The Eighth Doctor: The One Nobody Knows

Oh, man, this one is gonna be wild.

After the cancellation of the classic series, Doctor Who fans all began to demand the return of their favorite Time Lord and his magical blue box. But they’d be in for a long wait. The BBC had no plans to fulfill their desires at the time.

Not that they were without hope. The series still lived on in one shape or another through the extended media. Books, comics, audio dramas, Doctor Who was far from dead. Even all of that was not enough for the diehard fans.

So how did the universe deign to fulfill that desire? With an American produced movie! During which the beloved seventh Doctor would bow out at last, making way for the newest iteration of the character in the eighth.

Unfortunately, the movie sucked some major ass. As such, many people considered this version of the Doctor to ‘not count.’ Even more so when the show returned in 2005 with a new actor taking the part of the titular character.

Yet fate would become more favorable to the eighth, even if only in a small way. Later appearances would confirm his canonicity for the show. Better yet, he would star in his own short for the 50th anniversary and even appeared in the latest episode of the show (as of the writing of this article), ‘The Power of the Doctor.’ The days of the eighth ‘not counting’ are long dead.

Which is good. Because he’s honestly one of my favorite Doctors!

Eight would never get his own season of the show. Luckily, he made tons of appearances in the extended media, namely audio dramas by Big Finish. Through them, we get a small glimpse at what the show could’ve been like with him at the helm. And let me tell you, it would have been delightful!

Whereas most iterations of the Doctor are scientific enthusiasts, the Eighth was more one for art. He was an expert on music, classic literature, paintings, so on and so forth. It’s an interesting twist that still makes perfect sense for this character. Of course a time traveler like the Doctor would know all about those kinds of things!

He was also one of the more serious takes of the character. Not that he wasn’t without his goofy moments. One of my favorites being near the beginning of the audio drama ‘Blood of the Daleks’, in which he awkwardly lies to a crowd and very obviously pretends to know what’s going on, getting by via sheer luck and charisma. Outside of these moments, however, the eighth was highly serious, taking a straight-forward and ‘right to the point’ attitude in any situation.

And yes, the audio dramas are all canon. The Eighth mentions all his companions from them in his final moments during his 50th anniversary short, ‘The Night of the Doctor.’ And a healthy chunk of them are available for free on Spotify! Which means you’ve got no excuse to not go listen to them.

I will indoctrinate you into the Church of Eight if it’s the last thing I do.

They also make fun of his hair a lot in the audio dramas. Which is doubly hilarious when you remember that Paul McGann had to wear a wig for the movie.

Speaking of whom: Paul McGann is absolutely fantastic as the character! He has this lovable charm that makes him easy to like, as well as a certain gravity that gives the Doctor his trademark power and confidence. Say what you will about his performance in the movie – I for one thought he was the sole redeeming part of it – but his appearances in the audio dramas and later in the show itself prove he’s a damn good actor!

It’s a shame we’ll never get a full season of McGann as the Doctor. You can tell that he loves this character and he was born to play them. A full season of Eight would have been amazing! Alas, fate had different plans.

Not that I can really complain. The next few Doctors are my favorites in the show’s history! Particularly the next one.

Whom people also tend to dismiss.

Oh, god, am I a Doctor Who hipster?

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