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Doctor Who Fans Have Voted For Their Favorite Time Lord

The votes are in, and well, it's probably exactly what you expect. Radio Times readers were asked to name their favorite Doctor Who Time Lord, and to what will probably be no one's surprise, the Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant between 2006 and 2010, is the winner. The surprise, however, is in the narrow margin by which the esteemed erstwhile Doctor won — he just squeaked out a win against our current, Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. He only won by a hundred votes! Bronze went to Peter Capaldi, the Twelfth Doctor and Whittaker's immediate predecessor, in another surprise since that meant just edging out Matt Smith's Eleven.

It's understandable enough that it's all New-Who Doctors taking the major stage, since the revival has brought in a massive tidal wave of newly minted fans the world over who likely needed to be told there were episodes stretching back to the 1960s in the first place. Tennant's win here is most reflective of what most modern Whovians would point to as the new classics of the show's storied run, and the particular rapturous highs and angsty lows of his episodes are well-known and beloved. As proof, look no farther than the endless memes and reaction gifs born of Ten's adventures, ubiquitous in our overall internet culture even now. People who have never seen an episode of Doctor Who know who that lanky, mussed-hair and be-sneakered dude in the suit is, even if they can't describe it in detail. That's the power Tennant's Doctor has and continues to hold in pop culture a full decade since he took his final bow in the TARDIS.

The Doctor is a beloved avatar of a golden age

Tennant's time on Doctor Who includes a hefty amount of episodes that pop up on "best episodes" lists all across the internet: "The Waters of Mars," "The Doctor's Wife", both episodes involving The Library — and that's just a handful of examples. Ten was the first Doctor to confront the Weeping Angels, and many fans still faintly remember the chill down their back from the first time they watched "Blink." If we had to pick a broad reason, the Tenth Doctor's had a particularly long run, and also benefit from the very best of both Russell T. Davies and Stephen Moffat's writing abilities.

In a lot of ways, the Ten era encapsulates the joke-slash-actual-trend in serial television that its peak episodes occur between its third and fifth seasons, and when shows go beyond that, they either need to totally reinvent themselves or grow stale. Doctor Who doesn't operate by quite the same metric, but Ten didn't have to worry about rebuilding lore the way Nine did, and was still fresh and new enough as a revival to feel like it truly was reinventing itself to outshine Who's own deeply-entrenched tropes. Eleven's run suffered from a bout of follow-up syndrome, arriving on stage to replace something so universally beloved that he (and his series' episodes) couldn't possibly live up to the standard. Beyond that, Twelve represents the increasing exhaustion with Moffat's tenure as showrunner; so, then, the arrival and subsequent popularity of Thirteen (and the arrival of Chris Chibnall as showrunner) is a kind of rebirth for New-Who, now that it has become an establishment in itself. We all might expect that Ten would be the most popular, but it speaks to nothing but a bright future for Whovians that Jodie Whittaker was right on Tennant's tails in terms of fandom passion. It's a great time indeed to be a Whovian.