Doctor Who Timeline: Debuts & Departures Timeline

I found myself getting curious about the various ages of different actors and creators involved with Doctor Who over the years, and so today we have a little timeline that tells us throughout the years of when people were born, when they debuted on the show, and when they died (for those no longer living).

This list doesn’t include everyone, of course–just those who are generally considered main or regular cast members, as well as the shows senior producers and script editors.

Potentially this is a bit of a purposeless exercise, but it did reveal a few random tidbits to me, and maybe it will for you as well. Do you know who the only regular actor from the original series was born after the series debuted? Or who the only regular actor from the revived series who was born after the original series ended? Of which Doctor and which companion share the exact same birthday? Read on to find out!

Or did you know that Carole Ann Ford and John Hurt were more or less the same age? Or that Karen Gillan was born just after Ace debuted on the show? Or that Paul McGann, Bradley Walsh and Nicola Bryant are all born within a year of each other?

Many of these sorts of things are pretty obvious if you think about them, but most of the time we don’t think about them. Well, now is your chance.

Incidentally, for ease’s sake, the ages given for people in their debuts are their ages at the time of airing, not at the time of shooting.

1908

January 8 – William Hartnell is born.

1910

November 3 – Richard Hurndall is born

1917

April 1 – Sydney Newman is born

1918

March 1 – Roger Delgado is born

1919

July 7 – Jon Pertwee is born.

1920

March 25 – Patrick Troughton is born.

1923

October 27 – Peter Bryant is born.

1924

November 19 – William Russell is born.

1925

March 26 – Barry Letts is born.

September 20 – John Wiles is born.

December 24 – Innes Lloyd is born.

1926

April 2 – Robert Holmes is born.

1927

April 21 – Gerald Flood is born.

1928

April 18 – David Whitaker is born.

1929

December 16 – Nicholas Courtney is born.

December 17 – Jacqueline Hill is born.

1930

February 23 – Gerry Davis is born.

August 8 – Terry Nation is born.

1931

October 10 – Victor Pemberton is born.

1932

August 20 – Anthony Ainley is born.

December 1 – Dennis Spooner is born.

1934

January 20 – Tom Baker is born.

July 1 – Jean Marsh is born.

1935

January – David Brierley born.

March 16 – Donald Tosh is born.

April 14 – Terrance Dicks is born.

April 21 – Anthony Read is born.

October 29 – Michael Jayston is born

November 27 – Verity Lambert is born.

1936

January 15 – Richard Franklin is born

April 16 – Derrick Sherwin is born.

1937

June 22 – Adrienne Hill is born.

1939

February 10 – Peter Purves is born.

1940

January 22 – John Hurt is born.

June 16 – Carole Ann Ford is born.

September 19 – Caroline John is born.

1941

January 18 – Christopher H. Bidmead is born.

July 10 – Jackie Lane is born

October 20 – Anneke Wills is born.

December 24 – John Levene is born.

1942

April 17 – David Bradley is born.

November 29 – Michael Craze is born.

1943

March 16 – John Leeson born.

June 8 – Colin Baker is born.

June 29 – Maureen O’Brien is born.

August 20 – Sylvester McCoy is born.

1944

August 8 – Ian Marter is born.

September 22 – Frazer Hines is born.

October 1 – Philip Hinchcliffe born.

December 9 – Eric Saward is born.

1945

May 24 – Graham Williams born.

1946

February 1 – Elisabeth Sladen is born

October 14 – Katy Manning is born

1947

August 21 – John Nathan-Turner is born.

December 2 – Wendy Padbury is born

1948

January 2 – Deborah Watling is born

May 31 – Lynda Bellingham is born.

1950

March 22- Mary Tamm born.

1951

April 13 – Peter Davison is born.

April 20 – Louise Jameson is born.

June 28 – Lalla Ward born.

1952

March 11 – Douglas Adams is born.

1953

September 9 – Janet Fielding is born.

1954

April 16 – Antony Root’s birthday.

1958

April 6 – Andrew Cartmel is born.

April 14 – Peter Capaldi is born

1959

April 6 – Mark Strickson is born.

November 14 – Paul McGann is born.

1960

June 4 – Bradley Walsh is born.

October 11 – Nicola Bryant born.

1961

November 18 – Steven Moffat is born.

