With over 2.26 million views in less than a week, The BBC’s “Doctor Who” 50th anniversary prequel short “The Night of the Doctor” has been a rousing success.
In fact it has been such a hit that a Change.org petition has gone online asking current ‘Who’ showrunner Steven Moffat to create a either a spin-off or web series that would feature more episodes involving actor Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.
Before the short, McGann’s sole onscreen appearance in the role was in the 1996 telemovie in which the seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) regenerated into McGann’s eighth.
The character’s unexpected return seventeen years later in the short was a major surprise, one unfortunately spoiled by various writers for newspapers and blogs who should have known better.
In fact the short held numerous surprises, from the return of the sisterhood of Karn from the fourth Doctor serial “The Brain of Morbius,” to the reveal of the eighth Doctor’s regeneration into the younger version of John Hurt’s ‘War Doctor’ incarnation.
In a few minutes though McGann demonstrated why he was so good in the part with his romanticism, strong moral fibre and natural shrewdness, a straightforwardness lacking in the sometimes self-conscious silliness of the last two Doctors.
Of all the Doctors, McGann has been the one allowed the least time to shine and so the intention of the petition is to allow him that opportunity in adventures set after the telemovie but before the ‘Night’ short. The petition’s creator says:
“Although we do possess a vast number of Big Finish Audio-Dramas and books, it would be a shame to never see McGann as the Time Lord on-screen again. Even a web series would suffice! This will probably never happen, but you never know unless you try!”
As of writing, over 11,700 have signed the petition.