I don’t mean to sound like a huge Doctor Who apologist, but I can honestly find something I like about each era of Doctor Who and each actor who has played the role over the years. So, choosing a “least favorite” Doctor is probably a great deal more difficult than choosing a favorite.
In my earliest days, I might have said William Hartnell was my least favorite Doctor. But that was before I re-watched and re-evaluated the first Doctor’s era and came to appreciate it. And it’d be easy to cite him since just a few days ago, I cited “The Web Planet” as my least favorite story from the show’s long tenure.
So, I’ve really thought long and hard about this and I’ve come up with my answer. My least favorite Doctor is David Tennant. I don’t say this as some kind of classic Doctor Who snob, but more out of a reaction to the end of his era and the end of Russell T. Davies time as producer. It’s not that Tennant was a bad Doctor, but I think his victory lap season of specials really just rubbed me the wrong way. In just four stories, you saw every excess of the era on display, especially in the final two parter “The End of Time.” Tennant was good when he first took over the role, but like Tom Baker he did better when reigned in more. And, unfortunately, the longer his era ran the less reigned in he got.
I’d still be curious to see what a season from Tennant and Steven Moffat would have looked like. I’m of the firm belief that the thing that helped Tom Baker’s last season be so good was his being reigned in by John Nathan Turner and Christopher H. Bidmead.
Anyway, I’m sure I’ve just offended three-quarters of the fans who’ve only watched the new series. But, in a way, some of those fans are to blame for this reaction. It’s their blind devotion to Tennant and his era and the claim that no other Doctor can be as good or better (sorry, folks but Matt Smith is better), that may be contributing to part of this choice. But as it stands right now, David Tennant is my least favorite Doctor.
But don’t worry…that could all change in a couple of years when some time has passed and I can re-evaluate the era again.