Large Ham: Doctor Who

"Powerful! Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! Unimaginable Power! UNLIMITED RICE PUDDING! Etcetera! Etcetera!"

Doctor Who, in all its myriad incarnations, is a bountiful supply of ham. It's one of the things that makes the series so fun.

  • In general, the Doctors can ham it up. Of course, depending on the situation, this can either be good or bad for those who cross them.
  • It begins right with William Hartnell. His first encounter with the Daleks is particularly memorable. Possibly one of the only people who can ham it up with only consonants.
  • Patrick Troughton could do tense, cold, and tender scenes with the best of them, but most of the time behaved like an animated character come to life.
  • Although Jon Pertwee generally delivered his lines with a reasonable level of restraint, his facial expressions more than made up for it. His dramatic gurning has a well-deserved reputation.
  • This especially fits Tom Baker, who hams it up to almost BRIAN BLESSED levels both in the show and off it. Apparently there's a gene in any person with the surname Baker that transforms them into concentrated ham when in the presence of a TARDIS.
  • Peter Davison's Doctor was mostly one of the more subdued, least hammy Doctors in all of Doctor Who, but at the end of the day, a Doctor is still a Doctor. Just take this gem from Earthshock:
    "I want to announce my PRESENCE!!!"
  • Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor:
    • "The Mark of the Rani" is one big three-way Ham-fest between Baker ("DON'T MOVE, PERI! THE TREE WON'T HURT YOU!"), Anthony Ainley as the Master ("SHE'LL HAVE A SEIZURE!"), and Kate O'Mara as the Rani ("AND SO WILL ANYONE ELSE WHO INTERFERES!").
      • Good rule of thumb: the more Time Lords in a story, the bigger your serving of ham.
    • The exchanges between the Doctor and Yrcanos in "Mindwarp" are great. It's like the Doctor can't decide whether to be annoyed at how loud and over the top Yrcanos is or about him being more over the top than the Doctor himself.
    I am Yrcanos and you are scum!
    No, actually I'm known as the Doctor.
  • Sylvester McCoy surely deserves a mention here, he of the rrrrolling rrrr's. "Battlefield" has one of his most glorious moments of ham:
    • Here he is performing Eleven's speech to the assembled space ships from "The Pandorica Opens". It's a million times more hammy than Matt Smith's performance. Which says something, considering Smith is quite the ham himself.
    • And could anyone forget this extremely hammy line in Remembrance of the Daleks, when the Doctor cuts Davros off, who has just started saying "We shall become all-"
    Powerful! Crush the lesser races! Conquer the galaxy! UNIMAGINABLE POWER! UNLIMITED RICE PUDDING! Et cetera! Et cetera!
  • Paul McGann, while fairly subdued as Doctors go, has his moments...
    • In the single movie he played as the Doctor, he sliced enough Ham to cover the much longer tenures other Doctors had.
    "The Master wants to take all my remaining lives! SO THAT HE WILL LIVE AND I WILL DIE!"
    "I... am become... ZAGREUS!!!"
    • Though his non-hammy evil turn in "The Natural History of Fear" is such concentrated terror that ham would almost be preferable. Hammy evil Eight is entertaining as hell, but his subdued evil manages to be utterly terrifying. (And a bit of Fetish Fuel as well.) Listening to him whisper while he's lobotomizing a woman who's awake, aware, and terrified... good grief.
    "You may think the worst thing I can do to you is hurt you..."
  • Though overall more subtle than Four, Six, and Ten, Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor made ham sandwiches in some episodes.
    • There was his scene alone with the Dalek in "Dalek", in which Eccleston was literally foaming at the mouth by the end of his scary, awesome speech:
    "Why don't you finish the job, and make the Daleks extinct? Rid the universe of your filth! Why don't you just DIE?!"
    • And a certain moment from "The Doctor Dances":
    • In the previous episode, "The Empty Child":
    "GO TO YOUR ROOM!" Then remarks about how bad those Last Words would have been.
    • From the same episode:
  • David Tennant has blood made of espresso.
    • Pretty much any line from the episode "The Christmas Invasion".
    "This hand? It's a fightin' hand!"
    • And in "The Doctor's Daughter", what could be the hammiest proclamation of pacifism, ever:
    • Since "The Waters of Mars" was one of his last performances as the Doctor, Tennant apparently decided to go out with a bang. The scenery-chewing when he decides to actually take action is so completely over the top it threatens to implode in a singularity of ham.
