1996 and all that: The TV Movie


By 1995 life had changed for me, I’d left home at 16 living in a succession of delightful bedsits and flats and was working  in elderly care and partying hard 🙂 Doctor Who was still something I enjoyed, I was buying the novels for my long bus journeys and was collecting the videos, often ending up watching them once home after long hard shifts. I’d also just met my future wife so life was quite good.
Then out of the blue in what seemed very quick it was announced Dr Who was coming back with Paul McGann as the Doctor. It felt genuinely exciting.
The tv movie was due to air first in America with us in the UK getting a video release at same time before it aired a few weeks later but this ended up getting delayed because they decided to edit out the gun battle at the last minute (there had been a school shooting in Scotland around this time)
If memory serves me correct the video came out about a week before the bbc1 broadcast and I remember buying it on way to work and chomping at the bit to get back home. I ended up watching it twice as I’m sure many did.
I loved it, yep I could see its flaws but was expecting more to follow and thought it was a good first stab. Importantly I thought McGann was excellent and a wonderful Doctor, I even enjoyed Eric Roberts Master.
In hindsight it was wrong to start with Sylvester and show him regenerate  not to mention we see the TARDIS interior before we know what it is. Two things not good to bring in unitiated viewers! The story should’ve been told from Grace’s perspective with McGann as The Doctor from the start (exactly what the 2005 relaunch did)
Having said all that I always love rewatching it, it’s beautifully directed and I like the main characters. McGann gets a few good Doctorish scenes too(new shoes, Frued conversation and threataning to shoot himself).  
Hopefully more fans will enjoy it now it’s not seen as the final story. Just a shame there’s only the one outing for Paul McGann.

1 thought on “1996 and all that: The TV Movie

  1. How do you even remember what you were doing in 1996? 😉

    I just saw this recently, maybe a year or two ago. It isn’t the best ever episode of Doctor Who but it’s also far from the worst. And Paul McGann is wonderful. I’ve enjoyed a few of his audio adventures – in fact I’d just listened to my first one when ‘The Night of the Doctor’ came out, and I was so thrilled to recognize that voice!

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