Doctor Who (1996)

TV Movie   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi


Doctor Who (1996) Poster

The newly-regenerated Doctor takes on the Master on the turn of the millennium, 31 December 1999.


6.4/10
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  • Paul McGann in Doctor Who (1996)
  • Paul McGann in Doctor Who (1996)
  • Paul McGann in Doctor Who (1996)
  • Paul McGann in Doctor Who (1996)
  • Daphne Ashbrook in Doctor Who (1996)
  • Paul McGann in Doctor Who (1996)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


30 July 2004 | Daggernow
Not as big a disaster as some of the reviews say it is.
This attempted pilot for a new Doctor Who series may have faults but I think some of the criticism is off-base. The original Doctor Who series was never a slave to realism or it's own continuity the way shows like Star Trek or The X-Files were. It was more like a long-running comic strip with it's light "who cares about obsessive fan-boys and fan-girls" approach. This show always played fast and loose with it's own continuity and often contradicted what had gone before for the sake of the present story being aired. So many fans went bananas over things like the Doctor being half-human and the Eye of Harmony being on board the Tardis and the Master being able to slither around in that black snake form to find a new host body or why he was put on trial by the Daleks. For a show that always pretty much made it up as it went along that's a waste of time. I've got some random thoughts to throw out about this attempt to revive the series.

As for the Doctor being half-human I'll repeat my remark about this show making it up as it went along. From what I recall the show was on the air for years before it even established that he was a Time Lord so a sudden revelation about a half-human heritage isn't as way out as it first seems.

My view on the Master being able to slither around in snake form is also to repeat that this show was never a slave to it's own continuity. I'd like every Dr Who fan who can't sleep at night fretting over this bit to explain to me what the White Form in the story where Tom Baker regenerated into Peter Davison was and why the other regeneration scenes took place without such a White Form "merging" with the Doctor.

As for why the Eye of Harmony was on board the Tardis I'll say that if a new Doctor Who series had resulted from this pilot movie they could have done a flashback story at some point featuring Sylvester McCoy's Doctor and explained all that.

I thought the Master being put on trial by the Daleks was kind of cool - sort of like they were saying "This guy is so evil even the Daleks are outraged!" If a new series had resulted they could have done another Sylvester McCoy flashback story at some point to explain what led up to the Master being put on trial by the Daleks. Maybe he tried to take over Skaro and turn all the Daleks into his own personal hit-squad or some other nonsense.

Sylvester McCoy was pretty cool for agreeing to appear in this movie to give the potential new Doctor Who series a legitimate link to the original British show. The poor guy had to come in with a lame regeneration scene and went out the same way and the effort was for nothing since the show's own fans turned up their noses at this film and the new series was never given a chance. A new Doctor Who series that didn't live up to the continuity geeks' vision of the show would have been better than no Doctor Who series at all. Just another example of the down-side to cult shows.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, the Doctor's old teacher Borusa was going to appear. Actors considered for the role included Don Ameche, Richard Attenborough, Peter Cushing, Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, John Gielgud, Richard Griffiths, Alec Guinness, Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Burt Lancaster, Christopher Lee, Jack Lemmon, Ian McKellen, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Paul Newman, Peter O'Toole, Gregory Peck, Donald Pleasence, Peter Ustinov, Max von Sydow and David Warner. The favorite was O'Toole, who declared his interest before the character was omitted.


Quotes

The Doctor: It was on the planet Skaro that my old enemy the Master was finally put on trial. They say he listened calmly as his list of evil crimes was read, and sentence passed. Then he made his last, and I thought, somewhat curious request. He demanded that ...


Goofs

At Grace's apartment the Doctor says, "Don't you see, I have Thirteen lives", as has been said earlier already. However, this is Post-Sync/ADR and his lip movements suggest that he originally said "Twelve lives".


Crazy Credits

Rather than credit the creator of "Doctor Who" (1963), Sydney Newman, a title card reads: "Based upon the television series broadcast by the BBC." Ron Grainer, composer of the film's theme music, and Delia Derbyshire, designer of the TARDIS sound effect, do not receive screen credit.


Alternate Versions

The 'uncut' version has since been broadcast by the BBC in the UK, during a night of Dr Who programmes on BBC 2 in November 1999, and this formed the basis for the 2001 Region 2 DVD release.


Soundtracks

In A Dream (I Called Out Your Name)
Written by
Barbara L. Jordan and William Peterkin
Performed by Pat Hodges
Courtesy of Heavy Hitters Music
Played on a grammophone when the Doctor is sitting in the lounge of his Tardis, just before the Master escaped

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi

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