This Modern Addition Is Marring Doctor Who, Says Seventh Doctor Actor

This Modern Addition Is Marring Doctor Who, Says Seventh Doctor Actor
Image credit: BBC

Sylvester McCoy has only one complaint about the modern era of Doctor Who.


  • Sylvester McCoy played the Seventh Doctor from 1987 to 1989 and has returned to the Whoniverse several times since.
  • The actor told SFX Magazine that his only complaint about the modern era is that the actors playing the Doctor are getting younger.
  • McCoy believes this takes away from the character's 'wise old man' image.

Sylvester McCoy is not cutting his ties with the iconic BBC sci-fi series that he played a leading role in from 1987 to 1989.

He played the Seventh Doctor for three seasons and was one of five classic-era Doctors who made heartwarming cameos in the Season 13 finale, The Power of the Doctor. McCoy also starred in one episode of Russell T Davies' new nostalgic series, Tales Of The TARDIS.

Sadly, the actor won't be part of the upcoming Season 14, but he did share his thoughts on the show's modern era in an interview with SFX Magazine (via Screen Rant). It turns out that the actor has a major complaint about the casting of the show.

Doctor Who is no longer a 'wise old man'

'It's changed because it got younger and in a way it became even more successful because of that. But I regret it in a way, because what I loved about the early Doctors was we had a superhero who was not Superman, or Mr America, he wasn't muscular. He used his brain, not his brawn, but he was a wise old man,' McCoy said.

The Seventh Doctor actor added that, while it is his personal preference, he would like the Doctor to remain an older hero, as in the classic era, because it was a fresh take on a protagonist that gave younger audiences a new, more mature role model to follow.

How the Doctor's age changed over the course of the series

McCoy is quite right in his observation. As the years went by, the Doctors got younger and younger, with only a few exceptions. In the classic era, only one leading actor was cast under 40: the Fifth Doctor Peter Davidson. McCoy himself was 43 when he began filming for the series.

In the Modern Era, only Peter Capaldi was 55 when he landed the Time Lord gig. Others were much younger.

The Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, who is sort of in between the eras, was 36 when he was cast. Christopher Eccleston was 40, David Tennant - 33, Matt Smith - 26 (making him the youngest Doctor yet), Jodie Whittaker - 35. The next Fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa, will be 31 when he debuts in the Whoniverse.

Is this a negative thing for the show? Sylvester McCoy seems to think so. But can we really put an age tag on a legendary character who has been traversing the vastness of the universe for thousands of years?

Some Doctors may not look old, but they are always wise.

Source: Screen Rant.

Would you like to see older actors cast as the Doctor?