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It sounds like the McGann Doctor Who series that never happened would have been epic

March 31st, 2020 by Marc Comments

Cast your mind back, my timelord-loving friends, to May 1996 when Paul McGann stepped into the TARDIS for the first time, picking up from the great Sylvester McCoy and the promise of adventure with a new, dynamic – slightly Americanised – Doctor lay ahead.

Before being pulled out unceremoniously  from beneath our feet.

Sure, we know McGann has had many, many exciting adventures thanks to the Big Finish audio adventures and even returned to regenerate into John Hurts War Doctor in The Night of the Doctor, a short prelude to The Day of the Doctor 50th anniversary episode, but he never really got his time in the TARDIS that he deserved.

And, from speaking to Sylvester McCoy, it sounds like it was really the fans who lost out as the star hints that the plan was to fill in blanks between the end of the regular series and the movie by bringing back Sylvester McCoy and Ace, Sophie Aldred too: “I believe, if it had taken off and had been more successful, they were going to bring all of that back,” McCoy has said, “They would have revisited it.”

He goes on: “The producer [Philip Segal], who is an Englishman and who loved Doctor Who, it was in his dreams of the future of the show that the other Doctors would have popped in and the companions and all that kind of stuff.”

McCoy was asked if this meant we might see Ace return and he enthusiastically says yes and that’s not all: “Exactly. And, you know, Colin [Baker] and Peter [Davison], and Jon Pertwee was still around, I think, then.”

“I thought that the hiatus was definitely not going to finish, and it’d be forever,” he admitted after the show was cancelled in 1989 and not brought back until the movie, seven years later.

“And I felt a bit sad about that. I was like, ‘Oh, God, I’m going to be known as the actor who killed off Doctor Who.’

 “So when they asked me, I bit their hand off to do it: ‘Yes, I’ll do it! I’ll do whatever the hell you want me to do. I’ll hand it over, and hopefully it’ll come back again.’

“But it didn’t. I mean, it was very successful in Britain, but it was made for an American audience. It was very successful with male viewers, but, bizarrely, with Paul in the role, it didn’t attract the female viewers. Maybe that’s because I started it off first! Maybe they thought, ‘I don’t want to watch this old man sitting there, sipping tea!’.”

The movie is an oddity in the show’s lore, but certainly not a disaster by any means. McGann has real promise in the role and brought a sexiness to it that has been used in recent years more than it was before the movie, with stars like Tennant and Smith reaching out to the female fans as much as the male, so in many ways modern Who started in 1996.

Sadly, it was not to be, but lucky for us it is now established in the Doctor Who lore and we can live in the hope that we may see McGann’s Doctor once again. Wouldn’t that be something special?

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….