December 12 – Sarah Sutton is born.

December 19 – Matthew Waterhouse is born.

1962

Undetermined – Philip Segal is born.

August 20 – Sophie Aldred is born.

1963

March 11 – Alex Kingston is born.

April 27 – Russell T. Davies is born.

November 23 – William Hartnell (age 55) debuts as the First Doctor in the first ever Doctor Who episode, An Unearthly Child. William Russell (age 39), Jacqueline Hill (age 33) and Carole Ann Ford (age 23) debut in the same story as Ian, Barbara, and Susan.

December 21 – The Daleks debut for the first time in The Dead Planet, the first episode of the show’s second serial.

1964

February 16 – Christopher Eccleston is born.

July 22 – Bonnie Langford is born.

1965

January 2 – Maureen O’Brien (age 21) debuts as Vicki in The Powerful Enemy (The Rescue part one).

April 18 – Camille Coduri is born.

June 26 – Peter Purves (age 26) debuts as Steven in The Planet of Decision (aka episode six of The Chase).

November 6 – Adrienne Hill (age 28) debuts as Katarina in The Horse of Destruction (aka part four of The Myth Makers)

December 4 Jean Marsh (age 31) debuts as Sara Kingdom in The Traitors (episode four of The Daleks’ Masterplan).

1966

February 26 – Jackie Lane (age 24) debuts as Dodo in Bell of Doom (episode four of The Massacre.)

June 25 – Michael Craze (age 23) debuts as Ben and Anneke Wills (age 24) debuts as Polly in The War Machines.

October 8 – The Cybermen debut for the first time in The Tenth Planet episode one.

October 29 – Patrick Troughton (age 46) debuts as the Second Doctor in a very brief appearance at the end of The Tenth Planet episode four. William Hartnell and the First Doctor close off their era.

November 5 – Power of the Daleks, the Second Doctor’s first full story, begins.

November 23 – Michelle Gomez is born.

November 30 – John Bishop is born.

December 17 – Frazer Hines (age 22) debuted as Jamie McCrimmon in The Highlanders.

1967

March 11 – John Barrowman is born.

May 27 – Deborah Watling (age 19) debuts as Victoria in The Evil of the Daleks part two.

1968

February 17 – Nicholas Courtney (age 38) debuts in The Web of Fear episode three.

May 12 – Catherine Tate is born

May 25 – Wendy Padbury (age 20) debuts as Zoe in The Wheel in Space.

November 2 – John Levene (age 26) debuts in The Invasion part one.

1969

June 21 – The War Games part 10 airs, and Patrick Troughton finishes his tenure as the Second Doctor.

1970

January 3 – Jon Pertwee (age 50) debuts as the Third Doctor in Spearhead from Space. Caroline John (age 29) debuts as well as Liz Shaw.

March 21 – Chris Chibnall is born.

July 10 – John Simm is born.

1971

January 2 – Roger Delgado (age 52) debuts as the Master In the first episode of Terror of the Autons. Katy Manning (age 24) and Richard Franklin (age 34) debut as well as Jo Grant and Captain Yates.

April 18 – David Tennant is born.

1973

June 18 – Roger Delgado dies at age 55.

1974

March 5 – Matt Lucas is born.

June 8 – Tom Baker (age 40) debuts briefly as the Fourth Doctor. after the Third Doctor regenerates, and Jon Pertwee leaves Doctor Who.

December 28 – Robot, the Fourth Doctor’s full story, begins. Tom Baker makes his first full appearance as the Fourth Doctor.

1975

April 23 – William Hartnell dies at age 67.

December 6 – Noel Clarke is born.

1977

January 1 – Louise Jameson (age 25) debuts as Leela in The Face of Evil.

October 1 – John Leeson (age 34) debuts as the voice of K9 in The Invisible Enemy.

1978

September 2 – Mary Tamm (age 28) debuts as Romana in The Ribos Operation.

1979

March 20 – Freema Agyeman is born.

September 1 – Lalla Ward (age 27) debuts as Romana in Destiny of the Daleks.

October 27 – David Brierley (age 44) debuts as K9 in The Creature from the Pit.

1980

February 4 – David Whitaker dies (age 51).

October 25 – Matthew Waterhouse (age 19) debuts as Adric in Full Circle.

