Doctor Who fans vote David Tennant best Doctor, narrowly beating Jodie Whittaker

After nearly 50,000 votes were counted, we have our winner – though it was a close-run thing…

Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) in Doctor Who

Doctor Who fans have voted David Tennant as their favourite Doctor to date, with the Scottish actor – who played the role of the series’ central face-changing, time-travelling hero from 2005 to 2010 – emerging victorious after nearly 50,000 votes were cast.

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Facing off with the 12 other actors who’ve played the Doctor across Doctor Who’s 57-year history, Tennant was an early favourite from the start. However, his victory was a close-run thing with current Doctor Jodie Whittaker (who has played the Thirteenth Doctor since 2017) very nearly taking the top spot.

Both actors took 21 per cent of the overall poll vote with over 10,000 votes apiece, with Tennant squeaking ahead with just 100 extra votes in the final count. At other points, Whittaker had been leading the poll or was just below eventual third place winner Peter Capaldi, Whittaker’s predecessor in the role (playing the Twelfth Doctor from 2013-2017) who claimed 18 per cent in the final count.

Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker in character in Doctor Who (BBC, HF)
Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker in character in Doctor Who (BBC, HF)

Capaldi in turn was just ahead of Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and Fourth Doctor Tom Baker, who rounded out the top five with 16 and eight per cent of the total votes each.

“Over a decade after he left the TARDIS behind and after nearly 50,00 votes were cast, it’s clear that David Tennant is still Doctor Who fans’ perfect 10!” said Huw Fullerton, RadioTimes.com’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Editor.

“But with Jodie Whittaker hot on his heels and a great showing for other recent Doctors like Peter Capaldi, it looks like fans also now hold other Time Lords close to their heart(s).”

Other high scorers included William Hartnell in sixth place followed by Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston, with the remaining five Doctors – namely Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Peter Davison – filling out the bottom half of the table.

You can see a full breakdown of the votes and results below.

  1. David Tennant 10518 / 21%
  2. Jodie Whittaker 10423 / 21%
  3. Peter Capaldi 8897 / 18%
  4. Matt Smith 7637 / 16%
  5. Tom Baker 3977 / 8%
  6. William Hartnell 1983 / 4%
  7. Paul McGann 1427 / 3%
  8. Christopher Eccleston 1144 / 2%
  9. Jon Pertwee 1038 / 2%
  10. Patrick Troughton 915 / 2%
  11. Sylvester McCoy 462 / 1%
  12. Colin Baker 359 / 1%
  13. Peter Davison 351 / 1%

Currently, Tennant is reprising his role as the Tenth Doctor in a collection of different Big Finish audio adventures, with a new Dalek-themed series recently announced for release in 2021. Whittaker, meanwhile, will soon return to set to film her third series at the helm of the TARDIS, with an upcoming festive special (also featuring the Daleks) set to air this winter.

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Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.