    The Doctor: "The Laws of Time are MINE! And THEY WILL OBEY ME!!!"
    • Tennant manages to compress a metric ton of Ham into one word in "The End of Time": SHIIIIMMER!
    The Doctor: "There's an old Earth saying, Captain. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need."
    Vinvocci: "And what's that then?"
    The Doctor: "ALLONNNNS-Y!!" *slams the throttle forward full-blast*
    • Tennant's most hammy habit was adding explosive "-a!" sounds to the end of words as he got excited and started-a to over-enunciate-a. See "AND I'M NOT LISTENING-A!" from series two's "The Idiot's Lantern" and "BAREFOOT ON THE MOON-A!" from series three's "Smith and Jones" for particularly jarring examples.
  • Matt Smith is a very talented ham. In keeping with his incarnation's rather self-aware nature, a lot of his hammy moments are also intentional ploys to psych up himself, psych out his enemies, encourage his companions, or all three.
    • He's quite a ham just after his regeneration:
    "Legs! I've still got legs. Good. Arms! Hands! Oooh fingers, lots of fingers! ... Hair? I'm a GIRL?!?"
    • In the first Dalek centered episode of his reign:
    "I! Am! the Doctor! and YOU are the DAAAAAAAAHHHHHH-LEKS!!"
    • From "The Beast Below":
    • He does a hell of a lot of shouting in "Flesh and Stone":
    River: It's never going to work.
    The Doctor: WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT?! River, TELL ME!
    River: Like what, for instance?
    The Doctor: LIKE! ME! FOR! INSTANCE!!!!!!!!!!
    • Then there was "I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!"
    • And of course "I! Am! TAAAAAAAALKING!"
    • One of Matt Smith's great moments: "TARDIS bang bang, Daleks BOOM!"
    • In "Day of the Moon", Matt declares, "AND ONE WHACKING BIG KICK UP THE BACKSIDE FOR THE SILENCE!!!"
    • "The Rings of Akhaten" has the hammiest Eleven speech yet, complete with Manly Tears:
    "I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just me! I've walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a MAD... MAN. I've watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you'll never understand! And I know things. Secrets that must never be told. Knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite gods BLAZE! SO COME OOOOON THEN! TAKE IT! TAKE IT ALL, BABY! HAVE IT! YOU HAVE IT ALL!"
    • "Nightmare In Silver" has him at about thrice the usual ham level when he's possessed by the Cyberplanner and becomes "Mr. Clever." He isn't just Chewing the Scenery, he's eating it in great massive gulps.
    • Suffice it to say Eleven goes out at his absolute hammiest in "The Time of the Doctor". Upon receiving his new regeneration cycle from the Time Lords, he delivers quite possibly his single most spectacular speech in his entire three-year run, complete with shamelessly theatrical cane-waving:
      Eleventh Doctor: Sorry, what did you say? Did you mention the rules? Now, listen, bit of advice: tell me the truth, if you think you know - lay down the law if you're feeling brave! But, Daleks, never, ever TELL ME THE RULES!
      Eleventh Doctor: Oh, look at this! Regeneration number thirteen! We're breaking some serious science here, boys! I tell you what - it's gonna be a WHOPPER!
      Eleventh Doctor: HA! You think you can stop me now, Daleks!? IF YOU WANT MY LIFE, COME... AND... GET IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT!!!
      • And then he immediately proceeds to regenerate in by far the hammiest such scene in the entire series.
      • Basically, the Daleks are haminated!
  • Between bellowing about "attack eyebrows" and flirting with a Tyrannosaur, Peter Capaldi has made his debut in suitably hammy fashion. Given just who Capaldi is, this is not a surprise in the slightest.
    [To dinosaur]: HEYYY! BIG SEXY WOMAN!!!
    • "Into The Dalek" has him impersonate the titular creature. Naturally it's as hammy as the Daleks.
    • In "Time Heist", the Twelfth Doctor's Eureka Moment is so hammy that he bangs a gong to accentuate it!

  • Not to be outdone by his arch-nemesis, The Master is always a prime source of Ham.
    • Anthony Ainley on playing the Master: "I'm not a ham. You can cure a ham!"
    • Speaking of The Master, Peri parodies this trope with him:
      The Master: I am the Master!
      Peri: So what? I'm Perpugilliam Brown, and I can shout just as loud as you!
    • Jonathan Pryce's Master from Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death has to be seen to be believed.
      The Master: Naturally, Doctor, I wanted you to know... that your certain death is now... CERTAIN!
