Doctor Who (film)
|Doctor Who Television Movie|
The Doctor and the Master in their climactic battle.
|Directed by||Geoffrey Sax|
|Produced by||Peter V. Ware
Matthew Jacobs (co-producer)
|Written by||Matthew Jacobs|
|Based on||Doctor Who|
Yee Jee Tso
|Music by||John Debney
|Release date(s)||12 May 1996 (Canada)
14 May 1996 (USA)
27 May 1996 (UK)
|Running time||85 mins (UK)
89 mins (US)
Doctor Who is a British-American film continuing the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Developed as a co-production between Universal Studios, BBC Films, BBC Worldwide, 20th Century Fox and the American network Fox, the 1996 television film premiered on 12 May 1996 on CITV in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (which was owned by WIC at the time before being acquired by Canwest Global in 2000), 15 days before its first showing in the United Kingdom on BBC One and two days before being broadcast in the United States on Fox. It was also shown in some countries for a limited time in cinemas.
The film was the first attempt to revive Doctor Who following its suspension in 1989. It was intended as a back-door pilot for a new American-produced Doctor Who TV series and introduced Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in his only televised appearance as the character. It is also the only appearance of Daphne Ashbrook as companion Grace Holloway. Although a ratings success in the United Kingdom, the film did not fare well on American television and no series was commissioned. The series was later relaunched on the BBC in 2005. The only official Doctor Who episodes between the film and the new series were a 1999 spoof, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death, and a 2003 animation, Scream of the Shalka.
Although the film was primarily produced by different hands than the 1963–89 series and intended for an American audience, the producers chose not to produce a "re-imagining" or "reboot" of the series (examples of such proposals can be found in Jean-Marc Lofficier's book The Nth Doctor (Virgin Publishing, 1997)), but rather a continuation of the original narrative. The production was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, to date the only episode of Doctor Who filmed in Canada.
As the film opens, The Master has been tried on Skaro and found guilty of a "list of evil crimes". His death sentence at the hands of the Daleks has been carried out. His last wish was for his remains to be returned to Gallifrey by his archenemy, the Doctor, currently in his seventh incarnation.
During the trip back to Gallifrey in the Doctor's TARDIS, the vessel shakes, causing the box containing the Master's remains to shatter and allowing a sentient ooze to escape from it. The ooze enters the TARDIS controls and forces an emergency landing in Chinatown in San Francisco, California on 30 December 1999. As the Doctor steps from the TARDIS to find his bearings, he is shot by a gang who are chasing down Chang Lee, a young Chinese-American man. Lee calls for an ambulance, and the Doctor is rushed to a nearby hospital. The surgeons find, through X-rays, that the Doctor has two hearts, but they assume the X-ray image is a double exposure. As cardiologist Dr Grace Holloway starts to operate with a cardiac probe, the Doctor wakes up, tells her that he needs a beryllium atomic clock, and then falls into a seizure, eventually flat-lining. Dr Holloway declares the Doctor dead, and his body is placed into a morgue. Lee steals the Doctor's possessions, including the TARDIS key, and runs off. Meanwhile, the ooze, which had stowed itself away on the ambulance, attacks and takes over the body of the ambulance driver, Bruce. When Bruce's wife questions his odd behaviour, the Master, now controlling his body, murders her.
Late in the night, the Doctor regenerates into a new body, and leaves the morgue in a state of confusion, donning parts of costumes intended for the New Year's party later that night. He follows Dr Holloway as she leaves the hospital, and convinces her that he is the same man she operated on earlier. Dr Holloway, who has resigned from her job at the hospital, after the hospital covering up the Doctor's presence there, takes the Doctor home. Meanwhile, Lee has returned to the TARDIS with the key, and entered the time machine. The Master arrives soon afterwards and tells Lee that the Doctor stole the TARDIS from him, as well as his body, which he wants to retrieve. He convinces Lee to open the Eye of Harmony, thanks to his human retinal pattern. The Doctor recovers his memory and tries to keep his own eyes shut to prevent the Master from seeing through them, as that would allow him to take over the Doctor's body. The Doctor also warns Dr Holloway that if they do not shut the Eye before midnight, the entire planet may be sucked into it, and that to close it, he needs an atomic clock. Dr Holloway disbelieves the Doctor initially, but when he demonstrates that the nature of reality is already changing by walking through her bay windows without breaking them, she agrees to take him to the unveiling of an atomic clock at the San Francisco Institute of Technological Advancement and Research. They are given a lift to the Institute in an ambulance driven by Lee and the Master, whom the Doctor does not yet recognise. However, when the Master removes his sunglasses, revealing non-human eyes, the Doctor and Dr Holloway abandon the ambulance and steal a police motorcycle, but not before the Master is able to shoot Dr Holloway's wrist with a strange, bile-like fluid.
