Doctor Who has never demanded to be taken too seriously. It’s not a show that wants to go too over-the-top with character development, dark storylines and an obsession with hard science and strict rules. But at the same time, it’s not a show that wants to throw away what integrity it has and become all about money, attention, comedy and self-satire. Sometime during the new series (and even some of the classic series) while treading along this fine line, somebody began bringing in guest stars, and, as Doctor Who, becomes more and more widely noticed and its fan base in America is growing all the time, these guest appearances are only going to get more common.

While it could be said that these guest stars are a step too far, a lot of people seem to think they’re okay as long as they don’t push it (I’m looking at you, Walliams!) That being said, some guest stars really are god awful, and some are just too brilliant to believe. But who really deserves the most attention? Who are the most memorable and, more importantly, the most enjoyable to watch interact with the Doctor and his various companions?

Well, while I don’t claim to know all the answers, here’s my list of who I believe to be the Top 13 Doctor Who guest stars. Enjoy!

 

13. Richard Wilson in ‘The Empty Child’ and ‘The Doctor Dances’

Richard Wilson is really just a good actor in general, and despite his flourishing career in BBC’s Merlin, whenever I see him in it or anything else I immediately think, ‘Hmm. Doctor Constantine’s doing well.’ It should be a crime to typecast such an amazingly talented human being but I just can’t help myself – he sticks in your mind so well.

Growing up, I always thought the ‘Empty Child’ arc was the most frightening pair of episodes in the show’s history and looking back I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because I came in late watching the show that night so I had little to no context; maybe it’s because I was still at the age were saying ‘Mummy’ was still relatively socially acceptable and thus I had something to remind me of those gas masks every time I saw mother; maybe it’s because of the faceless freaking zombies everywhere creeping around at the dead of freaking night! Damn you, Moffat! But for whatever reason, the Richard Wilson scene still scares the living daylights out of me even now. If you haven’t seen it (and shame on you if you haven’t) the scene depicts Wilson’s undeniably chilling voice echoing around a dark, abandoned ward full of gas-mask wearing corpses and flickering lights, describing in full detail the plague that has struck London. “They’re not dead,” Wilson reveals in that haunting tone of his, shortly before a gas mask slowly and agonisingly forces its way out of his face, Wilson’s stunning performance pulling us in all the way. Horrifying stuff.

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This article was first posted on November 13, 2012