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Published on April 4th, 2014 | by James Lomond

McGann: “I don’t ever expect to be involved in Doctor Who again”

NOOOOOOO! Pull yourself up from the floor, Kasterborites, grasp on to your nearly-spilled tea, take a few trembling sips and lean-in. It’s not all bad… Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann also said in the Radio Times interview that he’d be “super enthusiastic” if he got an offer similar to that inviting him to appear in 2013′s Night of the Doctor minisode. Last November’s surprise prequel to the 50th anniversary special was only McGann’s second on-screen appearance as the Doctor (other than flashbacks) and was over 17 years and three incarnations after his debut. After saying he didn’t think it was likely that he’d be asked back to appear as the Doctor again he went on:

“But I expect I’ll be surprised one day by something. That’s what Doctor Who‘s about. I expect to be surprised. You can never say never with this thing. But it would have to be of the same heart and magnitude, and proper, and true. I wouldn’t want to run away with the rights and make my own spin-off. You’re either in the Doctor Who family… or you aren’t.”

Well said, Paul! At least we know the heart(s) is(are) willing (as if there were any doubt – he’s such a twitter tease). As a brief side note, here’s an open letter to the author of the RT article:

Dear Stephen Kelly,

In your emotional roller-coaster of an article on Paul McGann’s view on a future in Doctor Who, I note that you refer to fans plagued by the mystery of how his Doctor regenerated as “pedantic”. I disagree. This is like saying that the mode of death of a central character in Game of Thrones or finding out whether or not Mulder & Scully actually got together as mere trivia.

Pedantically yours,

Off-duty pedant. x

Now that that’s out of my system (the cheek!) what do you think about McGann’s view on a spin-off? It’s been a very popular idea among fans but he seems to say that a parallel Eighth Doctor series wouldn’t be in the spirit of the show – could it harm the main series? Do you think it would be unfaithful to the fantastic Big Finish canon? What about multi-Doctor story appearances? How do you think McGann could or should crop up again if he did? Tell us below!

(Oh, and keep an eye out for our review of Dark Eyes 2 over the weekend…)

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11 Responses to McGann: “I don’t ever expect to be involved in Doctor Who again”

  1. avatar David F says:

    Every good story idea, and every part of the budget available to Doctor Who, must be ploughed into the main series featuring the current Doctor.

    Let it go. Please.


    • No we won’t let it go because many of us don’t agree with your point of view. While a full spin off series may not be the best idea there is no reason that a mini series of the 8th Doctor couldn’t be a possibility or a multi-doctor story with Capaldi and McGann.

  2. avatar Colin says:

    A “spin off” wouldn’t have to be “parallel” to the show, or run contrary to the Big Finish canon. I think what McGann is objecting to is a spin-off, like the Australian K9 series, that’s not in some way connected to the “official” BBC Doctor Who franchise. A short summer BBC series of Eighth Doctor stories either set within the Big Finish stories, or even based on the Big Finish stories, need not be “unofficial” nor “non-canonical.”

    C’mon, guys–you know how these folks like to play with words to obfuscate! Mr. McGann has managed to tell us absolutely nothing new, and has confirmed and denied nothing. He’s just stirred the pot and made us long for more. :D

    If the Who gig doesn’t work out, I’m sure he could have a glittering career in politics… ;)

  3. avatar DonnaM says:

    Blimey, this one ain’t going away, is it? :-)

    I’m sure Paul McGann didn’t “expect” to be invited to do a minisode. He won’t “expect” to be asked back again. That would be presumptuous, and he seems far too decent a chap for that.

    He was a brilliant Doctor. Peter Capaldi, I’m sure, will also be a brilliant Doctor. He’s the star of the show now and I for one am happy to put the nostalgia of the 50th anniversary behind me and look forward to what his era will bring!

  4. avatar Simon Mills says:

    McGann (or any previous incumbent who still looks vaguely like his on screen portrayal) could easily be used again in a story that spans multiple Doctors without necessarily having them meet. This is the only way I see it happening.

  5. avatar hyncharas says:

    I don’t think there should be a parallel show where The Doctor is THE main character, but one where he is a lead role – like in the episode, “The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith” – or a recurring character.

  6. avatar Drew Ellis says:

    He could easily be an upcoming Master..

    “No, Doctor… I SWEAR that I’m you…” *evil laugh*

  7. avatar dr jon says:

    I don’t think we will see the 8th Dr in any kind of spin off in the near future, as one current 12th Dr on TV would be enough for the average TV viewer. As a fan I’d love to see it happen as I suspect all the other big fans would. I think the only chance of it happening is when BBC 3 goes online in the next year or two.

  8. avatar stlshawn says:

    There’s an Xbox game that I have recently been playing (about the only game I play) called Aqua. It’s a semi steampunk boats battling it out sort of thing. It has a bunch of cut scenes done in limited (but really cool) etching or line drawings on old paper animations between the captain and the others. The captain sounds just like McGann. To the point where I looked up McG’s IMDb to see if it was him.

    So,,,, my vote,,,, An animated series based on Big Finish audios. Steam punk looking, generally way cool. I would be a super fan!


    • Was it him?

  9. avatar simon magellan says:

    Those calling for spin offs – whether this or any other – may not realise the reality of the BBC at the moment. BBC Wales, which makes the show, has had a staggering 20% cut in its budget to absorb – BBC3 is going because the BBC needs to make £100,000,000 savings. And this is based on a scenario where the licence fee freeze doesn’t continue (in real terms its a cut) – if the Tories win the next election it is quite probable it will, and they may also have to find even more savings.

    DW is an expensive show – any spin off, especially one that features, say, the Time War, would be just as expensive, if not more so. There just isn’t the money. Personally, I’d prefer 14 episodes of Capaldi every year than risk losing main series budget to a spin off of any kind.

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