At the Institute, the Doctor and Dr Holloway manage to collect the integrated circuit chip with the atomic clock mechanism by subterfuge, and make their way back to the TARDIS. Once there, the Doctor is able to install the chip and close the Eye, but discovers that that Eye has been open far too long, and that they must revert time to before the Eye was opened to prevent the destruction of the Earth. However, before the Doctor can route power to the TARDIS, the Master is able to use the bile on Dr Holloway's wrist to control her, and forces her to knock out the Doctor. The Doctor is chained above the Eye, his eyes forced open so as to allow the Master to take his remaining regenerations. When the Doctor awakes, he tries to talk Lee out of the Master's spell but to no avail; however, when the Master lies to Lee in order to get him to open the Eye again, Lee refuses, causing the Master to break his neck. The Master then uses his control of Dr Holloway to open the Eye, though this breaks his control of her. While the Master begins the process of transferring the Doctor's remaining regenerations to him, Dr Holloway is able to connect the last power circuit in the console room, sending the TARDIS into a time-holding pattern just moments after the turn of midnight, staving off destruction of the Earth. When Dr Holloway tries to return to help the Doctor, she is thrown over a balcony and killed by the Master, but her interference has given the Doctor enough time to push the Master into the Eye itself, apparently killing him. The action causes the Eye to close, and time to revert back to a few moments before midnight, bringing both Dr Holloway and Lee back to life.
As the three recover, they find the world is safe. As Lee departs after returning the rest of the Doctor's possessions, the Doctor warns him not to be in San Francisco next year during New Year's Eve. The Doctor then asks Dr Holloway to travel with him in the TARDIS, but she politely refuses and also leaves. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS and pilots off to a new adventure.
- Paul McGann (Eighth Doctor)
- Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor)
- Daphne Ashbrook (Grace Holloway)
- Yee Jee Tso – Chang Lee
- Eric Roberts – The Master
- John Novak – Salinger
- Michael David Simms – Dr. Swift
- Eliza Roberts – Miranda
- Dave Hurtubise – Professor Wagg
- Dolores Drake – Curtis
- Catherine Lough – Wheeler
- William Sasso – Pete
- Joel Wirkkunen – Ted
- Jeremy Radick – Gareth
- Bill Croft – Motorcyclist Policeman
- Mi-Jung Lee – News Anchor
- Joanna Piros – News Anchor
- Dee Jay Jackson – Security Man
- Gordon Tipple – The Old Master
The Doctor 
- The television movie remains Paul McGann's sole televised story as the Doctor. It has nonetheless had a significant impact on the Doctor Who mythos, with an ongoing Doctor Who novel line, comic strip, and audio series that featured the Eighth Doctor for years, until and beyond the TV series' return in 2005. The Eighth Doctor has also featured in a series of BBC7 audio plays since 2007.
- The Seventh Doctor is seen wearing a different costume from the one he wore during his 1987-1989 tenure: gone are the question mark pullover and umbrella. The costume does include the original hat, which is actually owned by Sylvester McCoy.
- When reluctantly filling out an emergency medical treatment form, Chang Lee (who had only met the semi-conscious Seventh Doctor minutes earlier and did not know his identity) gives the Doctor's name as "John Smith", a recurring alias originally given to the Second Doctor by companion Jamie McCrimmon in The Wheel in Space.
- Although the Doctor has never regenerated the same way twice (although his 9th and 10th regenerations were similar to each other), the depiction here is particularly unusual in that, unlike all other regenerations, it sets in long after the Doctor's apparent "death", a condition apparently caused by the anaesthetic in the Doctor's system.
