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The Top 5 Time Lords to Appear (So Far) on Doctor Who

"Who Are your Favorite Time Lords to Appear in New Who?"

Do you feel like something is missing this fall? I certainly do. We are between seasons of Doctor Who right now, so I have decided to rank all the Time Lords who have appeared since the show’s return to the airwaves in 2005. I have narrowed it down to a Top Five – do you remember all these characters? If not, go back and check out their episodes while we wait patiently for a new season to arrive in 2017!

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#5 Jenny (The Doctor’s Daughter)

Jenny, also known as The Doctor’s Daughter, has appeared only once on television so far – in the fourth season Doctor Who episode of the same name in 2008. The character was portrayed by Georgia Moffett (who is the real-life daughter of  Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and the wife of Tenth Doctor David Tennant) and was created from a sample of The Doctor’s skin taken against his will during an adventure on the planet of Messaline. After saving The Doctor and his colleagues and presumed to be dead, she later escaped from the planet and went off to explore the universe on her own.

I included Jenny here because I was fascinated by the character when she first appeared. Besides the obvious connections the actress has with the show, the character itself would be very interesting to explore in future stories in my view. What has Jenny been up to since that episode? How will The Doctor respond when he finds out she still exists? Is it possible for her to be exploited by evil forces? In the episode The Doctor only considered her an “echo” of a Time Lord – but she certainly counts for my purposes, and I hope to see her again on a Doctor Who episode in the near future.

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#4 The Master/The Mistress AKA Missy

What kind of list would this be without The Doctor’s best “frienemy” on it? The Master, another renegade Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, has been a continuing fixture on Doctor Who since almost the beginning. The character made his first appearance in “Terror of the Autons” with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee way back in 1971. The Master has regenerated (or changed in some way) many times on the show, with his latest incarnation being a female version portrayed by the very talented actress Michelle Gomez. The Doctor and The Master have a complex relationship, and really can’t be described solely as allies or enemies since they have been both during the run of the show – you truly never know what to expect when The Master appears!

I included The Master on this list because he is to the Doctor what Lex Luthor is to Superman, what The Joker is to Batman, or what Professor Moriarty is to Sherlock Holmes – an almost perfect counterbalance or Ying to the other character’s Yang. It has already been confirmed that we will see The Mistress again on Doctor Who very soon, which speaks to the popularity and the perceived importance of the character. Hopefully the new appearances will be as good most of the previous ones.

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#3 The Dream Lord

The Dream Lord is one of the most bizarre and unexpected characters to appear on Doctor Who – and that is saying something. The character, portrayed by Toby Jones, first appeared in the “Amy’s Choice” episode of the fifth season in 2010. The Dream Lord is literally all the darker aspects of The Doctor’s character manifested into physical form – almost like a Freudian Id of sorts. The character came into being when psychic pollen was accidentally caught in the time rotor of The Doctor’s TARDIS. During his appearance he was a formidable foe for The Doctor and his companions. How can you defeat an enemy that knows all The Doctor’s secrets, and is basically a darker version of The Doctor himself?

I included The Dream Lord because of his unique nature, and the near unlimited potential of the character for future stories. The Dream Lord may arguably be the most challenging foe the Doctor has ever faced on Doctor Who, next to The Valeyard during the “The Trial of a Time Lord” season back in 1986. In fact, the two characters are often compared. The Dream Lord is definitely also a Time Lord – indeed, he IS the Doctor himself! At the end of “Amy’s Choice” The Dream Lord made it known to the audience that he still existed. Will he ever make another appearance? It is certainly possible.

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#2 The War Doctor AKA The Warrior

The Top Two Time Lords for me were very close, but the second best to appear in the New Who version of Doctor Who thus far has to be The Warrior, also known as The War Doctor or The Doctor of War. John Hurt was the perfect choice to play this war-weary character, a hidden regeneration of the Doctor that fought for millennia in the Last Great Time War against the Daleks. He was first seen during the cliffhanger ending for “The Name of the Doctor” and again during the “Night of the Doctor” short before making his full and most meaningful appearance to date during multi-Doctor episode “The Day of the Doctor.”

I included him even though The Warrior will likely only be seen once on air, because of the surprise appearance of the character, his relationships with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. His internal and external struggles will make him a very memorable character for a long time to come. Many fans would love to see more of The Warrior in the future – perhaps a spin-off series of his war years – but for now his adventures are limited only to novels like Engines of War or the Doctor Who audio adventures.

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#1 The Curator

The very best Time Lord so far on Doctor Who could only be The Curator. The Curator is the ultimate Time Lord because he is assumed to be, after all, The Doctor himself – possibly in one of his last incarnations. The audience first met The Curator in “The Day of the Doctor” portrayed by Fourth Doctor Tom Baker. The figure is thought to be a future version of The Doctor after he had retired from a life of travel and adventure, preferring to work instead protecting dangerous items at the Under-Gallery hidden beneath the National Gallery of London. For the keen observer, the Under-Gallery seemed to also have the mysterious white roundels associated with almost every version of a TARDIS. Could it be? Judge for yourself!

I included The Curator because he is everything good about Doctor Who – every Doctor, every adventure, and every other fantastic memory fans of the series have enjoyed over the lifetime of the show. The Curator was Tom Baker this time, but he may be another favorite Doctor next time – Peter Davison? Colin Baker? Sylvester McCoy? Paul McGann? Must I go on? The character strongly hinted that he would revisit “old favorite” facial appearances from time to time, so anything is possible. The Curator is a very intriguing figure, and I hope we get to visit him again in the future.

A Bonus for the People:

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The Monk AKA The Meddling Monk

As usual, I will reward those who made it this far with a bonus pick. This time, I will go back to Classic Doctor Who, and one of my favorite Time Lords from that era – The Monk, also known as The Meddling Monk. The Monk’s first, and so far only, television appearances were as a foil of the First Doctor William Hartnell in “The Time Meddler” in 1965 and in “The Daleks’ Master Plan” in 1966. The Monk attempted to change history for his own purposes, which of course brought him into conflict with The Doctor. He was first encountered in a monastery on Earth in 1066, then later again on Earth in Ancient Egypt during one of The Doctor’s many battles with the Daleks.

I included The Monk because he, just like the other renegade Time Lords like The Master and The Rani – make for interesting stories and can provide The Doctor with more formidable challenges than those he would normally face from week to week on Doctor Who. There was once a plan to feature The Monk in a series during the 1980s, but those plans never came to fruition. It is never too late though. I would love to see this character face off against the current Doctor, with today’s writing and special effects. How about you?

Conclusion

So, that’s my list – you may have a different list, or some additions or deletions. Please feels free to comment and let me know what you think. Are there any other Time Lords from Classic Who that you would love to see return? I have some further ideas that I may put down on a future list. In the meantime, enjoy this trip down memory lane, and check out the new Doctor Who spinoff series Class. 2017 will be here before we know it!

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Meet the Author

About / Bio
I am a freelance writer, independent scholar, and educational consultant. I am of course a television critic for Entertainment Fuse, but I also conduct author interviews on a podcast channel for New Books Network, and write monthly articles for Texas Diversity Magazine. Houston, TX is where I call home.

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