Doctor Who Expanded

"This never happens to David Copperfield!"

Coburn Era
Jeffrey Coburn Doctor
No. seasons: 4
No. stories: 20
First appearance: Apollyon (1993)
Last appearance: The Chronic Rift (2000)
Portrayed by: Jeffrey Coburn
Preceded by: David Segal Doctor
Succeeded by: Jym DeNatale Doctor
Series: DWAD

Jeffrey Coburn portrayed the Doctor from 1993-2000 and, from what is known, was not comfortable in the character. Vincent Savage and a few others described him as "His own worst critic". In 2000, Coburn informed the production crew that he was going to quit the role at the end of the year, regardless of whether they were at the end of the season or not.[1].

Coburn declined to appear in the 20th Anniversary story The Webs of Time, though after several years he did appear as an actor playing different roles in two stories, Terror of the Arctic and Hippocratic Oath. Initially, he declined to appear as the Doctor in The Call of Pudsey, but changed his mind when he was told the show was being done for charity.

Story Style[]

Coburn's stories were varied. This was because more and more new talent was being encouraged and more original stories were showing up. There was even a sequel to the Sixth Doctor story The Two Doctors, called The Time Brokers.

Unlike previous regenerations, this Doctor's transformation into the Jym DeNatale incarnation was not advertised in any way. It was not until Episode 6 of The Chronic Rift that anyone outside the production knew that a regeneration was taking place.


Coburn's Doctor was an aspiring (if somewhat inept) magician, wearing all the staples of the role including a top hat and the cloak. This Doctor was quite soft-spoken most of the time, excited and loud at others. By his final season, Coburn's Doctor seemed to be a darker figure whose past was catching up to him.


Generally speaking, this Doctor was one of the most popular, partly due to his dark character. However, some critics complained that he was often difficult to understand due to his oftentimes too-quiet but very fast speech. Still others felt that his irreverent character made a mockery of the Doctor, portraying him as too childish. These complaints were few and far between, however.

Mostly, audiences were drawn to this Doctor's vulnerability and surprising innocence.

The popularity of this Doctor might also be ascribed in part to the fact that his tenure coincided with the Internet boom, and therefore with many fans' first discovery of DWAD.

See Also[]

To be added...

  1. The Jeffrey Coburn Handbook