Follow TV Tropes


You Look Familiar / Doctor Who

Go To

Such a long-running series inevitably has numerous instances of actors appearing multiple times in different roles, sometimes decades apart. This includes eight companions — and two Doctors — played by actors who had previously appeared in guest roles, and three cases of guest roles going to actors who had previously played companions.

a miner in "The Monster of Peladon", a Guard Captain in "Planet of the Spiders", a Thal Guard in "Genesis of the Daleks", Corporal Adams in "The Android Invasion" and Nesbin in "The Invasion of Time".

  • If you include the quasi-official spin-offs it gets really weird: the P.R.O.B.E. series of fanvids stars Liz Shaw, now working for the eponymous supernatural investigators, and features various actors from the series in different roles including former Doctors. In addition to Louise Jameson (Leela) in a regular role as Liz's boss, we have:
    • The Zero Imperative features Jon Pertwee, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy as doctors (yes...), Peter Davison as a patient and Sophie Aldred as a PR flak (oh, and Mark Gatiss in his first Whoniverse appearance — he also wrote all four vids). And no, Liz doesn't notice Pertwee's character looks familar.
    • The Devil of Winterbourne not only adds Terry (Davros) Malloy and Geoffrey (the Master) Beevers, but has Davison and Gatiss playing different characters!
    • Unnatural Selection has another Gatiss character, but apart from that just has Jameson and Beevers reprising their roles.
    • Ghosts of Winterbourne is a direct sequel that sees Davison reprising his character from Devil. (Ironically, this is the only one where Gatiss doesn't appear, with an explanation that his character won't leave his cottage until it gets sorted out.)

Lampshadings of the trope:

  • In "The Daleks' Master Plan", the Doctor comments he has seen an elderly Englishman seen filing a complaint at a police station before, "at that marketplace in Jaffa." Which he had: in an earlier serial, "The Crusade", the same actor had played an extra in a marketplace in Jaffa.
  • A timey-wimey Brick Joke lampshading — in "Battlefield", a character played by Jean Marsh tells the Brigadier, played by Nicholas Courtney, "But when we meet again, I shall kill you." "The Daleks' Master Plan", made in the 60s but set thousands of years later, had a different character played by Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom) kill a different character played by Nicholas Courtney (Bret Vyon).
  • In "The Day of the Doctor", Eleven comes face to face with the museum curator, played by Tom Baker (Four). Eleven takes a long look and says "I never forget a face."
    Curator: I'm sure you don't. And in years to come you might find yourself revisiting a few, but just...the old favourites, eh?