- While rummaging through lockers in search of clothing, the Doctor momentarily examines a long, multi-coloured scarf, similar to that worn by the Fourth Doctor. The Eighth Doctor also offers a policeman a jelly baby, a favourite confectionery of the Second, Fourth and (as seen in the opening scenes) Seventh Doctors. A 900-year diary is also fleetingly visible in the TARDIS (a 500-year diary was associated with the Second Doctor).
- This marks the second time when the newly-regenerated Doctor dons his new clothes by taking them from a hospital, the Third Doctor having previously taken the clothes belonging to a consultant in Spearhead from Space; the Eleventh Doctor would again steal his clothes from a hospital in The Eleventh Hour.
- Significant to the plot is the premise that the Doctor is half-human, "on [his] mother's side". This fact has proved extremely controversial among series' fans. The issue was referenced a number of times in the BBC books featuring the Eighth Doctor, which either seek to explain it or elaborate on it. Alien Bodies subtly suggests that it is just the Eighth Doctor who is half-human, while other books (such as Unnatural History and The Gallifrey Chronicles) suggest that the Doctor's human mother was a Victorian Lady called Penelope Gate, and his Time Lord father was called Ulysses. Another explanation is offered in The Taking of Planet 5, where it is suggested that the Doctor has become half-human as a result of repeated regenerations around humans, where he absorbed bits of their DNA. The issue was not addressed on-screen again, though in "Journey's End", a second version of the Doctor is created whose physiology had, through the unique circumstances involved, been created as a combination of the Doctor's and his human companion's physiologies; the new Doctor unenthusiastically explores his newly half-human body. In the 2008 Doctor Who comic book The Forgotten the Doctor states that, prior to regenerating, he used the Chameleon Arch to create the fiction of being half-human in order to deceive the Master.
- Although the Doctor experienced some arguably romantic situations in stories such as The Aztecs, the movie is the first time the Doctor's sexuality is overtly explored on-screen. This tendency carries over to the revived series, and its portrayal of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors.
- In the 2007 episode "Human Nature", in which the Doctor presented sketches of his previous incarnations, the Eighth Doctor appears most prominently. In 2008, the Eighth Doctor made another cameo in "The Next Doctor", in a sequence of clips, counting up the ten Doctors to date, followed by two similar cameos in 2010 in "The Eleventh Hour" and "The Lodger", as well as Nightmare in Silver in 2013.
Daleks and the Master 
- Although the Doctor's most famous alien adversaries, the Daleks, are not seen in the film, they are heard condemning the Master to death during the film's opening sequence (sporting their trademark war cry of: "EX-TER-MIN-ATE!", though their voices are much more high-pitched than before).
- This remains Eric Roberts' sole appearance as the Master. See also List of guest appearances in Doctor Who.
- This would also be the Master's last official television appearance in Doctor Who until the 2007 episode "Utopia". In the following episode, "The Sound of Drums", it is stated that the Time Lords themselves resurrected him to use him in the Time War.
- The Master tried to use the Eye of Harmony to obtain a new set of regenerations before, in The Deadly Assassin. He was also offered a new set of regenerations by the Time Lords in The Five Doctors, but his continued quest for regenerations in later stories like Planet of Fire implies that he never received them.
- The Master's snake form is given an explanation in the spin-off novel The Eight Doctors and in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip "The Fallen".
The TARDIS 
- Although the TARDIS interior changed several times throughout the original series, the movie's set was the most dramatic change yet, replacing the sterile white corridors and "roundel"-based design with a steampunk theme reminiscent of Jules Verne. Several subsequent tie-in novels attempted to explain the change.
- This film introduces the idea of including Earth-centric elements on the TARDIS control console, such as an early 20th-Century automobile handbrake, apparently used for a similar purpose. This was used again in the 2005 and 2010 designs of the console.
- As established in The Deadly Assassin (1976), the Eye of Harmony is held on Gallifrey; its presence on the TARDIS therefore seems a peculiar inclusion for the movie. Fan theory quickly resolved the conflict by speculating that the "Eye" on the TARDIS was merely a spatiotemporal link to the actual Eye on Gallifrey, a feature presumably contained on all TARDIS craft as a source of energy. This theory soon found its way into licensed material such as the BBC novel range. Notably, in the revived series, in which Gallifrey has been destroyed, the TARDIS lacks its own power source, and must draw power from fissures in the fabric of reality. A later episode, The Sound of Drums, may also support the link theory; it is revealed that after falling into the Eye, the Master is revived by the Time Lords without the Doctor's knowledge. The 2013 episode Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS however, depicts the Eye as located on the TARDIS itself, like in the movie.
