David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor in 'Doctor Who'
David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor in 'Doctor Who' bbc.co.uk

“Doctor Who” star David Tennant’s character is the best TV character of the 21st century, according to an online poll. The Tenth Doctor beats resident “Supernatural” angel Castiel, played by Misha Collins, by a small margin in the survey. “Sherlock” titular star Benedict Cumberbatch, on the other hand, is a distant third.

The online poll by Digital Spy, held earlier this month, attracted over 241,000 votes, with fans scurrying to the site to vote for their favourite TV character. It’s undeniable that “Supernatural” has very loyal fans, but it appears they were no match for Whovians.

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Tennant, who played the 10th incarnation of the Gallifreyan Time Lord for three seasons, garnered 35,000 votes, beating Collins’ Castiel, who took 32,000 votes. The Scottish actor took over the role from Christopher Eccleston, who left “Doctor Who” after just one season in 2005.

While his successors, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, are also popular and were enthusiastically received by fans, it’s only Tennant who not only made it to the list, but topped it as well.

Read more: ‘Doctor Who’: Christopher Eccleston regrets leaving show early

Misha Collins as Castiel in 'Supernatural' season 11 episode 12 'Alpha and Omega'
Misha Collins as Castiel in 'Supernatural' season 11 episode 12 'Alpha and Omega' CWTV.com/shows/supernatural/

In Collins’ case, his feat is just as remarkable as he isn’t the main star of the show. That honour goes to Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, who play Sam and Dean Winchester respectively.

Collins’ Castiel was introduced in season 4, and by season 5, Collins was promoted to series regular. However, by season 7, he was back to being a guest star. He regained regular status by season 9. Critics’ and fans’ reception to his character has been exceedingly positive, making Castiel an integral part of the show.

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in 'Sherlock'
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in 'Sherlock' bbc.co.uk

Third place goes to Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. The actor will reprise his role in “Sherlock” season 4 in 2017. Sadly for the British show’s fans, he only garnered 13,000 votes, a large gap from the second placer.

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“Hannibal” star Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal Lecter is fourth, while “Game of Thrones” favourite character Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, is fifth. “Buffy” star Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy Summers is sixth and one of the three female characters in the list.

Here are the top 20 best TV character of the 21st century by Digital Spy:

  1. The Tenth Doctor, “Doctor Who” (David Tennant) – 35,000 votes
  2. Castiel, “Supernatural” (Misha Collins) – 32k
  3. Sherlock Holmes, “Sherlock” (Benedict Cumberbatch) – 13k
  4. Hannibal Lecter, “Hannibal” (Mads Mikkelsen) – 9.3k
  5. Tyrion Lannister, “Game of Thrones” (Peter Dinklage) – 8.8k
  6. Buffy Summers, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (Sarah Michelle Gellar) – 8.5k
  7. Mal Reynolds, “Firefly” (Nathan Fillion) – 7.3k
  8. Gregory House, “House” (Hugh Laurie) – 7.2k
  9. Daryl Dixon, “The Walking Dead” (Norman Reedus) – 6.1k
  10. Sheldon Cooper, “The Big Bang Theory” (Jim Parsons) – 5.9k
  11. Walter White, “Breaking Bad” (Bryan Cranston) – 5.5k
  12. Barney Stinson, “How I Met Your Mother” (Neil Patrick Harris) – 5.2k
  13. Perry Cox, “Scrubs” (John C. McGinley) – 4.4k
  14. Ron Swanson, “Parks and Recreation” (Nick Offerman) – 4.1k
  15. Violet Crawley, “Downton Abbey” (Maggie Smith) – 4.1k
  16. The Evil Queen, “Once Upon a Time” (Lana Parilla) – 3.8k
  17. Maurice Moss, “The IT Crowd” (Richard Ayoade) – 3.3k
  18. Stewie Griffin, “Family Guy” (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) – 3.3k
  19. Dexter Morgan, “Dexter” (Michael C. Hall) – 3.1k
  20. The Stig, “Top Gear” – 2.9k