Doctor Who 50th anniversary mini-episode sees McGann’s surprise return

Posted on 15 November 2013
By Paige Gardiner
  • Share:

The BBC has released a one-off special of Doctor Who which shows Paul McGann reprise his role as the Doctor.

Fans were given an hour’s warning ahead of the broadcast of a 7 minute mini-episode on the BBC iPlayer.

McGann played the eighth incarnation, only starring in the 1996 Doctor Who television film but has made a surprise return in The Night Of The Doctor.

Celebrating its 50th year, the short was released ahead of the anniversary episode which airs at the end of this month.

The Night Of The Doctor sees the Liverpool-born actor return to the TARDIS and in the final scenes show McGann’s regeneration.

In the midst of the Time War, the Doctor lands on a ship, attempting to save Cass (Emma Campbell-Jones). After the ship crashes on Karn, where the Sisterhood salvage them from the wreckage.

The doctor drinks Elixir which triggers his regeneration into the ‘War Doctor’ – John Hurt.

Speaking about McGann’s return to the show, writer Steven Moffat said: “We had our new ‘hidden mystery’ Doctor and I was thinking, what else can we do for our anniversary year.

“I thought – Why don’t we get Paul McGann in and regenerate him into John Hurt? I’d like to see that! I’d love to see that!

“And we had this possibility that we could do it as a surprise, so we got in touch with Paul who was dead keen and I’m delighted to say he was so happy to join in with the idea of keeping it secret.

“Paul came along and shot it – it was the last two days of the shoot for the fiftieth. He did a wonderful job. “

The 75 minute episode Day of the Doctor will be on air 23rd November screened on November 23 – 50 years on from the show’s first broadcast date.

Written by Stephen Moffat, it stars current Doctor Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt.