Sylvester McCoy

(born Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith 20 August 1943) was the seventh actor to portray the Doctor. McCoy's first episode was Time and the Rani and his last was Survival.

He took over the lead role of Doctor Who in 1987 from Colin Baker, and remained until the series was shelved in 1989. He played the Doctor in the 1993 charity special Dimensions in Time, and again in 1996, appearing in a cameo at the beginning of the Doctor Who: The Movie where he handed the role over to Paul McGann. In his first series, McCoy, a comedy actor, portrayed the character with a degree of clown-like humour, but script editor Andrew Cartmel soon changed that when fans argued that the character (and plots) were becoming increasingly lightweight. The Seventh Doctor developed into a much darker figure than any of his earlier incarnations, manipulating people like chess pieces and always seeming to be playing a deeper game. McCoy generally approved of this, as it allowed him to play more of a dramatic role.

A distinguishing feature of McCoy's performances was his manner of speech. He used his natural slight Scottish accent and rolled his rs. At the start of his tenure he used proverbs and sayings adapted to his own ends (eg. "There's many a slap twixt cup and lap" — Delta and the Bannermen), although this characteristic was phased out during the later, darker series of his tenure. In 1990, readers of Doctor Who Magazine voted McCoy's Doctor "Best Doctor", over perennial favourite Tom Baker.