Doctor Who: 8 Reasons Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor Deserves a Series

The Lists Ethan Lewis 11/27/2013 at 8:55AM
Paul McGann as The 8th Doctor

Paul McGann made quite a splash as the Eighth Doctor in the "Night of The Doctor."

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.

[related article: Watch Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor in The Night of The Doctor Video]

4. Backstory

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!

[related article: All About the Petition to Give Paul McGann His Own Doctor Who Spinoff]

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!

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I didn't have a lot of interest in the audio books until I saw Night of the Doctor. In 7 minutes, Paul McGann really sold me. In 7 minute, he made me wish they had started with him in the reboot instead of Eccelston.

I thought the movie was ok, but Night of the Doctor was terrific. After that I would love to see more of the 8th Doctor.

Why not a spin off show about the 8th Doctor's time in the Time Wars? It seems it could be awesome, because it seemed to be a time when a lot of craziness happened.

9) He had the best TARDIS.

The Time of the Doctor Poster. That's all I'm saying.

It could be a worthy series just having him run around the edges of the time war trying to mitigate the damage that both sides were dealing. Hekoing those lost in the crossfire in what little ways he could while he starts to emotionally come to terms with that war as a force of nature and not something he can fight.

I need more Paul McGann!!!

Paul McGann has been my favorite doctor since I saw the TV movie early on into my Whovian-hood, and I've always wished he had more screen time. Even those few audio books I've been able to find have blown me away. I was really excited to see the 8th on screen again.

I didnt get to see the 7 minute night of the doctor as I dont have Iplayer and felt it was totally unfair to miss out this intro..But what I have heard about it, it seemed pretty good. Wish the BBC put this on before the day of the doctor for all of us to see

Yes! yes, he did

It'd be just great if they actually split up the regular season of who, or gave us another series, or half series, of 8's journey through to now. Even just to do it now, celebrating the 50 years. I was thinking about this while watching Day of, that it'd be great to see a few dedicated episodes of 8 9 and 10 and why not 11, instead of just one big 50th special. Spend the year airing them, celebrate it in grandiose fashion.

agreed, i felt the same way. I'm looking into the Big Finish audio advs, but theres so many to choose from.

I personally think a series would be a bit strange as its out of sync with whats happening maybe a red button or web cast where each ep takes place over a month in several small chunks and when you watch them all back at the end of the month its one lovely episode

They're grouped into Seasons and Episodes, just like TV shows. Start with 1.1 Blood of the Daleks Pt1 and then 1.2, Pt2

It was EVERY WHERE! All over the internet, on YouTube, etc. I am in the US and can't view Iplayer and I've watched it multiple times from the day it was released. Watched it from my phone, my tablet, my lap top. It's everywhere.

That wasn't him. Both faces were Capaldi's.

It's on youtube!

Paul McGann is a terrific actor. More 8th Doctor, please!

They Should of had him then John Hurt

So Moffat won't even consider all the options there are for bringing Paul McGann back as the Doctor? One Doctor at a time...."Who would be on the lunch box?" Well don't they sell merchandise NOW that feature each of the 11 Doctors? I can't believe Moffat doesn't have the imagination to find a way to bring McGann back. If he doesn't have the time or energy then let someone else do it...Nick Briggs or someone. Why does Moffat have to be the soul ruler of DW? I certainly can see that a full proper season along side the current season would not work but a TV movie feature or a 4 hour mini series in between the current show's seasons would only enhance Doctor Who not hurt it. Paul McGann was ROBBED of his screen time. We've waited 17 years to see him back and we get 7 minutes...which I'm grateful for and they were an amazing 7's TIME NOW to do something more with the 8th Doctor. I have not enjoyed MOST of Moffat's Doctor Who but I have stuck with it.....until now. Well NO MORE (not quoting TDotD). I am not watching anymore. I would have watched both Capaldi and McGann but now I'm not watching any DW. Moffat, your reasons are STUPID!

McGann had a great run in the role of the Doctor. The only problem was it was in every media except for one TV movie. Doctor Who wasn't completely gone at any point, he just wasn't on TV.

Doctor Who: Time War. One season of episodes featuring McGann. I think it would be cool. They should do the stories as 30 minute serials again, too. Just for nostalgia's sake.

I feel the same way. I'd love to see more McGann as the doctor!

The very very first audio adventure of the 8th is Storm warning. Search for that one and follow along. His stories are wonderful and towards the latest adventure, they will be heartbreaking. Enoy

How about 2 mini series devoted to The Time Wars, one following McGann and one with Hurt, leading up to The Day of the Doctor?

Best Twitter response ever! :)
I'd love to see a web series of the 8th Doctor during the regular series hiatus. Peter Capaldi AND Paul McGann? Be still my fangirl heart!


