As our own Sarah Moran observed this morning, if you haven’t had a chance yet to see the new Doctor Who pre-“Day of the Doctor” minisode, “Night of the Doctor” then drop what you’re doing and watch it now. Good, so now that you’ve watched it, read below to learn what mastermind Steven Moffat has to say about that blast from the past, and how and why he thought it was a good idea to bring this person back to the TARDIS after all this time.
So if you watched “Night of the Doctor” then you know it featured the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, who’s long been the proverbial red-haired step-child, the George Lazenby if you will, of Dcotors. His sole (canonical) appearance was in the FOX produced 1996 TV movie – until now, as the minisode features the end of Eight and the dawn of the previously never-before-heard-of-or-seen “War Doctor” portrayed by John Hurt. It was a secret well kept, but now that it’s known, Who writer and executive producer Moffat told the BBC blog all about it:
Well, we had our new ‘hidden mystery’ Doctor and I was thinking, what else can we do for our anniversary year… I thought… Why don’t we get Paul McGann in and regenerate him into John Hurt? I’d like to see that! I’d love to see that! And we had this possibility that we could do it as a surprise, so we got in touch with Paul who was dead keen and I’m delighted to say he was so happy to join in with the idea of keeping it secret. He was childishly excited about it!
Paul came along and shot it – it was the last two days of the shoot for the fiftieth, actually. He did a wonderful job. It was great! We designed a new costume for him based on his old one. Howard Burden did a fantastic job with that.
Now the question is what else has Moffat managed to keep from us? Things have been rather cagey in regards to other characters and Easter eggs that might appear in the 50th anniversary special besides David Tennant and Billie Piper as the Tenth Doctor and his companion Rose respectively. For instance, if we’ve now seen McGann regenerate into Hurt, does that mean we might also see Hurt regenerate into Christopher Eccleston‘s Ninth Doctor? (I know he’s been emphatic in his negativity, but two minutes of Doctor Who fan service will surely be a better use of his time than the entirety of his role as Malekith in Thor: The Dark World. Am I right, folks?)
We’ll know for certain when “The Day of the Doctor” airs worldwide on November 23. In the meantime, enjoy this promo shot of Eighth Doctor Paul McGann.
Source: The Mary Sue