Doctor Who: 8 Ways To Get To Know The 8th Doctor

The final fate of the 8th Doctor is a mystery no more! Fans finally have the second serving of Paul…

Jamahl Simmons

Contributor

Paul Mcgann Doctor Who

The final fate of the 8th Doctor is a mystery no more! Fans finally have the second serving of Paul McGann and the regeneration that they have been clamoring for since NewWho kicked off with the 9th Doctor. For the uninitiated, the appearance of a walking, talking Paul McGann Doctor, must have come as a bit of a shock. After all, his Doctor had been relegated to overused clips from the one televised adventure he had back in 1996. For long time fans however, this was the first of what could be a set of wonderful presents in the leadup to the 50th Anniversary. But who is the 8th Doctor?

As interpreted by Paul McGann he is technically the longest serving Doctor having passed Tom Baker’s 7 year mark ages ago. He is a Doctor that greeted the world with enthusiasm and joy and through his performance in the movie and the audio adventures that followed, McGann’s Doctor was a forerunner to the modern Who we have come to know and that has captured the imagination of a new generation of fans. What makes Paul McGann special is that he is able to make almost any story he’s in, entertaining. He’s simply that good.

To understand just who the 8th Doctor is let’s look at 8 tales that capture him at his best. Warning spoilers ahead.

 

Honourable Mention

Doctor Who: The Movie

Paul Mcgann

We would be negligent not to include Doctor Who: The Movie, which despite its flaws, marked the beginning of Paul McGann’s odd and lengthy tenure in the Tardis. Come for the performance of Paul Mcgann and ignore minor distractions such as:

The Master being placed on trial and executed by the Daleks

The 7th Doctor being allowed to peacefully collect The Master’s remains from

Skaro without a hint of bother from the Daleks

The absence of Ace

The master planner 7th Doctor being randomly gunned down and dying on an operating table from a botched medical procedure

The obvious use as Canada as a fill in for the USA

The Doctor claiming to be half human

The plot revolves around the newly regenerated Doctor fighting off an attempt by his arch enemy The Master to steal his remaining regenerations.

All in all it could have been MUCH worse with names like Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby bandied about as possible choices to play the Doctor in a rebooted Fox TV series. Despite the shaky script and a campy Master (as played by Direct to DVD movie legend Eric Roberts), Paul McGann finds his legs quickly as The Doctor. His performance is endearing, dashing, engaging and fun while leaving viewers wanting more.

The 8th Doctor is the first incarnation to kiss a companion on screen which at the time gave some fans a bit of a shock and is arguably the first Doctor to be considered a sex symbol and every Doctor since has had the chance to smooch with a lady (and one man)

The Flood

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The final comic adventure of the 8th Doctor published by Doctor Who magazine was designed to close the door on the 8th Doctor’s era and make way for the 9th and Rose Tyler.  Originally intended to be a regeneration story, an image of an unconscious 9th Doctor in the 8th’s clothes while the Doctor’s companion Destrii looks on in amazement, was actually drawn.

Unfortunately the powers that be nixed the regeneration idea along with ideas such as a 9th Doctor “year one” series featuring 9 travelling alone before meeting Rose Tyler and a series of adventures where the Doctor’s regeneration went wrong and he spends his time running about with his head aflame with regeneration energy!

The Flood would have been a good sendoff for the 8th Doctor nonetheless.  It features a sleek redesigned Cybermen who, like STNG’s Borg can assimilate with a touch of their fingertips and have developed a new way to “save” humanity. A chemical intended to alter human emotions, making them more suitable for cyber-conversion have been seeded in the clouds and all the Cybermen have to do is wait for the rain….