Doctor Who 50th anniversary: David Tennant and Billie Piper named best Doctor and companion

More than 20,000 voted in 50th anniversary poll to find the ultimate Doctor Who stars from half a century of BBC sci-fi programming


David Tennant and Billie Piper are your favourite Doctor and companion of all time, according to a poll of more than 20,000 readers.


Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor between 2005 and 2010, and will appear in the 50th Anniversary special The Day of the Doctor, romped home in the best Doctor vote attracting 56% of the vote.

Despite picking up a healthy 15%, incumbent Doctor Matt Smith was left a distant second, narrowly ahead of classic Who icon Tom Baker (10%) who played the Fourth Doctor between 1974 and 1981. 

Christopher Eccleston, who was chosen by Russel T Davies to play the lead role when the show was rebooted in 2005, took fourth place, garnering almost seven per cent of the vote. 

None of the other actors to play the Doctor managed to get above three per cent of the vote, with Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor, on screen between 1984 and 1986, finishing bottom of the pile with less than 1 per cent of fans selecting him as their favourite star.

Billie Piper, who played the recurring role of Rose Tyler, a companion of both Eccleston and Tennant, topped the best companion poll, attracting a quarter of all votes.  Piper, like Tennant, will also be reprising her role as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations. 

The late Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith alongside Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker between 1973 and 1976 came second with 15 per cent of the vote.  Sladen, who died in April 2011 aged 65, is also fondly remembered for reprising the character in spin-off series K-9 and Company, and latterly The Sarah Jane Adventures which ran for five series on CBBC.

Actress and Comedian Catherine Tate, who appeared several times alongside David Tennant as companion Donna Noble came third with nine per cent of vote.   Alex Kingston who played River Song opposite Tennant and Smith came fourth ahead of Karen Gillan who portrayed Amy Pond alongside Matt Smith from 2010 to 2012.

Current companion Jenna Coleman, who plays Clara Oswald, could only manage ninth position in the poll behind John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) and Sophie Aldred, Sylvester McCoy’s companion, Ace. 

In total 21,384 valid votes were cast in the two polls on in October and November 2013.

To celebrate Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary the new issue of Radio Times (on sale from Tuesday 19 November) features 12 different collectable covers each with a different Doctor and monsters from their era, with 26 pages dedicated to DW inside.

The first cover will be premiered here on from midnight (Saturday 15 November) and each day from Saturday 16 November Radio Times DiscoverTV™ App will exclusively reveal two further covers until Tuesday 19 November when the issues go on sale.

The results in full:

Best Doctor

Actor                        %

David Tennant 56.1
Matt Smith 15.93
Tom Baker 10.05
Christopher Eccleston 6.59
Patrick Troughton 2.86
Jon Pertwee 2.38
Peter Davison 1.59
Sylvester McCoy 1.36
Paul McGann 1.35
William Hartnell 0.9
Colin Baker 0.88

Best Comapnion

Character / Actor                                        %

Rose Tyler – Billie Piper 25.09
Sarah Jane Smith – Elisabeth Sladen 15.42
Donna Noble – Catherine Tate 12.32
River Song – Alex Kingston 9.09
Amy Pond – Karen Gillan 4.79
Jamie McCrimmon – Frazer Hines 4.1
Captain Jack Harkness – John Barrowman 3.49
Ace –  Sophie Aldred 3.09
Clara Oswald – Jenna-Louise Coleman 2.65
Martha Jones – Freema Agyeman 2.54
(Colonel then) Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart – Nicholas Courtney 2.39
Romana – Mary Tamm, Lalla Ward 1.89
Rory Williams – Arthur Darvill 1.8
Wilfred Mott – Bernard Cribbins 1.26
K-9 – John Leeson, David Brierley 1.14
Jo Grant – Katy Manning 1.01
Leela – Louise Jameson 0.97
Tegan Jovanka – Janet Fielding 0.83
Peri Brown – Nicola Bryant 0.73
Barbara Wright – Jacqueline Hill 0.67
Ian Chesterton – William Russell 0.51
Nyssa – Sarah Sutton 0.49
Adric – Matthew Waterhouse 0.48
Susan Foreman – Carole Ann Ford 0.44
Harry Sullivan – Ian Marter 0.42
Strax – Dan Starkey 0.34
Turlough – Mark Strickson 0.31
Liz Shaw – Caroline John 0.28
Craig Owens – James Corden 0.25
Madame Vastra – Neve McIntosh 0.15
Dr Grace Holloway – Daphne Ashbrook 0.11
Melanie Bush – Bonnie Langford 0.1
Mickey Smith – Noel Clarke 0.1
Lady Christina de Souza – Michelle Ryan 0.1
Vicki – Maureen O’Brien 0.08
Steven Taylor – Peter Purves 0.08
Polly – Anneke Wills 0.07
Jackson Lake – David Morrissey 0.07
Sergeant Benton – John Levene 0.06
Jenny Flint – Catrin Stewart 0.06
Dodo Chaplet – Jackie Lane 0.04
Adam Mitchell – Bruno Langley 0.04
Captain Adelaide Brooke – Lindsay Duncan 0.04
Ben Jackson – Michael Craze 0.03
Astrid Peth – Kylie Minogue 0.03
Katarina – Adrienne Hill 0.01
Captain Mike Yates – Richard Franklin 0.01
Kamelion – Gerald Flood 0.01
Sara Kingdom – Jean Marsh 0.01
Zoe Heriot – Wendy Padbury 0
Victoria Waterfield – Deborah Watling 0