    • Really, any incarnation of the Master who doesn't rattle the heavens and leave teeth marks on the scenery through the sheer force of their acting is just flat-out doing it wrong.
      The Master: Finito TARDIS! How's that for style?
    • The Master of "The Deadly Assassin" is one of the hammiest characters in all of Doctor Who.
      The Master: Ya CRAVEN-'Earteeeed... SPINE-less... POLTROON!
    • Derek Jacobi during the last ten minutes of his performance in the episode "Utopia". Having given a subtle, moving performance as the kindly Professor Yana for most of the episode, he then is transformed into the Doctor's uber-evil arch-foe the Master... and at the same moment, into a really Large Ham.
    • John Simm's Master may be the hammiest yet. Four words. "Here! Come! The Drums!"
      *cue 'Voodoo Child' by Rogue Traders*
      They do say that the Devil has all the best tunes....
    • Not to mention that the first minutes of "Last of the Time Lords" (the episode that follows that whole Here Come The Drums thing) is the Master singing "I Can't Decide" by Scissor Sisters.
    • Michelle Gomez' Missy is a delightful ham. Her lines in "Deep Breath" stand out, drawing out the word "Paradise" as "PARADIIIISSSSE", then subduing her performance to provide a sharp, unnervingly dark contrast as she says, "Welcome... to Heaven." Followed by a quick pivot back to ham with a guttural snarl and a click of the teeth, then a Mary Poppins-esque twirl around a stone garden fixture while swinging an umbrella around. By the time the show reaches "Death In Heaven", she actually reveals herself to have been holding back on the ham up until that point, and goes all out. Also:
    Missy: (very softly, sweetly and mechanically) My heart... is maintained... by the Doctor...
    Twelfth Doctor: Doctor who?
    Missy: (throws her head back) DOCTOR CHANG!
  • Davros fits this trope like a glove. He starts out quietly, speaking with precision as he lays out what is about to happen, but he can't contain himself forever and by the end he's shaking with passion and screaming at the top of his voice.
    Davros: This! Is my ultimate victory, Doctor: THE DESTRUCTION! OF REALITY!! ITSEEELLLF!!!
  • Davros' creations, the Daleks, are a grocer's worth of canned ham. The fact that they almost perpetually scream all their lines certainly helps.
    • The longer Nicholas Briggs plays the Daleks, the more they're becoming DAAAAAAAAAAHHHHRRRR-LEKS. This is doubly true for every Big Finish episode he wrote himself. (Oh, and he hammily played the Doctor for four seasons in his Doctor Who Audio Visuals.)
      Dalek: (to the Cyber-leader) This is not war, this is pest control!
    • With Daleks, hamminess seems to scale with rank. The Dalek Supreme from the 2008 series is incredibly bombastic, as is the Supreme Dalek from 2010's series, but the hammiest of all Daleks truly has to be the Dalek Emperor, who has the most bombastic disposition of any Dalek, and a god complex to match. Fittingly, it has the deepest and loudest voice of any Dalek ever seen.
    Dalek Emperor: I reached into the dirt and made new life. I AM THE GOD OF ALL DALEKS!
  • Following close behind is John Lumic, creator of the Cybermen from a parallel universe. "And how will you HAM from beyond the grave?!"
  • Captain Jack has his hammy moments, mostly on Torchwood, but it's generally scarier when he's delivering a cold Breaking Speech to his mutinying team.
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who audio play "Omega" has an in-universe Large Ham in the form of Daland. A Classically Trained Extra on a Show Within a Show, he declares, upon hearing that he might be replaced by a robot: "no mere machine could do my job!!" To which Sentia replies: "I dunno, a fridge could do your job. You can fit a lot of ham in a fridge."
  • From Big Finish's Deep Space Nine parody "Bang-Bang-A-Boom!", Patricia Quinn as the outrageous Queen Angvia, the Green Skinned Space... Valkyrie. Her Ham-to-Ham Combat with Sylvester McCoy is marvellous.
    "Ze Universe can VAIT! I AM A VOMAN!!!"
  • Big Finish's remake of "Shada" features an incredibly Hammy turn from Andrew Sachs as the hysterically camp Skagra.
    "REMOVE all the contents of his MIND? Why not? Muah-ha-ha! Muah-HA-HA! AH-HAH-HA-HA-HAAAA!"
    • Hell, Andrew even gives Adric a pretty hamtastic upgrade while voicing his crazy-old-man/scorpion-king/God-Mode self (yes, you read that right) in "The Boy That Time Forgot".
