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The Regeneration Game (2003)

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The Regeneration Game


As UK Gold celebrates the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who, Nick Griffiths runs through a who's Who of the eight stars who've played the indestructible Time Lord


William Hartnell 1963-66

Appearance An irritable history prof.

Quirks Hooking his thumbs into his lapels and going Hmmm...'

Sexiest assistant Steven, played by future Blue Peter presenter and housewives' choice Peter Purves.

Scariest monster The Daleks, first glimpsed in the aptly named The Daleks (1963). Despite looking like robot plumbers, they became Doctor Who's most popular foes. The Cybermen ran them a close second, even if they did wear silver stockings on their heads in The Tenth Planet (1966).

Least scary monster The Menoptra (The Web Planet, 1965), who were meant to be imposing moths but just looked like actors in rubbish furry suits.

One to watch The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964), in which our tinpot friends patrol London's Westminster Bridge.


Patrick Troughton 1966-69

Appearance The missing Marx brother.

Quirks Playing a recorder and saying 'Oh dear a lot.

Sexiest assistant A tie between Zoe (Wendy Padbury, aided no end by sporting a spangly catsuit) and the kilt-wearing Jamie McCrimmon, who was played by Emtnerdale Farm star-to-be Frazer Hines.

Scariest monster The Yeti (The Abominable Snowmen, 1967, The Web of Fear, 1968). The shambling obese furball was so good, they brought it back within a year.

Least scary monster The Macra (The Macra Terror, 1967). It was meant to look like a giant crab, but actually resembled a travelling junkyard.

One to watch The Mind Robber (1968). Doctor Who meets fairy tales, fantasy and, seemingly, mind-bending drugs. Very 1960s.


Jon Pertwee 1970-74

Appearance Eccentric magician who has misplaced his top hat.

Quirks Considering himself to be a cosmic James Bond, driving the space-age Whomobile.

Sexiest assistant Jo, played by Katy Manning, who later posed naked with a Dalek. There was also the dapper, moustachioed Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney).

Scariest monster Sea Devils (The Sea Devils, 1972) - boggle-eyed, towering aliens in string vests with deadly torches.

Least scary monster Kronos (The Time Monster, 1972). It was supposed to look like an omnipotent god, but looked like a prancing plonker in a bird costume.

One to watch The Green Death (1973) with the Giant Maggots (actually stuffed condoms) is the one everyone remembers.


Tom Baker 1974-81

Appearance A deranged vagrant with a long scarf.

Quirks Treating megalomaniacal aliens in the manner of a favourite aunt: 'Hello! Would you like a jelly baby?'

Sexiest assistant Leela (Louise Jameson), whose costume was a window cleaner's chamois leather. Or, for the ladies, the dapper Harry (Ian Marter).

Scariest monster There are so many to choose from, but The Mummies (Pyramids of Mars, 1975) edge it, being ruthless, faceless and utterly convincing.

Least scary monster The Skarasen (Terror of the Zygons, 1975). This Loch Ness Monster-like creature looked like Basil Brush after a run-in with a blowtorch.

One to watch City of Death (1979), the highest-rated Doctor Who story ever.


Peter Davison 1982-84

Appearance A cricketer.

Quirks Wearing a vegetable in his buttonhole.

Sexiest assistant Peri (Nicola Bryant), another one short-changed by the costume department. The most endearing assistant was Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), who was just 18 when he joined during Tom Baker's tenure.

Scariest monster Silurians (Warriors of the Deep, 1984). Defeated by Jon Pertwee in 1970, they returned allied to the Sea Devils.

Least scary monster The Eternals (Enlightenment, 1983). Space pirate types played by Lynda Baron (Open All Hours) and Leee John from the pop group Imagination.

One to watch The Five Doctors (1983). Notable for uniting all the Docs, less Baker (who declined to appear) and the late William Hartnell, who was impersonated by lookalike Richard Hurndall.


Colin Baker 1984-86

Appearance A colour-blind entertainer let loose in the children's dressing-up box.

Quirks Being tetchy.

Sexiest assistant Besides Peri and an ageing Brigadier, there was only one other - Mel, played by Bonnie Langford. Let's just leave it there.

Scariest monster Classic foes the Daleks and Cybermen were beamed in to boost the show's ailing popularity,

as were the Sontarans (The Two Doctors 1985), who previously battled Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, and resembled malign versions of Mr Potato Head.

Least scary monster Mentors (Vengeance on Varos, 1985, Trial of a Time Lord, 1986). These slug people did indeed look like people dressed up as slugs.

One to watch Revelation of the Daleks (1985), reprising the uber-villain Davros.


Sylvester McCoy 1987-89

Appearance The Professor from Vision On.

Quirks Carrying an umbrella, though it never rained on Doctor Who.

Sexiest assistant McCoy's Doctor also had only three assistants: Mel, the Brigadier and Ace (Sophie Aldred). The latter was a bit of a tomboy, and disappointed by failing either to scream or wear a bikini.

Scariest monster The Destroyer (Battlefield, 1989). The last of the Doctor's demons was a towering fellow with impressive horns.

Least scary monster The Kandy Man (The Happiness Patrol, 1988). This robot constructed from confectionery looked, unsurprisingly, like Bertie Bassett.

One to watch The Curse of Fenric (1989). Despite the inclusion of novelty guest star Nicholas Parsons, this zombie vampire tale was a minor classic.


Paul McGann

Appearance The suave, sexy Paul McGann.

Quirks Being Paul McGann, who is noticeably lovely.

Sexiest assistant There was a single official companion in this British-American one-off movie: Grace (Daphne Ashbrook). She seemed to be already spoken for - by the Doctor, who gave her a kiss! Mind you, who could resist Paul McGann?

Scariest monster Notable for its lack of monsters - one possible reason that a new series did not follow - the movie did feature The Master (Eric Roberts) and a translucent computer-generated snake that might have scared translucent computer-generated mice.

Least scary monster The aforementioned snake (unless you're a mouse).

One to watch Erm...


Plumber's mates: The Daleks plunge right in

Best of fiends: An abominable Yeti, a salty Sea Devil, the spud-headed Sontaran and a man in a silver suit, aka a Cyberman

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: (2003-11-22). The Regeneration Game (2003). TV & Satellite Week p. 12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "The Regeneration Game (2003)." TV & Satellite Week [add city] 2003-11-22, 12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "The Regeneration Game (2003)." TV & Satellite Week, edition, sec., 2003-11-22
  • Turabian: "The Regeneration Game (2003)." TV & Satellite Week, 2003-11-22, section, 12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Regeneration Game (2003) | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Regeneration_Game_(2003) | work=TV & Satellite Week | pages=12 | date=2003-11-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 October 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Regeneration Game (2003) | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/The_Regeneration_Game_(2003) | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 October 2021}}</ref>