape: Had a black velvet cloak, with red lining, that he wore with his fancy black coat and white sleeve ruffles. Unironically. (The cape itself was inspired by Pertwee's grandfather.)
  • Badass Driver: Three's tinkering with motorcars and his love of driving/flying could be seen as a displacement of his desire to hop in the TARDIS and be off.
  • Badass Grandpa: One of the oldest-looking Doctors, and by far the most fond of getting into hand-to-hand combat.
  • Badass in Distress: See Distressed Dude.
  • The Big Guy: At 6'3" he towers over almost everyone he meets, and is probably the most likely Doctor to physically hit someone.
  • Blue Blood: The most 'aristo' of the Doctors, and none too patient with the proles, i.e. humans.
  • Bound and Gagged: "Day of the Daleks".
  • Bowties Are Cool: Wasn't as flagrant about it as Eleven, nor did he wear one as often as Two, but he would on occasion wear a spiffy bowtie.
  • Break the Haughty: The more he condescends at UNIT personnel, and gets dragged through the most crippling ordeals for his trouble, the more you start to suspect the Time Lords exiled him as a lesson.
    • A perfect example is when the Doctor believes he's fixed the TARDIS console once and for all. With one last sneer at the Brigadier's ineptitude, he beams out of UNIT... only to stagger through the front door, covered in soot. Apparently he rematerialized in a dustpile.
      Brig: "Pompous, self-opinionated idiot," I believe you said, Doctor?
      Doctor: Yes, ahem, well we don't want to bear a grudge for a few hasty words, do we..?
  • Character Development: Although the Third Doctor is a gentleman throughout his entire run, his visible frustrations tone down dramatically after the Time Lords return to him his control over the TARDIS.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Preferred quick battles to flashy ones.
  • Cool Car: The Whomobile (basically a hover car) and Bessie, his trusty gold jalopy. This Doctor was never happier than when he was cruising down the countryside in that bucket of bolts.
  • Cool Old Guy: With a giant shock of white hair.
  • Cultured Badass: Enjoyed drinking fine wine, as well as loudly singing opera while driving his vintage car.
  • The Dandy: For his choice of clothes and awesome hair. Lampshaded during "The Three Doctors" when the First Doctor actually called him this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Very.
    Third Doctor: What did you expect? Some kind of space rocket with Batman at the controls?
  • Distressed Dude: Let's face it, the Third Doctor is the KING of this trope.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Embarrassing for the BBC, that is. The Third Doctor has a dragon tattoo on his arm that can be seen quite plainly during the events of "Spearhead from Space". This is actually a tattoo from actor Jon Pertwee's navy days, when he got really really drunk and woke up the next day with the tattoo on his arm while in port. And no, he wasn't ashamed of it. The producers Hand Wave this by claiming the Doctor never had a tattoo and we're all seeing things. Much later, though, Eleven notes that tattoos are fairly common for Time Lords, and Eight boasts about having one in the novels.
    • Part of the Expanded Universe claims it's a prison tattoo, which he bears during his exile to Earth. Another Time Lord, Grandfather Paradox, ended up with the dragon tattoo put on his arm by the Time Lords when he was branded a criminal; unlike the Doctor, Paradox cut the arm off.
  • Expanded Universe: Notably the oldest Doctor to appear in a fan-made video spinoff: Devious. However, the thing has inexplicably been in Development Hell since 1995, and was at one point used for audio bits in the Big Finish story "Zagreus" just to get it out there in some way.
  • Expy: Jason King crossed with Adam Adamant (that hair!), with a slice of John Steed for good measure. Or you can boil it down to what every show took inspiration from at the time: James Bond.
  • Famous Last Words: "A tear, Sarah Jane? No, don’t cry. While there’s life, there’s..."
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: He hates this regeneration at first — realising just how expressive his new eyebrows are eventually warms him up a bit to his new face. (And it means he can very easily speak Delphon, the language of comical eyebrow wiggling.)
  • Fish out of Water: The Doctor is looking more "alien" in this era of the TV series (two hearts, a dumb alias, magic gizmos). Part of it is being plucked out of a fantastic environment wherein his human qualities were more dominant.
  • Gentleman Snarker: The most gentlemanly Doctor so far.
  • Gilded Cage: Being stuck on pre-space exploration Earth is bad enough. Worse is being Surrounded by Idiots, as the Doctor viewed UNIT as a whole.
  • Good Is Not Nice: During his first two seasons he would be incredibly rude to people for no good reason, then become the picture of politeness soon thereafter. He got more polite when his exile was lifted. Apparently, a Time Lord finally able to fly his TARDIS again after years in exile is guaranteed to improve his manner.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: Used once.
  • Heroic BSOD: A rarity for this Doctor, but he was actually sent into a coma during the events of "Inferno" from what he experienced. Then again, he had just seen an alternate world filled with familiar faces and redeemable people utterly destroyed by lava and proto-human zombies. This state lasted for almost an entire episode.
  • "I Am" Song: That's right, Jon Pertwee (singing as the Third Doctor) wound up recording a song that rivals most villain songs for just being pure awesome. Just try not to jam out to I am... The Doctor!
  • Iconic Item: Bessie and the Whomobile. This Doctor loved his gadgets and cars. He's also the first Doctor to make extensive use of the sonic screwdriver.
  • I Hate Past Me: He and Two really rubbed each other raw. Three is embarrassed by his past self for playing the buffoon and his disheveled look, while Two seems to think his future-self is over-dressed and anal-retentive.
  • I Know Venusian Aikido: Hai!
  • Insufferable Genius: He was smarter than all of UNIT put together, and would frequently make this obvious, even belittling the slowness of others when he was feeling particularly Jerk Ass. However, most of UNIT put up with it because he really was that brilliant. However, Liz Shaw, his first companion in this incarnation and a skilled scientist herself, eventually had enough and walked, arranging Jo Grant to replace her with the indirect comment that all the Doctor needed was "Someone to pass you your test tubes, and to tell you how brilliant you are." As noted above, he is far easier to get along with once his exile is lifted.
  • Military Maverick: There is a bitter quality to the 3rd Doctor as he clearly needs the protection and technology that UNIT provides. On the other hand, the Doctor finds himself trying to pull mankind up to his own level and failing, such as in "The Silurians." Trivia: The ending to this episode would be recycled for "The Christmas Invasion", cementing that the Doctor will never see eye-to-eye with UNIT.
  • Mr. Smith: "Smith. Doctor John Smith."
  • Nerves of Steel: Very few things scared him. When something does, it's a matter of OOC Is Serious Business.
    The Great One: Is that fear I can feel in your mind? You are not accustomed to feeling frightened, are you Doctor? You are very wise to be afraid of me!
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: A madman without a box is just a madman. A Time Lord without knowledge of time is just someone calling himself a lord. No wonder he's so irritable.
    • The 2nd Doctor was more than willing to kill the Ice Warriors on their first appearance. In "The Curse of Peladon", the Ice Warriors surprise him by turning face, proving that even monsters, at least in some cases, are just people who haven't reached in their full historical development yet. So in that sense, being exiled to Earth was an education for him.
  • Pride Before a Fall: Three's entire arc. Best remembered for his flamboyant confidence, he nicks the wrong crystal in "The Green Death" and is killed by spiders who are still seeking it a year later. Adding insult to injury, The Great One uses her psychic powers to make him dance like a toy.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: With a lot of "dear old chap", "my good fellow" and "topping day, what?". Also a case of Author Appeal, as he intentionally evoked the atmosphere from that other famous Sydney Newman show, The Avengers. However, Good Is Not Nice.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Starts out in a black velvet cape in his first story, and soon adds velvet jackets, sleeve ruffles, ascots, leather gloves, giant rings, bowties, waistcoats and the occasional knee-high boots. (The signature giant plaid mantle overcoat, however, is still a perpetual fashion disaster.)
  • Shower Scene: Gets a long shower scene right off the bat in his first episode, then spends some time walking around in just a towel.
  • Silver Fox: Handsome for his age.
  • Speech Impediment: Had a lisp.
  • Sword Fight: Not shocking for this action hero, quite frankly, but the Doctor is able to out-fight the Master in "The Sea Devils" in a fencing duel. He then eats a sandwich while holding the Master at swordpoint. A sandwich that happened to be the Master's lunch. And then he throws the Master back his sword so they can have some more fun.
  • Tap on the Head: The neck-pinching variant.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: The UNIT years are vaguely set somewhat in a "near future", which could be anywhere from the 1960s to the 1980s. The Brigadier's daughter lampshaded this continuity (or lack thereof) in "Day of the Doctor" when she requested an archive file.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With The Brigadier and Mike Yates.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Wore them frequently.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Does a passable impression of a Welsh milkman and, a few minutes later, a Welsh cleaning lady.
  • With My Hands Tied: He's also equally good at breaking free and escaping from capture as he is being captured.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: His partnerships with Jo and Sarah Jane had a rocky start.