      Adric: "THAT'S NOT ENOUGH! I need you to LOVE me, Nyssa!"
    • Special mention for Andrew as Crassostrea in the Big Finish story "Orbis", who vividly describes how he has to gorge on food and develop female organs so he can SPAAAAWWWN. He then proceeds to invade a nation of jellyfish and give birth, in a glorious explosion of ham.
  • The Empress of Racnoss, villain of the 2006 Christmas special "The Runaway Bride", was an enormous piece of Spider-Ham. "KIIIIILL THIS LITTLE CHATTERING DOCTOR-MAN!"
  • To go a little more old school, Professor Zaroff in the Second Doctor story "The Underwater Menace" is a GLORIOUS bit of ham all the way through, his most magnificent bit of ham being the cliffhanger of part three: "NOSSING IN ZE VORLD CAN SHTOP ME NOW!"
  • The fantastic antics of Graham Crowden in "The Horns of Nimon", particularly his death scene, complete with manic cackling, staring eyes, "Lord Nimon? Lord Niiiiimon? It is I, Soldeed!" and "You Fools! Fools!! You will die for your interference!!!"
    "My dreeeams of CONQUEST!!!"
    • Graham Crowden was originally cast as the Fourth Doctor, but turned the part down. Let that sink in for a minute.
    • Malcolm Terris as the co-pilot was visibly having the most fun of his life. At one point, he overacts so hard that his trousers split. And he gets to face off against Soldeed!
      • This line was not only improvised on the spot, it was so grand that it got included in the first Big Finish episode featuring the Nimons.
  • In "The Daleks' Master Plan", Kevin Stoney is both nuanced and over-the-top at the same time, playing the traitorous "I, MAVIC Chen, GUARdian of the Solar System!"
  • The Captain of "The Pirate Planet" was the biggest ham imaginable (and clearly intentional, with Douglas Adams writing the script), often loudly exclaiming such things as "BY THE BURSTING SUNS OF BANTAR!" and "NO, BY THE SKY DEMON - I SAY NOOO!", but it turned out to be a case of Obfuscating Stupidity — he was actually an engineering genius and trying to hide it.
    • Other notable quotes of his include:
      By the LEFT Frontal LOBE of the SKY DEEEMOOON!
    • And when he faces off against the Doctor... well. It's Tom Baker. Put your fingers in your ears.
  • The K-1 in "Robot" provides some nice moments of Robo-Ham: "AHHHHHH, I HAVE KILLED THE ONE WHO CREATED MEEEEEE!"
  • Michael Jayston in his role as the Valeyard also fits here wonderfully. He spits out lines like "You cannot speak as though reality is a one-dimensional concept." with such delight in his role. To top it off, his first appearance was 14 episodes long.
  • The Carrionites in "The Shakespeare Code". Around 1:19.
  • BRIAN BLESSED as Yrcanos in "Mindwarp".
    "Today, prudence shall be our watchword. Tomorrow, I shall soak the land in blood!"
  • From "The End of Time", Timothy Dalton's Rassilon delivers some spectacularly spittle-flecked lines.
    "I. Will. NOT DIE!!! DO! YOU! HEAR! ME?!"
  • Jackson Lake was probably a lot more... florid than usual when he thought he was the Doctor. Those Cyberman infostamps must have come with some kind of Ham template.
  • "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" features Magnus Greel, an enormously hammy 51st-century time traveller kidnapping girls in Victorian London and draining their life-energy.
    Magnus Greel: "Let the Talons of Weng-Chiang SHRED your FLEEEEEESSH! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  • Rosanna Calvieri of "The Vampires of Venice". Manages to alternate between hamminess and seriousness with ease.
  • Lady Cassandra. MOISTURIZE ME! (Keeps the Ham nice and juicy.) Also bleeds over into Billie Piper ("It's like living in a bouncy castle!!") and David Tennant ("a little bit fox-ay!") when the Doctor and Rose end up hosting Cassandra's personality.
  • Aris from "Kinda", when he gets taken over by the Mara and is granted the gift of speech (and Ham).
    Aris: I still control them! I am Aris! I. HAVE. VOICE!
    Fifth Doctor: YES, SO I HEAR!
  • The final form of Eldrad, despite only being in one episode, easily produces enough ham to feed a family for months.
  • Also Omega, from "The Three Doctors", with the help of some truly hammy scriptwriting.