1981

January 31 – Sarah Sutton (age 19) debuts as Nyssa in The Keeper of Traken.

February 21 – Anthony Ainley (age 48) debuts as the second recurring Master at the end of The Keeper of Traken.

February 28 – Janet Fielding (age 27) debuts as Tegan Jovanka in Logopolis.

March 21 – Peter Davison (age 29) debuts briefly as the Fifth Doctor, after the Fourth Doctor regenerates in Logopolis part 4, and Tom Baker leaves the show.

1982

January 4 – Castrovalva part one airs, the first full Fifth Doctor story, starring Peter Davison.

April 27 – Samuel Anderson is born.

June 17 – Jodie Whittaker is born. Arthur Darvill is also born.

September 22 – Billie Piper is born

October 28 – Matt Smith is born

1983

February 1 – Mark Strickson (age 23) debuts as Turlough.

March 15 – Gerald Flood (age 55) debuts as Kamelion.

November 23 – Richard Hurndall (age 73) debuts as a recast First Doctor in the show’s 20th anniversary special, The Five Doctors.

1984

February 23 – Nicola Bryant (age 23) debuts as Peri in Planet of Fire.

March 16 – Colin Baker (age 41) debuts as the Sixth Doctor in The Caves of Androzani episode four as the Fifth Doctor regenerates, and Peter Davison leaves the show.

March 22 – The first full Sixth Doctor story begins–The Twin Dilemma.

May 1 – Sacha Dhawan is born.

1986

April 20 – Jenna Coleman is born

May 24 – Robert Holmes dies (age 60).

September 6 – Michael Jayston (age 50) debuts as the Valeyard, and Lynda Bellingham (age 38) debuts as the Inquisitor, both in Trial of a Time Lord

September 20 – Dennis Spooner dies (age 53).

October 28 – Ian Marter dies (age 42).

November 1 – Bonnie Langford (age 22) debuts as Mel in Trial of a Time Lord Part Nine.

December 6 – The last episode of Trial of a Time Lord airs, completing Colin Baker’s last episode as the Sixth Doctor.

1987

March 28 – Patrick Troughton dies (age 67).

May 29 – Pearl Mackie is born.

September 7 – Sylvester McCoy (age 44) debuts as the Seventh Doctor in Time and the Rani.

November 23 – Sophie Aldred (age 25) debuts as Ace in Dragonfire.

November 28 – Karen Gillan is born.

1988

January 5 – Mandip Gill is born.

1989

December 6 – Survival episode 3 airs, finishing the Seventh Doctor’s era, and the entire classic series of Doctor Who.

1990

August 17 – Graham Williams dies (age 45).

1991

August 23 – Innes Lloyd dies (age 65).

August 31 – Gerry Davis dies (age 61).

1992

July 23 – Tosin Cole is born.

1993

February 18 – Jacqueilne Hill dies (age 63).

1996

May 14 – Paul McGann (age 36) debuts as the Eighth Doctor in the Doctor Who TV Movie. Sylvester McCoy (age 52) reprises his role as the Seventh Doctor.

May 20 – Jon Pertwee dies (age 76).

1997

March 9 – Terry Nation dies (age 66).

October 26 – Adrienne Hill dies (age 60).

October 30 – Sydney Newman dies (age 80).

1998

December 8 – Michael Craze dies (age 56).

1999

April 5 – John Wiles dies (age 73).

2004

May 3 – Anthony Ainley dies (age 71).

2001

May 11 – Douglas Adams dies (age 49).

2002

May 1 – John Nathan-Turner dies (age 54).

2005

March 26 – Christopher Eccleston (age 41) debuts as the Ninth Doctor in Rose, which also kicks off the revived series, and Russell T. Davies first era as showrunner. Billie Piper (age 22) debuts as Rose in the same episode. So too does Camille Coduri (age 39) as Jackie Tyler as Noel Clarke (age 29) as Mickey Smith.

May 21 – John Barrowman (age 38) debuts as Captain Jack Harkness in The Empty Child.

June 18 – David Tennant (age 34) debuts as the Tenth Doctor at the end of the The Parting of the Ways, which finishes Christopher Eccleston’s tenure as the Ninth Doctor.

December 25 – The Christmas Invasion airs–the first full story of the Tenth Doctor’s era.

2006

May 19 – Peter Bryant dies (age 82).

