Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Eighth Doctor Revisited On BBC America

BBC America is to show the Eighth Doctor's sole TV outing to date on Saturday 31st August.

The adventure, starring Paul McGann as the Doctor, is being aired as part of the network's ongoing series Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited marking the show's 50th anniversary, and will be broadcast following a documentary at 8pm ET/PT in which current showrunner Steven Moffat and Daphne Ashbrook, who played Dr Grace Holloway, and Yee Jee Tso, who was Chang Lee, are among those examining what made the Eighth Doctor unique. They also discuss a new take on the Doctor's old enemy the Master, played in this story by Eric Roberts.

Co-produced by the BBC, Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, and the American network Fox, the story, written by Matthew Jacobs and directed by Geoffrey Sax, was filmed in Canada and received its world premiere in the country on 12th May 1996, subsequently being shown in the USA two days later and in the UK on 27th May, where a dedication to Jon Pertwee was added at the end, following his death exactly a week earlier.

Intended as a pilot to revive the show after it ended in 1989, it saw the Seventh Doctor, as played by Sylvester McCoy, regenerate into the Eighth. In the story, the Master attempts to take the Doctor's remaining regenerations, plunging the Earth into chaos.

Despite impressive ratings in the UK though, the American networks didn't warm to it and options weren't taken up, with the show plunged back into the wilderness - as far as the TV version was concerned - until the BBC announced in September 2003 that it would be returning.