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Doctor Who (1996)

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

Director:

Geoffrey Sax

Writer:

Matthew Jacobs
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul McGann ... The Doctor
Eric Roberts ... The Master / Bruce
Daphne Ashbrook ... Dr. Grace Holloway
Sylvester McCoy ... The Doctor
Yee Jee Tso ... Chang Lee
John Novak ... Salinger
Michael David Simms Michael David Simms ... Swift
Catherine Lough Haggquist ... Wheeler (as Catherine Lough)
Dolores Drake ... Curtis
Will Sasso ... Pete (as William Sasso)
Jeremy Radick Jeremy Radick ... Gareth
Eliza Roberts ... Miranda
Bill Croft ... Motorcycle Policeman
David Hurtubise David Hurtubise ... Professor Wagg (as Dave Hurtubise)
Joel Wirkkunen 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:

He's Back... And It's About Time See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doctor Who See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. 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 Time Lord, should take his remains back to our home planet, Gallifrey. It was a request they should never have granted...
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 »

Alternate Versions

The first BBC version and Region 2 DVD release include a dedication to actor Jon Pertwee, who played the Doctor in the 1970s and who died a week before the first British broadcast of the film. See more »


Soundtracks

Doctor Who Theme Song
(uncredited)
Written by Ron Grainer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not as big a disaster as some of the reviews say it is.
30 July 2004 | by DaggernowSee 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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