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How would you have done the 1996 Movie?


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Old 02-07-2013, 11:14
TheSilentFez
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In my opinion, one of the greatest shames of Doctor Who is that McGann's only episode as the Doctor was no-where near as good as it could have been. So let's pretend the production team had the gift of hindsight and knew that their film would not be successful enough to launch a full series so they only had one chance to make a memorable adventure for the Eighth Doctor. What should they have done? Should they have done something completely different or are there only one or two things you would have changed?

I would still start off with the Seventh Doctor's regeneration, only I'd make it much quicker. I'd have Seven being shot right at the beginning only to regenerate a few minutes later in front of the paramedics and Grace (who would either have been a paramedic or a doctor travelling with them), but not without first having some decent last words for McCoy so he could go out with a little more dignity. McGann would be introduced within 10 minutes of the start of the episode and like Tom Baker in Robot, he would immediately launch into the action without any of this amnesia business.

I'd completely remove the Master from the plot and make the main adversary either the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Ice Warriors or some other well designed alien threat because the Master has always been a bit rubbish especially when he is the only adversary.
I'd keep the Los Angeles setting, the plotline of some force threatening to rip apart time, the plot device of the atomic clock, the motorbike chase and the controversial plotline of the Doctor going back on his own time line near the end, but there'd be none of this trying to steal the Doctor's regenerations, no half-human business and there wouldn't really be any need for the Eye of Harmony.

The adversaries would be used well and would be made to be genuinely scary and overall, McGann would be given more opportunities to shine and give a memorable performance.
And yes, I'd still have him kiss Grace. It sets the scene for all the kissing the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors would be doing later on.

What would you have done? Would you have changed some elements or would you have a completely different story featuring McGann?
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:30
gordonjohnston
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First I would have cut the nonsense voice over at the start (they could still do this on the DVD actually). It is so bad it is offensive plus ignores logic and just sounds daft.

Cut the "half human" line.

I didn't like the whole steal the Doctor's lives plot. This should never be a plot and shouldn't have been used with River Song either.

All the above things were alienating.

The rest of it isn't that bad. Maybe they should have used Daleks instead of the Master though. I'm bored with them but back then they could have imparted some atmosphere which I think is lacking.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:13
Shoppy
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Something like this...


The Master's (Alan Rickman) survival is due to him having made a deal with the Daleks and their creator Davros (Joss Ackland).

The Daleks have spared the Master and agreed to keep his survival secret from the Time Lords in return for him helping to set up their planned invasion of Earth.

To evade the Time Lords' justice, the Master wants to steal, not the Doctor's lives, but his identity and his TARDIS.

Both are trying to Double cross each other - The Daleks intend to keep the Doctor's TARDIS, convert the Doctor into a Dalek that can pilot it for them and kill the Master so as to appear to have kept their agreement with the Time Lords.

The Master intends to destroy the Dalek mother ship by blowing it up with the Doctor on board (in close enough proximity to also take out the Doctor's beloved Earth), ensuring the Time Lords don't know he survived the Daleks' trial.

The Doctor builds a new K9 unit at some point in the film and Chang Lee accompanies him when he leaves.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:40
Dr. Linus
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1) Cut the regeneration altogether. It wastes far too much time and only alienates casual viewers. The new series didn't need it, and neither did the TV Movie.

2) Get some sort of imagery from the classic series involved (not just the stupid Time Lord outfits that were always laughable anyway). A visual montage of the Doctors, the sight of a Dalek, something like that.

3) Actually do some travelling in the TARDIS - this, after all, is the main format of the show.

4) Make the whole thing less obviously dated - setting the story in an imagined 1999 meant the episode was dated and of its time just a few years after broadcast, and these days just breathes 1990s out of every pore.

5) Don't have the story take place in America. A quintessentially British franchise needs to stay true to those roots.

6) Include some actual aliens, not just The Master or humanoid aliens. Capitalise on the high-concept nature of the show.

7) Introduce a new permanent companion who resonates with the audience.

8) Get rid of all the stupid continuity references and mythology gags - the Eye of Harmony, the half-human thing, the Master's regeneration cycle, they all need to go.

I'm confident that these changes would have made for a much better TVM.
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Old 02-07-2013, 13:08
Tino_Rozzo
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No doubt we all feel McGann is the most neglected talent. It was a big mistake to run the Movie against Rosanne. The shows final episode and most highly rated that evening.

The movie was good, I agree the Daleks or Cybermen should have been in the movie,.

The possibility of revival would have been better. My mother, hated Doctor who, but loved McGann as the Doctor. There should be an 8th Doctor series.

Moffat was wrong, it wan't that British Show. It was in many areas second to Star Trek and needed more exposure. It should have died right there.

