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Doctor Who (TV Movie 1996) Poster

(1996 TV Movie)

Trivia

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Christopher Eccleston, who would later play the Ninth Doctor in Doctor Who (2005), was offered the role of the Eighth Doctor but declined to audition, because at the time he felt he was not yet an established enough actor and did not want to be associated with a "brand name" so early in his career.
The line "Life is wasted on the living!" is a reference to the original Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy radio series. Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, is a former writer for Doctor Who (1963).
When the Doctor rifles through a locker looking for clothes, we see him momentarily admiring a long scarf. This is a reference to the costume worn by the fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.
The "sonic screwdriver" seen in action at the start of the film, was first used by the second Doctor. This marks the first appearance of the sonic screwdriver since it was destroyed in Doctor Who: The Visitation: Part Three (1982). Upgraded versions of the device have become a staple in the revived series.
For 21 of the 26 season of Dr Who the key used for the TARDIS was a simple Yale lock key and was used in the normal way. The unique key used in this film was devised by Jon Pertwee and was used for his last three years in the show and was also used by Tom Baker's Dr for his first two seasons. For the first time viewers are shown exactly how this version of the key works.
The book that The Doctor sits down to read at the beginning and the end of the movie is "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells.
The UK television broadcast ended with a dedication to Jon Pertwee, the third actor to play the Doctor in the original TV series (and one of the most popular), who had died a week earlier.
The Eighth Doctor is the only incarnation of the character to never encounter the Daleks on-screen.
The BBC originally wanted Tom Baker to be the Doctor at the opening of the film, as this version of the Doctor is the one most familiar to American audiences. The American producers insisted on Sylvester McCoy, as they were avid Doctor Who fans, and felt the Seventh Doctor still deserved a proper send-off. BBC One Controller Alan Yentob and executive producer Jo Wright were very resistant to the return of Sylvester McCoy, as they associated him with the decline in popularity and eventual cancellation of the original series. Wright eventually said that McCoy could appear as long as he was "in it for a very short time and didn't say anything". This was revealed on a documentary made about the film.
The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) carries a small paper bag filled with jelly babies (a British candy), which he offers to people he meets. This is a reference to the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), who did the same.
While speaking at a Doctor Who convention in 2004, producer Philip David Segal mentioned that the TARDIS set used for this film has mysteriously disappeared from storage.
Producer Philip David Segal was born in the U.S., but grew up in England, and was a fan of Doctor Who as a child. It was largely due to his determined efforts that this movie was carried to completion, and that its story stayed mostly within established Doctor Who canon.
This is the first time the Doctor is shown kissing a woman. Previously the character never displayed any romantic interest in his female companions or any other women and although at the beginning of the TV series he traveled with his granddaughter, his family life is rarely mentioned. The Doctor being asexual was in part due to the family-orientated nature of the show.
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The TARDIS set cost $1 million to build and was constructed in the hope that a series would have emerged from the film. Although it does not resemble the control rooms seen in the original series, it has long been established that The Doctor is capable of changing the interior configuration of the TARDIS anytime he chooses, as well as the TARDIS having more than one control room.
The gold dust that the Master finds in the TARDIS and gives to Chang Lee is a reference to the Cybermen, one of the recurring enemies in the TV series (gold is lethal to them).
Peter Capaldi declined to audition for The Eighth Doctor because he felt it was unlikely that he would be given the part. He would later play The Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who (2005).
Both Fox and Univeral Studios wanted a huge name to play The Eighth Doctor in the movie, to ensure a huge ratings success. The studios three top choices were Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Jim Carrey, all three of whom turned it down. Hanks, who is a fan of the classic series, turned down the role as he felt an American playing the role would not do the show's legacy any justice. Ford turned down the role as he didn't want to work in television. Carrey, who has never seen a single episode of Doctor Who, turned down the role as he felt it would cause outrage amongst Doctor Who fans if the role was played by someone who wasn't a fan of the classic series.
