‘Doctor Who’ TV Movie ‘needed different story’, admits director

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The director of the Doctor Who TV Movie has revealed that he was “disappointed that [the show] wasn’t picked up” for a full series in America following the its broadcast in 1996.

Introducing Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, the TV Movie was a co-production between America’s Fox Network, Universal and the BBC.

Despite strong ratings in the UK, the ‘backdoor pilot’ was not such a success in America and no series was commissioned.

Speaking to promote BBC Two’s one-off drama Christopher And His Kind, featuring Doctor Who star Matt Smith, Sax told CultBox: “I was disappointed that it wasn’t picked up, because I was hoping that it would appeal to an American audience. But I think it probably needed to be a different kind of story to introduce a new audience to it.”

He continued: “I think it assumed that people knew about the Doctor and what the rules were, so a lot of the American audience came away bemused and confused. It had a lot of promise though, definitely.”

Doctor Who TV Movie Paul McGann Eighth

Discussing the 1996 shoot, Sax recalled: “I had a great time doing that. We shot it in Vancouver, which I love – I’ve shot four films there now. It was like playing with a train set; it was an enormous amount of fun to do. It was a very positive experience.”

Christopher And His Kind explores novelist Christopher Isherwood’s formative years in 1930s Berlin in the run-up to the Second World War.

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