    Fourth Doctor 

Fourth Doctor

"You may be a doctor, but I'm the Doctor. The definite article, you might say."

Played by: Tom Baker (1974-81, 1993)

The Bohemian, famous for a very, very long scarf; somewhat crazy-eyed and very alien. In reaction to his long exile as the Third Doctor, the Fourth Doctor is marked by his strong wanderlust and deep-seated resentment toward authority figures, particularly UNIT and his fellow Time Lords. Naturally, this resulted in Four's leash being yanked by every authority figure in the known universe, including the show's embodiment of God. The longest-serving Doctor to date (at least in real-world time) and probably the best known of all his incarnations. If you don't know who Tom Baker is, close your eyes and think of Doctor Who. That's him. (Or possibly David Tennant — see the revival Doctors page.) Joined the cast of Big Finish a good decade after the others: for his Big Finish tropes, see here.
  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: He tended to draw out his vowels a fair bit.
  • Action Hero: In his earlier adventures, Four would have little problem leaping into action, such as in "The Sontaran Experiment", but nearly all of his later adventures feature the Doctor more willing to give the monster-of-the-week a jelly baby than engage in fisticuffs. Keeping in mind that he was in the role for seven years, going from being forty to almost fifty during this time, this gradual slowing down does begin to make a bit more sense.
    • The fact that Tom Baker also slipped and cracked his collarbone during the location filming for "The Sontaran Experiment" had something to do with it as well; for several weeks afterwards, Baker couldn't leap into those kinds of action sequences, so they either had find ways to stage those scenes with a stunt double without making it painfully obvious it was a stunt double, or the writers had to find a way to avoid action-hero scenes.
  • Adorkable: He could act really cute.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Much more so than even Eight and Eleven.
  • Badass Adorable
  • Badass Baritone: Has the deepest and manliest voice of any Doctor.
  • Badass Longcoat: In several colours.
  • Bad News in a Good Way: (excitedly) "Gentlemen, I have news! This lighthouse is under attack and by morning we may all be dead!" (toothy grin)
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The friendly and childlike Fourth Doctor is also the Doctor who took place in the longest and most brutal fight in the show's history, when he spent an episode and a half playing cat-and-mouse with his opponent in "The Deadly Assassin".
    • In "Genesis of the Daleks" he threatened to shut off Davros' life support system to coerce him into destroying the Daleks, and he meant every word of it.
    • "The Pirate Planet" is notable for featuring the Fourth exploding into a rage far more violently than he ever had before or after, and perhaps even more so than any other Doctor. If you manage to even piss Four off, you're seriously screwed.
    • Plus, he seemed to have nothing against Leela murdering random attackers, as long as she kept quiet about it.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: On a few occasions, it's even acknowledged he is Obfuscating Stupidity. ("City of Death")
    Countess: I don't think he's as stupid as he seems.
    Count: My dear, nobody could be as stupid as he seems.
  • Big Entrance: Loved to ensure that all eyes were on him when he entered a room. Especially in "The Horror Of Fang Rock": since the lighthouse was cramped and the camera had to be very static, Tom Baker insisted on entering each room with a flourish to make up for it.
  • The Big Guy: At 6'3" he towers over almost everyone he meets.
  • Bling of War: As part of his coronation as Lord President in "The Invasion of Time", the 4th Doctor adorned himself with the giant gold Sash of Rassilon and its accompanying scepter.
  • Bourgeois Bohemian/Cultured Badass: Four may fool you into thinking he's just a cosmic hobo... until he fashions a concert flute out of a piece of reed in minutes, and sits down to play the Badinerie, Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor by J.S. Bach.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Loves to put up his feet, draw his hat over his eyes and doze off. Especially while UNIT is talking to him.
  • Catch Phrase: "Would you like a jelly baby?"
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Is loopier than all other Doctors. Combined. Eventually learns to weaponise this, combined with his Time Lord Academy training: his learned resistance to mind-reading and his inherent loopiness make him able to mask his thoughts better than any other Time Lord.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Tom Baker has far too many teeth.
  • Climbing Climax: This Doctor was defeated while trying to overpower the Master inside a radio telescope. It was up to the Fifth Doctor to finish the job.
  • Compensating for Something: According to Romana.
  • Cuteness Proximity: With K-9, whom he insisted on treating like a real puppy.
  • Dead Man Walking: Four knew he was toast when he spotted the Watcher patiently standing by. This may overlap with Future Me Scares Me, depending on your interpretation of the Watcher.
  • Dissonant Serenity: All the time.
    The Doctor: [very happily] Gentlemen, I've got news for you. This lighthouse is under attack and by morning we might all be dead!
  • Distressed Dude: Seriously, HOW MANY times has this Doctor been captured, kidnapped, tied up, locked up, drugged, knocked out, imprisoned, tortured, etc.? Sometimes it happens to him more often than his own companions! The Fourth Doctor is just as bad as the Third.
  • Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Thanks to his Nerves of Steel and constant Dissonant Serenity, when someone's trying to brand the Doctor's face with a red-hot iron and counting down from ten, Four helpfully joins in the countdown — confusing his captor and making him lose track.
  • Einstein Hair: A lot of it.
  • Expanded Universe: Tom Baker was the first Doctor to ever record audio stories (starting with "Doctor Who And The Pescatons", and all the way up to his current Big Finish audios). He and Lalla Ward (Romana) also appeared, in-character, in a series of ads for Prime computers (which drew on their Romance on the Set, showing a very odd glimpse of the Doctor and Romana being lovey-dovey) and a New Zealand phone company (as an aged version of the 4th Doctor, which is now Heartwarming In Hindsight).
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: In one rather bizarre example, his brain became the nest of a pregnant space shrimp in "The Invisible Enemy".
  • Famous Last Words
    "It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for."
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In "The Invisible Enemy", he has himself and Leela cloned and shrunk down so he can be injected into his own brain, fight the pregnant monster that's nesting inside it, make sure Leela's clone dies inside his head, and then absorb her corpse into his bloodstream to gain her natural immunity to the thing!
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Although not worn as often as his scarf.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: All it takes is nerve-pinching the Fourth Doctor into oblivion, and he's down for the count. Amusingly, this is the exact opposite of Venusian akido.
  • Genius Sweet Tooth: Trope Codifier for the Doctor's fondness for jelly babies (after Two had them first).
  • A God Am I: He temporarily gains Guardian-level powers over time itself, through a nearly completed Key To Time and a bit of MacGyvering.
    • A God I Am Not: He is, after all, a vagabond at heart, with no interest in toys such as the Key to Time, or the Staff of Rassilon. That's not to say he doesn't enjoy trolling people with them, as seen in "The Armageddon Factor".
      Doctor: (mimics Prophet Eyes) As from this moment, there's no such thing as free will in the entire universe. There's only MY will. Because I possess the KEY TO TIME.
      Romana: Doctor, are you all right?
      Doctor: (snaps out of it) Well of course I'm all right. But supposing I wasn't all right?