- The film further states that the "Eye" can only be opened with the scan of a human retina, a fact apparently tied to the Doctor's own human retinal pattern. The 2000 Big Finish audio play The Apocalypse Element attempts to explain this decision by introducing a plot point in which the eye of the Sixth Doctor's companion Evelyn Smythe is keyed to a Gallifreyan security system so as to confound enemy expectations by allowing entry only to the most unlikely of candidates, the Doctor speculating after the crisis is over that the TARDIS may retain some sensitivity to human eyes in the future.
- The golden "fairy dust" emitted from the Eye that resurrects Grace and Chang Lee, though unprecedented within the series and unexplained within the movie, is to some extent evoked in several episodes of the revived series. Those references include "The Parting of the Ways", in which Rose Tyler wrenches open the console to absorb the energies of the Time Vortex, thereby obtaining control over life and death. In this case, the Vortex energies are again depicted as a sort of golden dust. Furthermore, shortly after their respective regenerations in The Christmas Invasion and The Eleventh Hour, both the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor are seen to emit this golden dust from their mouths.
- The Doctor's reference to the Chameleon Circuit as a "cloaking device" was for a while another point of criticism within the fan community. As with "regeneration", the device has taken on many names throughout the history of the series. Russell T Davies referenced the criticism in the 2005 episode "Boom Town"; when at one point Rose Tyler refers to a cloaking device, the Doctor corrects her.
References to other stories 
- 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 Doctor shared an adventure with Wells in the Sixth Doctor serial Timelash and would meet him again in the Tenth Doctor comic "The Time Machination". In 1973's Frontier in Space, the Master is seen reading Wells' The War of the Worlds. In the untelevised story Shada, Professor Chronotis can be seen with a copy of The Time Machine, which is later visible throughout the episode.
- This is one of six Doctor Who adventures to be set on New Year's Eve 1999 and New Year's Day 2000. The comic strip Plastic Millennium, published in the Doctor Who Magazine Winter 1994 Special; Craig Hinton's Virgin Missing Adventures novel Millennial Rites (October 1995); Justin Richards's Past Doctor Adventures novel Millennium Shock (May 1999), the Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins story "Suitors, Inc." (2005) and the Fourth Doctor's segment from the comic The Forgotten (2008) all take place on those dates, as do elements of the Torchwood episode "Fragments".
- The "time tunnel" effect of the 2005 Doctor Who series onwards is reminiscent of the vortex that the TARDIS travels through in the opening credits and climax of the television movie.
|Episode||Broadcast date||Run time||Viewers
|"Doctor Who"||12 May 1996
14 May 1996 (US)
27 May 1996 (UK)
- The decreased run time in the UK is not due to editing, but is a result of PAL speedup.
Producer Philip Segal had been trying for some years to launch a new American-produced series of Doctor Who, but the Fox Network — the only American network that showed any interest — was only prepared to commit to a single telemovie. It was hoped that, would the telemovie be successful, Fox might be persuaded to reconsider a series; however, the telemovie's ratings performance in America was not strong enough to hold Fox's interest.
The production budget for the movie (as revealed in the book Doctor Who: Regeneration) was US$5 million, with the Fox Network spending $2.5 million, BBC Television contributing $300,000, and the remaining $2.2 million split between BBC Worldwide and Universal Television.
Miranda, the wife of Bruce, is played by Eric Roberts' real-life wife, Eliza Roberts.
The producers of the television movie compiled several lists of actors to consider for the part of the Doctor. Among early thoughts were Michael Crawford, Tim Curry, Eric Idle, Billy Connolly, Trevor Eve, Michael Palin, Robert Lindsay, and Jonathan Pryce. All were uninterested in the project, or unavailable for the intended filming dates.
