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Doctor Who (1996)

TV Movie  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi  -  14 May 1996 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 5,805 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 14 critic

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

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Title: Doctor Who (TV Movie 1996)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Michael David Simms ...
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Wheeler (as Catherine Lough)
Dolores Drake ...
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Pete (as William Sasso)
Jeremy Radick ...
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Bill Croft ...
David Hurtubise ...
Professor Wagg (as Dave Hurtubise)
Joel Wirkkunen ...
Ted
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Storyline

The Doctor, an alien time traveller from the planet Gallifrey, is transporting the remains of his nemesis, the Master back to their homeworld. However the Master is not as dead as the Doctor thinks. The Master's essence escapes and sabotages the TARDIS, the Doctor's time machine causing it to crash land in San Franscisco on December 30th 1999. The Doctor requires a beryllium atomic clock to repair the TARDIS, but is shot as he leaves it. Taken to hospital, the Doctor's seventh regeneration is triggered by a surgeon, confused by his alien physiology, while the Master takes over a paramedic's body. He needs a Time Lord's body to survive and be able to regenerate again so he needs the Doctor's. The newly regenerated the Doctor must fight to save his own eighth body, and the world when the Master sabotages the TARDIS' power source. By midnight on December 31st 1999, the Earth will be pulled through this power-source, a mini-black hole, and only the Doctor can stop if only he can remember ... Written by Dave Gardner <is6131@dcs.napier.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Time waits for no man - except one. See more »


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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

14 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor Who  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) speaks only 11 short lines of dialogue. See more »

Goofs

The entire ambulance/hospital sequence is a symphony of errors: A bystander would not be permitted to ride in the back of the ambulance, nor would his (or anybody's) consent be required to provide care to an unconscious patient with life-threatening injuries. Nobody was performing the routine care and monitoring that medics would have performed. An external EKG, and not an internal probe, would be used to assess the heart's electrical activity. The Doctor was not intubated, as he would have been for surgery. The cardiologist would have doffed her gown and put scrubs on over her underwear in the locker room, then scrubbed for surgery, rather than scrubbing first then being stuffed into scrubs over a ball gown. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Doctor: [voiceover] 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 I, the Doctor, a rival Timelord, should take his remains back to our home planet; Gallifrey
The Doctor: [pause]
The Doctor: It was a request they should never have granted...
The Doctor: [Cue the opening credits]
See more »

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. See more »

Connections

Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Desert Storm (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Un Bel Di
(uncredited)
Written by Giacomo Puccini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not as big a disaster as some of the reviews say it is.
30 July 2004 | by (Metairie, LA) – See all my reviews

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.


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