1. & 2. (tie) Tom Baker (4th Doctor) and Patrick Troughton (2nd Doctor)
Sometimes I think it's not a tie and that I like Patrick Troughton better. Troughton plays a zany Doctor. At times it seems like the 2nd Doctor really doesn't know what he's doing. I love his portrayal of the Doctor. There is something endearing about him. He also has great companions, such as Jamie and Zoe. The tragedy of Patrick Troughton's Doctor is that so few episodes survive. The BBC used to wipe their tapes and reuse them, so most of the 2nd Doctor's stories and many of the 1st Doctor's are lost. This kills me. I need more 2nd Doctor episodes!
3. Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor)
|Pertwee, with a Sea Devil lurking behind|
4. Peter Davison (5th Doctor)
I like the 5th Doctor. A lot of fans don't. The Davison era suffers from two things- he was bogged down by some of the worst companions the series has ever seen, and he followed a wildly popular Doctor. There is a gentleness to his Doctor, and he lacks the overt condescension of the other Doctors. I think he's friendly in a way the others aren't, too. My favorite Doctor Who episode of all time, "The Five Doctors," takes place during the 5th Doctor's run. I like multiple-Doctor episodes, and this one has FIVE of them, plus Gallifrey, which is always fun.
5. Matt Smith (11th Doctor)
The first Doctor of new Who to make the list is Matt Smith. I think he's a great Doctor. He reminds me very much of Patrick Troughton's 2nd Doctor. He's funny and crazy and sometimes out of control. His relationship with Amy and Rory, their friendship, is similar to that of Tom Baker's 4th Doctor and Romana II. There's an equality there. There's genuine feeling. Matt Smith is the current Doctor, so only Steven Moffat, the showrunner, knows what's in store for him in the future.
6. David Tennant (10th Doctor)
David Tennant was an outstanding Doctor. Six seems too low on the list. Yet here he is. He started off with the dreaded Rose as a companion, but after the show got rid of her, he really grew into his own. Tennant is the reason new Who is as popular as it is. The 10th Doctor is friendly and enthusiastic. He is also the only Doctor I've ever thought was attractive, which is just weird. The Doctor isn't supposed to be cute. Oh, but David Tennant is so cute. And those glasses...Enough of that. He had some great companions in Martha and Donna. Some of my favorite episodes of new Who are 10th Doctor episodes: "The Girl in the Fireplace," "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead," "The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords," "The Waters of Mars."
7. Sylvester McCoy (7th Doctor)
McCoy has the stigma of being the actor who presided over the end of the regular airing of Doctor Who on television. I like the 7th Doctor enough. He is manic and nutty. I didn't like any of his companions, really. Sylvester McCoy is an entertaining guy. He has joked in interviews that the BBC brought him in because at that point in his career he was three-season McCoy. The BBC wanted to kill off Doctor Who, and no show he had been on had ever lasted more than three seasons. And so Doctor Who ended.
8. William Hartnell (1st Doctor)
Here's the Doctor who started it all, almost fifty years ago. I like the 1st Doctor. He's your bad-tempered grandfather. He's crabby and annoyed. He's good fun.
9. Paul McGann (8th Doctor)
It's hard to know where to put McGann. His only appearance on television was that awful Fox tv movie. The 8th Doctor has had new life in audio dramas, and he is very popular now. I've only heard one of those, and McGann was good. I'd like to see a multiple-Doctor 50th anniversary story next year with McGann in it.
10. Christopher Eccleston (9th Doctor)
Eccleston is okay. I don't find him particularly likeable, and he was stuck with Rose, who I can't stand. I did like the episode "Dalek" a lot.
11. Colin Baker (6th Doctor)
I don't really like the 6th Doctor. It has been years since I've seen a Colin Baker episode. One day I will give him another chance.
That's it for the list! The rundown all in one place:
1. & 2. (tie) Tom Baker (4th) and Patrick Troughton (2nd)
3. Jon Pertwee (3rd)
4. Peter Davison (5th)
5. Matt Smith (11th)
6. David Tennant (10th)
7. Sylvester McCoy (7th)
8. William Hartnell (1st)
9. Paul McGann (8th)
10. Christopher Eccleston (9th)
11. Colin Baker (6th)