Initially, Christopher Lloyd was considered to play the part of The Master, but Universal balked at the cost. Eric Roberts was hired although, ironically, he turned out to cost more than Lloyd.
Sylvester McCoy (the Seventh Doctor) and Paul McGann (the Eighth Doctor) are the only British actors to appear in this production.
Trailers for this film used special effects footage from the 1986 television story, "The Trial of a Time Lord". The footage in question is the famous shot of the TARDIS being pulled into the Gallifreyan space station by the tractor beam.
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In the scene where Grace is examining him, the Doctor says "I have twelve lives". This was overdubbed by Paul McGann at the last moment when executive producer Philip David Segal was informed that, in Doctor Who mythology, Time Lords in fact have thirteen lives.
Intended as a pilot for a new American-produced Doctor Who TV series, but although it was a ratings winner in the UK (achieving 9.1 million viewers, the best rating for a Doctor Who (1963) episode since Doctor Who: Time-Flight: Part One (1982)), it flopped on American TV and so no new series was purchased.
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Mark McGann, the younger brother of Paul McGann, auditioned for the role of the Eighth Doctor.
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During the opening scenes in the TARDIS, a 900-year diary can be glimpsed - a reference to the 500-year diary carried by the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton.
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Paul McGann would continue to portray The Doctor in a long-running series of made-for-audio Doctor Who adventures by Big Finish Productions.
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Alan Menken was considered to write a new Doctor Who theme tune when the producers couldn't secure the rights to the familiar theme, but before they approached him they were able to secure the rights.
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Producer Philip David Segal was trying to make this film at the same time another company had the rights to a theatrical version of Doctor Who, but their rights were on the verge of expiring while Segal was trying to secure his version. The other company originally tried to extend their rights by having Leonard Nimoy shoot a bit of footage as the Doctor so they could claim they were starting production. However, Segal told Nimoy what they were up to, and Nimoy backed out, thus allowing the rights to expire.
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The hospital sets used for this film were also used by the producers of the TV series The X-Files (1993).
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The Daleks, the Doctor's most famous enemies, can be heard speaking their famous command, "EXTERMINATE," as The Master is apparently executed prior to the opening credits.
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Among the various knobs and gadgets on the Tardis's control column is an old-fashioned automobile hand brake.
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The title logo used for this film is based upon the logo used by the original TV series between 1970 and 1973. The logo is now used by BBC Worldwide as the standard Doctor Who logo for all "classic" material (all DVDs, books, etc of stories predating the Ninth Doctor and the 2005 series revival).
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Fox TV announced plans to rebroadcast the movie on 31 December 1999 - the very day the film takes place - however these plans were later changed and the film was not rerun at that time.
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Bruce the ambulance driver is seen waking up next to his wife Miranda, after being possessed by The Master. Miranda, who is then promptly strangled by The Master, was played by Eric Roberts (Bruce/The Master) real life bride Eliza Roberts.
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The original UK television broadcast was shown before the 9pm watershed and contained some edits for violence due to the BBFC, including the Seventh Doctor's death on the operating table was trimmed down quite a bit including his final scream, and the gunning down of Chang Lee's friends was cut out, making it appear as if they suddenly vanished. When BBC America cablecast the eighth Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special "The Doctors Revisited" on August 31, 2013, they showed this watered down version.
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The first Doctor Who story ever to be filmed outside Europe
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Although unsuccessful at relaunching the franchise, this film was adopted into the continuity of the television series. The episode "Night of the Doctor" allowed Paul McGann to play the role again, just long enough to regenerate into The War Doctor (John Hurt), who subsequently regenerates into the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), who played the part in the first season of the new series.