Money and time. The BBC set the budget for Doctor Who and it often goes over that without considering a spin off. It is not Moffat's decision, it's the BBC's, they already think they spend enough on Doctor Who and even if they greenlight a McGann spin off it will not have the budget to do him justice. Then you have to consider the time it would take to do it. Let's say the BBC allow it, give it to Moffat to produce and write and tell him to get on with it with a reasonable budget. He is then in charge of three shows, DW, Sherlock and the spin off, when will he be able to write for all three, yes other people could take over for the spin off but it still needs to be written, cast, shot and post produced along side the main show. I would love for this to happen but it seems so unlikely but not because of Moffat who simply has no say in the matter. If you want to blame somebody for the lack of McGann, blame the BBC or even Russell T Davies (I don't blame him) for not bringing back McGann in 2005.

Who the heck writes this stuff? The Seventh Doctor was never cranky at all; he was manipulative, sure, but that came with the character.

Nobody looks at the Doctor and thinks "wow, he's cute" unless you've only very, very recently gotten into the series. Others know that really isn't what Doctor Who is about. People admire the Doctor because he's a great character and a great hero. Did anyone look at Jon Pertwee and think "wow, he's sexy"? Did anyone put posters of Hartnell up on their walls like he was some sort of pin-up model, and go "phwoarrr" at him? Nope. Physical appearances of the Doctor don't matter.

And the term Whovian? Ouch. What an insult to us long term fans. There's a call to get that word banned.

You should amend this slightly. The 8th Doctor material from Big Finish, both the Main Range and the 8th Doctor Adventures, are not audiobooks. They are full cast, fully produced radio dramas. The difference between fully produced radio and an audiobook is the difference between a lecture about film, and an actual film. These radio dramas are SO good they made McGann my FAVOURITE Doctor before Night of the Doctor, and even made me warm up to Colin's Sixth Doctor. Currently they have 4,5,6,7, and 8 all doing fully produced radio dramas, and they're amazing.

The 1996 film was shot in Canada for an American audience. Why they decided to make the Master into a snake thing and put him in such a TERRIBLE actor is beyond me. And IIRC, it's STILL the only DW example of an Americanesque Car Chase and a shoot-out gun battle! (The Doctor is killed in the crossfire of a gang-war shoot-out? WTF?) Remember this was a concession between the people who had written a "reboot" and the people licensing Doctor Who.

(The American Reboot would have made the Master his brother, and they would search through Time to find their missing father. The "companion" was going to be replaced with an holographic "mentor" ghost thing living in the TARDIS computer core. It was basically ****ING TERRIBLE. We can only surmise that gun battles and car chases were going to be a staple. That the movie was mediocre at best is a testament to how amazing McGann is as the Doctor.)

Big Finish does a series of audio dramas along a number of story lines using different Doctors. Why can't we have something similar on TV? Say 4 or 5 specials each year featuring old incarnations? Say we get 1 or 2 McGann, a Tennant or two? Maybe Colin, Tom, Peter, or Sylvester might still be up for one every other year? Maybe mini-series (2 episodes of 1 hour would be about the same as the old 4 episode story arcs, maybe even 3).

In the end, there's certainly demand for the older Doctors, especially McGann (who, I am told is still sexy). I know that the Dark Eyes series is so good I'm going to pre-order the next ones!

Lots of audios at Big Finish. And the first 50 of their audios are now only 2.99 each.

The Whovian thing is so stupid. Who fans never called ourselves this pre
New Who and it's marketing to American fandom. It is such an ugly
attempt to emulate the trekkie label. Classic Who had such a progressive
representation of the superficial nature of appreciating physical beauty for its own sake.
The Axons were a perfect example of the perils of admiration of physical
beauty. The Doctor never judged aliens based on traditional views of
beauty. This aspect of the show has been thrown in the dustbin in order
to appeal to New Who fans who can't watch a show without sexual tension
being a major part of the main character's relationship. Give me Ace and
the 7th Doctor, Liz and the 3rd Doctor, Sarah Jane/ Leela/ Romana and
the 4th Doctor or Jaime, Zoe and the 2nd Doctor any day over New Who's
obsession with how pretty the Doctor apparently is nowadays. Also, I can't stand the disrespectful way in which Capaldi is being
treated by New Who fans. He's 55 years old and a fantastic actor who
hopefully won't be forced to gurn away like Tennant and smith did.

I love this idea. More McGann and more Hurt too. <3

To me, he is the true War doctor. He should have been. It would have been better than a war doctor.

i only discovered the series a few months ago, but I think pertwee and hartnell are very sexy indeed, thank you very much!...and also mysterious and funny. same with both bakers. excuse me but i think my tastes are rather refined for a 19 year old.

i am a new who fan and i think capaldi is very sexy and will do a great job.

yeah not to mention the fact that they got tom baker back on there for a bit....kind of a slap in the face.