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He adores K-9.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Plummeted off a satellite tower after saving most of the universe from The Master.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Famously struggled with this in "Genesis of the Daleks".
  • Hot-Blooded Sideburns: To go with his massive hair.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Much like the Master, although he only uses it occasionally, and is the only incarnation of the Doctor to do so.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Tends to indulge in this both consciously and unconsciously.
  • Iconic Item: The scarf. Always the scarf. And jelly babies.
    • To a lesser extent, his Nice Fedora plays a part, especially when combined with his iconic curly hair.
  • Identical Grandson: Of a sort. A retired incarnation of the Doctor, now peacefully pottering around the National Gallery, is wearing the 4th Doctor's face for nostalgia's sake. ("The Day of the Doctor")
  • Invincible Hero: By the 15th season, the Doctor has morphed into The Most Interesting Man in the World. He tried being frightened once — just to see what it was like. Season 18 dampened this effect somewhat, what with blood-sucking astronauts, a "mad cactus" framing him for murder, and of course the Master 2.0. Although the 4th Doctor tried to remain unflappable, he was put into situations that were impressively tough.
  • It's All About Me: Wastes no opportunity in letting the world know how brilliant, marvellous, wonderful and all around amazing he is. Four genuinely considers himself the greatest genius he's ever met, and acts entirely superior to everyone around him. Some of his companions put up with it. Romana, who had much better grades than him at the Academy, doesn't.
  • Large Ham: Even his eyes are hammy.
  • Literalist Snarking: Frequently.
  • Literal-Minded:
    Scorby: Get your hands up. Turn around, Doctor.
    (The Doctor does a full 360 turn.)
    Scorby: Facing this way.
    The Doctor: Have we annoyed you or something?
    Scorby: Shut up. Okay, start talking.
    The Doctor: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had perfect pitch—
    Scorby: What happened to him?
    The Doctor: Who, Wolfgang Amadeus? (looks at the corpse next to him) ...Oh, him! Oh, he died.
  • Man Child: Willing to go anywhere, do anything to avoid taking orders again.
  • Messy Hair
  • Murder Tropes: Four was more willing than most regenerations to commit murder, and didn't mind turning a blind eye to Leela's killings. At one point, he murders a villain by filling the room with deadly chemicals; later on, he kills a guy by strapping a bomb to his chest and merrily laughing when he blows up (though the man in question was an immoral monster who had it coming). "Genesis Of The Daleks" has the Doctor trying to decide whether or not he has the right to commit genocide; he only refuses once he realizes more planets have united hands in peace because of the Dalek threat. (Also, spending a few minutes with Davros clearly rattled him.)
  • My Greatest Failure: His refusal to wipe out the Daleks from existence in Genesis of the Daleks has long lasting consequences for his future incarnations and the Universe.
  • Nerves of Steel: Has a habit of striking up casual conversation with whatever's trying to kill him. At one point, he greets someone who's strangling him with a very friendly "oh, hello!"
  • Nice Guy: If you could get past his weirdness, Four was a very sweet and kind-natured Doctor.
  • Nice Hat: A brown one. Gets shot at a few times.
  • No Indoor Voice: Usually very hammy.
  • No Social Skills: He doesn't care at all for social conventions, and at times seems genuinely oblivious to them.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Frequently.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: All the time.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: Through a twist of fate in "The Deadly Assassin", he finds himself elected President of Gallifrey — and when he returns to the planet to take up the position in "The Invasion of Time", he promptly turns into a President Evil. Actually, it's part of The Infiltration to fool some Sontaran marauders; he clearly had fun tormenting his subordinates, though (his Emperor Nero moment with the jelly babies being a highlight).
  • Rail Roading: Constantly railroaded, most frequently by the Time Lords, and sometimes by other factions. He hates it.
  • Raygun Gothic: The secondary TARDIS console room he decides to use instead of the main one for a while — it first appears in "The Masque of Mandragora", near the end of his run with Sarah Jane, and goes on to be used for many of his adventures with Leela.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Moreso than any other Doctor, he chafes at following orders, whether they be from his fellow Time Lords or the White Guardian. His first instinct at being in any kind of office is to put his feet on someone's desk.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Believe it or not, he's actually dressed in a dashing Oscar Wildean outfit, with a poet shirt, classy trousers, riding boots and a crimson ascot (see "The Deadly Assassin"). It's just hidden underneath a collection of tacky vests, a giant coat and several layers of scarf. It comes as no surprise that Tom Baker hit several goodwill stores when first putting together his costume.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Several iconic ones.
  • Ship Tease: With both incarnations of Romana. He had a Kissing Discretion Shot (and a lot of innuendo) with the first in a Christmas sketch. Tom Baker married the second one.
  • Shout-Out: His hat and scarf were inspired by Toulouse-Lautrec's famous posters of the French singer and comedian Aristide Bruant.
  • Smart People Play Chess: In "The Talons Of Weng-Chiang", Magnus Greel and Four casually shuffle around chess pieces while Greel delivers his evil speech. Four wins, of course.
  • Stealth Insult: He is very fond of using these on villains, usually mixing them into the middle of his usual erratic chatter.
  • Sword Fight: Got into a rather magnificent and very long fencing duel at the climax of "The Androids Of Tara". He keeps the scarf on.
  • Talkative Loon: All the time.
  • Torture Porn: "The Deadly Assassin" starts with him being subjected to an Agony Beam and proceeds to take it Up to Eleven. By the end of the adventure, he's lost half his wardrobe (and ripped the other half), he's bleeding heavily from several places, and he nearly drowns during a gratuitous mud wrestling/strangling match in a pond (and boy did all this cheese off Moral Guardians at the time).
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jelly Babies, of course. Ginger beer was his favorite drink, but it didn't come up nearly as often.
  • Trickster Mentor: To Leela. He very much enjoyed intimidating her, placing her in Fish out of Water situations and playfully calling her "Savage" (as well as other nicknames like "Mouse").
  • Trope Codifier: 99% of what's known about Time Lord Society comes from this Doctor's era. Being by far the longest-serving Doctor, Four also codified much of the Doctor's character, and the series as a whole. He's often considered one of the best Doctors, if not the best. Since his tenure lasted seven whole years, he's — statistically — the Doctor most longtime fans of the show grew up watching.
  • Try to Fit That on a Business Card: President of the Supreme Council of Gallifrey and All Her Dominions, Holder of the Wisdom of Rassilon, Preserver of the Matrix, Guardian of the Legacy of Omega.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Dives headfirst into this trope with the first Romana, who's sent over to become his assistant without him asking for it.
    Romana: My name is Romanadvoratrelundar.
    The Doctor: ...I'm so sorry about that. Is there anything we can do?
  • You Look Familiar: As revealed in "The Day of the Doctor", a much, much later incarnation of the Doctor revisits this old face, retiring to 21st-century Earth.

    Fifth Doctor 

Fifth Doctor

Fifth Doctor: "When was the last time you smelt a flower, watched a sunset, ate a well-prepared meal?"
Cyberleader: "These things are irrelevant."
Fifth Doctor: "For some people, small, beautiful events is what life is all about!"

