The Movie
Episode / February 6, 2016

Aired 14 May 1996 Seven years after the final episode of ‘Survival’ aired, Doctor Who returned to screens in 1996 with an American co-production in what was hoped to serve as a backdoor pilot for an ongoing series. With a tumultuous scripting and production cycle, the results were mixed, ultimately offering fans only a glimpse of what could have been. Possibly the biggest issue that plagued The Movie when airing is that it contained too many nods to the past. While long-term Doctor Who fans unquestionably appreciated even the seemingly innocuous references like the presence of gold dust in the TARDIS, the entire plot was based heavily around mythology that must have seemed overwhelming to potential newcomers to the franchise. This applies even to the titular hero as audiences are treated to two incarnations of the Time Lord. Sylvester McCoy is spectacular in the expository scene, reprising his Seventh Doctor in a more subdued, nuanced role. However, room must be made for the hopeful new lead in Paul McGann and so, after being unceremoniously gunned down in the streets of San Francisco with the millennium looming, McCoy’s Doctor meets his end as the surgeon Grace Holloway makes a fatal operating…