Doctor Who: 10 Actors Who Came Very Close To Playing The Doctor

A who's who of who wasn't Who.

Doctor Who has now been lighting up our screens for 51 years (controversial cancellations and prolonged hiatuses notwithstanding) and the reputable role of the universe's chief defender has been occupied - at least, officially - by 13 actors to date. And there they all are (above). Just look at 'em! Aren't they just bloomin' marvellous!? The mighty task of casting each Doctor is no mean feat, though. As you can imagine, a character with the ability to change his face means that the possibilities as to who can play him are, quite literally, endless. With the ever growing plethora of actors who could all add their unique touch to TV's favourite Time Lord, it must be an overwhelming sense of pressure for the producers when the time comes to enlist the next one. Unless, of course, they've already got an ideal candidate in mind. Or several, as the case usually is. There's only ever one prized spot available in the TARDIS, though, and, with a host of some of the industry's biggest names gunning for one of the most sought after roles on British television, it does mean that unfortunately there's always going to be an abundance of actors who didn't quite make it to the finish line. To salute our heroes that never were, here are 10 actors who came so very close to playing the Doctor. These are the ones who fell at the last hurdle, but we'll always remember when the Doctor (wasn't) you. Onwards!

Doctor Who Editor
Doctor Who Editor

Dan Butler is the Doctor Who Editor at When he isn't writing his own articles or editing other people's, he can be found trawling the internet for gifs of Steven Moffat laughing. Contact him via