Played by: Peter Davison (1981-84, 1993, 2007)

The Edwardian cricketer. Forever marvelling at how his companions can't seem to marvel at the universe in the way that he'll always be able to, the Fifth Doctor puts you in mind of an extraordinarily snarky supply teacher. Though young (29 when he was cast; the youngest Doctor until Matt Smith), Davison was already a well-known actor, having played in All Creatures Great and Small. Notable for Doctor Who becoming more of an ensemble show, with up to four companions traveling with him at once, the show gained the air of a field trip gone horrifically wrong. Ironically enough for this gentle and pacifist Doctor, his stories tended to have high body counts. The first classic Doctor to show up in the new series. For his Big Finish character tropes, see here.
  • Action Survivor: By comparison with the other Doctors, anyway.
  • Adorkable: Especially just after his regeneration, when he first tries on his cricketer's outfit and mimes with a cricket bat.
  • Adventurer Outfit: This Doctor wears a Panama hat, as though on safari.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: 1910s cricket gear... and sneakers.
  • Badass Longcoat: A beige one.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Five isn't averse to guns to begin with, and he unloads torrents of bullets/charges on Cybermen, Daleks and Omega alike, but he has a proper Batman Grabs a Gun moments when he decides to murder Davros. (He fails, of course.)
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Looking at the Fifth Doctor, you wouldn't suspect it, would you? Well, the Fifth is also the Doctor who straight-up murdered a Cyberman, then shot it in the chest with its own gun. Repeatedly. He also shot Omega, and he's the one who stood there and watched the Master burn to death.
  • Bishie Sparkle: In his opening sequence.
  • Bitter Sweet Ending: His regeneration. He ended up regenerating just fine, but the last thing he ever thought of was the Master telling him to die and laughing at him.
  • Born Unlucky: Want to know how unlucky Five was? Everything that happens in "Caves of Androzani" is thanks to his companion tripping and falling down a hole.
  • Break the Cutie: Starts out broken due to the worst post-regeneration effects before or since that nearly drives him mad, with The Master trying to help him down the road. He gets better, but due to events during his run he's emotionally beat down to the point where he's not sure if he has the will to regenerate and it's only through remembering his companions and the satisfaction his death would give The Master that he does find the will to regenerate.
  • Captain Obvious: Frequently with a healthy dose of snark.
  • Catch Phrase: "Brave heart, (insert character name)." (Especially Tegan, though other companions are similarly cheered up.) He's also shown to be fond of "Sorry, must dash!" when confronted by the usual contingents of armed guards.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The Fifth Doctor's love of cricket would come in handy more than once.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: There's a delightful little moment in "Arc of Infinity" where, while trying to save both Gallifrey and Earth from Omega's crazed plans, the Doctor knocks an old lady's groceries out of her arms. He quickly stops to help her gather up her things.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Wore a stick of celery on his lapel in the slim chance that he would run across gasses in the Praxis range which he was allergic to.
  • Determinator: This line says it all.
    Doctor: Unless of course I can find the antidote. I owe it to my friend to try, because I got her into this!!! So you see I'M NOT GONNA LET YOU STOP ME NOW!!!!
  • Distressed Dude: He's captured somehow at least once an adventure. Some days, he's brainwashed. Other days, he's chained up and shot at. He's most frequently physically weakened, and only very (very) rarely manages to stay upright for an entire episode. On a particularly bizarre occasion, Five was nearly mindwiped and replaced with an Evil Knockoff. Man, this Doctor just did not know how to stay out of trouble.
    • Again, this was likely a conscious move away from Four's infallibility. Tom Baker would never have stood for being held prisoner for more than a scene, if that.
    • A whole lot of cliffhangers from this era often have the Fifth Doctor in some sort of danger — this occurs so often, these cliffhangers are called "the Davison Cliffhangers".
  • The Ditherer: Often delegated some decisions to a simple flip of a coin.
  • Doom Magnet: Moreso than any Doctor, excepting the War Doctor, Five has a tendency to leave a massive body count in his wake, with his final arc ending in the deaths of everyone else in it but his companion and a minor character. This is often entirely against his wishes and his best efforts.
  • Dull Surprise: This Doctor has a tendency to stare, slack-jawed, at things and events a lot. Perhaps directly related to his tendency to have Heroic BSODs.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: His regeneration was easily the most spectacular from the original series.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He spends most of an entire serial dying, and keeps his head held high.
  • Famous Last Words:
    (Spoken) Fifth Doctor: "Feels different his time."
    (Thought) Fifth Doctor: "... Adric?"
  • The Finicky One
  • Future Me Annoys Me: Repeatedly swats the 10th Doctor away like a fly at a picnic, not recognizing who he is. When Ten responds by gushing that he modeled himself on Five as a compliment, Five interprets this to mean he's a Loony Fan.
  • Gentleman Snarker: He is masterful at snarking at people in the politest way possible.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Davison attempted to do "old man in a young man's body" at times, but the scripts didn't let him, so he came across as world-weary instead.
  • Heroic BSOD: Suffered from more than his fair share, compared to the other Doctors. Particularly when Adric died.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: To save Peri's life.
  • Hot Scientist: The first conventionally attractive (read: young) Doctor.
  • Iconic Item: The lapel-mounted celery and Purely Aesthetic Glasses. The latter, however, is not used nearly as often, but Ten takes notice of them. The roll-up hat can count as well, depending on the fan you ask.
    • Some still will insist that it's his sneakers that really complete the outfit, being a modern piece of clothing in an otherwise period costume.
    • Really his entire ensemble is this, to the point where even the Tenth Doctor refers to it as his "Crickety Cricket stuff". Ten notes that he merrily copied the "Brainy Specs" and trainers look from Five.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: He's not actually wearing cricket whites, but rather a stylish facsimile; he can even stroll right into a cricket match in progress, so easily mistaken are they for actual gear. This Doctor also deployed a (bottomless) pocketful of cricket balls as weapons: lobbing them at a spaceship, a robot, an unlucky Sontaran, and even using one for a Weight And Switch.
  • Kill 'em All: This trope seemed to follow the Fifth like the plague — at least a third of his stories ended with a massive body count. His last story had two survivors, and neither was him. He got better, of course.
  • Literalist Snarking: Brand of snark he frequently employs.
  • Magnetic Hero: Travels with lots of companions at the same time, much like One.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: His relationship with Tegan is best described as this.
  • Nervous Wreck: Briefly after his regeneration he nearly lost his mind and was this because his synapses weren't connecting properly.
  • Never Live It Down: In-universe, his "Brainy Specs". He doesn't even need them, he just thinks they make him look clever.
  • Nice Guy: Five, when you boil it down, is a nice guy in a not-very-nice universe.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: This is definitely one of the more chaste and hands-off Doctors, by decree from above. He only gets a very occasional hug or peck on the cheek with his companions. Although it doesn't stop some fans (and Davison himself!) from noticing he's more than willing to throw his hands onto Adric.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In his final story (his only one written by Robert Holmes), the Doctor indulges in some Fourth Doctor-style banter with his captors. The key difference here is that, unlike Four, Five isn't in total control — he's sweating under the collar and playing a brinkmanship game, desperate not to get everyone killed.
    • Also applies to his first filmed story; as the character obviously wasn't nailed down yet, Five comes across as more snarky and short-tempered than usual.
  • Plot-Sensitive Snooping Skills: Tends to be pretty perceptive about most people, but anyone he's put under the flag of friend he tends to believe the best of and tends to fail to see things in them that he doesn't expect to see.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Occasionally. Peter Davison actually admitted he stopped wearing what were later called the "brainy specs" after a while because of ribbing from certain members of the cast. He put them back on for the "Time Crash" mini-episode with David Tennant.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: And extremely at home in The Edwardian Era.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: His team TARDIS at one point consisted of a bored stewardess from Australia, a stoic teenaged scientist who was the Last of Her Kind, a snotty teenaged maths dork from an Alternate Universe, and, well, a renegade Time Lord who inexplicably dressed in Edwardian cricket gear and decorative food.
    • And if that weren't enough, they later killed off the snotty teenaged maths dork, but replaced him with a surly young man in a nice suit that was secretly working for the bad guy in his first appearance. And everyone else was still there, at least for 1 more story, when he joined up.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Five is, in one sense, the noblest of the Doctors, but also the least effective because of it.
    Sixth Doctor: Change, my dear... and not a moment too soon.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Underscored in "Time Crash". Ten compares his old man incarnations to a teenager's emo period, and treasures the wisdom he gleaned from his time as Five.
  • The Snark Knight: Extremely sarcastic, especially towards Tegan and Adric. When he's not actually snarking at them, his facial expressions speak volumes, and he's the master of the eye roll.
  • Stepford Smiler: After Adric dies.
  • Submissive Badass: For a Time Lord that regularly saved the universe from evils such as the Daleks, the Cybermen, and the Master, this Doctor had a surprisingly high threshold for how much shit he would take from people. He preferred to quietly watch, snark and wait for an opportunity to strike, instead of leaping into action.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Very fatherly and, well, English, but also very crass at times — especially towards Adric, who felt downright bullied by him.
  • Team Dad: Saw his young companions more as kids on a field trip than as equals.
  • Technical Pacifist: It's technically not murder if your enemy may have Joker Immunity.
  • Think Nothing of It
  • Too Good For This Sinful Galaxy
  • Torture Porn: His final serial. Also, Five's last companion was Peri Brown, who gets tied up often enough to make Wonder Woman green with envy.
  • Tragic Hero: Often the writing itself conspires to make for a downbeat ending, with the Doctor being willfully blind to dangers, having a companion who isn't very adept at adventuring, and lacking previous Doctors' nigh-omnipotence to get him out of jams.
  • Undying Loyalty: The lengths to which he went in saving Peri from the horrors of Androzani Major. It's particularly touching when you realise that he'd only met her in the previous serial. (The later Big Finish audios show that they traveled together much longer than just the two serials, though.)
  • Walking Disaster Area: People pretty much tend to drop dead as soon as he walks in.
  • What Have We Ear?: He learns coin magic from Adric, which is fairly adorable.

