It's weird for me to see David Tennant or Peter Capaldi with facial hair, and it got me thinking: within the scope of Doctor Who (main TV series), have the Doctors (pre-Thirteenth) ever appeared with facial hair? Question scope clarifications:

  • This ignores comics, novels, and other materials outside of the main TV show.
  • The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Doctors are excluded, as they've hardly appeared yet. Ncuti Gatwa seems to have a small moustache in the promotional photos, but we don't know if he's going to keep that or not.
  • The Thirteenth Doctor is also excluded for obvious reasons.
  • I do know that the usual look of each Doctor is beardless (image from Wikipedia), but they also had other looks in specific episodes, like the old Tenth Doctor and old Eleventh Doctor (still without facial hair), so I'm interested if any of their one-off looks included facial hair:

enter image description here

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    Why do Doctors 13 through 15 not get a bad fake beard?
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 14:42
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    @Wrzlprmft Because I'm specifically excluding them from the scope of this question.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 15:16
  • 9
    Side note: who knew Paul McGann with a bad fake beard would be a dead ringer for Joe Wilkinson?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 17:15
  • At one point, Rose remarked on how the 9th Doctor reacts when he cuts himself shaving. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 19:47
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    "The Thirteenth Doctor is also excluded for obvious reasons.". I would say her being a woman is an obvious reason not to exclude her. You wouldn't need to exclude anyone from the question that you know for sure won't have facial hair. Reasons for exclusions would be if it was an obvious "yes" to having facial hair
    – Ivo
    Commented Dec 19, 2022 at 7:34

3 Answers 3


The 1980 story "The Leisure Hive" Tom Baker's doctor is at one point artificially aged, and appears with a full beard. He looks like this:

Tom Baker, as fourth Doctor with beard

  • Three perfectly good answers, so it's hard to choose one for the green tick. I've chosen yours because it taught me something I genuinely didn't know before rather than forgot (so did the Brain of Morbius thing in Bjorn's answer, but its canonicity is more debatable). Also your answer has the least votes, so might as well make up for that with an acceptance.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 8:52

I'm not aware of any Doctor that routinely had facial hair other than the War Doctor (I thank Bjorn Eriksson below for reminding me of him). Matt Smith's Doctor was imprisoned for sometime and had a scraggly beard and hair but nearly immediately shaved and such once he was freed. This happened in two different episode, both in Series 6 and including the Silence.

"Day of the Moon":

bearded Eleventh Doctor in chains

"The Wedding of River Song":

bearded Eleventh Doctor with Winston Churchill


The War Doctor did have facial hair. He was a Doctor that regenerated between the 8th and 9th Doctor and was played by John Hurt. The War Doctor only appeared in the episode "The Day of the Doctor" but in the show, he was supposed to have worn that face for decades.

Image from Wikipedia

Other candidates would be the presumed early regenerations of the Doctor that was shown in The Brain of Morbius. It was hinted there that the doctor had at least 8 regenerations before Hartnell and a few of them were bearded. If they were true regenerations or not however is disputed.

From Brain of Morbius

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    Egad. Well duh, cannot believe I forgot about this one.
    – MrInfinity
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 16:07
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    It's not disputed any more! It's resolved in The Timeless Children (series 12 episode 10), where it's revealed the Doctor did indeed have many regenerations prior to William Hartnell, and the faces from The Brain of Morbius are shown among them.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 1:58
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    @N.Virgo True. But the Time Timeless Children is one of those episodes that makes me enthusiastically embrace the fact that Doctor Who has no official canon.
    – Kaz
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 23:29
  • @N.Virgo And that right there is why to many of us Doctor Who ended with Capaldi, the last Doctor that made any sense.
    – Tom
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 16:10
  • And I find, @Tom, claiming that the Capaldi era "made sense" is a bit of a stretch...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 19 at 15:10

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