Paul McGann confirms interest in Doctor Who return

News Simon Brew 17 Mar 2014 - 07:16

While praising the casting of Peter Capaldi, Paul McGann leaves the door open for a future Doctor Who return.

The man partly responsible for the near-meltdown of the internet last November was Paul McGann. His return to Doctor Who, in the mini-episode Night Of The Doctor, had been a well-hidden secret, and the BBC sprang the surprise quite brilliantly. Once said mini-episode was released, marking McGann's return as the Doctor, it was near-impossible to get any work done for at least the next hour.

Chatting to Yahoo!, the mighty McGann spent some time praising the qualities of incoming Doctor Peter Capaldi, describing him as "a brilliant man who can act brilliantly". "He can also be funny, but he can be scary while he's being funny and that might turn out to be the best combination of Doctor".

But what about McGann himself? Would he be open to returning to the role again in the future? "If the same thing were to happen again and [Steven] Moffat were to say 'would you come back and do it and I'll write it?', why wouldn't I want to do it? If it's going to be that quality, why wouldn't you want to do it?"

That said, he added the caveat that "I think it's only fair that [Peter Capaldi] gets a decent run on his own without any distractions so he gets his feet under the table".

Paul McGann will be appearing at Birmingham Memorabilia this coming weekend, incidentally. Details here. And count us amongst those who'd like to see him in the role again.


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People always say that there can't really be two doctors running about, as the reason why not to do it, but I've always said that a mini-series in the off-season would work perfectly, especially if you had a reason for Capaldi to revisit the memories of that doctor. For example, an enemy we know nothing about as viewers, who could have arisen in McGann's era, turns up and we have to get filled in for the purpose of knowing what's going on. That would give fans a reason to tune in, and would give the series purpose too, not to mention, it lets you write a story with depth purely by inventing something new and having a legitimate reason to inject the story into the past.

I'm with you. The drawback, I guess, is that off-seasons exist to allow the production crew to have things like holidays and families.

I'd love to see the 8th return, but perhaps as part of a season story arc for the 12th. There must be a clever and entertaining way of doing that. And as McGann says, it's only fair to let Capaldi own the role first.

I can see the whole enemy/ally we've never seen before but who the Doctor knows very well being a thing, but why would Moffatt bother showing the backstory?

It's much more likely he would just have the Doctor or the new character talk about an adventure or sixteen they had off screen, exposit how much history they have and tell us that we should really care about this new character. I mean, that still works as a way of introducing "iconic" characters to the show, right?

Everybody wants this but Moffat. Unfortunately, he's the one with the power at the moment.

It would be great to see a series 9 finale (next year maybe) with Capaldi and McGann. but I digress, wishful thinking :(

I agree with him that the incumbent Doctor should be allowed to do his thing freely, but I still want to see McGann return in a spinoff of his own. While the Big Finish audios are a good way to continue the story, they will inevitably be more exclusive and not get as much attention as a mini-series might.

This is not news. And since McGann abandoned his wig and Victorian wig for holsters and bad B-movie gear, it's hard not to think of him as a space-age sell-out.

Would love to see an episode where eight meets twelve. They simply run into each other - a la Two Doctors, perhaps? Hard to believe but McGann is now further removed from Capaldi (18 years) than Troughton was from Colin Baker back in 1985 (16 years)...

Interesting thought, but they didn't have Big Finish back then. McGann's never really been away.

They've been talking about making a Dr. Who movie for a while and if McGann is so keen to return I don't see why not base it around his Doctor. It can run side by side with the TV show.

Don't ask if, but when............... :-)

The 8th and 12th (two seriously Doctors)
with 10th and 11th (two not so seriously Doctors)

Very true.I meant it is now 18 years since the TV movie of 1996. Perhaps a straight to DVD (I mean that in a nice way!) range of Big Finish remakes starring McGann could be the way forward?

That's an excellent idea :)

If only we could get something more with the War Doctor too. People forget he got less screen time then McGann, and had the dishonour of being written in as a plot device and not even his own series or movie, that said episode was split between 2 other Doctors. I very, very much liked said episode too. I just think John Hurt was a great Doctor and is the least seen so far and that is as much as a travesty as McGann's deal if not more.

Doctor Who TV Movie 89 mins
The Day of the Doctor 76 Mins

Honestly, I don't see it as a travesty, as the War Doctor pretty much exists only within this one story and he has no place outside of the Time War. Also, he managed to get more mileage out of his minutes, so the amount doesn't matter.