    Sixth Doctor 

Sixth Doctor

"Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, forms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal."

Played by: Colin Baker (1984-86, 1993) note 

The passionate, prideful, articulate naysayer with a hidden heart of gold. The Sixth Doctor was a darker and grittier (and certainly more unstable) Doctor, whose default emotions were righteous indignation or smug self-satisfaction. Wore a multicoloured coat and wasn't averse to fisticuffs or murder to get out of a desperate fix. Alas, viewers weren't exactly fond of the idea of a periodically-evil Doctor. During his first season, the show got in trouble for being too violent. Baker became the only actor to be fired from the role, thanks to Executive Meddling; the fallout was so acrimonious that he didn't reprise the role for a regeneration, so they Dropped a Bridge on Him. However, Colin Baker is actually a wonderful guy, and is currently still redeeming the character fantastically in Big Finish Doctor Who, to the point of being voted "favourite audio Doctor" by the fans. For his Big Finish character tropes, see here.
  • '80s Hair: A mess of big blond curls.
  • Aborted Arc: A multi-year arc was planned in which the Sixth Doctor would mellow out, but politics at the BBC intervened. This was later taken up (after a fashion) by the Big Finish audios, where regular companion Dr. Evelyn Smythe puts up with exactly zero of his ego-trips and gives him a much-needed reality check. Unfortunately, the dissatisfaction with Baker's tenure bled into the material itself ("Trial of a Time Lord") and later Who novels, which had Seven seeing him as a fundamentally flawed incarnation (though he eventually changed his mind).
  • Anti-Hero: Whereas the Fifth Doctor found himself stuck in a World Half Empty, fretting about other ways, Six seems more open to employing dirty methods when fighting evil. In truth, the Sixth Doctor usually wasn't very violent but the situations he found himself in certainly were. Though Nathan-Turner's iron fist was keenly felt in the Costuming Department, script editor Eric Saward was, for all intents and purposes, in charge of the show during this period. Saward is also well-known for his affinity for action heroes, morally ambiguous stories and a kill-or-be-killed mentality. He was at sea with Davison's Doctor, but Baker allowed Saward to indulge a less-utopian worldview.
  • Big Fun: The most portly Doctor thus far, though that isn't saying much.
  • Bond One-Liner: Fond of them. There's a particularly grim one in "Vengeance on Varos", and it began to attract executive mumblings about whether Doctor Who was going too far. After two guards accidentally fall into an acid bath that was meant for the Doctor...
    Sixth Doctor: "Forgive me if I don't join you."
  • Came Back Wrong: Probably the most memorable regeneration trauma to date. Six has a peculiar fascination with peoples' throats in his debut story.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: The Sixth Doctor isn't quite this bad, but he is articulate and abrasive. Do not argue with him. You will lose.
  • Character Development: The Sixth Doctor's relationship with his companion Peri changes for the better with each adventure they have together. If the Sixth Doctor's run had not been abruptly cut short, then he would have also been shown mellowing down and becoming a calmer Doctor closer to his previous incarnation.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: He does one in his opening credits.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Extremely so. When faced with a multitude of buttons, a gun and a few seconds to spare, his default solution is to shoot the entire control panel and short-circuit the system.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Heck, it's how he introduces himself to the world!
    Peri: ...Doctor?
    Sixth Doctor: You were expecting someone else?
  • Defector from Decadence: His experiences in this incarnation kill any shred of respect he still had for Time Lord society. After this, he only misses Gallifrey once there's no going back.
    "In all my traveling throughout the universe I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here. The oldest civilization: decadent, degenerate, and rotten to the core!"
  • Doctor Jerk: Took great pleasure in exchanging barbs with Peri, though she took a while to really catch on.
    • Interestingly, the first of his Doctor Who Magazine comics was developed before his first episodes even aired, so the writers had nothing yet to go on... and wrote him with a kind, fairly normal personality. It somehow stuck, and his comics incarnation is really just a nice chap, with only the occasional flash of hostility.
  • Death by Falling Over/Dropped a Bridge on Him: Hits his head on the TARDIS console. (Although the later novels include a bit of Fix Fic for the scene. The BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel Spiral Scratch depicts giant alien parasites sucking away the energy around him that time travel generates. They feast on it until he withers, and the Rani's attack delivers the final blow to an already dying Doctor.)
  • Famous Last Words: "Carrot juice, carrot juice, carrot juice..." Or if you go by the novel Spiral Scratch, "Local...tractor beam..."
    • Even though Terror of the Vervoids takes place after the trial, and the last thing he chronologically said on screen would be 'Vesti la guibba e la faccia,' (Roughly 'Put on your costume, powder your face.') but several sources put the "carrot juice" line as his last words.
  • Future Me Scares Me: The Valeyard.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The actor may not visually fit the role, but the Sixth Doctor himself easily fits the role in personality.
  • Hot-Blooded: Colin Baker summed it up as: "He's intolerant about injustice; he's passionate about justice. But he's not a human being. Therefore he may behave, at times, in a way that we mere humans might find puzzling. But the greater good is always at the heart."
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms: Especially when frustrated or angry.
  • Hypocritical Humor: This Doctor is much more of a "do as I say, not as I do" sort of fellow.
  • Iconic Item: That technicolor nightmare coat, the cat badge and the umbrella. Sure enough, his regeneration into Seven inevitably culminates with the new incarnation questioning the former's bizarre tastes and pitching the coat for something more sophisticated.
  • I Hate Past Me: As the Sixth Doctor considers himself the absolute pinnacle of Time Lord regeneration, he has a low regard for his predecessors, most notably Two and Five. Two returned the sentiment.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: It's like a clown vomited in his closet. The shirt and suspenders were inherited from Five, the hair and the Hawaiian vest seem to be directly lifted from producer John Nathan-Turner, and Six goes for broke with the coat-shaped quilt, th3 lemonade pants, the green loafers and a variety of cat badges. As a inside joke on the Doctor's post-regeneration makeovers, it's brilliant parody. (It becomes less funny when the Doctor continues to wear it.)
    • Colin Baker actually wanted to dress in black velvet for the part (to quote, "a bit austere, ruffled sleeves, long black coat, black trousers"), which John Nathan-Turner shot down immediately due to it basically being the Master's outfit. Legend has it that JNT then turned down the first several versions of the design because they still retained some vestiges of good taste. Interestingly, the costume looks just fine when you remove the excess color (see the outfit Six switches to for a while in Big Finish).
  • Insufferable Genius: Oh, boy. Described by many as a "raging egotist"... but he really was as good as he described himself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The genuine heart of gold still existed in this Doctor... it was just buried under a whole lot of ego. And bluster. But mostly ego. Ironically, the Sixth Doctor may well have had the largest heart of gold of any of them, hidden way deep down underneath the ego. Colin Baker later said he based his Doctor on Mr. Darcy.
  • Kangaroo Court: The "Trial of a Time Lord" saw him put on trial for conduct unbecoming a Time Lord by a Gallifreyan court, with the charge later changed to genocide of a minor plant race. Six wasn't allowed to glimpse the evidence against him, the Master was called as a character witness, and most of the surveillance footage was fabricated anyway.
  • Knight Errant: Self-described in "The Twin Dilemma."
    Sixth Doctor: I'm a knight errant, not an errant fool!
  • Laughing Mad: His regeneration trauma ran the gamut of emotions, from "happy drunk" to "raving paranoia" and everything in between. The wardrobe change was interrupted by a bout of existential angst.
    "Nothing but the... urk!... grinding engines of the universe! The...crushing boredom of eternity! HAAAAAHahahahAHAhahahaA!"
  • Murder Tropes: Although previous regenerations had no problem with letting villains die horrible deaths or blowing up inhabited enemy shapeships, Six straight up grabbed someone (who very definitely did not have Joker Immunity) and murdered him using a cyanide rag.
  • Nerves of Steel: Showed courage even in the worst situations.
  • No Indoor Voice: Six was quite shouty.
  • Number One Dime: He's apparently fond of cats, as evidenced by a brooch worn on his lapel (a Colin Baker embellishment, natch). Six was known to tap or stroke the cat before attempting something risky.
  • Regeneration By Falling Over: The Rani shot at his TARDIS with a disco laser, there was something involving a rainbow, and... then he was dead on the floor.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Depending on the writer, the Sixth Doctor tends to go from "being smart" to "sounding like he not only swallowed a thesaurus, but all of the grammar teachers in England." This is also played up in some of his Expanded Universe appearances.
  • Tsundere: The harsh version.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with Peri at first; it does take them a few episodes to get along without unleashing a hurricane of insults on each other.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Only used against the Sixth Doctor in terms of his attitude rather than his actions or history.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess Player: Once Six actually figures out what the hell is going on, his quick thinking and planning is pretty much this in curly blond hair and a multicoloured coat. That does, of course, depend on the Sixth Doctor actually being involved enough in the main story to realize what's going on —- one example left him clueless until the final 20 minutes of the story.
  • You Look Familiar: Colin Baker appeared prominently in "Arc of Infinity" as a different Time Lord (a chief of security named Maxil, who shoots the Fifth Doctor) before he was cast as the Sixth Doctor. He likes to joke that he got the part by shooting the incumbent.