Casting sessions took place in March 1994; actors who actually auditioned for the role include Liam Cunningham, Mark McGann, Robert Lindsay, Tim McInnerny, Nathaniel Parker, Peter Woodward, John Sessions, Anthony Head, and Tony Slattery. Paul McGann was first considered around the time of these auditions, but did not formally audition for the part until later.
Anthony Head would later work on a number of Doctor Who-related projects — including audio dramas, narrating Doctor Who Confidential, and guest-starring in the 2006 episode School Reunion — as would Tim McInnerny in the 2008 story "Planet of the Ood".
The movie was filmed on 35mm film in Vancouver, British Columbia, the first time any Doctor Who story had been filmed in North America (although the 1985 Sixth Doctor story The Two Doctors was originally planned for New Orleans). It is, to date, the only Doctor Who production to be entirely mounted outside of the UK (whereas all other episodes shot on foreign soil included at least some studio taping in the UK).
In the 2005 Doctor Who Confidential episode "Weird Science", Sylvester McCoy reveals that during the sequence where he locks the casket with his sonic screwdriver, he held the tool pointing the wrong way around (although in the original series, it is seen being used both ways). The sonic screwdriver was blurred in post-production to conceal the error. This is also the only time the Seventh Doctor was seen using a sonic screwdriver.
The opening pre-credits sequence went through a number of modifications, with several different voice-overs recorded. At one stage the voice-over was to be made by the old Master, played by Gordon Tipple; in the end this was not used. Tipple is still credited as "The Old Master", though in the final edit his appearance is very brief, stationary, and mute. Had the original pre-titles voice-over been used, it would have been unclear what incarnation of the Doctor Sylvester McCoy portrays in the movie (as he is simply credited as "The Old Doctor"). Only the rewritten narration (as read by Paul McGann) makes his number of regenerations clear. The sequence of the TARDIS flying through the time vortex was briefly reused in the opening of Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death, as the Master observes Rowan Atkinson's Doctor.
Instead of designing a new Doctor Who logo for this film, it was decided instead to use a modified version of the logo that was used for the Jon Pertwee era of the original series (with the exception of the final season). This logo, being the last logo used on an "official" Doctor Who broadcast before the 2005 revival, is to this day used by the BBC for most Doctor Who merchandise relating to the first eight Doctors.
John Debney was commissioned to write the score for this film, and intended to replace Ron Grainer's original theme with a new composition. Ultimately Debney did in fact use an arrangement of Grainer's music for the theme, although Grainer goes uncredited.
Alternative titles and labelling 
There is some disagreement over exactly what the movie should be called. The production documentation only referred to the project as Doctor Who. Segal suggested the unofficial title Enemy Within as an alternative at Manopticon 5, apparently after being repeatedly asked what the actual title for the movie was. Both Region 2 DVD releases are labelled Doctor Who and The Movie. The VHS release contains both the name Doctor Who and the name The Sensational Feature Length Film (this one probably intended to be a subtitle). The most common fan usage appears to refer to it as "the television movie", the "TVM", or variations thereof.
Upon translation into French, this film was renamed Le Seigneur du Temps ("The Timelord").
"TVM" is the production code used in the BBC's online episode guide. The actual code used during production is 50/LDX071Y/01X. Doctor Who Magazine's "Complete Eighth Doctor Special" gives the production code as #83705. Big Finish Productions uses the code 8A, and numbers its subsequent Eighth Doctor stories correspondingly.
Cast notes 
- Yee Jee Tso would later return in 2002 to play Major Jal Brant in the Seventh Doctor audio drama Excelis Decays and Doctor Reece Goddard in the Sixth Doctor webcast Real Time.
- Daphne Ashbrook would later return in 2004 alongside Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor as Perfection in the audio drama The Next Life.
Broadcast and reception 
Commercials on the Fox network advertising the film used special effects footage from the 1986 story The Trial of a Time Lord, although this footage was not used in the movie. This marked the first time that footage from the original BBC series had been shown on a major American network. The advertisements also used a different arrangement of the Doctor Who theme music from that heard in the film.
The movie received disappointing US ratings (partly due to the popularity of the programmes it was up against, partly because of poor marketing by the Fox Network, and partly because of unfamiliarity with the British series amongst a mainstream American TV audience). It received 5.6 million viewers, a total 9% share of the audience. However, when shown on BBC One in the United Kingdom on Monday 27 May at 8.30pm, thirteen days after its American broadcast, it received over 9 million viewers in the UK alone (the highest drama ratings in Britain for the whole week).
