After its long hiatus of 7 years Doctor Who fans finally got what they wanted, a new Doctor Who that was made by the BBC (this time with 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios as well). In May 1996 we finally saw the regeneration of Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy into a new younger Doctor portrayed by Paul McGann
The Eighth Doctor
Travelling alone this doctor comes into being on new years eve 1999 after being shot multiple times in a gangland shooting in San Francisco, here he meets surgeon Dr Grace Holloway and the two become entangled in a plot of he doctors old adversary the Master, who using the Tardis’ link to the eye of harmony on Gallifrey seeks to take all the Doctors remaining regeneration’s for himself. At the end of his lives the master inhabits the body of an unsuspecting paramedic, in much the way he inhabited the body of the Trakenite Tremas.
After defeating the Master and trapping him in the eye of harmony, the Doctor begins travelling alone again, leaving Grace to remain on Earth.
This version of the Doctor was not seen again on television for 17 years (8 years after the shows second revival in 2005) however his adventures where chronicled in a series of books published by BBC books and several series of audio dramas produce by Big Finish Productions (to be explored in Doctor Who? The Wilderness Years Part Two), however this Doctor became embroiled in the events of the Last Great Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords, attempting to save a young gun ship operator named Cass, whose ship was damaged as a result of skirmish between the two warring factions, the Doctor crash lands on the planet Karn. Upon being revived by The Sisterhood of Karn, the keepers of eternal life, they implore the Doctor to take up arms to save the universe from both sides of the war, The Doctor agrees and the sisterhood trigger his regeneration and he becomes the Doctor No More
Stand Out Stories
- The Movie: I first saw the movie in the cinema when it was released and being 7 I thought it was a good film, this was the first (official) Doctor Who to be released in my lifetime and even at 7 I was already enamoured of the TV show, and then this new film came along with even more action, motorcycle chases, gunfights and explosions, and it has a real nostalgia value for me, so even when watching it again as an adult I still love it, even though the script is not fantastic and some of the cast members acting was truly awful. Paul McGann makes the role his own and is sadly underrated, I think he was fantastic in the role and I would have loved to have seen more of him on screen (even if he was equally fantastic in the Big Finish Audios)
- The Night Of The Doctor: 17 years after the TV move the Eighth Doctor finally got a regeneration story and it was probably one of the most powerful performances ever seen in Doctor who, the fact that this all happened in a six minuet episode is just another astounding feat that I have come to expect from Paul McGann.
- America/Americanisation: The main problem with the 1996 movie was that it was made for American’s and it lost something of its Doctor Whoiness, Doctor Who after all is a British institution, and whilst car chases and shoot outs appealed to the seven year old me, but it doesn’t really do much for me at this age.
Join again soon for more on the wonderful worlds of The BBC’s Doctor Who.
This is part of a series of posts relating to the BBC’s long running show Doctor Who.