    Seventh Doctor 

Seventh Doctor

"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies."

Played by: Sylvester McCoy: (1987-89, 1993, 1996)

The cunning, mysterious chess master. The Seventh Doctor began as a sort of bumbling goof, but became a very manipulative and enigmatic figure when the show got a little Darker and Edgier (after back-pedalling away from it) in its last two seasons. He turned into a borderline Knight Templar, fond of The Plan, and a bit of a Knight Templar Parent to his companion Ace. These qualities came even more to the fore in the many, many Expanded Universe Doctor Who New Adventures novels he starred in. Hinted at numerous times to be much more than a "mere" Time Lord — a Story Arc which didn't quite pan out as such. What little made it into the show, however, added a few clues regarding his escape from Gallifrey, which appears to have included nicking the Hand of Omega as he went. Played the spoons (the musical instrument). For his Big Finish tropes, click here.
  • Aborted Arc: The so-called Cartmel Master Plan, whereby it would be revealed that Rassilon and Omega co-founded Time Lord society with a mysterious third individual known only as "The Other"; The Doctor would turn out to be the reincarnation of this person, in an attempt to return mystique to the character. Shades of this plan are seen in both "Remembrance of the Daleks" and "Silver Nemesis", both of which show that he knows how to operate Artifacts of Doom from Gallifrey's ancient past, and there was a plan for the Master to accuse him of being more than just a Time Lord. The cancellation of the show scuppered all this. Bits of it made it into the webcast "Death Comes to Time", and the episodes that were never filmed were eventually recorded as audios by Big Finish (though so far without the Cartmel Master Plan). Parts of the Master Plan made it into the New Adventures novels, especially in Lungbarrow.
  • Amnesiac Hero: His post-regeneration story opened with Seven as a dupe of the Rani - though this was the fault of her amnesia serum, not random happenstance.
  • Batman Gambit: Often directly related to his status as Chessmaster.
  • Book Ends: Both the start and the end of the life of the Seventh Doctor were really ignoble: hitting his head on the TARDIS console and being killed by malpractice committed by the woman who would become his next companion.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: He puts Ace through this in Fenric.
  • Celibate Hero: No Hugging, No Kissing was generally in place for the classic Doctors, but Seven displayed celibacy to the point that in a few Expanded Universe stories, his companions know he's Not Himself just from the fact alone that he suddenly fancies someone. Bernice Summerfield summarises that she's "never known the Doctor to have any concern for the trouser department."
  • Character Development: The Seventh Doctor begins as a bit of a clown before developing into a manipulator who saves the day through intricate planning.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: It always looks like he's up to something.
  • The Chessmaster: With varying success, often requiring the liberal use of Xanatos Speed Chess when things go awry. In the Doctor Who New Adventures, Seven's abilities are given real room to flex and are usually far more impressive.
  • Creepy Good: This Doctor could get scary. His life lessons to Ace in "Ghost Light" are downright terrifying.
  • Determinator: In the 1996 movie, he wakes up several times on the operating table, despite being heavily sedated, in order to attempt to warn everyone of what's happening.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The craftiest Doctor of them all got taken out by Asian crime elements... in the city of the Summer Of Love. That's rubbish luck even by his standards.
  • Expy/No Celebrities Were Harmed: Seven's later, callous characterization seems to have borrowed a few tics from David McCallum's 'hero' in Sapphire And Steel. Other touches were inspired by sci-fi icon Ken Campbell, McCoy's mentor and one of several auditionees for the 7th Doctor. (Campbell was considered too spooky.)
  • Famous Last Words: "AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
    • His last actual words were "I've got to stop... him."
  • Fun Personified: He starts out as this just after regenerating. His later stories turn him into a very dark Magnificent Bastard instead, although still with plenty of juggling, spoon dancing and hat tricks.
  • Future Me Scares Me: He finds out that in some future regeneration, in an Alternate Universe where the Arthurian legend is real, he'll become Merlin. Because of this, he has to spend an entire episode picking apart clues left to him by his future self.
  • Iconic Item: His straw hat, question mark handled umbrella (which he pretty much used as a third arm), and question mark covered sweater-vest.
  • Malaproper: In his early stories. "Time and tide melt the snowman," "A bird in the hand keeps the Doctor away." Philosophical gold, my friends.
  • Medical Horror: His final moments. Heavily sedated, Strapped to an Operating Table, and begging the sweet human doctor to stop shoving a camera probe into his arteries.
  • My Card: Handed out in "Remembrance of the Daleks"...out of thin air, at that. Sylvester McCoy had a small background with stunts and parlour tricks
  • My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours: In "The Happiness Patrol", he brings a fascist dictatorship to its knees within just a few hours, simply by following its laws to the letter.
  • Nerves of Steel:
    Why don't you do it then? Look me in the eye. Pull the trigger. End my life.
  • Nice Hat: Which actually belonged to Sylvester McCoy. Seven liked to roll it up and down his sleeve.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Nothing about his appearance or demeanor suggests that he is a threat.
  • Papa Wolf: When it comes to Ace, he's got this trope down pat. Particularly in the Expanded Universe.
  • Parental Substitute: Ace's father is never mentioned, and she has a bad relationship with her mother, so the Doctor ends up becoming a father figure to her.
  • The Power of Rock: The power of blues, showtunes and spoons.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Not dressed like one for a change, but he was polite in a classic way.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Extremely.
  • Scenery Porn: His TARDIS eventually becomes a lush drawing room full of books, candles and Steam Punk gadgets.
  • Shipper on Deck: He's extremely entertained by Ancelyn and Brigadier Bambera.
  • Slapstick: Especially in his early stories.
  • Strapped to an Operating Table: While heavily sedated, and trying to explain to nice Dr. Grace that he's not human and could she please take that camera out of his arteries. She doesn't listen, and he dies.
  • Take That Me: The Big Finish branch of the Expanded Universe has given the Seventh Doctor a few unintentional (on the Doctor's part) jabs at his rather lackluster death in the TV Movie. The best jab, by far, was "I will not die to the sound of elevator music!" when trying to escape a depressurizing airlock playing opera at him. Guess what he died to.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Seven loves doing this. It's in a good half of his stories.
  • Talking Your Way Out: Seven's great love — his words are far and away more effective than any physical threat.
  • Trickster Mentor: Became this in his second season, as focus shifted to his companion Ace. As a result, Ace became the most fleshed-out companion, whilst the Doctor became ever more mysterious.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs/Scottish English: McCoy was actually the first Doctor to not speak with a Received Pronunciation accent. He's very Scottish.
  • Unflinching Walk: He calmly walked out of a building that then promptly exploded and appeared not to notice. (The pyrotechnicians had over-rigged the charge and McCoy was fairly certain he was now dead, but kept moving on the off-chance he wasn't a pile of ash after all, since there was only one take they could do.)
  • Waistcoat of Style: In the television movie, along with a plain necktie.
  • Weapon of Choice: His brain (and, technically, words). This is the first Doctor to get a Dalek to self-destruct by talking to it.
  • We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill: The Seventh Doctor's death in a nutshell. The Doctor lands in San Francisco, and barely gets two feet outside the door when a Chinatown gang immediately opens fire on him. No wonder he rarely goes to America.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Seven tends to keep his eye on the big picture, and while he won't directly kill anyone, he's been known to leave — or nearly leave — psychological scars, especially in Ace. He gets called out on it. Hard.
  • Worst Aid: Bullets? Not a problem. Paramedics mistaking your alien heart rates for fibrillation? That's another matter.

