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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

4.2 5
Director: Geoffrey Sax

Cast: Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook, Eric Roberts

Coproduced by the BBC and America's Fox Network, the two-hour movie Doctor Who was an attempt to revive the phenomenally popular science-fiction series which orginally ran from 1963 to 1989. Sylvester McCoy, the last of seven actors to play the Doctor, here repeats his familiar role--albeit briefly, inasmuch as he is shot by a San Francisco street-gang member


Coproduced by the BBC and America's Fox Network, the two-hour movie Doctor Who was an attempt to revive the phenomenally popular science-fiction series which orginally ran from 1963 to 1989. Sylvester McCoy, the last of seven actors to play the Doctor, here repeats his familiar role--albeit briefly, inasmuch as he is shot by a San Francisco street-gang member on the eve of the 21st century. Rushed to a hospital, the Doctor undergoes his eighth regeneration, whereupon Paul McGann takes over the role. Now the Doctor must do battle with his longtime foe The Master to prevent the latter from harnessing the Time Lords' "Eye of Harmony" for his own nefarious purposes. Only one problem: The Doctor is suffering from amnesia, and has no idea who he is or what he is supposed to do. Written by Matthew Jacobs, Doctor Who first aired in America on May 14, 1996, and in England thirteen days later. Unfortunately, the pilot did not result in a full-scale Doctor Who revival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Steven E. McDonald
In 1989, following the recording of the third series to star Scottish actor Sylvester McCoy, the BBC pulled the plug on Doctor Who. Remarkably, it refused to go away -- Doctor Who had become a British icon. Several attempts to set up a film production were made, none of them getting far beyond script stage (as chronicled in Jean-Marc L'Officier's book The Nth Doctor). Expatriate British producer Philip Segal finally managed to negotiate a deal to produce a TV movie and a possible new series in a co-production with Universal Television. This arrangement was then licensed to the Fox Network, which would show the TV movie, with a series to follow should the ratings prove adequate. Paul McGann was chosen to portray the eighth incarnation of the Doctor, the story was set in San Francisco at the turn of the millennium, and the villain was to be the Master, a longtime villain in the series. The production is solid, certainly, but very, very flawed. Matthew Jacobs' script is a breathless, galloping affair that tosses in bits of backstory without regard for audience comprehension, giving little insight into the Doctor and no explanation as to who the Master (portrayed with carpet-chewing ferocity by the badly miscast Eric Roberts) is or where he comes from. The Doctor's seventh incarnation (played once again by Sylvester McCoy) begins the story, with almost no dialogue. Shot by accident, Who dies in the hospital and metamorphoses into his eighth form, all without the audience being told what and why -- the Who fans knew, of course, but they comprised a small part of the viewing audience. Doctor Who is sometimes gorgeous to look at, with a redesigned TARDIS (the Doctor's time-space ship, which looks like an old English police telephone box on the outside) that has tremendous scale. McGann fits right in with the concepts, playing the Doctor with tremendous zest despite the slipshod script, but it seems like a great deal of effort for very little end result -- one is left wishing for more Who with McGann, but in a vehicle that lives up to the best of the old show's legacy.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Bbc Warner
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]

Special Features

Disc 1:; Audio commentary 1 by director Geoffrey Sax; Audio commentary 2 by actors Paull McGann (Doctor 8) and Sylvester McCoy (Doctor 7), moderated by Nicholas Briggs; The Seven Year Hitch - a look back at the long quest to return Doctor Who to the screen; The Doctor's Strange Love - how fans learned to love Doctor Who the movie; Photo gallery; Music tracks; PDF materials; Disc 2:; Behind the scenes; Electronic press kit - short documentary and interview segments from 1996; Philip Segal's tour of the Tardis; Alternate takes; Who Peter 1989-2009 second part of the documentary on the relationship with Blue Peter and Doctor Who; VFX tests june 1994; VFX march 1996; The Wilderness Years how Doctor Who was kept alive between 1989 and 1996; Stripped for Action - The Eighth Doctor; Tomorrow's Times - The Eighth Doctor contemporary press coverage; BBC trailers

