With Peter Capaldi set to leave the TARDIS for the final time this Christmas, it’s interesting to look at what his Doctor Who predecessors went on to do next.
All three actors have been busy but who has had the most success since leaving the BBC drama?
Christopher Eccleston (2005)
Christopher Eccelston was never one to stick around somewhere for too long and after only a single series on Doctor Who, he switched Cardiff for California to work on five episodes of NBC’s Heroes as the invisible former company man Claude Rains. He then set his sights on the big screen starring as some shady characters in family adventure drama The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising, the forgettable G.I. Joe adaptation Rise of the Cobra and 2013’s underwhelming Thor: The Dark World.
He did return to the BBC to star in mini-series The Shadow Line, Blackout and more recently, family drama The A Word where he plays the grandfather of a young boy with autism. His other Hollywood credits meanwhile include Song For Marion, Legend and next year’s war drama Where Hands Touch. As always he’s been busy on stage too and will be starring in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s latest adaptation of Macbeth in the title role in 2018.
David Tennant (2005-2010, 2013)
David Tennant wasn’t one to sit on his hands either landing the role of D.I. Alec Hardy in ITV’s Broadchurch which was created by new Doctor Who’s new executive producer Chris Chibnall and starred the new Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker. The show ran for 3 seasons and was even remade for an American audience as Gracepoint which Tennant also starred in a similar role. Eccleston wasn’t the only Doctor to get in on the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tennant played the role of Kilgrave in Netflix’s Jessica Jones and he is rumoured to be reprising the role next year in the shows second season.
He’s also been lending his voice to a number of animated films and TV shows including 2014’s Postman Pat, 2016’s Fireman Sam: Alien Alert and Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Next year, the actor will be hoping to really break the big screen with roles in Bad Samaritan, You, Me and Him and Mary Queen of Scots alongside Margot Robbie and Academy Award nominated actress Saoirse Ronan.
Matt Smith (2010-2014)
It may seem like a long time since Matt Smith left our screens as the Doctor back in 2014 but it’s actually only been 3 years; not that it’s stopped Smith from keeping busy. After leaving the BBC series, the actor aimed high and starred in Ryan Gosling directorial debut Lost River before joining Games of Thrones’ actress Emilia Clarke on Terminator Genisys.
Last year he starred in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies before returning to the small screen to work on Netflix’s The Crown as Prince Phillip, a role which he earned up a lot of praise. Sadly, he will not be returning in Season 3 due to the nature of the show but he does have two new films to look forward as he heads up the cast in the biopic Mapplethorpe while he’ll be hoping pandemic drama Patient Zero finally reaches the big screen.
Tune into to watch Peter Capaldi’s final episode of Doctor Who on Christmas Day in the UK, Monday 25th December, at 5.30pm on BBC1.