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Published on July 19th, 2011 | by Alasdair Shaw

Unlucky Number Seven

Poor Sylvester McCoy; his Doctor just can’t seem to catch a break.

He may have played the Doctor longer than any other actor (1987 to 1996), but that didn’t stop TV quiz question setters trying to give that honour to David Tennant’s Doctor (2005-2010).

And it doesn’t stop there for the poor Seventh Doctor.

Initial excitement was dampened last year when it was revealed that the New Adventures listed for reprint this year were in fact an error and wouldn’t be getting a release this year. But still, he must have been hopeful that the Eighth Doctor adventures that were getting released would mean an eventual release for his books.

A chance that slipped away this week when the DWRS noted that the details for the paper copies for the reprints had been removed from retail websites, leaving only the Kindle versions.

Still at least his collection of comic strips from Doctor Who Magazine have been reprinted. Volume 1, A Cold Day in Hell, has been released with Volume 2 to be released any day now.

Except it isn’t. Volume 1 was released back in 2009 and following the cancellation/delay of The Crimson Hand the future of Volume 2 has been left in serious doubt.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Seventh Doctor’s Series 25/26 outfit was chosen to be to used in collection of Forbidden Planet exclusive shirts along with Doctors three to six as well as 10. Shirts should have been delivered in early July.

No, wait it’s the end of August now.

Still, that’s only next month. Not long to wait and it’s not as if Seventh Doctor merchandise  has a history of being delay or cancelled now is it……?

But we shouldn’t complain, we should take solace in the fact that the DVD release of Paradise Towers went through fine.

Paradise Towers.

Oh well. Many questions about release dates surround the 7th Doctor is his tie in material, but one stands out more than any other:

When am I getting my bloody T-shirt?

(Calm down Alasdair – we’ve heard from the publishers and the paper reprints of the classic Doctor Who books are still going ahead! – Ed)

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About the Author

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Alasdair Shaw dabbled in Who throughout the 80s, but didn’t really get into it properly until 1989. His sense of timing has not improved over the years. He’s a third generation Who fan as well as a father of two. His wife has a bad feeling about those two facts. When not working as a lab technician or writing for Kasterborous Alasdair runs the Doctor Who Reprint Society for which he writes In Print and Dangling Threads. He’s a big fan of the Valeyard, but that’s neither here nor there. He has never worked for UNIT and is not related to Dr Liz Shaw.




8 Responses to Unlucky Number Seven

  1. avatar BJAMES says:

    I think, like Colin, that the material Sylvester was given failed him at times, and over a longer period of time. He had some great stories, I mean some of the best Doctor Who we’ve ever seen, but then, yes, things like Paradise Towers. And who could forget Time and the Rani? In what really matters, we, the fans love and appreciate our Seventh Doctor just the same.

  2. avatar Francis Cave says:

    Come on, Sylvester McCoy did NOT play the Doctor from 1987 to 1996.

    Three years on TV with a 20-30 minute appearance in 1996 does not count.

    On that basis, if McGann had appeared at the beginning of Rose to regenerate into Eccleston, would he have played the role from 1996 to 2005?

    I think not!


    • I think a more apt description would be “held the role” which is of course different to playing the Doctor. Although I’m sure he would have done if he could, and his persona was certainly used in plenty of novels from Virgin.

      And I for one would happily declare Paul McGann as being the Doctor from 1996 to 2005. You only have to check BBC Books and the DWM comic strips for confirmation! Find me a Doctor who has had more amazing adventures than the Eighth!

      • avatar Francis Cave says:

        I seriously doubt if the series had continued on TV past Survival that McCoy would have stayed on more than a couple of years.

        If he had been on TV in the role every year to 2005, i’m not sure I would still have been watching.

        For me, a little McCoy goes a long way..


        • That’s really not the point, though, is it? The point is, McCoy was the Doctor from 1987 to 1996. Remember, the BBC never officially cancelled Doctor Who. He was the Doctor when the last series was made, and the Doctor when the TV Movie starts.

          Whether you like this fact or not, whether you like Sylvester or not, you can’t change this (not without building a time machine).

          Best just to accept it.

          • avatar Francis Cave says:

            The BBC may never have made an “offical” announcement but surely the fact that the DW production office was closed after season 26 and whenever anyone high up at the Beeb was asked about it returning they got sum mumbled non-answer clearly shows that it had been.

            The facts are McCoy played the Dr from 1987 to 1989 and returned briefly in 1996 for the handover to McGann. Between that time the character only appeared in books and comic stips. That’s it!

            Between the end of production on Ghostlight and the start of production on the TV movie, like Monty Pythons Norweigan Blue the series was dead not resting…


          • “the character only appeared in books and comic stips.”

            For many Doctor Who fans, the series continued in books and comic strips. You can’t say he “only” appeared in these places without dismissing these media, which given how widespread they are, is a bit of a mistake.

            As I’ve already said, the Doctor was Sylvester McCoy from 1987-1996. There is no documented contradictory evidence. Stating the office was closed isn’t an argument!

            And I’m sorry, the series wasn’t dead. It was resting. The BBC said as much in 1991. You’re overlooking everything that happened at the time and applying your own spin on history.

            However, I’m prepared to concede this argument on grounds of pedantry, simply because I’m getting tired :)

    • avatar Alasdair Shaw says:

      It’s easy to forget that with the constant stream of books with Mr McCoy’s face on the cover that it wasn’t actually him playing the role.

      In hindsight “held the role” would have been a better fit.

      Still, the point stands. He did hold the role longer than anyone else.

      Mr Baker of course played him longer than anyone….

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