TARDIS Index File

John Hurt

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John Hurt
John Hurt
In the DWU
Main roles: War Doctor
Main jobs: Actor
Stories: TV: The Name of the Doctor
TV: The Night of the Doctor
TV: The Day of the Doctor
Main time period active: 2013 (TV), 2015-present (audio)
Career highlights
Notable non-DWU work:
Nineteen Eighty-four
The Naked Civil Servant
Harry Potter
IMDb profile
Twitter page
DOCTOR WHO *Exclusive Extended* Inside Look In Awe of John Hurt in "The Day of The Doctor"02:22

DOCTOR WHO *Exclusive Extended* Inside Look In Awe of John Hurt in "The Day of The Doctor"

Sir John Vincent Hurt played the War Doctor for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. He later returned to the role in a line of audio stories for Big Finish Productions.


As the DoctorEdit

Hurt's was not a conventional incarnation of the Doctor; although Hurt portrayed the ninth in chronological order, he is officially known as the War Doctor. He is also the only official incarnation of the Doctor whose tenure was entirely within another actor's tenure, his entire stay in the role being within Matt Smith's run as the lead. Despite this, by portraying the role in The Name of the Doctor, The Night of the Doctor, and The Day of the Doctor, Hurt appeared in more television stories than Eighth Doctor actor, Paul McGann. McGann still has more screen time than Hurt, however. McGann's total screen time is 65 minutes, 27 seconds, while Hurt's is only 38 minutes, 31 seconds (deleted scenes nonwithstanding).

At 73 years old on his debut appearance as the Doctor, Hurt is the oldest actor to have assumed the role, his nearest rival being Richard Hurndall who was 72 when he played the First Doctor in The Five Doctors in 1983. Hurt was also the first actor to play the role since the revival to be born before the original series started, and the first since Tom Baker to be older than Carole Ann Ford, who played the Doctor's on-screen granddaughter, Susan.

In 2015, he resumed the role of the War Doctor, this time in a much more expansive venue of adventures that featured him as the chief protagonist, though as a markedly more anti-heroic version of the Doctor, in a range of Big Finish Productions audio stories.

Outside Doctor Who Edit

He is known for various iconic roles such as Winston Smith in the film adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and his award winning performance of Quentin Crisp in the TV series The Naked Civil Servant. Hurt also appeared in I, Claudius alongside Derek Jacobi, and more recently in three of the Harry Potter movies as Garrick Ollivander, V For Vendetta, Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy, Hellboy, and provided the voice of the dragon in the BBC Cymru series Merlin.

Hurt also appeared in the Ridley Scott film Alien, portraying the character of Kane who is central to the infamous "chest-bursting" scene, regarded as one of the most famous scenes in science fiction cinema. As such it has been referenced and parodied several times, which he did himself in Spaceballs. Steven Moffat's earlier series Coupling is another such example.

Long before he was the War Doctor, Hurt played another time traveller in Frankenstein Unbound.


In 2012, Hurt was presented with the BAFTA Film award for "Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema".

He is the only person to have been nominated for an Oscar for acting prior to playing the Doctor; Peter Capaldi won one but for directing.

He was knighted for his services to drama in the 2015 New Year Honours, becoming the first knighted actor to have played the Doctor.[1] He is currently the only "official" Doctor with any honours; although Peter Cushing received a OBE before him.

Personal lifeEdit

In June 2015 Hurt announced that he had been diagnosed with early-stage pancreatic cancer, but is continuing to work while undergoing treatment and is optimistic about a satisfactory outcome.[2] Months later, he announced a full recovery.

Within the DWU Edit

In Greeks Bearing Gifts, Toshiko Sato compared the body of a dead soldier with his heart ripped out to "that bit in Alien where that thing bursts out of John Hurt."

Footnotes Edit

External link Edit

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