We have a petition at care2.com, The petition Site

tinyurl dot com/pgpetition
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Old 02-07-2013, 13:20
Tino_Rozzo
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Help out, make it go viral.
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Old 02-07-2013, 13:41
Dr. Linus
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An 8th Doctor series will never happen because it would overshadow the main series too much (not to mention, rob the main series of some of its budget).

And outside of the core fanbase there is no real audience for it. I'm afraid that I can't see any possibility of it happening

There is, however, quite a strong likelihood of him making an appearance in the 50th.
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Old 02-07-2013, 13:57
Philip_Lamb
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I'd have set it in Britain, cut the half human crap and the love angle between them. It'll have been some sorta moron or lawyer who'd have advised that all that would make the show more "accessable" and appealing but it just alienated fans.
The Master if used properly is just as threatening and chilling as any other foe. Look at Derek Jacobi's all too brief portrayal. I'll take Eric Roberts Master over John Simms any day.
It should have had someone in charge who'd at least watched the show and I'd have given McCoys doctor a meaningful death.
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:01
Shoppy
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The Master if used properly is just as threatening and chilling as any other foe. Look at Derek Jacobi's all too brief portrayal. I'll take Eric Roberts Master over John Simms any day.
I wasn't keen on Jacobi's delivery, I thought it was CBBC-meets-Dennis Hopper, though he was excellent until the fob watch moment.

I much preferred Simm to Roberts, he's probably my second favourite incarnation after Ainley, but I do wish they'd left out the disco moments!
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:08
Shawn_Lunn
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Aside from cutting the half human bit and maybe actually seeing the Daleks onscreen, nothing really.

Okay then, I would've given an onscreen explanation why Ace wasn't there.
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:20
Rowls
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I'd have done my best to create a story whereby we met the new reincarnation of the Doctor through the eyes of a normal human and explored the mystery that way.

Something along the lines of 'Rose' would perhaps have worked well to reboot the series and establish it back in the prime time slot. Just a thought.
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:32
Mulett
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NO regeneration, just start with Paul McGann.

It wasted valuable time and would have confused new viewers.
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:33
Shoppy
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I'd have done my best to create a story whereby we met the new reincarnation of the Doctor through the eyes of a normal human and explored the mystery that way.

Something along the lines of 'Rose' would perhaps have worked well to reboot the series and establish it back in the prime time slot. Just a thought.
Rose has to me always had something of the feel of the TV Movie about it, it's that meets Spearhead From Space
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:36
So 3008
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For a start I wouldn't alienate the audience with a constant bombardment of continuity references right from the opening titles. The new series got it right, drip-feeding the mythos over the course of a series+ and not shoving references to the Daleks, the Master, the Timelords, the past eight Doctors and the thirteen regeneration limit all in the first ten seconds. The movie was destined to fail the minute they asked McCoy back.
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Old 02-07-2013, 14:56
MinkytheDog
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I'd have either have kept McCoy - no regeneration - or gone directly to McGann (as they did with Eccles) and I'd have made it a more like the 2005+ "Christmas specials" with no time watsed explaining that "I'm not human" etc etc. And no trying to reinvent the wheel with a "half-human" Doctor or a "glowing slug" Master - and FFS - no basing the whole thing around 1/1/2000 cos that 100% guaranteed it would age badly.

I would definitely have gone with the Tardis they came-up with - loved the sitting room at the begining (and end) and the big, gothic interiors were great.

With hindsight - just have him slap-bang in the middle of the Time War and don't even bother with companions, Earth and all that drivel.
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Old 02-07-2013, 15:02
SpringheelJack
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Either it had to be McCoy's last hurrah or McGann's first outright. The regeneration loses time for both the story and doesn't really serve either Docs beyond some fan service.

I think it should have opened with the new Doctor being brought in, injured, and bamboozling medical staff.

But the story doesn't quite work either - the Doctor always walks into trouble, rather than causes it.
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Old 02-07-2013, 15:31
TEDR
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I'd keep the Los Angeles setting,
*cough* it's San Francisco. I mean, it's clearly not, it's obviously Vancouver or Toronto or wherever was cheap at the time, but they manage some references to Sausalito (which is north of the Golden Gate) and have a fountain at the end which one feels is probably meant to be a bit like the one in Yerba Buena Gardens or possibly Rincon Park.

Niggling aside:

I'd keep the Doctor with memory loss just because discovery by proxy as per Rose and An Unearthly Child has already been done quite well, but including a regeneration probably takes too much time. Maybe open with the Doctor being detained medically as suffering from amnesia and, seemingly, delusions.

Obviously I'd cut the Master because that super-villain schtick has always had all the complexity of Peppa Pig. Autons are a great choice but, again, you'd have difficulty living up to Spearhead and Rose, but some other everyday item threat would be nice.