    Eighth Doctor 

Eighth Doctor

"The universe hangs by such a delicate thread of coincidences - it's useless to meddle with it unless, like me, you're a Time Lord."

Played by: Paul McGann (1996, 2013)

The bouncy, charming romantic. From the little we saw of him, the Eighth Doctor was a chatty, passionate figure who reveled in life and living and — uniquely among the Doctors — seemed to enjoy giving people hints about their futures. Notably, he was the Doctor who shattered the No Hugging, No Kissing policy forever, happily snogging his companions just because he wanted to. He also claimed to be half-human, which was either ignored or denied in later stories. Got fleshed out considerably in the Expanded Universe media, including the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels (tropes here), the Doctor Who Magazine comics (tropes here) and the Big Finish audio series (tropes here).
  • Always Save the Girl: Until the very end.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Starts out this way, and manages to find new and exciting ways to contract amnesia every couple of stories — both in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels and in Big Finish.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Gets this gem in "The Night of the Doctor":
    Cass: Where are we going?
    Eight: Back of the ship.
    Cass: Why?
    Eight: Because the front crashes first. Think it through.
  • As the Good Book Says: Eight quotes Luke 4:23 before downing a potion which changes him into the War Doctor.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In reaction to scheming Seven, Eight can't stay on one task or thought for more than two seconds. Everything carries the same weight. This became his principal trait in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Victorian clothes, long hair and Grace's ex-boyfriend's shoes.
  • Back for the Dead: He appears in The Night Of The Doctor to regenerate into the War Doctor.
  • Badass Longcoat: Has a beautiful green one during the TVM. His second appearance has it longer, greener, and much more badass. His (so-far) audio-only second outfit is a badass leather peacoat.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: As a symbolic shedding of his peacemaker persona, Eight gets tooled up in "The Night of the Doctor".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For
    Make me a warrior now.
  • Book Ends: Begins his existence as a man fighting to reclaim his identity as the Doctor and ends it as a man who renounces his identity as the Doctor in order to fight.
    • He regenerated from the Seventh Doctor several hours after his previous incarnation's "death". He regenerates into the War Doctor after dying in a spaceship crash and being briefly resurrected by the Sisterhood of Karn in order to regenerate.
    • At the beginning of Eight's life, after Eight tells Grace that he is a Time Lord, she runs from him, locks the doors to her home, and declares him a madman. At the end of Eight's life, after Eight tells Cass that he is a Time Lord, she backs away from him, deadlocks the door to her ship, and declares him more despicable than a Dalek. While the former ends up regaining trust in him, the latter takes her fears to the grave, reflecting the darker atmosphere that the Eighth Doctor lived through amidst the death and destruction of the Time War.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Has a habit of randomly snogging people when he gets excited, and was consequently the first Doctor ever to be properly romantic with his companions. His kiss with Grace in the movie was as much a surprise for the audience as it was for her. Has another Big Damn Kiss in Big Finish with companion Charley, although it's played for horror, with Grace (again) and Destrii in the comics, and with companions Sam, Fitz and Bernice Summerfield in the novels.
  • Break the Cutie: The Night of the Doctor, leading to his Despair Event Horizon and regeneration into the War Doctor.
    • This comes after more than a decade of Break the Cutie adventures in Big Finish. By "The Night of the Doctor" he seems to be barely holding on after all he's been through.
  • Changed My Jumper: for The Night of the Doctor Paul McGann got his wish and has a Badass Longcoat, similar in style to the Tenth Doctor's but in a dark green, along with a well worn and broken-in revision of his TV movie outfit that's much less stylized than his original costume. It's a mix of his classic TV movie costume and his updated Dark Eyes look from Big Finish Doctor Who.
  • Character Development: His long arcs with his Big Finish companions lead him to adopt a much more solemn outlook on life — and he ends up world-weary and alone in the very end.
    • It doesn't help that most of the companions he recited in The Night of the Doctor prior to his regeneration were killed during his travels.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: During the Time War, he actually tried to save Davros from the Nightmare Child.
    • Even more baffling if Big Finish Doctor Who is in continuity, considering what Davros did in those stories.
  • Clock King: Perhaps in an attempt to ease Americans into the setting, this Doctor has a collection of clocks inside his TARDIS (because he's a Time Lord - geddit?). On a deeper level, Eight exhibits an ability to sense the fate of people and see into their timestreams. Another suggestion of this occurs when Doctor handles the Wild Bill Hickok costume he adopts as his outfit; he seems to pick up a psychic impression from the period clothing.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He's a bit loopy even by Doctor standards, though it doesn't stop him getting the job done.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: "Charley. C'rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, Molly..."
  • The Dandy: Easily, the most best dressed out of all the Doctors, Even when his clothes become ragged by the Time War they still have a charm to them.
  • Dead Man Walking/Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: Actually dies (as in permanently) in a spaceship crash, but is temporarily brought back to life for around 4 minutes by the Sisterhood of Karn, so he could choose his next regeneration.
  • Deal with the Devil: His decision to accept the Sisterhood of Karn's offer to pick his next incarnation definitely has this vibe.
  • Death Seeker: Claims he won't leave Cass to die while she refuses to leave with a Time Lord. This means he stays on a spaceship as it crashes, killing him (for good). He appears to be broken enough from the Time War to accept this, or perhaps he feels culpability for the atrocities of his people.
    • He certainly wasn't happy about being revived, at least; referring to the Sisters of Karn's elixir, he calls them the "keepers of the flame of utter boredom" and, when glaring at the goblet he's to drink, Eight angrily screams at them to leave.
  • Defiant to the End: A running gag in the Big Finish audios. When Eight's in danger of dying, he gets snarky. There's a nod to it in "The Resurrection Of Mars" ("he uses it to suppress his fear"), and of course it recurs in his second — and terminal — live-action appearance: When informed he has 4 minutes to live, the Doctor brashly lists off a half dozen hobbies he could indulge in that time. "Bring me knitting!"
  • Despair Event Horizon: Having endured, and run from, the still waging Time War, his failure to save the pilot Cass, and the accompanying realization of the reputation his people has brought upon themselves, appears to serve as the final straw on his state of mind. With some coaxing from the Sisters of Karn, he resignedly embraces his regeneration into the War Doctor. This comes after being thoroughly broken by his adventures in Big Finish Doctor Who.
    Doctor: I don't suppose there's any need for a Doctor anymore.
  • Distressed Dude: Courtesy of the Master, who's trying to steal the rest of his regenerations.
  • Ditzy Genius: Possibly the ditziest Doctor of them all, at least at first. Not so much later on.
