Doctor Who (1996)


UK, USA, 12 May 1996
colour, 4:3
stereo, English

A British/American science fiction film directed by Geoffrey Sax. Seven years after the original series was cancelled, this was an unsuccessful attempt to revive the Doctor Who franchise in an American setting. It featured the Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy in the opening scenes before regenerating into the Timelord’s eight incarnation in the shape of Paul McGann. Although the film wasn’t deemed successful enough warrant a full series, McGann’s Doctor would return in a series of novels and audio plays released on CD. A successful reboot of the franchise happened in 2005 and the canonicity of the Eighth Doctor was confirmed when McGann’s likeness appeared in John Smith’s “Journal of Impossible Things” in the episode Human Nature. He would later appear in the mini-episode The Night of the Doctor (2013).

Plot Summary

Transporting the remains of The Master, recently executed by the Daleks, back to Gallifrey, The Doctor detours to San Francisco on the eve of the Millennium and is gunned down in a gangland shootout. He dies at the hospital, but regenerates and sets out to stop The Master, who has also been reborn, from destroying the Earth using The Doctor’s TARDIS.


Directed by: Geoffrey Sax
© BBC Worldwide Ltd. and MCA Television Limited
Executive Producers: Alex Beaton, Philip David Seagal
Executive Producer for the BBC: Jo Wright
Produced by: Peter V. Ware
Co-Producer: Matthew Jacobs
Production Manager: Fran Rosati
Production Coordinator: Sandra Palmer
Written by: Matthew Jacobs
First Assistant Director: Patrice Leung
Second Assistant Director: David Klohn
Script Supervisor: Jessica Clothier
Director of Photography: Glen MacPherson
Camera Operator: Randal Platt
First Assistant Camera: Greg Fox
Second Assistant Camera: Nick Watson
Gaffer: Andrew Davidson
Key Grip: Dave Gordon
Still Photography: Joe Lederer
Cameras by: Clairmont
Edited by: Patrick Lussier
Additional Editing by: Daria Ellerman
Music by: John Debney
Additional Music by: John Sponsler and Louis Serbe
Title Music: Ron Grainer [uncredited]
Sound Mixer: Gordon W. Anderson
Sound Supervisor: Jacqueline Christianini
Costume Designer: Jori Woodman
Make-Up: Joann Fowler
Hairstylist: Julie McHaffie
Special Effects Coordinator: Gary Paller
Visual Effects Producer: Tony Dow
Visual Effects by: Northwest Imaging & FX
Visual Effects Supervisor: Eric Alba
Visual Effects Coordinator: Mariush Kushniruk
Production Designer: Richard Hudolin
Art Director: Bridget McGuire
Set Decorator: Cynthia Lewis
Property Master: Dan Sissons
Construction Coordinator: Derick MacLeod
Head Painter: Barry Kootchin
Head Accountant: Beverly Wiens
Transportation Coordinator: Dennis Houser
Driver Captain: John Oliver
First Aid/Craft Service: Jim Rankin
Filmed on location in British Columbia, Canada
Location Manager: Ed Hesling
Stunt Coordinators: J.J. Makaro, Fred Perron
Casting by: Beth Hymson-Ayer
Casting by: Trish Robinson (Vancouver)
Extras Casting: James Forsyth
United Kingdom Casting Consultants: John & Ros Hubbard

Paul McGann (The Doctor)
Eric Roberts (The Master/Bruce the paramedic)
Daphne Ashbrook (Dr Grace Holloway)
Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor)
Yee Jee Tso (Cheng Lee)
John Novak (Salinger)
Michael David Simms (Dr Swift)
Catherine Lough (Wheeler)
Dolores Drake (Curtis)
William Sasso (Pete)
Jeremy Radick (Gareth)
Eliza Roberts (Miranda)
Bill Croft (motorcycle policeman)
Dave Hurtubise (Professor Wagg)
Joel Wirkkunen (Ted)
DeeJay Jackson (security guard)
Gordon Tipple (the old Master) 1Tipple was cut from the finished film but is still listed in the closing credits.
Mi-Jung Lee, Joanna Piros (news anchors)

Alternative Titles

Doctor Who The Movie – UK video title

Sequel to
Doctor Who (1963-1989)

Doctor Who (2005-)

Extracts included in
Talking about Regeneration (2009)


Doctor Who: The Television Companion pp.542-547 – credits, synopsis, review (by David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker)