13 Doctor Who actors who played different characters in Torchwood

The best Whoniverse duplicates

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The TV universe of Doctor Who (aka the Whoniverse) is a wonderful place, stuffed full with callbacks, recurring characters and running gags that make it feel like a richly-realised world. 

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However, the best planning in the world can’t prevent the odd inconsistency, especially in a series that features so many British actors over such a period of time. Yep, it was inevitable that a few stars would appear as characters in the main series, only to contradict it by appearing as someone completely different in one of its spin-offs, namely BBC3 adult-themed drama Torchwood.

Frankly, no claims of spatial genetic multiplicity are going to explain away some of these repeated actors…


1. Peter Capaldi

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Yes, this is the one we all know – Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi famously played government official John Frobisher in Torchwood before he got the keys to the TARDIS, which happened after he’d already appeared once in Doctor Who as a Roman called Caecilius.

Yep, he gets around – though last year this repeated face was finally explained by showrunner Steven Moffat


2. Colin McFarlane

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Together with Capaldi’s appearance, this one completes a rather pleasing double whammy… You’ll probably recognise McFarlane for his Doctor Who role in last series’ Under the Lake/Before the Flood, where he played the ghostly Moran. But he also starred alongside Capaldi in Torchwood: Children of Earth, playing General Pierce to Capaldi’s John Frobisher.