How Old Is The Doctor? Ranking Each Doctor Who Incarnation By Lifespan

How Old Is The Doctor? Ranking Each Doctor Who Incarnation By Lifespan
Image credit: BBC

Ever wondered what the Doctor's real age is? The fans have it figured out for you.


  • The definitive age of Doctor Who is difficult to determine for various reasons, but fans never give up.
  • Thus, a fan on Reddit did a deep dive into the Whoniverse media and came up with a thrilling result – a lifespan for every Doctor Who incarnation.
  • The sum of all ages makes Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth impressively old.

Two new Doctor Who episodes are ready to land on Disney+ and BBC One on May 11th, kicking off Series 14 of the beloved sci-fi show. We've already seen the magic of Ncuti Gatwa's Fifteenth Doctor in the Christmas specials, and are sure ready for more.

There's no doubt that the new power duo – Russell T Davies and Ncuti Gatwa – will deliver an emotional rollercoaster ride with the future stories and will be here for years to come. Fingers crossed, the Fifteenth will not regenerate in the foreseeable future and outlive most of its predecessors, although that may be a difficult task.

Tough Nut To Crack

The question of the Doctor's age has been a hot topic in fan discussions and is proving to be a tough nut to crack.

Time Lords, with their regenerative abilities, can outlive Earth humans by a whopping thirteen lifetimes. But there is a catch. Each incarnation lasts wildly different lengths of time, from mere years to hundreds of centuries.

And let's not forget, the Doctor is no ordinary Time Lord. The modern era has revealed that their origin is something of a mystery. Thanks to being a Timeless Child, the Doctor has an infinite number of regenerations and past lives.

To add to the intrigue, Doctor Who isn't always clear about its timeline, which makes determining the Doctor's age a bit like trying to get rid of Cybermen or Daleks – a tricky business. But that doesn't stop fans from trying their best.

The Doctor's Age

Redditor u/11_Hiraeth_11 has done an impressive job of delving into the depths of the Doctor Who franchise, which includes the BBC show and the extensive Doctor Who media (novels, audio, comics, TARDIS wiki, etc.), with a single goal – to measure the lifespan of each of the Doctor's incarnations.

Here is the result of this fascinating study, each Doctor Who incarnation ranked by the number of years they lived.

  • 15th Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) – A few weeks (2023 Specials-present)
  • 14th Doctor (David Tennant) – A few weeks (2023 Specials)
  • 10th Doctor (David Tennant) – 6 years (Series 2-4)
  • 13th Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) – 23-25 years (Series 11-13)
  • 5th Doctor (Peter Davison) – 37 years (Seasons 19-21)
  • 2nd Doctor (Patrick Troughton) – 50 years (Seasons 4-6)
  • 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) – 54 years (Seasons 12-18)
  • 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) – 56 years (Seasons 24-26)
  • 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) – 130 years (Series 1)
  • 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) – 153 years (Seasons 22-23)
  • 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee) – 250 years (Seasons 7-11)
  • War Doctor (John Hurt) – 400 years (Series 7, 2013 Special)
  • 1st Doctor (William Hartnell) – 450 years (Seasons 1-3)
  • 8th Doctor (Paul McGann) – 720 years (TV movie)
  • 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) – 1,194 years (Series 5-7)
  • 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) – 4,500,000,233 years (Series 8-10)

If we add up all the numbers, the total age of Doctor Who hits a whopping 4,500,003,758 years. That is almost as long as the Earth has existed!

Sure, the Twelfth Doctor's extended stay in the Confession Dial (a tricky Time Lord gadget for confessing sins and reflecting on life before dying) might raise a few eyebrows.

For our beloved time traveler, it turned out to be a rather lengthy incarceration, lasting a staggering 4.5 billion years. But even if we ignore the Confession Dial ordeal, Doctor Who still has an impressive lifespan of nearly four thousand years.

Another thing that catches the eye in this list is the short tenure of the Tenth Doctor. Did everyone's favorite Time Lord, played by David Tennant, only live for six years? No wonder he didn't want to regenerate.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that both Tennant's new incarnation and Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor will enjoy a much longer life filled with numerous timey-wimey adventures.

Source: Reddit.