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Steven Spielberg was originally involved in the film's development, through his company Amblin Television. When an early script featured the Doctor in World War II battling Nazis in search of an ancient artifact, Spielberg pulled his support, saying it was getting to be too much like Indiana Jones. Fearful that the production deal might fall apart, the American producers didn't tell the BBC that Spielberg's Amblin studios were no longer involved until after production was underway and it was too late to back out.
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Paul McGann hated the wig he had to wear.
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Sylvester McCoy was brought back as The Seventh Doctor for the regeneration into The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) and also to connect the TV movie with the BBC television series.
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Originally, The Doctor's old teacher Borusa was going to appear. Actors considered for the role included Don Ameche, Richard Attenborough, Peter Cushing, Kirk Douglas, Albert Finney, John Gielgud, Richard Griffiths, Alec Guinness, Richard Harris, Anthony Hopkins, Burt Lancaster, Christopher Lee, Jack Lemmon, Ian McKellen, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Paul Newman, Peter O'Toole, Gregory Peck, Donald Pleasence, Peter Ustinov, Max von Sydow and David Warner. The favorite was O'Toole, who declared his interest before the character was omitted.
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The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) speaks only 11 short lines of dialogue.
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Paul McGann was Jo Wright's first choice for the role of the Doctor because he was "a good actor, very good looking and had a great voice". Earlier actors to play the character had usually been selected for their eccentric or unusual looks rather than their attractiveness.
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The Master's human body was originally supposed to slowly degrade throughout the film. This plan was abandoned when Eric Roberts found the make-up prosthetics to be too uncomfortable. One scene of this plotline remains, when he peels off a fingernail in front of the ambulance dispatcher.
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Michael Crawford, Tim Curry, Eric Idle, Billy Connolly, Trevor Eve, Michael Palin, Robert Lindsay and Jonathan Pryce were all considered for the role of the Eighth Doctor. Palin was a strong frontrunner, but he didn't feel that he could do the role justice. Steve Martin, a fan of the series, badly wanted the part. Lindsay actually auditioned for the role, together with Anthony Head, Tim McInnerny, Tony Slattery, Liam Cunningham, Nathaniel Parker and Mark McGann (Paul's brother).
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A new theme tune was proposed for the film, replacing Ron Grainer's famous Doctor Who (1963) Theme from 1963. Ultimately, Grainer's theme was used, but the composer wasn't credited.
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The Dalek voices heard at the beginning were not from the original BBC television series, but were actually the slightly treated voice of director Geoffrey Sax.
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Gordon Tipple was given an on-screen credit because he recorded the original monologue that was to have opened the movie but was discarded in favour of a monologue by Paul McGann, which was itself discarded in favour of a second monologue by Paul McGann that is now in the finished movie.
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Anthony Head auditioned for the role of the Eighth Doctor.
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The film takes place from December 30, 1999 to January 1, 2000.
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Michael Apted, Joe Dante, Alan Parker, Ridley Scott and Peter Weir were potential candidates for directing the film.
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Fans voted this number 94 in a countdown of the 163 Doctor Who (1963) stories in Outpost Gallifrey's 40th anniversary poll in 2003.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

All kinds of Easter Eggs and references occur in this film. The Fourth Doctor's scarf found in the locker by The Eighth Doctor suggest that the morgue attendant is a Doctor Who (1963) fan and perhaps this is where the Doctor finds the bag of jelly babies. Another Easter egg, the hour glass with all the sand run down behind the chest that stores the masters urn symbolizes that The Seventh Doctor's time is almost up. The sculptures and symbols of Rassilon all over the TARDIS. The Seventh Doctor's famous love of blues and jazz music. The way the tea cup swirls when The Master's remains are using telekinesis to break out, echos the Fourth Doctor's childhood experiments in time. Some elements of the movie later show up in the rebooted series; like riding a motorcycle or scooter in or out of the TARDIS. Or the atomic clock inventor's bow tie, which The Eleventh Doctor wore. Also the time energy/regeneration energy that resurrects Chang and Grace was reused over and over in the reboot series.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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