Doctor Who

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Coproduced by the BBC and America's Fox Network, the two-hour movie Doctor Who was an attempt to revive the phenomenally popular science-fiction series which orginally ran from 1963 to 1989. Sylvester McCoy, the last of seven actors to play the Doctor, here repeats his familiar role--albeit briefly, inasmuch as he is shot by a San Francisco street-gang member on the eve of the 21st century. Rushed to a hospital, the Doctor undergoes his eighth regeneration, whereupon Paul McGann takes over the role. Now the Doctor must do battle with his longtime foe The Master to prevent the latter from harnessing the Time Lords' "Eye of Harmony" for his own nefarious purposes. Only one problem: The Doctor is suffering from amnesia, and has no idea who he is or what he is supposed to do. Written by Matthew Jacobs, Doctor Who first aired in America on May 14, 1996, and in England thirteen days later. Unfortunately, the pilot did not result in a full-scale Doctor Who revival.


Paul McGann
as The Doctor
Eric Roberts
as The Master
Daphne Ashbrook
as Dr. Grace Holloway
Sylvester McCoy
as Doctor No. 7
Yee Jee Tso
as Chang Lee
Dave Hurtubise
as Prof. Wagg
D.J. Jackson
as Security Guard
Gordon Tipple
as The Old Master (cremated)
Bill Croft
as Motorcycle Policeman
Deejay Jackson
as Security Guard
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Critic Reviews for Doctor Who

All Critics (1) | Fresh (1)

  • ... plays like the missing link between the original run and the 21st Century BBC revision, or maybe an evolutionary offshoot that never thrived.

    Feb 13, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Doctor Who

  • Jul 18, 2015
    Totally unnecessary. This made for TV Doctor Who film was very cringe worthy, it was fun at times but generally predictable and filled with punchable characters and overused Jellybaby jokes.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2011
    I'm absolutely bonkers about Dr. Who. When it's at its best there is no finer Sci-Fi. It manages to mix the supernatural, science fiction, horror, comedy, and history seamlessly at times. This was the failed attempt at reviving Dr Who, with a stronger focus on getting him to break America. This was probably the biggest mistake of all. It reminds me of when pop stars/comedians try and crack the ever important (in terms of money and fame) market. It seems like a lot of the Dr's identity is lost along the way.However, being able to view this after 6 seasons of the most recent incarnations, this isn't so bad. In fact, it is a damn sight better than some of the nonsense Russell T. Davies subjected the audince to (I love a lot of his stuff, but he was hit and miss). Paul McGann is fantastic. Maybe I have a soft spot for The Doctors that didn't last long, but I can't wait to read the novels based on his character. McCoy gets a decent send off and unlike the more recent Doctors it's also fairly subtle and underplayed. Eric Roberts is menacing, but also confusing at times. He starts almost off robotic, and is later camp. A mix between the terminator, a lizard alien thing, and a gay pop star. There are some awful performances, mostly because the American cast members don't seem to understand the tone they should be going for. This is most likely down to bad direction. Overall most of the plot holes that boil fans' blood can be ignored. The half human thing kind of makes sense in a way, as a planet hopping time traveller should really spend some more time away from Earth otherwise. Daleks holding a trial is confusing though. Certainly one to check out, and actually a pleasant surprise after all the negativity.
    Luke B Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2011
    As a DR Who it was exciting when this was announced in the mid-90's and the addition of McCoy meant that at least they were planning to link the old series with the new. Unfortunately for all the great things here (McCoy, the regeneration, the new interior of the Tardis and McGann) there are too many Americanisms for any true fan and it doesn't quite work. The Doctor should never be half human and there are way too many kisses for a Who story. Roberts is trying to be a fun villain but he isn't really The Master. The theme tune is also bloody awful! I suppose we should be glad this attempt failed or we wouldn't have the current series but it would have been nice to have some more McGann adventures and it would be great if his Doctor could reappear in the current series.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2011
    The seventh incarnation of The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is transporting the remains of his enemy, The Master, to their home planet. Unfortunately for The Doctor, The Master is not as dead as he thinks and when he is forced to crash materialise in San Francisco on the verge of the new millennium. To add to his troubles, The Doctor wanders into the middle of a gang shootout and is mortally injured. His injuries and a botched operation to save his life cause The Doctor to regenerate into his eighth incarnation (Paul McGann)... but The Master has got a new body of his own in the form of a human ambulance driver (Eric Roberts) who wants to take over The Doctor's body, but to carry out his plan, The Master threatens to destroy not only Earth, but the whole of reality. SPOILERS AHEAD ============================================================= I remember seeing this TV movie on it's debut back in 1996. Doctor Who had been off the air for seven years and fans like myself were hungry for new Doctor Who... what we got was this co-production between the BBC and Universal Studios which was the brainchild of producer Philip Segal and had been a long term quest to get into production since the original series had been taken off air in 1989. The production has some great points in it's favour. The cinematography and direction by Geoffrey Sax is beautiful to look at and the choice of shots make the production pacy. The special effects compliment this and were a quantum leap from the original BBC series, that said the effects for the series post 2005 are an advance on this. Paul McGann is a brilliant Doctor. He has boyish charm and cheekiness alongside an older man's wisdom and the eccentric charm of an alien who's an adopted Brit. It was a big shame that the film was not picked up as a series, if only for seeing more of McGann's interpretation of the role. Daphne Ashbrook is a great foil as his "partner in crime", Dr Grace Holloway who goes from being the woman who accidentally kills his seventh persona, to the woman who doesn't believe that the eighth Doctor is the same man and, eventually, to somebody that he wants to travel with him. Now for the points, that aren't so good. Firstly, nobody really appeared to have given Eric Roberts notes on how to portray The Master. The character is meant to be a cold blooded killer with ambitions of domination. Unfortunately, what we get is a portrayal that changes from The Terminator to a camp parody of the character. Yee Jee Tso is given an interesting premise in the role of Chang Lee, a street boy who wants to get further up the ladder either through a gang or an alliance with The Master. The problem is, his character is swamped by Roberts's Master. Finally, the storyline by Matthew Jacobs is a slave to several production partners and fan bases/prospective fan bases, and that is it's Achilles' Heel. Imagine, you're a TV exec commissioning a back door TV, would you commission a TV film that's based on over 30 years of televisual history which slavishly talks about the series' past including Time Lords and their home planet, a long standing feud between two Time Lords and introduces the concept of regeneration PLUS you want to get a new audience base in the US to get on board? Didn't think so. That was one area where the introduction to the new TV series in 2005, 'Rose', worked really well. You learned about The Doctor as his new companion learned about him - no weight of history around it's neck and learning about the character and his world like peeling away layers from an onion. It would take another nine years for Doctor Who to come back on to television on a regular basis. That said, it's an entertaining film and glimpse at what could have been.
    Theta S Super Reviewer

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