With the newest Doctor – Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor – primed to hit our screens later this month, now is as good a time as any to look at what the previous three Doctors in the revived Doctor Who have been up to since leaving the show.
While the Doctor may be the role of a lifetime, it certainly isn’t the only role, not for Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith anyway. Read on to see just how busy each has been in the year(s) since their time on Doctor Who. These former Doctors certainly aren’t riding on the coattails of fame.
The Ninth Doctor a.k.a. Christopher Eccleston
In an interesting turn of events, Chris has spent much of his post-Doctor Who life playing movie villains in such films as The Seeker, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Thor: The Dark World. He has also spent time in the theatre and had a five episode stint as Claude Rains on Heroes.
Most recently, he can be seen as Reverend Matt Jamison on HBO’s The Leftovers. Chris is currently filming his next role in London as part of the cast of Legend, which also includes Tom Hardy and David Thewlis.
The Tenth Doctor a.k.a. David Tennant
We all know, of course, that David returned to play the Doctor in the 50th anniversary special, but he hasn’t been short of work in the years between that and his last episode as the Tenth Doctor. From voiceover roles in How to Train Your Dragon and Star Wars: The Clone Wars to the title role in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Richard II, it seems David has done everything since leaving the Doctor behind.
Highlights include Peter Vincent, a Las Vegas based magician and supposed expert on vampires, in the remake of Fright Night – if it helps, he often walks around shirtless – and Detective Inspector Alec Hardy in the much acclaimed British television show Broadchurch.
Next up for David? He’ll appear in Gracepoint, the American version of Broadchurch, on FOX this fall.
The Eleventh Doctor a.k.a. Matt Smith
Matt hasn’t had as much time to rack up credits as either Christopher or David since he’s only not been the Doctor for less than a year, but he’s still managed to keep busy.
Before filming wrapped on Matt’s last episodes, he spent part of last summer filming for Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, Lost River, which was scheduled for theatrical release this summer. However, the movie received negative reviews at Cannes, so it’s not clear when or if it will ever be available.
In other Matt Smith things-you-probably-didn’t-see news, Matt played the lead in the American Psycho musical in London at the end of 2013 through the beginning of 2014. However, rest assured that Matt isn’t just doing roles that only a few people will ever see. Next up, he’ll appear in the fifth Terminator movie, Terminator: Genisys, in summer 2015.
Soon enough, we’ll see if Capaldi steps into the role of the Doctor as effortlessly as Eccleston, Tennant and Smith. But with the 50th anniversary establishing that multiple Doctors can exist at the same time, is it too much to hope that we’ll see one or more of these former Doctors back on Doctor Who anytime soon? Maybe if they can find the time in their packed-to-the-brim schedules!