It's common in the known WHOniverse (pun intended) to cast an unknown actor to play The Doctor. While some may bite their nails at the sound of it, the BBC has proven their track record with their choice of actors to play the famed Time Lord. Five of these actors were not chosen to play The Doctor, they were born to play him!
5. Paul McGann as The Eighth Doctor
Doctor Who was released as a television film in 1996, only seven years after the cancellation of the original series. Producer Philip Segal was trying his best to helm a new, American produced series of the British television show. Fox, the only network interested at the time, only showed interest in turning it into a television film. While the film received many negative reviews from fans and critics alike, the highlight of it was Mr.Paul McGann himself. As an actor, he easily transitions from A to Z in a matter of seconds... Which is one of the biggest qualities of The Doctor's many personalities. McGann is certainly an underrated incarnation in the Doctor Who universe, and deserves more credit for his acting abilities.
4. Jon Pertwee as The Third Doctor
There was a major change in the quality and production of Doctor Who, when Jon Pertwee took the role as the titular Time Lord. His first serial as The Doctor, was the first to feature the show in color. Taking on the role from Patrick Troughton in 1970, Jon Pertwee's take on The Doctor showed maturity in his new incarnation. Sometimes described as the 'Bond' Doctor, Pertwee's time as The Doctor featured a lot of action scenes and fighting. Pertwee proved he could make the role his own, his personality as The Doctor stepping away from his predecessors. Certainly, he was made to play The Doctor.
3. Patrick Troughton as The Second Doctor
In 1966, William Hartnell's health was deteriorating and producers would soon have to recast The Doctor. In a day and age like that, recasting an actor in a role would be very confusing to audiences who watched the show. Regardless, audiences were forced to accept a new man in the role. Patrick Troughton was the only man Hartnell approved in the role, saying that
"There's only one man in England who can take over, and that's Patrick Troughton."
Producer Innes Lloyd came up with the idea for regeneration. He figured, The Doctor being an alien, he could change his shape and form, allowing him to renew his body. The Doctor's new body came in the form of Patrick Troughton, whose take on the character was a breathe of fresh air from his predecessor. Commonly described as a 'cosmic hobo', Patrick Troughton added a dash of comedy into his take on the character. Echoing the words of Hartnell, for the time... Troughton was certainly the only actor who could take on such a challenging role. Without Troughton, Doctor Who would've come to it's ultimate end.
2. Peter Capaldi as The Twelfth Doctor
In August of 2013, Peter Capaldi was announced as The Twelfth Doctor. When he was cast, many fans backlashed in confusion at the idea of an older Doctor. Many thought there'd been a pattern since the renewal of the series in 2005, as every incarnation had looked younger with each regeneration. For some, they'd knew it'd separate true fans from others who were just Tennant and Smith fangirls. Capaldi's take on The Doctor is his own, his Doctor seeming more distant and alien then his two predecessors. Bringing it back to basics, and making it modern, he's combined the feeling of the classic and new Doctor's to create a new formula and personality for The Doctor. Truly, he is The Doctor.
1. Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor
Matt Smith, like Capaldi, also received backlash when he was cast as The Doctor. Smith was the youngest actor to be cast as The Doctor, only 26 when he received the role. Many fans were angered, not thinking he could replace the shoes David Tennant had filled from 2005 to 2010. Nevertheless, Smith proved many of them wrong. His take on The Doctor, was as an old man in a young man's body. Though he was childish, clumsy and silly... He was clever, caring, wise and slow to anger. Matt Smith provided a take on The Doctor, that did draw much inspiration from Patrick Troughton. However, he took that and made it his own by showing a deeper and hidden side to The Doctor in his vulnerable moments. Matt Smith, truly embraces The Doctor as a person.