Third Doctor actor Jon Pertwee died a few days after the US broadcast of the film, and the UK broadcast included an epitaph to the actor. The UK broadcast was also edited for broadcast in a pre-Watershed timeslot. The scenes where Chang Lee's friends are fired upon was cut because of the BBC's sensitivity about gun violence following the Dunblane massacre three months before. The operating room scene was also extensively cut, in particular the seventh Doctor's dying scream.
Commercial releases 
The movie was scheduled to be released on home video in the United Kingdom several weeks before broadcast to capitalize on the interest in the series returning. However, the British Board of Film Classification required the video release to have the same edits as the broadcast version, and so the release was delayed to a week prior to its debut broadcast on BBC One. Hundreds of fans queued in London at midnight in order to buy a copy at the earliest possible moment, however overall sales were impacted by the now-imminent broadcast.
The unedited version was released on DVD in the UK in 2001 titled as Doctor Who: The Movie, and was re-released in 2007 as a limited edition with an alternative cover sleeve (but with no change in content) as part of a series of classic series re-releases aimed at attracting fans of the revived series to the older shows.
Both the edited and unedited versions have also been released in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
The 2010 DVD box set Revisitations contains the movie with a new, updated Special Edition DVD features. It included a new commentary with Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy, an hour-long documentary on the time in between the film and the series' cancellation in 1989, a documentary on the 7 years it took to get the film made, a documentary on the 8th Doctor's comic strip adventures, a documentary on the media reaction the 8th Doctor, a documentary on the ties with Blue Peter and Doctor Who as well as all of the original features including the original commentary with Geoffrey Sax. On August 25, 2010, Dan Hall of 2entertain confirmed that this updated version would be released in North America sometime in the next twelve months following extensive negotiations with Universal Studios. Two months afterward, a North American DVD release date for the 2-disc Doctor Who: The Movie - Special Edition was announced to be February 8, 2011.
Soundtrack release 
|Doctor Who - Original Soundtrack Recording|
|Soundtrack album by John Debney|
|Label||John Debney Productions|
|Doctor Who soundtrack chronology|
Music from the movie was on a promotional-only soundtrack album published by the composer, John Debney. Additional music was contributed by John Sponsler and Louis Febre. Although the composer of the Doctor Who Theme, Ron Grainer, did not receive screen credit for his composition in the TV movie broadcast, the CD finally attributes the proper credit on its cover.
Track listing 
- Prologue: Skaro[a] / "DOCTOR WHO" Theme[b]
- Wimps[a] / Doctor #7 is Shot[c]
- X-Ray[a] / Snake in the Bathroom[c]
- "Who Am I?"[d]
- City Scape[c]
- Primitive Wiring[d] / The Unbruce[e]
- Two Hearts[e]
- The Tardis[e] / True Identity[e]
- Night Walk[e]
- The Eye of Harmony[d] / Half Human[d]
- Until Midnight[d] / Atomic Clock[d]
- Green Eyes[a]
- The Chase[c]
- Beryllium Clock[d] / Bragg's Key[d]
- Under the Influence[d]
- Crown of Nails[c]
- Lee's Last Chance[c]
- "Open The Eye"[c]
- "Reroute Power!"[a] / Temporal Orbit[e]
- To Hold Death Back[e]
- End Credits - "DOCTOR WHO" Theme[b]
- Composed by John Sponsler
- Contains "Doctor Who" composed by Ron Grainer
- Composed by John Debney and John Sponsler
- Composed by Louis Febre
- Composed by John Debney and Louis Febre
CD credits 
- Music Score produced by John Debney
- Executive album producers: John J. Alcantar III and Thomas C. Stewart
- Music Editor: Laurie Slomka
CD Edited and mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland CD Art direction: Mark Banning Front Cover concept: David Hirsch
Special Thanks to Ryan K. Johnson
In print 
The television movie was novelised by Gary Russell and published by BBC Books in May 1996. It was the first novelisation of a televised Doctor Who story to not be published by Target Books (or related companies) since Doctor Who and the Crusaders in 1965. It is also the last official novelisation of a televised Doctor Who story to date.
