Paul McGann

Doctor Who Am I – Paul McGann reflects as documentary releases

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“It’s one of the beautiful things about Doctor Who’s mythology, nothing is ever wasted.” 

With his appearance in the new Doctor Who Am I documentary, Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor is back in the fan consciousness. Not that he’s ever really gone away, he’s played the role in multiple audio dramas for Big Finish each year since 2001.

Doctor Who Am I follows writer Matthew Jacobs as he journeys back into the show’s fandom some 25 years after penning the 1996 TV Movie. The UK/US co-production received a mixed fan reaction at the time; despite healthy UK viewing figures, it failed to make much of a US impact and did not spawn a series.

Doctor Who Am I

Now, as the documentary receives its theatrical release, Paul McGann has given an interview to Sabastian Astley of the Radio Times. In it, he reminisces of his early Doctor Who memories watching William Hartnell:

“At that time, we still had people from the Victorian era around – my own grandparents were Victorian. He was emblematic, a serious person that you could look up to, and he had a family!”

Which is why he felt he was an odd choice for the Doctor in 1996:

“When they got in touch and it was sent through, I remember saying to my agent, ‘Why are they asking us?’ I thought Rowan Atkinson was going to get it.”

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor

He explains that producer Phillip Segal’s sheer enthusiasm for the project sold him on playing the role.

The Night of the Doctor

The interview continues through his Doctor Who career; it mentions his joy at Russell T Davies confirmation that the TV Movie was canon.

It also tells the story of his short notice return to the role in 2013; McGann came back for a mini-episode which saw him regenerate into John Hurt’s War Doctor – a prelude to the show’s 50th Anniversary Special.

McGann also suggests he’s about to do some Big Finish stories loosely connected to ‘The Night of the Doctor’. He reflects: “it’s one of the beautiful things about Doctor Who’s mythology, nothing is ever wasted.

Doctor Who Am I is in UK cinemas tonight (27th October). It is available on Blu-ray, DVD & digital download from 28th November.