  • Downer Ending/Cerebus Syndrome: Started out as the sunniest Doctor yet, with an unadulterated glee about the prospect of living that would not be seen again until his Tenth or even Eleventh iteration. By the time he got to Karn, however, he is a broken and emotionally haggard man who believes he deserves to have his life ended in agony.
  • Dull Surprise: One of the notorious aspects of the movie. Paul McGann couldn't move his forehead too much without the seam of the wig showing, which is part of the reason why he hated it so much.
  • Famous Last Words: "Physician, heal thyself."
  • Five-Finger Discount: In his single TV adventure, the Eighth Doctor demonstrated a talent for pickpocketing people while directly speaking with them. He uses this talent to steal an ID card and a gun... which he uses to hold himself hostage.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Though they ultimately decide to part ways, the first person he meets who fills the traditional role of companion is the redheaded Dr. Grace Holloway. As soon as he gets over his regeneration trauma, he snogs her a few times out of sheer joy. (She's also the only companion ever in the TV series to directly inadvertently kill him, thus forcing him to regenerate from Seven to Eight.)
  • Got Volunteered: Since the alternative was being Killed Off for Real with the universe still in peril.
    Doctor: I would rather die.
    Sister: You're dead already. How many more would you let join you?
  • Heroic Bystander: He refused to fight in the Time War until he had no choice.
    Eighth Doctor: It is not my war. I will have no part of it.
  • Heroic Suicide: Enforced by the Sisters Of The Flame.
  • Iconic Item: His fob watch and Edwardian dress. Also, his shoes, which fit perfectly.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: He was this close to rescuing Cass and packing off to a brand new adventure... until she saw his TARDIS, whereupon she recoiled as if in the presence of the Death Star or a Nazi flag.
  • Important Haircut: Eight's "Night" attire looks like it's seen a few wars already, and his hairstyle follows suit.
  • Innocent Fanservice Guy: Gets a a few shirtless scenes right off the bat, while still very confused and amnesiac.
  • It Has Been an Honor/To Absent Friends: Before consuming the Sisterhood's regeneration elixir, he raises a toast to each of his Big Finish companions.
  • Keet: Extremely.
  • Kirk Summation: "You want dominion over the living, but all you do is kill!"
  • Large Ham: With big arm gestures.
  • Long Bus Trip: Seventeen years between regenerations.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy
  • Loose Canon: The first destruction of Gallifrey, in the EDAs that is, was the one the 8th Doctor enacted to save Gallifrey from Faction Paradox (The Ancestor Cell). This, of course, was hugely informed by the 7th Doctor's at times sinister portrayal in the Virgin series, which in turn served as a backdrop for the Revival Series Doctors. A previous book, Alien Bodies, introduced the War storyline which would become central to the Revival Series, and the loss of the Time Lords results in a universe where the laws of time are no longer being enforced (The Book of the Still). The Big Finish anniversary episode "Zagreus" cleared up the confusion over those novels' canonicity, by stating they're an alternate timeline possibility (and forcing Eight to watch that alternate self for a bit). Although Big Finish still tends to be, as Nicholas Briggs likes to put it, "a bit naughty" in regards to canon, and has Eight referencing the novels and the comics a few times later on.
  • Man Child: Easily the most boyish, carefree and bouncy Doctor when he's not in trouble.
  • Messianic Archetype: The only hope to stop the Time War from tearing the universe apart? Drinking from a goblet? Quoting the Bible?
  • Morton's Fork: The circumstances of his death, the Time War, and the intervention of the Sisterhood of Karn hand him one of these. Either die for real, and condemn the universe to a horrific end at the hands of the Time Lords, the Daleks, and all the other too-horrible-to-think-of things that spawned from their battle, or cast aside everything he's sworn to be and join the fight in order to end it. He chooses the latter option, and apparently has regretted it ever since, despite it actually having worked.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Eight has a habit of losing his shirt with some frequency in any medium he appears in, and spends his first few minutes in the movie dressed in just a sheet.
  • Nice Shoes: "THESE SHOES!"
    • Also part of a running gag, as Three and Four both talked about their shoes shortly after regenerating (of course, because they had the TARDIS key in them)
  • No Indoor Voice: When excited or upset, he tends to go wild with the volume.
    Eighth Doctor: The Master wants to take all my remaining lives... SO THAT HE WILL LIVE AND I WILL DIE!
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Something he shares with a few other Doctors. While his Trauma-Induced Amnesia eventually gets better, his sense of personal space definitely does not.
  • Not So Different: As Cass points out to him, he and the Time Lords as a whole have committed so many atrocities during the Time War that there really is little difference between them and the Daleks.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: As seen in "The Name of the Doctor", he had a mostly off-screen adventure with the Second Doctor.
    • His (audio drama) Big Finish adventures are given a shout-out in "Night of the Doctor".
  • Pretty Boy
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: After seeing his reflection for the first time after regeneration, whilst wandering about the hospital: "WHO! AM! I?!"
  • Refusal of the Call: In The Night Of The Doctor, we learn the Eighth Doctor steadfastly refused to take any part in the Time War, even after it started to rip the universe apart. It is only his own death and forced resurrection by the Sisterhood of the Flame which causes him to break this rule and regenerate into the War Doctor.
  • Retroactive Precognition: An ability no other Doctor has ever shown again. Fan explanations vary from "it's a regeneration trauma thing" to "maybe Eight is special" to "Rule One: The Doctor Lies".
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Played with. Eight stubbornly refused to leave Cass despite telling him, quite clearly, to shove off. However, the crashed ship lands on Karn, causing a sequence of events that transform him into the War Doctor.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: In gorgeous Victorian clothes.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: The gun that Eight pulls on himself was actually the policeman's. He's great at sleight of hand.
  • Take My Hand: To the Master, who refused and let himself be dragged into the Eye of Harmony; and to Cass, who refused and elected to die instead of being saved by a Time Lord, seeing it as the better alternative. (It's a bit of a recurring trope for Eight that offering to take someone's hand ends very badly.)
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: In a way. He chooses to cast aside being a good man, being the Doctor, when he drank the chalice of the Warrior.
  • Took a Level in Badass: A fatal example. At the end of his life, he chose his next regeneration to be a 'warrior' so he could fight in the Time War. The Doctor regenerates almost immediately afterward.
  • Take Up My Sword: When considering his options for his next life, the Doctor pointedly claims Cass' bandolier off her corpse.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Regenerating several hours after his death and under the influence of surgical-grade anesthetics apparently constitutes less-than-ideal circumstances.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Came with the outfit.
  • Waking Up at the Morgue: Wakes up in a morgue in the middle of amnesia-inducing regeneration trauma. Finds a few feet of camera probe coming out of his chest. His first day was a bit scary.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: This only applies to his televised appearances, a whopping two over the course of 17 years.

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