Tag Archives: Paul McGann

We Need More 8!- The Doctor 101

The original Doctor Who television series ran from 1963 to 1989, ending with Sylvester McCoy playing the Doctor in his 7th form. The show simply was not resonating anymore with its target audiences, so it was canceled. 26 years is a pretty good run for any show, but it is a stellar run for a show that wasn’t even supposed to last a year. Doctor Who had endured, and its fans were a big reason why. There was devastation when the series was canceled, and this ushered in a dark age where the Doctor was lost from the television airwaves for 15 years, until 2004 when Christopher Eccleston took up the mantle and successfully brought the Doctor back into our homes. He didn’t just bring the show back, but he laid the foundation for it to reach heights it never had before. Those 15 years were hard for any long time Doctor Who fan. They were all hoping that Eccleston could be the Doctor to bring the show back. They had reason to be concerned, because the Eccleston/Davies reboot was not the first attempt to bring the show back.

8th-doctor-4In 1996, Paul McGann became the chosen actor to pick up the role of the Doctor and hopefully relaunch the series. He was young, hot actor, and seemed like a great choice. And he was. However, the attempted reboot was an utter failure. It was supposed to begin with what is now called the Doctor Who Television Movie, and then lead into a weekly serial. It only made it as far as the movie. Why? Well, it wasn’t McGann’s fault. If you have never seen the movie, please find a way to watch it, and treat yourself to some amazingly bad cinema. The story was just so out of the norm for Doctor Who, that it just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of canon. In the first few minutes of the film, the Doctor gets gunned down by a gang member in San Francisco. He gets shot! Really? He has faced Cybermen and Daleks and all sorts of big baddies, and then some low life gang member with a gun gets him? It was bizarre, and only got more so as the story goes on. The whole story takes place in San Francisco, in an attempt to attract more of an American crowd. The Master is supposedly dead, although we know that never quite works out, and he comes back possesses some guys body, so he’s now an American. The weirdest part, is we discover, at least according to this movie that the Doctor may be half human. What!? The whole thing was just strange, including the appearance of the Doctor. Sylvester McCoy regenerates into Paul McGann, who finds himself naked in the hospital morgue. Somehow, the clothes he finds are the very modern looking clothes he is wearing in the above picture. If the goal was to connect to the younger, American crowd of 1996, dressing him like that was not the answer. As I mentioned before, all of this led to this being the only appearance of the 8th Doctor on-screen, leading into 9 more years of total Doctor darkness.

But it wasn’t McGann’s fault. They got the right actor to play the role, they just didn’t know what to do with them, or the character or any of it. McGann would go on to develop his Doctor character through Big Finish audio recordings, much to the acclaim of fans everywhere. He became a fan favorite through those recordings, making many wonder what a series with him as the Doctor would have been like. When the new relaunch was announced in 2004, it was announced that Christopher Eccleston would be taking the role. He would be the 9th Doctor, and would go on to successfully re-establish the character for younger audiences. It looked like McGann would never see the screen again as the Doctor. Until Moffat gave us all a treat just before the release of the 50th anniversary episode. He gave us a mini-episode called “Night of the Doctor” and it featured McGann as the 8th Doctor and he got to regenerate on-screen. And he looked awesome:



I have a feeling if he had looked like this in 1996, the show may have gotten off the ground. Not only did he look awesome, he was awesome. If you have never seen it, here it is in its entirety:

Since I saw this mini-episode, I have been obsessed with the idea of seeing a series with McGann as the Doctor. This would be a fantastic spinoff, and the time is ripe for a spinoff like this. We could see the Doctor at the beginning of the Time War, see how it breaks out and how he was involved, even before the War Doctor that we saw in Day of the Doctor. We could see how he came to the point that he was on this ship with Cass, alone, without a companion. It would be very different form the Doctor Who we know and love now, and it could be awesome. Plus, it would give McGann the opportunity to really work this character over and show the world his Doctor.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that is ever going to happen. There are always rumors swirling around that it could happen, or that they are in talks to make it happen, but they all turn out to be just rumors. At Salt Lake Comic Con last September, Paul McGann was one of the guests, along with Colin Baker. He was asked if any of those rumors were true, and he said that none of them were to his knowledge. That’s too bad.

Whenever I am in San francisco, I think of that made for TV movie, and then I think of Night of the Doctor, and I wonder what could have been. I think of what could be. I would love to see it happen, but for now, I just need to get my hands on some of these Big Finish recordings and get to know 8 better that way. Any suggestions for where to start on those?


Salt Lake Comic Con So Far…


Hello faithful readers, and everyone else.  The last two days have been fun filled days for sure as I have spent them at one of my favorite places, Salt Lake Comic Con.  I thought I would give you a rundown of the last two days, what worked and what didn’t, and some of the highlights for me so far.  If you’re planning on going today, then hopefully you will find this information helpful.