December 25 – Cahterine Tate (age 38) debuts as Donna Noble in The Runaway Bride.

2007

March 31 – Freema Agyeman (age 28) debuts as Martha Jones in Smith and Jones.

June 9 – The Weeping Angels debut for the first time in Blink.

Jule 16 – John Simm (36) debuts as the third recurring incarnation of the Master in Utopia.

November 22 – Verity Lambert dies (age 71).

2008

May 31 – Alex Kingston (age 45) debuts as River Song in Silence in the Library.

June 10 – David Brierley dies (age 73).

2009

October 9 – Barry Letts dies (age 84).

2010

January 1 – Matt Smith (age 27) debuts as the Eleventh Doctor in the final moments of The End of Time part 2 airs. This story closes out the Tenth Doctor’s era, and the first of Russell T. Davies’ tenures as showrunner.

April 3 – Karen Gillan (Age 22) debuts as Amy Pond in The Eleventh Hour, which is also the first episode of the Matt Smith / Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who. Arthur Darvill (age 27) debuts in the same episode as Rory Williams.

2011

February 22 – Nicholas Courtney dies (age 81).

April 19 – Elisabeth Sladen dies (age 65).

2012

June 5 – Caroline John dies (age 71).

July 24 – Mary Tamm dies (age 62).

September 1 – Jenna Coleman (age 26) debuts as Clara Oswald (or one of her splinters) in Asylum of the Daleks.

2013

May 18 – John Hurt (age 73) debuts as a heretofore unknown incarnation of the Doctor, who has come to be known as the War Doctor, at the end of The Name of the Doctor.

November 14 – The mini-episode The Night of the Doctor airs, featuring Paul McGann (age 54) as the Eighth Doctor in a surprise appearance, and including his regeneration into the War Doctor.

November 21 – David Bradley (age 71) debuts as William Hartnell in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time.

November 23 – Peter Capaldi (age 55) makes a very brief debut cameo as the Twelfth Doctor in The Day of the Doctor. This 50th anniversary special stars Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt, Billie Piper and Jenna Coleman, and includes an appearance by Tom Baker (age 79).

December 25 – The Time of the Doctor airs, and Matt Smith finishes his tenure as the Doctor.

2014

August 23 – Deep Breath airs, the Twelfth Doctor’s first full story, starring Peter Capaldi. Matt Smith makes a surprise cameo. Michelle Gomez (age 47) debuts in the same story as Missy, the fourth recurring incarnation of the Master.

August 30 – Samuel Anderson (age 32) debuts as Danny Pink in Into the Dalek.

October 29 – Lynda Bellingham dies (age 66).

2015

November 21 – Anthony Read dies (age 80).

December 25 – Matt Lucas (age 40) debuts as Nardole in The Husbands of River Song

2017

April 15 – Pearl Mackie (age 29 years) debuts as Bill in The Pilot

July 21 – Deborah Watling dies (age 69).

August 13 – Victor Pemberton dies (age 85)

December 25 – Jodie Whittaker (age 35) debuts as the Thirteenth Doctor at the close of Twice Upon a Time airs. David Bradley (age 75) co-stars as the First Doctor, alongside Peter Capaldi’s Twelth Doctor.

2018

October 7 – Bradley Walsh (age 58) debuts as Graham, Mandip Gill (age 30) debuts as Yaz, and Tosin Cole (age 26) debuts as Ryan in The Woman Who Fell to Earth. This is the first full Thirteenth Doctor story.

October 17 – Derrick Sherwin dies (age 82).

2019

August 29 – Terrance Dicks dies (age 84).

December 3 – Donald Tosh dies (age 84)

2020

January 1 – Sacha Dhawan (age 35) debuts as the fifth recurring Master in Spyfall part 1.

January 26 – Jo Martin debuts as the so-called “Fugitive Doctor”, a heretofore unknown incarnation of the Doctor, in The Fugitive of the Judoon.

2021

June 23 – Jackie Lane dies (age 69).

October 31 – John Bishop (age 55) debuts as Dan in The Halloween Apocalypse.

And that’s it! I guess I’ll try to keep this post updated as time marches on and things progress.

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One thought on “Doctor Who Timeline: Debuts & Departures Timeline

  1. Thank you for this list, Ben. Kate O’Mara (the Rani) also passed in 2014.

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