There has been some speculation about how a second story featuring the War Doctor could be done, without contradicting DOTD or lessening its impact. I think that a potential team-up between him and Capaldi might work if it takes place before DOTD and the War Doctor never recognizes his future counterpart. It could be about the two Doctors teaming up for a humanitarian mission and Capaldi trying subtly to give Hurt some hope for the future. But truthfully I don't feel such a story would be necessary.

Paul McGann makes a polite comment!

Why do 'news' places always over play these things.

Yes but the War Doctor didn't have to be in a cringingly awful movie.

Plus he got his own caption.

(Still not over the caption, sorry)

But a better movie.

Much better.

Much, much better.

I don't get why people get so excited over Doctors meeting.

"People always say that there can't really be two doctors running about, as the reason why not to do it, "

Really all the Doctors are running about all the time.

I'm just against them meeting up.

A complexly written story (that makes logical sense) with different Doctors dipping in and out of it would be rather grand though.

Notice the caveat there....

I guess it is because the Doctor is awesome, so One Doctor: awesome. Two Doctors: double awesome...

Hmm good points, I think we could see a series or spin off of the War Doctor, as my understanding is that he simply had his travels during the events of the "Time War" thinking that it all still played out the same in his timeline as he changes the timeline then regenerates. the only challenge is if he meets one of his future selves who is aware that he is living with a false understanding of events of the war. Man I'm getting myself confused! Timey Wimey!

I'm trying to work out if the past doctors even know about the war? as don't they say that anytime they get together they forget the events that happen? So in theory could't we have a team up with McGann and Hurt?

haha true, i didn't mind the movie to much, but anything Who is good in my eyes. I was less trying to compare the two or say one "episode/doctor" is better then the other more highlight how awesome both are and that I'd love to see more of Hurt as much as I'd like to see more of McGann. :-)

Maybe. I could imagine a story where a pre-DOTD War Doctor tries to manipulate his past selves into preventing the Time War, or at least his personal involvement in it. Or then he tries to get Four to actually connect the two wires in "Genesis of the Daleks".

Thought he was pretty good as the Doctor.

That could make a decent two-parter in series 9 perhaps. Two episodes wherein the Doctor is played (for the most part) by Paul McGann then John Hurt. The whole 90 minutes could be simply topped and tailed by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. Clara is disturbed by the sudden erratic behaviour of the Doctor, who seems to be having some kind of breakdown. She prepares a special medicine he describes to her. He drinks it and very suddenly he is calm again and able to tell her a very lucid tale about the time war (the cause of his sudden psychosis).... The Night of The Doctor footage could be used as the build-up to the cliffhanger at the end of episode one. However, as the footage is familiar - at least to fans, Capaldi would suddenly reveal a major plot twist, which would be the actual cliffhanger. It would be an ideal "Doctor-lite" story - a concept not really seen since Blink. The Two-parter could be made in isolation from the main show, which would benefit Capaldi's workload, potentially showcase Big Finish and allow McGann and Hurt (should he be interested) another shot at being the Doctor. It might also work as Christmas special, although some might wonder where the usual TARDIS crew are for most of the story... ;o)

Give a special episode - he could have the evening slot next Easter if Capaldi's second series will also not start till the end of the summer, give him another television movie because I'd be happy with an hour and a half of him!

I like it. Another solution is to give them both a story set in their own time, no cross overs, then no issues with the DOTD. If they had any cross over episodes they could just ignore the DOTD completely. I'd imagine the story could be told through other mediums for either one besides TV as to give Capaldi room to breath and not draw away fans and diminish his time, I think someone mentioned having them released in the off season, which is perfect. Otherwise have it as a web based series or some straight to DVD movies.

also it should be run by a different crew not moffat and his bunch. aka SPINOFF!!! :-)

Who - Moffat, the man who brought him back in the first place?

Frankly, although I'm not opposed to the idea, I don't think you can just go chucking him in. I'd only want it in a way that makes sense. Which could be BBC iPlayer episodes, just like Night of the Doctor. Little fifteen-minute skits, by newer writers, the people who don't necessarily have the CV to write the main show. If the BBC's going into digital, Doctor Who should be right at the front of that.

But I don't think you can start with "Paul McGann wants to come back" and build something to accommodate him. I think that's vanity. There's a big difference between wanting to do something and practically being able to!

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