I wouldn't even show the Tardis interior as it's too expensive to build if I already know we're not going to need it again. Have the Doctor rediscover the Tardis only at the end as an acknowledgment and as a promise.
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Old 02-07-2013, 15:49
darthbibble
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I'm taking the basic premise and rejigging it rather than doing something completly different with it.

I'd have kept the regeneration and the memory loss, but made both part of the story. It starts with McCoy's body being brought in and dying on the operating table. Later the new Doctor wakes and tries to remember who he is and what he is doing there. That way the audience can learn about both the plot and The Doctor through the character's self discovery, whilst doing that you could show a bit more McCoy in flashback. If you did this you could treat it in a similar way to Rose, in that the story seems like the second part of a story you never see the first part of.

Keep the basic idea about the TARDIS about to blow up at midnight (and showing it outside first), and the Master needing to steal the Doctors lives. Add a bit of shadow into The Master's character to imply that could be the good guy.



No failing to understand how time travel works by using it to bring back the dead
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Old 02-07-2013, 17:39
November_Rain
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I wouldn't have had any of this shape-shifting nonsense. It was so b-movie. There would have been no cat-eyed Master either.

I wouldn't have had those awful Dalek voices at the start. In fact I would have omitted that sequence altogether. Why on Earth would the Daleks of all races be trialling The Master for his evil deeds? It doesn't make sense.

I wouldn't have had the romance with Grace. I'm not a fan of Doctor-companion romances as it is but this one felt very rushed and contrived.

I would have left the regeneration scene in there but perhaps have cut it shorter.

I would change the dialogue in a couple of places since it is very corny on occasions.

And above all I would have had no mention of The Doctor being half-human.

Despite all those things I would change I really, really like the TV film. It's nice switch your brain off kind of fun.
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Old 02-07-2013, 18:27
TheSilentFez
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*cough* it's San Francisco.
Damn. I knew I'd got the location wrong. I thought it my mind "where's the Golden Gate bridge? I know! It's Los Angeles"
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Old 02-07-2013, 20:57
SpringheelJack
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Damn. I knew I'd got the location wrong. I thought it my mind "where's the Golden Gate bridge? I know! It's Los Angeles"
Just next to Liberty Island!
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Old 02-07-2013, 23:04
jellyfish7
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Well I loved the bit with Mccoy at the start.. Possibly his best bit of 'doctoring' (i'm not a mccoy fan at all).. the new tardis was fabulous, and i loved the regeneration scene.. However i agree now that it did take a while..
Eric roberts started out menacing but then turned to ham.. Shame. so i agree - a different adversary might have had more gravitas...
Ho hum, I LOVED the movie though - i'd waited sooo long for dr who and here was McGann providing a near on perfect portrayal of the doctor.. I watched it again, and again and aga........ Gradually it dawned on me that that was it.No series, just a one off..
Shame. Massive shame.
McGann was superb. Story was a bit lame/dull.. adversary was a bit hammy..

But alls well that ends well. In a way it all led to Matt..
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:00
tiggerpooh
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I wasn't completely satified with the Movie, no. I didn't like the US setting, or having a US production team work on it.

So...This is what I would do, if I was a RTD/SM type person working on the feature.

I'd completely remove the American setting. I'd also have it made by a British company, and written by an English man.

I'd probably have Graeme Harper direct it, too. He's my favourite 'Who' director. Loved his direction in 'Caves of Androzani'. The other 'Who' stories he directs are quite good too. Loved the Agatha Christie one from 2008.

I'd take Chang Lee out of the story, totally. He was boring and didn't do much either.

I wouldn't have the Master in this. I'd have Kate O' Mara's Rani come back. Also Sam West from Dimentions in Time would feature with her as her companion/sidekick.

Sylvester McCoy would still feature. I'd have him explain what has happened to Ace, and why she isn't with him anymore. Then a few minutes later, something fatal happens to the Doctor's 7th incarnation. Then he would regenerate in McGann's 8th Doctor.

As someone else said, I would have the Doctor recover within the first ten minutes of changing, so that he could get on with resolving the 'dangerous' situation the Earth is in.

I'd have it set in London, still on Dec 31st 1999, but this time outside Millenium Dome. The Rani could be trying to tamper with it, plus damage Big Ben, so that it couldn't strike Midnight on 1st Jan 2000.

I'd also lengthen the movie too. Have it nearer 2 hours long. I thought the Movie wasn't long enough at 1hr 25 mins. It needed to have at least 20 minutes more, to make it feel like a 'proper' movie.

Lastly, I would keep the Victorian Tardis interior, but have PG's Tardis look more like the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's Tardis on the outside. The theme music would be different to what it was too. It would be more like the Murray Gold one from 2005-2007.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:43
quicky
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Some of the concept designs from the film were interesting were they were thinking about the Daleks. Turning the outer casing into spider legs in some cases. Will do some research and try to find the images...
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:22
darthbibble
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written by an English man.
It was!
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