Published on December 4th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Paul McGann Discusses 50th Anniversary Surprise [VIDEO]

Paul McGann – the much-loved Eighth Doctor – has appeared in a new video from the BBC’s Doctor Who website in which he discusses taking part in the 50th anniversary short The Night of the Doctor.

There’s little else we can tell you without spoiling the far-too-short clip. Basically, you’ll have to click play above and enjoy it.



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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+.

10 Responses to Paul McGann Discusses 50th Anniversary Surprise [VIDEO]

  1. avatar vortexter says:

    We have to make this happen again. Steven Moffatt recently said it wasn’t the fact that Paul was in the minisode that it was a smash, it was that there was a surprise but he was wrong. Paul nailed it immediately and proved that he could do the part standing on his head. Paul was the reason that every Whovian screamed out loud and all was well in the whoniverse for seven whole minutes.

    • avatar Francis Cave says:

      Fact – Moffatt lies and also talks complete crap sometimes.

      Of course the reason that the episode was a smash was because it featured McGann and not just because it was a surprise.

      That’s like saying a you will love a present just because a present and not because of what’s in it.

      I have to say in my 30 or so years of being a fan, I had my first every “squeee!!” moment when I first saw that clip..

      • avatar David F says:

        Nah. It was mainly the surprise. McGann was fine, but if this had been trailed for weeks beforehand, it wouldn’t have worked me up enough to watch it over and over as many times as I did.

  2. avatar TonyS says:

    Yes. What Vortexter said b:)

  3. avatar Geoff says:

    I doubt that we will ever see him as The Doctor again. This anniversary has been used to tie up a lot of loose ends as Paul says, and not forgetting the Hurt/Eccleston regeneration. I’m really happy Mr Moffat decided to do this, as Paul says there was really something major missing between classic and new which at last is missing no more. It’s my view that Mr Moffat probably sees it the same way and now wants to move forward. Despite how good Paul is as The Doctor (and he is very good) I think doing more with him now would tactically be a bad decision at a time when the show is moving forward and regenerating itself.
    Unfortunately I think Paul is always going to be the “could have been…” in our relationship with the Doctor and like many potential great relationships that don’t work out its just that the timing was wrong.

  4. avatar Lins says:

    I agree, Geoff, but I think McGann moves from being “could have been” to “definitely was” on account of the vast amount of excellent audio adventures he’s done for Big Finish.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      I was forgetting his audio work because I don’t follow them but you are of course quite right and more in the know than I.

  5. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    Seriously, McGann is a legend, as is his interpretation of our beloved Time Lord! Loved both his TV outings, but to suggest there should be a spin-off focusing on the 8th Doctor is ludicrous and would be a huge mistake (which the clever people who make the show won’t make). Most importantly, it would detract from the incumbent (who will be Capaldi very soon). And if you count the comic strips, BBC novels and Big Finish Audios (which are now canon thanks to Night Of The Doctor) then you can’t complain about a lack of 8th Doctor stories. The TVM was the first story I saw as new (as opposed to the repeats of classic stories in the early 90s). and I love it despite it’s flaws – mostly thanks to McGanns performance. Thank you Paul for being ‘my’ Doctor. And thank you for returning to the role to give your incarnation an on-screen exit. The 17 years were worth it for that 7 minute surprise! It was short, it was sweet, it felt right and it left an impression! Thank you and all involved!

  6. avatar David F says:

    Although I loved the nostalgic, completist buzz of Night of the Doctor, I thought McGann slightly mis-judged the rhythm and humour of Moffat’s dialogue. But on the whole, he was a decent Doctor and it’s always nice to see how much he warms to the world of Doctor Who.

    • avatar TonyS says:

      I’m not sure there was much of the trade mark Moffat humour in The Night of the Doctor. Undoubtedly other actors would have played the part differently. McGann played him in keeping with the way he has been playing the 8th Doctor. Myself, I wouldn’t fault his portrayal. But to each his own :)

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