With Doctor Who’s unique history we’ve gotten to sample 11 different versions of the Doctor (and soon to be 12!) over his incredible 50 year history. If the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary celebrations are anything to go by, we’ll certainly see 75 or 100, as well! Many of us have fallen in love with the many incarnations of the Doctor. But one version didn’t exactly get a real chance to win our hearts: Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor.
Sure, the Eighth Doctor had a TV movie back in 1996 (which we will address), but in terms of live action, that’s it. And with his appearance in the “Night of The Doctor” webisode leading up to the 50th anniversary (which we will also address) many new Whovians feel a bit robbed that we never got to see more of McGann’s Eighth Doctor. In fact, there is currently a petition circulating online demanding that Paul McGann step back into the role! With all this in mind, here are eight reasons we feel that Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor deserves another shot!
8. The Movie Wasn’t THAT Bad
Of course, the movie wasn’t that GOOD either…which is exactly why it took about 10 years between the film and the beginning to the Eccleston era of Doctor Who. But it honestly isn’t the shitstorm that most Doctor Who fans claim it to be. Honestly, it just comes off as a cheaply made, 1990s cliché with some Doctor Who thrown in. Audiences simply weren’t ready for Doctor Who (especially the American audience it was geared towards), and the films limited success had very little to do with Paul McGann’s portrayal of the Eighth Doctor. In fact…
7. Paul McGann is awesome (and gorgeous)
We’d be remiss not to mention that Paul McGann is a fine specimen of sexy, sexy manhood. But besides his incredibly gorgeous self, he’s also one of the only things in the 1996 Doctor Who movie that is delightful to watch. McGann has also been in a ton of film and television roles, and he returned as the Eighth Doctor in audio books. So needless to say, he’s not a bad actor.
6. The Night of The Doctor
Wow. So much has already been said about “Night of the Doctor” and Paul McGann is just incredible. So, it turns out the Eighth Doctor didn’t fight the Time War. It looks like he, for the most part, tried to stay out of it. But when the time came the Doctor acted honorably and did the best thing he could.
5. Speaking of the Time War…
The Eighth Doctor was the only Doctor to be around during the Time War, a horrendous conflict that left people feeling that Time Lords were just as bad as Daleks. A war so horrible that it left even the Master traumatized. So what happened? We only got glimpses in Day of the Doctor and it didn’t exactly look like a walk in the park. In fact, it looked pretty damn horrific. It would be wonderful if we finally got to see more of the Time War, especially through the eyes of an innocent like the Eighth Doctor.
The Eighth Doctor has a huge amount of back story in terms of audio books and comics. He has his own distinct personality that shines through in these works. And given that “Night of the Doctor” made many of his companions “canon” it would be amazing to get to see these adventures play out or see entirely new ones. Either way there is plenty of material.
3. The Eighth Doctor is a Sweetie
The Doctor very dramatically changes personalities between his seventh and eighth incarnations. Whereas the Seventh Doctor could be more than a little cranky, the Eighth Doctor comes off as kind, a bit naïve, and sweet. And he is, perhaps, the only Doctor to really have this kind of personality. It would be very interesting to see his growth from the darling that Dr. Grace Holloway couldn’t help but kiss into the man willing to sacrifice himself in order to save the universe.
2. First Romantic Doctor
Let’s go back to the relationship between Dr. Grace Holloway and the Eighth Doctor. The Eighth Doctor is the first version of the character to kiss his companion. In fact, he’s the first version of the Doctor that doesn’t resemble your awkward uncle (ok, Peter Davison was pretty cute but still). Steven Moffat referred to the Eighth Doctor as the first “romantic doctor” and with reason. He doesn’t just share a kiss with Grace. The two of them are a bit head over heels for one another. When he invites her to travel through time and space she invites him home. Alas, the two didn’t stay together…but talk about the foreshadowing of Rose Tyler and the Ninth/Tenth Doctor!
1. We Were Robbed
Finally, many new Whovians felt robbed after seeing Night of the Doctor. Who was this Doctor that came in to save the day who emitted an incredible level of kindness and bravery? And of course, when they went searching for more Eighth Doctor material they came up pretty much empty handed. We may not have been ready for the Eighth Doctor in 1996 but we are ready in 2013! So give us more of our curly haired, girl crazy, Master destroying Doctor!