Always the Doctor: A Sidecar for Regeneration

For many Whovians (us amongst them!), this Christmas is going to be a difficult time. We’ll be saying goodbye to Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. On the one hand, this means welcoming Jodie Whittaker to the TARDIS for a whole new series of adventures. On the other, losing a Doctor is never easy. And for many of our ReGenerators (including the kids!), this may be their first time witnessing a regeneration.

At our first event, Tom Baker said in his interview that once you’re the Doctor, you always are. And while it’s hard to believe when the actor is no longer on your screens on a regular basis, it’s very true. To that end, we’ve come up with some happy reminders that even though it’s The End in one way, “Doctor” is a lifelong career.


William Hartnell

Sadly, Hartnell was already in poor health when he ended his run on Doctor Who. And his appearance in “The Three Doctors” was limited for this reason. But even with his health limiting his ability to go forward, his legacy lives on — he notably predicted the show’s long run when others doubted it.


Patrick Troughton

Troughton returned to the role of the Second Doctor three times: in “The Three Doctors,” “The Five Doctors,” and then with (Re)Gen guest Colin Baker for “The Two Doctors,” along with his cohort Frazer Hines as Jamie.


Jon Pertwee


Pertwee returned for “The Five Doctors” and “Dimensions in Time,” but he also took a step only one other Doctor has since: he appeared as his incarnation in a fan film! The fan-created Devious was created to bridge the gap between “The War Games” and “Spearhead from Space.” The BBC released a mini-edit of it, and some of Pertwee’s dialogue was repurposed for the Big Finish Eighth Doctor release “Zagreus.”


Tom Baker

Originally, Tom wasn’t too keen on returning to show (hence his conspicuous absence from “The Five Doctors” and the waxwork in its photo ops). But as time went on, he began coming back more and more. He’s appeared in multiple remakes and reassemblings of the ill-fated “Shada,” popped in for “Dimensions in time,” returned to the role via Big Finish, and even played a Doctor-y fictional version of himself in Baker’s End. And, of course, we can’t forget the Curator in “Day of the Doctor”!


Peter Davison

(Re)Gen 4 guest Peter Davison may have left the role in 1984, but he’s continued to be a Doctor Who ambassador. He reunited cast members old and new for his 50th anniversary piece The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, hosted BBC America documentaries leading up to the 12th Doctor’s premiere, and was on hand when Peter Capaldi was announced in the role. Between that and his reappearance as the Fifth Doctor via “Time Crash” and Big Finish audios, he’s definitely taken on the role as a lifelong job.


Colin Baker

Colin’s appearance at (Re)Gen 4 will make his third at the con, and we’re not the only place he’s continuing to support Doctor Who. He also appeared in Five(ish) and continues with Big Finish. Not only that — he’s taken up the mantle of the resident Baker at Baker’s End… via regeneration, of course! He’s also appeared on Top Gear to race around their track against a rogues’ gallery of sci-fi monsters.


Sylvester McCoy

Sylv also shored up in Five(ish) and “Dimensions in Time,” but he’s done something that only one other person on our list has done. That’s right: appear as his Doctor in a fan film! The serial “Gene Genius” featured Sylv as the Seventh Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace. And, lest we forget, he also appeared in the parody Do You Have a License to Save This Planet? as the Foot Doctor. Who is not the Doctor in any way. Nope.


Paul McGann

Paul once called himself the George Lazenby of Doctor Who, and for a long time it seemed his involvement with the series was over. Fortunately, he continues to return in Big Finish audios. And he showed up twice during the 50th anniversary: once (albeit briefly) in Five(ish), and once for his regeneration in the surprise YouTube extra “Night of the Doctor.”


Christopher Eccleston

Sadly, we may never see Chris return to Doctor Who proper. But even with that proviso in place, he loves the fans and has been happy to chat with them when he meets them. And it’s great to know that he still appreciates the love from the fans, no matter what!


David Tennant

Of course, David returned for “Day of the Doctor,” as well as a brief stint in Five(ish) as an accomplice. In his time since then, he’s stepped in for a few more jaunts with Big Finish. Oh, and he’s made appearances in a few convention videos made by his father-in-law.


Matt Smith

It’s only been one era of Who since Matt left, and he’s been working busily away on series like The Crown. But given his recent convention appearances — and the fact that he had some choice (joking) words about the Twelfth Doctor spending time with “his” wife — it’s clear he still has a soft spot for the role. Plus, he left us with important words to remember when an actor leaves the role: he’s the Doctor, and he always will be.

We’ll be into the era of Thirteen when (Re)Gen 4 goes up in Baltimore this March — but we’re looking back and forward! We’ll be welcoming Fifth and Sixth Doctors Peter Davison and Colin Baker, Michelle Gomez and Rachel Talalay of the Twelfth Doctor’s era, and many more companions and creatives from all across the Whoniverse!

Register now to get the best price for passes for you and your family — and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news!

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