    Omega: I created this world through the power of my WILL. I created the organisms which BROUGHT you here. THIS! is the source of the light-stream you travelled along. AND I CREATED IT. I ALONE!!!!! OMEGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!
    • And another example:
      The Third Doctor: All my life I've known of you and honoured you as our greatest hero!
      Omega: A HERO? I should have been a GOD!
    • SF Debris described Omega as "the kind of performance where BRIAN BLESSED tells you to take it down a notch."
  • Amy Pond isn't averse to busting out the ham on occasion, for example this scene. However, Tropes Are Not Bad, as she manages to be simultaneously hammy, awesome and heartwarming.
    Raggedy man, I remember you, and YOU ARE LATE FOR MY WEDDING-A!
  • River Song. While Alex Kingston tends to be a little more kosher than most Who actors, she appears to be having a little more fun with the character.
    "It's like I told you on the dance floor... You might want to find something to hang onto."
    • "Let's Kill Hitler" features River at her hammiest, because Evil Is Hammy!
  • Donna Noble, fastest HAM in Chiswick.
    • Her time as the DoctorDonna transformed Donna into one of the best examples of a female Large Ham, resulting in a bit of Ham-to-Ham Combat between her and David Tennant and a truly amazing David Tennant impersonation. It would have been truly awesome if not for how it ended.
  • Son Of Mine, from "Human Nature" / "The Family of Blood". Considering his other modes of speaking are Creepy Monotone and Goddamn Unsettling Sing-Song, this is one of the few times where straight up hamming comes as a relief.
  • The Wire, from the episode "The Idiot's Lantern", really rates a mention here.
  • Between his wardrobe, mannerisms and obsession with fine dining, one-off villain Shockeye from "The Two Doctors" is one of the hammiest characters ever to appear.
  • In the 1980s, the Cyber Leader, despite being supposedly emotionless, delivers some of the hammiest lines in the history of the show.
    "My army awaits, DOCTOR!"
  • Sutekh in "Pyramids of Mars" and the Faction Paradox audio series manages to be a Large Ham while speaking in barely more than a whisper. This was lampooned in the DVD extra "Oh Mummy!", in which Sutekh (still voiced by Gabriel Woolfe) attempts to find work after "Pyramids of Mars", featuring a truly unforgettable gag in which Sutekh shows the "documentary" crew his cute little bunnyrabbit. "I call him Neil. Neil. NEIL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF SUTEKH!"
  • In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel "The Tomorrow Windows" by Jonathan Morris, one character is a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of BRIAN BLESSED.
    ‘Big part, is it?’
    ‘Does it involve –’
    ‘Shouting?’ said his agent. ‘Lots of it. Nothing but. It’s shouting, shouting, shouting. Shouting till the Dryrths come home.’
    Prubert swung his chair round. ‘Tell me more.’
  • The Sontarans, being a race of Blood Knight Super Soldier Potato Dwarf Clones who live for war, are not to be outdone in the Ham front. Especially Strax, a Sontaran nurse/butler who serves as The Comically Serious.
  • The Ice Warrior Skaldak in "Cold War":
    Skaldak: My planet is dead, but a new Red Planet will rise... REEEEEED WITH THE BLOOOOD OF HUMANITYYYYYY!!
  • Iris Wildthyme, the Doctor's Distaff Counterpart with her own Widget Series, spends around 99% of her episodes absolutely blind drunk. The ham is magnificent. Especially in "The Wormery", where she teams up with the Sixth Doctor to fight tequila-powered space worms in song.
  • Azal, the Last of His Kind Daemon from "The Daemons", continuously bellows every single word he speaks with a fierce, echoing voice. Sometimes, he even froths at the mouth.
  • Though best known for playing the Creepy Monotone Nyder, Peter Miles delivers an astounding amount of ham as Dr Lawrence in "The Silurians". In his final scene, he goes from zero to screeching in a matter of seconds.
  • Robin Hood. Boisterous and hammy. Especially the over the top laughter, which he performs about 10 times before the episode is over.
    • And he's alongside the Twelfth Doctor. It's a miracle there was any intact scenery by episode's end.
  • British comedian Chris Addison as Seb.
  • And then there's Irving Braxiatel, the Doctor's Aloof Older Brother, played by Miles Richardson in the audios. He's made of ham.
  • Irongron in "The Time Warrior" is barely capable of getting through a sentence without both bellowing and erupting into guffaws of boisterous laughter. Combine that with Robert Holmes' Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness, a bit of Evil Is Hammy and some manly backslapping and the effects are almost Pythonesque.