Creator / Patrick Troughton

I believed totally in the possibilities implied by the series. I never thought of it as fantasy. Far from it.

Patrick Troughton (1920-1987) is best known for playing the second Doctor in the TV series Doctor Who. He was in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was the first actor to play the folk hero Robin Hood on television.

Troughton was known largely for his comedic roles before playing the Doctor, and thus decided to play the character differently from William Hartnell: the stern but caring grandfather was replaced by a clownish eccentric. This established a major factor to the show's popularity: the idea that regeneration not only changed the Doctor's appearance, but elements of his personality as well, allowing each actor who played him to put their own mark on the character. Hartnell fully endorsed Troughton's casting, reportedly saying that "there is one man in Britain who can take over [the role of the Doctor] and that's Patrick Troughton."

Troughton left the role after three years, but retained a life-long affiliation with the program, returning to play the Doctor three more times in various special episodes. Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor, cites Troughton as an inspiration for his version of the character, and it shows. He is also the actor who has reprised his role for televised multi-doctor specials most often ("The Three Doctors", "The Five Doctors" and "The Two Doctors"), beating fellow actors from that period Jon Pertwee ("Dimensions in Time" and "The Five Doctors") and William Hartnell ("The Three Doctors" and The Other Darrin in "The Five Doctors"). Troughton advised Peter Davison to limit his time to three seasons in order to avoid being typecast as the Doctor, and the rule has since been followed by David Tennant and Matt Smith.

He died of a heart attack at the Magnum Opus Con II Science Fiction convention in America, after ignoring the advice of his doctors who had told him not to go. He had two daughters and four sons. Many of his sons and grandsons have followed in his footsteps and become actors. His son David has made two significant Doctor Who appearances, as King Peladon in the Third Doctor story "The Curse of Peladon" and as Professor Hobbes in the Tenth Doctor episode "Midnight", whilst his other son Michael appeared in the 2014 Christmas spsecial. David's son, Sam Troughton, is best known as Much, in the recent Robin Hood series. Another grandson, Harry Melling, is best known as Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films.

Works this actor has appeared in:


Live-Action TV


Tropes associated with this actor include:

  • Acting for Two: In the Doctor Who serial "The Enemy of the World" he plays both the Doctor and Salamander.
  • And a Diet Coke: A tragic example.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In the Doctor Who episode "Robot of Sherwood" an image of him as Robin Hood appears.
  • Fan Convention: He infamously died at one in America. His doctors told him not to go. He ignored them.
  • Hobos: His characterization as the Second Doctor went through several changes, until they eventually decided on "Cosmic Hobo".
  • Missing Episode: As with all actors working on series on the BBC in the '60s, there are some Doctor Who episodes which have completely or almost completely vanished. It's particularly tragic in Troughton's case, especially in comparison to the first Doctor, William Hartnell most of Hartnell's serials from his first two years still exist. It's Seasons 3-5 that have the most missing episodes, which hits Troughton's work especially hard. Until 2013 (50 years after the series debut), only one serial from Troughton's first two seasons was known to have survived completely intact, and it was discovered by chance in Hong Kong in 1991. Fortunately, that serial was "The Tomb of the Cybermen", the one that made Troughton Matt Smith's favourite Doctor.
    • In October 2013, the BBC announced that a string of episodes from two consecutive six-episode serials within Troughton's second season had been recovered. "The Enemy of the World", in which Troughton played Salamander, was completed (previously, only one of its episodes was known to exist). The following serial, "The Web Of Fear", had all but episode 3 recovered.
  • Not Named in Closing Credits: In the final episode of the Doctor Who serial "The Tenth Planet", he is not named, as this is the first regeneration of the Doctor on screen.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Was once remembered by his son David as having a love for peeing on public golf courses. And on that note:
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Cursing like a sailor when he bungled his golf games.
  • Wearing a Tea Cosy on Your Head: He did this in cold weather in the North Sea, when he was in the Royal Navy. It's recognizably as British as a Union Flag.