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul McGann The Doctor #8
Daphne Ashbrook Dr. Grace Holloway
Eric Roberts The Master
Bill Croft Motorcycle Policeman
Dolores Drake Curtis
Sylvester McCoy The Doctor #7
D.J. Jackson Security Guard
Gordon Tipple The Old Master (cremated)
Catherine Lough Wheeler

Technical Credits
Geoffrey Sax Director
Alex Beaton Producer
John Debney Score Composer
Louis Febre Score Composer
Ron Grainer Score Composer
Richard Hudolin Production Designer
Matthew Jacobs Producer,Screenwriter
Glen MacPherson Cinematographer
Philip David Segal Executive Producer
John Sponsler Score Composer
Peter Ware Producer
Jori Woodman Costumes/Costume Designer
Jo Wright Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Doctor Who: The Movie
1. Skaro [5:10]
2. San Francisco 1999 [2:06]
3. Wrong Place, Wrong Time [1:30]
4. Mercy Dash [2:47]
5. Amazing Grace [6:22]
6. The City Sleeps [2:57]
7. Regeneration [4:35]
8. A New Dawn [4:10]
9. Two Hearts [4:18]
10. Primitive Wiring [2:49]
11. Lee's Discovery [4:02]
12. All Mine [6:35]
13. Stay Away [3:25]
14. The Clock Is Ticking [5:28]
15. Beaten There [5:46]
16. A Police Box? [4:22]
17. No Time to Waste [1:07]
18. My Life's Work [1:18]
19. Last Chance [3:43]
20. 30 Seconds [4:37]
21. Back From the Dead [3:08]
22. Turn Back Time [1:12]
23. Happy New Year [3:13]
24. Credits [:52]

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Doctor Who 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie is a good time as long as you don't take it too seriously. Anyone coming into it with expectations of a great, epic, movie-length Doctor Who episode will be sorely disappointed. It's fairly enjoyable, however, if you can accept it for the odd, often hilarious part of Doctor Who history that it is. Paul McGann does well as the Doctor. Daphne Ashbrook is a reasonable companion, if a little forgettable. Acting-wise the movie is fairly solid with the only questionable performance coming from Eric Roberts whose lack of desire is fairly obvious. I'm tempted to state that his presence is what holds the movie back from being an all-around (if slightly ridiculous) good time. The writing is cliched and it's attempts at symbolism are far from subtle. I hasten to add that this does NOT stop the movie from being enjoyable. In fact, I'd say this adds a whole other level of enjoyment to the film -- if you don't take it too seriously. The whole thing is cheesy, hammy fun. Paul McGann wrapped in nothing but a sheet shouting in an abandoned hospital wing while a lighting storm rages around him was probably meant to be dramatic (and fairly, it still kind of is) but it's still Paul McGann wrapped nothing in a bed sheet shouting in an abandoned wing of a hospital while a lighting storm around him. Subtle, this movie is not. I should note that the entire film is not a ham and cheese sandwich, there are plenty of wonderful DW moments too. "These shoes fit perfectly!" stands out as a particularly nice touch, among others. Overall, despite how much Eric Roberts tries to ruin it, this movie is good, ridiculous fun, and the special features included on the DVD are well worth a watch. "The Doctor's Strange Love" shows the mixed reaction fans had (and continue to have) towards the film and behind-the-scenes features show the struggled production. The highlight, however, is the commentary featuring McGann and Sylvester McCoy (despite only appearing in the first few scenes) where they share their honest opinions on the production of the film. Honestly, this DVD might be worth it for that alone.
DrFangRock More than 1 year ago
This episode was the one and only TV appearance of Paul McGann's 8th Doctor. It was supposed to be the pilot for the new Doctor Who Series but was executed so badly that it took another decade for the franchise to recover. The worst part was the death of the 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), it was a serious let down. The 7th Doctor is shot down in a random drive buy shooting in the first five minutes. If you're familiar with the earlier Doctors and the current series then this IS a Tasha Yar moment. What is good about this episode is that it is cannon. This is the 8th Doctor for better or worse, it sets up events prior to the "Time War", and this is most likely the Doctor that causes the events in the Time War often mentioned in the modern series. This episode also includes the return of the "Master" to the Doctor Who franchise.