The Lines

If you have been following the con at all on Facebook or checking at the hashtags on twitter, then you have probably seen a few comments on the line situation.  Thursday was bad.  I saw comments from people who waited hours and hours to get in, despite having pre-registered at one of the Megaplex locations.  Many who were VIP or Gold ticket holders spent so much time in line that they barely got to spend any time in the con itself, some never did make it in.  I know I saw a line of people who had pre-registered, had their wristbands and were supposed to be in at 1 pm (an hour early) and weren’t even close to in by 2 pm.  My experience was not as bad as theirs.  It wasn’t great, but it was not as bad.  I only bought the multi-pass.  I felt like for me it was the best value.  I didn’t care about getting a shirt, getting into the vendor hall an hour early wasn’t a big deal to me either, and I felt that I should be able to get into most of the panels I wanted without the VIP status.  Plus, getting extra discounts on photo ops and autographs are not a big deal to me either.  That’s not why I come to these things, so for me, the multi-pass was fine.  I got to the con about 1:15 on Thursday, fully expecting to stand in a line.  When I got there, I saw two lines.  I asked the person at the back of one of the lines which line they were in. They said they believed they were in there line for people who had not pre-registered.  They also said they had just regular multi-passes, so I got in line behind them.  I would have preferred to ask a volunteer or someone representing SLCC, but there was no one in sight.  There were red-shirts (security), but they didn’t know what each line was. So I stood in line and I waited.  After about 40 minutes, and barely moving, I tweeted out that I was waiting in line, had no idea if it was the right line and had seen no volunteers.  SLCC must have seen a bunch of tweets and Facebook comments come in at that time, because around 5-10 minutes later we saw about 4-5 volunteers making their way down the line, informing people of which line was which.  I of course found out I was in the wrong line for general admission, and was directed to a third line that was at the other side of the entrance.  I went down there, and it was much shorter outside, and inside.  I waited about 20 minutes more in the registration line, and then in the line to get in to the con, but I was in just in time to make the first panel I wanted to see that day.  I was one of the lucky ones.  There were quite a few people that had a different experience.  When I left the con at just after 8, there was still a crowd of people on both the VIP and GA sides, that were waiting to get in, and I spoke with a volunteer on the trax ride home who explained he had been one of the volunteers who had to let people know that they were not getting in that day.  I felt bad for that guy, and for the people who had to wait so long in line and did not make it into the show.

That is what happened Thursday, at least for me.  You can look at that and think it is super negative, that this whole line thing is a huge negative for Salt Lake Comic Con, but I don’t.  It was not a good day, but what was really impressive to me was how responsive SLCC was. The next morning Bryan Brandenburg posted a comment on the Salt Lake Comic Con Facebook page apologizing and letting people know that they would have the issues fixed on Friday and it would be much better.  And they delivered on that.  They opened ups second entrance for folks who already had wristbands and they streamlined the whole process.  When I got there in the afternoon, I did not see a line outside at all.  We walked right in with our wristbands and walked right into the convention, and it was awesome.  I think most people had a similar experience. I think SLCC handled this tough situation better than most large organizations would.  They were responsive to what their fans were saying and were willing to recognize that some things should have been handled differently the day before.  Hats off to them for doing that and for how they handled it.  Hopefully this can be a learning experience for everyone, and the next FanX and Comic Con will be better.

That was way more than I had wanted to write on lines, so I’m sorry.  On to other things…

Thursday Highlights

For me, my two days so far have been totally different days.  On Thursday I went by myself and on Friday I had my wife and 5 kids with me.  You experience the Con totally different depending on the situation.  Thursday was full of panels.  The first 2 panels I attended were Doctor Who themed panels. As you can guess, from reading my site here, I love Doctor Who.  The first pane was the best of Doctor Who, and what they had done was put a poll on the SLCC website asking fans to vote on various Doctor Who categories.  At this panel, they then revealed the results, and it was a lot of fun.  The best part of the panel, however, was when toward the end, Paul McGann and Colin Baker showed up, surprising everybody.  You could feel how excited everyone got when the two of them entered the room.  Here were 2 Doctors in a panel full of people geeing out about Doctor Who.  They had their panel just after this one at 4 pm, but that was in the south ballroom, and this was in one of the smaller panel rooms, so it was much more “intimate”, which made it very cool.


After that panel, I hustled over to the Colin Baker/Paul McGann panel in the south ballroom.  Part of the way, I was even behind the golf cart that was transporting the two of them from the previous panel.  It was a much bigger crowd, and it always feels good to be around your fellow geeks.  These two gentlemen held a great Q and A session, and were very gracious in how they answered the fans questions.  I became a Doctor Who fan with the newer stuff, but have been wanting to get into the “classic Who” more and more, and seeing these two actors live made me want to go back and experience more of the 6th and 8the Doctors.  They were just very nice in how the responded to the audience and the questions.  One fan asked if he could come up and shake their hands, which they allowed him to do.  Another asked if her service dog could come up so the two of them could give her a treat.  Both agreed, and that was one of the highlights of the panel.  Great job from two very talented performers.


The last panel I attended was part one of the writer’s retreat, which was an excellent panel for someone like me.  I am trying to get my writing off the ground, but don’t really know how to get started.  They had some excellent suggestions.  This panel felt more like a class to me, in a very positive way.  I had my iPad out taking notes, because it wasn’t just for entertainment’s sake that I was there.

