Top ten Doctor Who guest stars

Our pick of the big names who’ve visited the Whoniverse

Mark Gatiss and Simon Callow make a return trip to the Doctor Who universe in the sixth series finale. Over the years, many stars have popped up on the Doctor’s travels. Here are our top ten famous guest stars in the rebooted Who…


1. Bernard Cribbins –When he wasn’t making you smile, Wilfred Mott broke your heart. First spotted as a newspaper seller in Voyage of the Damned, Wilf was later installed as Donna Noble’s grandad. The 10th Doctor was honoured to sacrifice his life for him. Enough said.
Best line: it wasn’t a line – it was his salute to the Doctor in Journey’s End.
See Wilf all guns blazing in the trailer for The End of Time Part 2 on this page.

2. James CordenI’ve written elsewhere that I’d love to see Craig Owens in the Tardis as a full-time companion. Sadly, though, I can’t quite see him ditching Sophie and Alfie – not even with the whole of time and space on offer. And that’s why I love him.
Best line: Are you going to live with monkeys now?

3. Toby Jones – Jones made a real impression as the dissembling Dream Lord in Amy’s Choice. No wonder the Doctor shied away from his alter ego. Cunning, vindictive and cruel, it’s a side to the Time Lord none of us wants to contemplate.
Best line: (to the Doctor) If you had any more tawdry quirks, you could open up a tawdry quirks shop.

4. Alex Kingston – Kingston slinked her way into the audience’s hearts as mischievous, sexy but infuriatingly mysterious time traveller River Song. For my money we’ve seen rather too much of River in the last two series, but there’s no denying Kingston has created a memorable character in Melody Pond.
Best line: Spoilers!

5. John Simm – The Master is one of my favourite Who baddies. Story constraints meant fans didn’t get to fully appreciate what Derek Jacobi would have brought to the role – but Simm made up for the loss with a splendid turn as the scheming Time Lord.
Best line: How about that? I win.

6. Suranne Jones – As the Tardis in humanoid form, Jones put in a mad but ultimately affecting performance – and afforded us the priceless sight of the 11th Doctor being momentarily confused at meeting someone even dafter than himself.
Best line: Biting’s excellent. It’s like kissing, only there’s a winner.

7. Marc Warren – Most people hated Love & Monsters but I loved the story at its core: a man coming to terms with grief after losing his mother as a child. The episode undeniably has its sillier aspects but, for me, Warren’s heartfelt take on the role overrides them.
Best line: We forget because we must.
See Elton in the episode trailer for Love & Monsters here.

8. Sarah Parish – I’m terrified of spiders – and they don’t come any scarier than the Empress of the Racnoss. You’d need a very large newspaper to squish this arachnid. But, baddie though she was, you couldn’t help feeling sorry for her as the Doctor did the big-budget equivalent of washing her thousands of children down the plughole.

Best line: My children!

9. David Walliams – A physically imposing six foot three and a man who’s braved swimming the sewage-sludgy Thames, it’s a testament to Walliams’s acting skills that he could be so convincing as Gibbis, the cowardly mole-man.
Best line: Times like this I think of my old school motto – resistance is exhausting.

10. June Whitfield – A cheeky one to finish. Compared to some guest stars, Whitfield didn’t have much screentime – but boy, did she make it count. As sassy pensioner Minnie Hooper in The End of Time, she actually goosed David Tennant, fulfilling the fantasy of many a female fan. (Yes, I appreciate there are others, but this is a family website.)
Best line: Good boy.
See Minnie in action in preview clip two on this page.


So, who didn’t make it onto our list? Now’s your chance – tell us who your favourites are…