How Every Doctor Who Got Cast

14. Patrick Troughton

Doctor Who William Hartnell Ncuti Gatwa
BBC Studios

Patrick Troughton was an incredibly gifted character actor in film and television, and had clocked up some impressive credits in the years before Doctor Who.

A fascinating tidbit about his career is that he was the first actor to play Robin Hood on television, doing so in the BBC's 1953 serial of the same name. Doctor Who's producers believed that an actor of Troughton's versatility was a good fit to replace William Hartnell, and though he was initially unsure, he ultimately signed on the dotted line.

Arguably, Troughton had the toughest role of any lead actor in the history of Doctor Who. Not only did he have to sell the concept of regeneration, he had to be markedly different to William Hartnell, while staying true to the heart of the character.

Thankfully however, some of his more outlandish suggestions for the Second Doctor – including a turban and darker skin – were shot down by the production team.

Troughton blazed a trail for future incarnations, so it's understandable that Hartnell apparently noted that he was "the only man in England who can take over."

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Citizen of the Universe, Film Programmer, Writer, Podcaster, Doctor Who fan and a gentleman to boot. As passionate about Chinese social-realist epics as I am about dumb popcorn movies.