“Doctor Who” season nine premieres Sept. 19 on BBC One — and it has some big financial shoes to fill. Along with “Dancing With the Stars,” “BBC Earth” and “Top Gear,” “Doctor Who” is one of the top-earning franchise juggernauts in the BBC empire. Peter Capaldi returns as the time traveling Doctor alongside Jenna Coleman for what has been described as an adrenaline-fueled season — one which fans are hoping will tie back into Capaldi’s first cameo appearance in “The Day of the Doctor.”
Here is a look at some of the most important and celebrated past and present cast members of the show, and how their net worths have benefited from their part in one of the most storied franchises in science fiction history.
The Money Behind the “Doctor Who” Franchise
When the “Doctor Who” franchise celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2013, the show was basking in the success of its reboot series, which launched in 2005. That reincarnation finally lured in the lucrative American audience, helping to bring BBC Worldwide’s U.S. revenues to $550 million. From action figures to Tardis-themed mini fridges and a deal with Lego, “Doctor Who” merchandise has been a gold mine. Replicas of the Doctor’s signature sonic screwdriver cost $100 each, and 1,000 are sold every day.
David Tennant Net Worth: $7 Million
Known to “Doctor Who” fans as the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant’s $7 million net worth can be credited not only to “Doctor Who” but to the Scottish actor’s big screen success. He starred in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” before he ever hit it big with “Doctor Who.” He has several projects in the works too, including “I Feel Fine” and “Metanoia,” both due out in 2016.
Matt Smith Net Worth: $6 Million
Matt Smith had the difficult job of filling David Tennant’s shoes when he was cast to play the Eleventh Doctor — but according to fans, he nailed the role. Aside from parts in TV series like “The Street,” Matt Smith’s $6 million net worth can be attributed to his appearance in various “Doctor Who”-related video games. He also has three projects coming out in 2016: “Patient Zero,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “The Crown.”
Peter Capaldi Net Worth: $10 Million
Peter Capaldi’s $10 million net worth is due only partially to the Scottish actor’s current role as the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor. He has achieved big screen success with roles in movies like “World War Z” and “The Fifth Estate.” He even did voice acting for the “Lego Dimensions” video game in 2015.
Christopher Eccleston Net Worth: $6 Million
Christopher Eccleston has a net worth of roughly $6 million despite the fact that he left after just one season of “Doctor Who,” following controversy that swirled around the actor and the show. He has since starred in blockbusters like “Thor: The Dark World” and “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” and in HBO’s TV series “The Leftovers.” He recently completed “Legend,” which is due out early next month.
Tom Baker Net Worth: $10 Million
Tom Baker’s $10 million net worth can be traced back to his run as the Fourth Doctor on the original “Doctor Who” series. The 81-year-old actor has over 70 movie credits, including his most recent TV appearance in the 2013 “Doctor Who” episode “The Day of the Doctor.”
Paul McGann Net Worth: $7 Million
Paul McGann played the Doctor in the 1996 and 2013 “Doctor Who” TV movies. He also had an appearance in the 2013 “Doctor Who” episode “The Night of the Doctor.” McGann’s $7 million net worth is also owed to his roles in films like “Queen of the Damned” and “Alien 3.”
Sylvester McCoy Net Worth: $4 Million
His portrayal as the Seventh Doctor helped Sylvester McCoy accumulate a net worth of $4 million. He also played Radagast in “The Hobbit” trilogy. His more recent roles have been in productions like “Journey Bound,” “The Candy House” and “The Last Conjurer.”
Peter Davison Net Worth: $3 Million
Peter Davison can trace much of his $3 million net worth to his role as the Fifth Doctor in seasons 19, 20 and 21 between the years of 1982 and 1984. He has had prominent roles in several successful TV series, including “The Complete Guide to Parenting” and his most recent work, “Law & Order: UK.”
Karen Gillan Net Worth: $2 Million
Although she played Amy Pond on “Doctor Who,” much of Karen Gillan’s $2 million net worth can be traced to her lucrative big-screen career, which includes roles in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Oculus” and “Not Another Happy Ending.” The actress has three projects due out in 2016: “In a Valley of Violence,” “The Circle” and “The Big Short.”
Billie Piper Net Worth: $12 Million
Billie Piper played Rose Tyler in “Doctor Who” between 2005 and 2013. She has since added to her $12 million net worth with roles in successful productions like Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful.” She will be appearing in “City of Tiny Lights” in 2016.