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The Doctors: The Paul McGann Years DVD review: “An engaging and entertaining collection for the Eighth Doctor”

Considering that Paul McGann‘s Eighth Doctor only appeared in a single TV Movie in 1996 and a 12 minute mini-episode seventeen years later, it’s heartening to see the love for the character continue almost a quarter of a century on. Thanks to the continuing adventures of the character in the Big Finish audio dramas, this lesser-seen incarnation has fast become a fan favourite, despite the lack of actual screen-time. Celebrating this particular Doctor and the movie that introduced him to the world way back in 1996, this latest collection of interviews from the team behind Myth Makers promises a complete overview of the Eighth Doctor ‘era’ and beyond…

Collecting six documentaries conducted over a long period of years by the team at Reeltime Pictures, this collection of interviews is a treasure trove of entertaining and insightful information for Doctor Who enthusiasts. Of the interviews, the ones with Paul McGann, Eric Roberts (The Master) and Director Geoffrey Sax are new to this release, which brings the whole tale up-to-date nicely too.

Running at 54 minutes and featuring the actor discussing both Doctor Who and his career with former companion Sophie Aldred, the interview with McGann is the definitive highlight of the collection. The chat between them is incredibly engaging, with McGann enthusiastically discussing his relationship with the show and his later success reprising the Doctor for the 50th Anniversary and in the audio adventures for Big Finish.

Elsewhere on the discs are interviews with co-stars Daphne Ashbrook (75 mins), Yee Jee Tso (51 mins) and Eric Roberts (56 mins). Exhaustive in scope, each interviewee is engaging and entertaining, though some of the documentaries are choppier then others in terms of both focus and editing. The Roberts interview is the biggest offender in this regard – a major missed opportunity, despite his open and friendly demeanour.

Rounding off the set are two interviews with key creative members of the production – Executive Producer Philip Segal (55 mins) and the aforementioned Geoffrey Sax (70 mins). Shot in front of a 2003 convention audience, the interview with Segal is especially interesting when discussing the uphill struggle he had getting the film commissioned, whilst Sax has plenty of showbiz stories from his long career to tell (though the Who related chat takes a long time to kick in).

The release is complemented by a relatively relaxed 20-minute chat between producers Keith Barnfather and Nicholas Briggs, who discuss how the interviews came about and the making of the documentaries themselves. Both are engaging and share some interesting behind the scenes stories of their own.

For fans of the TV Movie, the Eighth Doctor and all things Doctor Who, this latest release is a perfect addition to DVD collections.

The Doctors: The Paul McGann Years is available now on DVD – Order now: https://amzn.to/2UUJe7L

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