How To Bring Back McGann

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paul mcgann doctor who 2013 night of the doctor (2)

Guest contributor Mike Falino looks at how to integrate the 8th Doctor for another return.

I have been a fan of the Eighth Doctor for quite some time. Ever since I saw the Doctor Who movie I thought it a travesty that Paul McGann never got a fair chance to pilot the TARDIS for longer than the time of a standard 90s TV movie. It was clear he was perfect for the role, but alas, it was never to be.

Fast forward nearly twenty years and audiences both old and new got a chance—a brief glimpse—of the wonderful but little known Eighth Doctor in The Night of the Doctor. Although the Eighth Doctor has an extensive history in the Big Finish audio adventures, most fans just never had much interest, or means, to enjoy them. But thanks to Steven Moffat’s love of the show, fans got a chance to experience Eight, and it was fantastic.

Now there’s a huge interest among fans to see more onscreen adventures of the Eighth Doctor. I am among this group. But the question arises of how to integrate him. A spin-off seems the most logical option, but the chances of two concurrent Doctor Who series running at the same time is less than nil. A movie perhaps? Now there’s an idea! One or two feature films could be fantastic. But I have another idea…

mcgann-capaldiI propose a story arc that brings the Eighth Doctor back to our screens for adventures with the Twelfth Doctor. I know, it sounds crazy, but really, it seems the most amazing option to me.

Before anyone starts with the “rules” nonsense, or “it would be weird” silliness, let me cut you off. As has been made clear many times by many fans, Doctor Who doesn’t really follow many rules. At its essence it’s about a Time Lord who travels in his TARDIS. That’s it! He usually has a companion or two that tag along on his adventures, but otherwise, that’s it. Those are the only “rules”.

What I particularly love about having both Doctors travel together for a while is that it has never been done. When a show reaches 50 years it’s probably quite difficult to come up with new ideas. But right here is an idea that has never been done other than in anniversary specials, and in one other regular season story. But to have two Doctors involved in a story for an extended period of time… wow! It would be an event in Doctor Who lore that would be something so drastically different that it would give Doctor Who a chance to revolutionize science fiction yet again!

Perhaps it could take the form of the Eighth Doctor popping in and out throughout a season, a sort of “continually crossing paths” scenario. But I really love the idea of having both Doctors travel in the TARDIS for a few episodes, not much longer. Three or four episodes would be an ideal length to tell a really unique tale. I think it would be one of the most fascinating and successful things ever done on the show, and it would give the Eighth Doctor, and Paul McGann, the respect and recognition they both deserve. As for the fans, it would be nothing less than a Doctorgasm for the ages!