We’re just days away from the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’, and the BBC have released the mini-episode ‘Night of the Doctor’ which may have caught some older fans off guard by finally revealing the unknown, mysterious regeneration of The Eighth Doctor, as portrayed by Paul McGann.
McGann is in a strange place, considered the longest running “official” Doctor, beginning with his debut in the American produced ‘Doctor Who: The Movie’ which aired on FOX in 1999, and running up until the 2005 revamp of the series, which kicked off with Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor but never detailed the event which spawned The Ninth Doctor. McGann, who has starred as the character in a series of Big Finish audio productions including the critically lauded ‘The Eight Doctor Adventures’ and Big Finish’s own 50th anniversary audio play “The Light at the End” alongside The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors, has stated for years he wanted to film the regeneration of his Doctor so that the story may be told, and he finally got his wish.
I’m personally very glad he did, as I’m a HUGE fan of Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor. ‘Doctor Who: The Movie’ was my first exposure to the character, and while it isn’t a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, the list of things wrong with the movie most certainly do not include McGann, whose Doctor is a weird and funny character that rightfully deserves more screen time.
You can watch the mini-episode below. With McGann filming his regeneration, this leaves Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor) as having never filmed his death sequence into The Seventh Doctor (Baker was fired beforehand by BBC, and the scene was filmed with Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy wearing a wig) and Christopher Eccleston never filming his sequence into The Ninth Doctor (as his regeneration from The War Doctor to The Ninth Doctor has yet to be seen). Could we possibly see The War Doctor’s regeneration into The Ninth Doctor at the end of ‘Day of The Doctor’? Leave your thoughts below.