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Published on July 5th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

No Eighth Doctor for Anniversary?

Digital Spy are currently implying that former Doctor Who star Paul McGann has signalled his reluctance to appear as the eighth incarnation of the Time Lord in any future anniversary reunion episodes, following an interview with Official London Theatre.

They have also titled the story “‘Doctor Who’ too big for me, says Paul McGann“, despite being unable to back this statement up with an actual quote.

A quick read through the actual interview reveals no discussion of returning to Doctor Who, nor of the show being “too big”, simply of the relief with which McGann managed to avoid the endless press exposure of his Time Lord descendants, something that probably wouldn’t have happened in 1996.

McGann was asked about the adulation that fellow stage actor and ex-Time Lord David Tennant receives following his departure from Doctor Who, in a brief comparison between the two eras.

As such, he [McGann]  has escaped – “and I mean escaped” – the almost fanatical adulation that accompanied tenth Doctor David Tennant during his five years with the show.

“He’s fantastic of course and he’s obviously got a great sense of humour about everything. Chris [Eccleston], I think, seemingly found it tricky. I think I probably would have been more like Chris. I like my privacy.”

Paul McGann is currently starring with Dominic West in Simon Gray’s Butley at London’s Duchess Theatre.


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

5 Responses to No Eighth Doctor for Anniversary?

  1. avatar Rick says:

    McGann was truly the best thing about the ’96 movie and really, considering he certainly didn’t turn down several *dozen* chances to play the Doctor for Big Finish, I’d tend to think that he’d be up for the anniversary. If not, I’d think he was a bit hypocritical. I think the best scenario would be to do the celebration in accordance with the childrens charity show once again. who could turn that down? :)

    • avatar Jai says:

      Theres a video on youtube of an interview with Paul McGann where he states on camera that if he were asked to appear in the current TV version of DW as the 8th Doctor in some sort of guest role, he would. He says he just hasn’t been asked.

      I for one would be delighted to see McGann in the new show, whether it be a multi-doctor story or a flashback or something else, he’s an absolutely fantastic Doctor, imo was severely short-changed with the 96 TV movie and his portrayal of the 8th Doctor in the Big Finish audio plays is outstanding.

  2. avatar BJAMES says:

    Paul has said on more than one occasion, he would be willing to reprise the role, provided the script was good, and we know with Moffat that it will be. He has just said that they would have to ask him, and to date, he hasn’t yet been asked. If the 50th Anniversary IS a multi-Doctor episode, and the Eighth Doctor is meant to be there in the story, I think McGann will be there.

  3. avatar STLShawn says:

    I agree with Bjames,,,, McGann has always embraced the role, and has never ran away from it. He may be a bit private and low key (as seems more the point of the interview), but my money is him doing even a cameo if he is asked.
    I think he’s fantastic in the audios, and,,,, don’t tell anyone,,,,, he’s become my favorite doctor (Sorry Colin, move down the bench).

  4. avatar Danny Lavery says:

    I’m hoping that the press have taken McGann’s comments out of context.

    I think he means he wouldn’t be the lead, as he doesn not wish to experience the ‘celebrity’ aspect as have David Tennant and Matt Smith.

    McGann has guested in loads of shows on BBC1 now such as Luther and New Tricks, so hopefully he’ll do the same again in Doctor Who…

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