Doctor Who How long did each Doctor spend in the TARDIS?

Published on August 12th, 2013 | by Joe Siegler

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How Long Did Each Doctor Spend in the TARDIS? [INFOGRAPHIC]

With the Twelfth Doctor incoming at Christmas, you might be wondering just how long his predecessors spent in the TARDIS.

Was Tom Baker really the Doctor for seven years? Did David Tennant manage to play the Doctor from his first appearance to his last for longer than Jon Pertwee?

The answers are below in our infographic, created by Kasterborous contributor Joe Siegler. Enjoy, and feel free to share and embed…

How long did each Doctor spend in the TARDIS?

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19 Responses to How Long Did Each Doctor Spend in the TARDIS? [INFOGRAPHIC]

  1. avatar lee moone says:

    Ha ha love this idea, have been doing it for years on and off! Will did out my thoughts…

  2. avatar Jan Bos says:

    Pity that Matt leaves. The positive site is, that the stories hopefully grow from childish to more adult.

  3. avatar Neu 75 says:

    It’s funny how Colin Baker technically lasted longer than Patrick Troughton yet Pat was in way more episodes.
    However it is different when you calculate regeneration sequences in for some of the others. Most of the Doctor’s are pretty much the same but Tom Baker is first seen (albeit briefly) on 8th June 1974 and Davison on 21st March 1981, so technically lasted three years just about. As for Sylvester, first seen 7th September 1987, last seen 27th May 1996, nearly nine years in the TARDIS! So Matt Smith will last one week short of four years in the role, which is pretty much par for the course…

    • avatar joesiegler says:

      Hey, look at my comments here. In the original version of this, I had text that went with it that detailed why I chose what I did.

      http://joe.siegler.net/2013/08/doctor-who-length-of-service/

  4. avatar Francis Cave says:

    Nice idea but the fact that it makes it look like Colin Baker spent more time in the Tardis than Peter Davison is slightly flawed!

  5. avatar joesiegler says:

    That was due to the hiatus. Hard to put a note about that n the infographic.

    • avatar Francis Cave says:

      Sadly I am well aware of the hiatus!!

      It just skews the figures being shown thats all.

      Looks good though!

      • avatar joesiegler says:

        Francis, check this out. I have addtl info on all this.

        http://joe.siegler.net/2013/08/doctor-who-length-of-service/

  6. avatar Philip Bates says:

    Joe, this is brilliant. Very nice work, my friend!

    • avatar joesiegler says:

      Thanks Phil. Check out this addtl info to go with the infographic.

      http://joe.siegler.net/2013/08/doctor-who-length-of-service/


  7. Great work, but I’m a bit disappointed. I’m waiting for some uber-geek to calculate how much screen time did we actually see each Doctor IN the Tardis :)

    • avatar joesiegler says:

      I considered doing that, but it was an epic amount of hassle. You can do that if you want. :)

  8. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    I *kind* of did just that a while back. If I leveled the playing field, I was curious as to who had more episodes as the Doctor. So I based everything on the average 22 minute episodes from the classic era. For instance, a typical Tennant episode was 44 minutes so it would be counted as 2 “episodes to bring it in line across the board. The longer specials that went over an hour got listed as 3 “episodes. I also counted other live action appearances as the Doctor in anniversary specials, Doctor team ups, the Sarah Jane adventures, etc.. these are the results, running through the projection of the 50th special as well as the Christmas special so Smith may have a one episode variable but this should give you the picture:

    Tom Baker: 172
    Hartnell: 134
    Troughton: 132
    Pertwee: 131
    Tennant: 109
    Smith: 96
    Davison: 75
    McCoy: 43
    Colin Baker: 40
    Eccleston: 26
    McGann: 4

  9. avatar Shayne says:

    So the doctors in order of time on the show:
    Tom Baker
    Jon Pertwee
    David Tennant
    Matt Smith
    William Hartnell
    Colin Baker
    Patrick Troughton
    Peter Davison, tied with Sylvester McCoy
    Christopher Eccleston
    Paul McGann

  10. avatar joesiegler says:

    Anyone catch my subtle 60′s reference in the Infographic? First off, I used “black & white” for Hartnell & Troughton. I also used the triangle to reference the time scoop from “The Five Doctors”. I’m suck a dork. :)

  11. avatar Al says:

    The infographic, though, can’t really take into account how long the guys were considered the current Doctor (and, therefore, their likenesses being featured in comics, novels, etc). Sylvester McCoy was technically the Doctor from the fall of 1987 until May of 1996; McGann from May 1996 to March 2005. And even if you want to ignore books and comics, if you factor in Big Finish, you can still add a lot more to the tenures of Baker the First through to McGann (with McGann a special case because BBC Radio actually aired several seasons of his Big Finish storylines costarring Sheridan Smith).

    • avatar joesiegler says:

      In my original draft of this I had a much longer piece of text to go with the graphic that got into some of the anal details, and why I counted things the way I did. You can check out that overly anal text here:

      http://joe.siegler.net/2013/08/doctor-who-length-of-service/

  12. avatar lee moone says:

    I did one years ago, before the new series in 2005 on how long each regeneration would/could have lasted bearing in mind the ageing of companions. I was slightly annoyed that RTD aged Dr 10 by years of broadcast (or there abouts) as it doesn’t allow for much wiggle room. Of course 1st Dr had longest time in one body, now followed by 11th over taking 4th (he had time on his own, plus time with another Gallifrain) I think I worked out 3rd Dr had the shortest incarnation as he was on earth for most of his time. All great stuff to bash out drunkenly in the pub!

  13. avatar Darrell Caldwell says:

    I agree Sylvester definitely should be counted up to and including the TV Movie as his role in that was far more than a quippy quick regen scene. If Colin Baker gets to count the hiatus between his serie the Sylv should too surely?

    Now the BIG question: has avionics ever done this from the point of view of each incarnation’s point of view? Ie not the actor’s tenure but the in-universe Doctor in each of his lives? Alway wondered how long the 4th Doctor and Romana an K9 travelled together from their perspective and how 11′s 100 year age difference in Impossible Astronaut fit in with Who continuity. And since on-screen most of the 5th Doctor’s adventures followed directly on from one another if he was really the briefest incarnation.

    Anyone ever attempted such a monumentally complicated defining of these tenures? :-)

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