Day one ended with me running into an old friend from my missionary days, Audrey.  She was also there solo, and we ran into each other on the vendor floor.  It was great to catch up a little and help her find something for her husband and kids from the con.  That was the most interesting thing about going by myself.  In line, I made friends with the people in font of me, and we bonded immediately, because we were all geeks.  Then I went and met the folks from the Lord of the Laser Sword site (great site, please check it out here) in between a couple of my panels, and hung out with one of them at the Writer’s Retreat panel.  Then I hung out with Audrey for the last little bit.  Going by yourself, as a geek, to one of these conventions, does not mean you won’t find people to hang out with.

Friday Highlights

Friday was with my wife and kids.  With 5 kids, for us that meant no panels, plenty of time at the KidCon and a shortened day.  We went in the afternoon after school was out and the kids had some great costumes, and some great bags to carry their stuff that matched their costumes (future Geek-Craft coming soon).


The kids loved a lot of what there was to see.  They were mesmerized by the wrestling matches they have going on in the middle of the vendor floor.  They thought the Lego display was amazing, as well as there Lego brick artist that was there with his giant lego figures of Thor and Superman.


Our youngest spent most of her time just sitting and eating the snacks we brought for her.  That’s the definition of a good day to her.


They also enjoyed the robots and just seeing all the other people in costume.  The highlight for me, though, came toward the beginning of the day, when we stopped at the KidCon stage and enjoyed an acrobatic show.


The last half of the show they invited the kids to come up and participate and the loved it.  Kids love to get involved.

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It was a lot of fun.  I will be back tomorrow with a complete review of the Con in a special edition of This Week in Geek.

This Week in Geek- Week Ending August 30, 2014

August is almost over, which means a couple of things.  The summer blockbuster season is coming to a close.  This year was a slump compared to last year, and what will that mean for all these big budget super hero flicks coming down the pipe? End of August, beginning of September also means that Salt Lake Comic Con is almost here.  We are less than a week away, and your humble blogger can’t wait to be there among his native people: Geeks. Here are a few stories from this last week:

The Tick is Returning with Patrick Warburton


Technically, this news just broke today, but I would be an irresponsible blogger if I didn’t include it in this post.  People.com is reporting that the live action Tick televisions series is returning to Amazon and their streaming service.  Even better news, Patrick Warburton has reportedly already signed a contract with Amazon to return as the big guy for the series.  Honestly, would it have been the Tick if he wasn’t coming back?  This was a short-lived, quirky series, but a classic.  Plus, I love almost anything Patrick Warburton does.  He could make reading the phone book funny (for our younger readers, the phone book is a now extinct book that would come out each year with a listing of phone numbers in your area.  IT has now been replaced by the internet).  Take the opportunity to congratulate Warburton, as he appears at the Salt Lake Comic Con this upcoming week.  I wonder if this means we will see an upTICK in Tick cosplay…(see what I did there?  UpTICK, like the Tick? Get it?)

GOTG Continues Strong Box Office Showing


Guardians of the Galaxy was already the biggest hit of the summer, but as of this week, it has surpassed everyone to become the biggest domestic hit of the year, beating out Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  And, with nothing big coming out in the next month or so, it looks like it will continue to have a strong run.  Some experts are predicting that it could break the $300 million mark.  This is a huge hit for Marvel and their parent company, Disney.  This was a property that no one had ever heard of except for hardcore comics fans.  Now it is the biggest domestic movie of the year.  Behold the power of Marvel!

Hawkeye’s New Suit for Avengers: Age of Ultron


New set pics have revealed how Hawkeye will look in the new Avengers movie.  Personally, not a fan.  I don’t like the long coat.  IT just seems pointless and it would get in the way with all the running and there jumping.  I liked his look in Avengers, and that they carried that look into the comics.  I think Hawkeye is a very interesting character because he has no powers, at all, and he is trying to keep up with all these super powered team mates.  It’s pretty cool, and I felt like he looked pretty cool in the last film.  Despite not liking this look, I am eternally grateful that it isn’t this look:


Salt Lake Comic Con Rounding Out Their Guests


I know I give a lot of love to the Salt Lake Comic Con, but they are the biggest convention out my way.  I love that we have something like this here locally that I can now attend without spending a ton of money.  As we get closer to the con, they have been making the guest announcements left and right.  Some of the highlights recently have been Paul McGann and Colin Baker, who both played the Doctor in Doctor Who, as well as Ron Perlman, who played HellBoy in arguably one of the most underrated super hero movies ever, and Eric Roberts who played the Master opposite McGann’s Doctor in the Doctor Who TV Movie.  I expect that we will be hearing about more guests as the Con draws closer.  I have seen lots of people posting that Matt Smith is going to be there.  None of these people are Bryan Brandenburg or Dan Farr, so take it with a grain of salt, but maybe the rumors will pan out.  For a current list of the guests scheduled to be at the Salt Lake Comic Con, please click here.  You can also visit their site’s home page for more info on tickets, autographs and photo ops, and special events.

That’s it for now.  Please check back next week.  We should have plenty of follow-up from the Con and more geek news.