Basing the adaptation on an early draft of the script, Russell adjusted some details to make it more consistent with the original series, and the novelisation also contains elements that were cut from the shooting script for timing reasons.
- The novel begins with the Seventh Doctor receiving a telepathic summons from the Master (similar to The Deadly Assassin) to collect his remains from Skaro and a short prologue detailing how the Doctor escapes from the planet with the casket. This was originally intended to be a pre-credits sequence in the movie, and was subsequently contradicted by the ending of the novel Lungbarrow, where Romana gives the Seventh Doctor the assignment to retrieve the Master's remains.
- More detail is given to Chang Lee and Grace's backstory, including his recruitment into the Triads and his seeking a father figure as well as flashbacks to Grace's childhood.
- The Eighth Doctor finds the Seventh Doctor's clothing in the hospital rather than the Fourth Doctor's scarf. Also, the sequence where Chang Lee and the Master see the Seventh Doctor in the Eye of Harmony features all the previous Doctors as originally drafted.
- The scene where the Doctor and Grace meet the motorcycle police officer is relocated to a traffic jam on the Golden Gate Bridge (impossible to film in the movie since it was shot on location in Vancouver).
- When the Doctor first kisses Grace, he immediately pulls back, grins apologetically and murmurs, "I'm sorry, don't know what came over me there." This makes the romantic nature of the kiss more ambiguous. Instead of the second kiss at the end, he gives her the Seventh Doctor's straw hat as a memento.
- The Doctor is still referred to as half-human, to which the Master comments, "The Doctor once claimed to be more than just a Time Lord — He should really have said less than a Time Lord!" This was a reference to a line cut from Survival.
- Instead of dying and being brought back to life, Grace and Lee are merely rendered unconscious, though aware of what is happening around them. Russell also spends some time showing the Doctor and them discussing what a "temporal orbit" is.
The novelisation was the first Doctor Who novel published by BBC Books. The book was actually published prior to the conclusion of Virgin Books' contract for publishing original Doctor Who fiction, so the next release by BBC Books did not occur for about a year when the Eighth Doctor Adventures series began with The Eight Doctors. The novelisation was released as a standalone work and is not considered part of this series. The Eighth Doctor Adventures series ran until 2005 when it was discontinued.
- Segal, Philip; Gary Russell (2000). Doctor Who:Regeneration. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-710591-6.
- Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1995). The Discontinuity Guide. Doctor Who Books.
- BBC fact file
- Bailey, David (April 2011). "Doctor Who". Doctor Who Magazine (Panini Comics) (#433): 53.
- Shaun Lyon et al. "Doctor Who: The Movie". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- "Doctor Who". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Sullivan, Shannon. "Doctor Who (1996)". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- Howe, David J.; Walker, Stephen James. "The TV Movie: Details". Doctor Who: The Television Companion. BBC Doctor Who website. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
- "The DWM Archive: Doctor Who (1996) - In Production". Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition (5). 2003-09-03 (cover date). p. 69
- "Doctor Who - Excelis Decays". Big Finish.
- "Doctor Who - Real Time". Big Finish.
- "Doctor Who - The Next Life". Big Finish.
- Bailey, David (April 2011). "Doctor Who". Doctor Who Magazine (Panini Comics) (#433): 61.
- Lambert, David (2010-10-27). "Doctor Who - Announced for February DVD: 'The Movie: Special Edition' and 'Story #063: The Mutants'".
- Doctor Who - Original Soundtrack Recording (CD Booklet). John Debney Productions. 1997. JDCD 005.
- "Millenium Effect". Retrieved 2008-09-28.
- Subsequent novelisations have been published based upon the webcast serial Scream of the Shalka, numerous episodes of the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the unbroadcast serial Shada.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Eighth Doctor|
- Doctor Who (1996) on TARDIS Data Core, an external wiki
- Doctor Who (1996) (TV) at the Internet Movie Database
- The TV movie at BBC Online
- Doctor Who (1996) at Doctor Who: A Brief History Of Time (Travel)
- Doctor Who (1996) reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide
- The Whoniverse's review on Doctor Who: The Enemy Within DVD
BBC novelisation