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The sands of time

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1996-02-17 Daily Record.jpg


As he prepares to go into battle, Paul McGann tells JOHN MILLAR how he almost turned down his £1.5m role as Dr Who

PAUL McGANN has admitted he almost turned down a £1.5 MILLION offer to become the new Dr Who.

The 36-year-old heart throb said he didn't think he was cut out to play the eccentric time traveller.

But he changed his mind when he heard that the first 90 minute adventure had a staggering £3.5 million budget.

Confirming his mega pay-deal yesterday, Paul said: "I had to be more or less dragged Into doing Dr Who.

"I didn't feel I could hack it. Other actors who seemed to fit the doctor's image better were '1 mentioned for he role." He said the producers convinced him the new series would be a huge hit when they revealed its budget.

The actor said: "It's like being in a proper Hollywood movie. The sets are fantastic. They are really going for it."

Before Paul steps into his Tardis though, fans can see him dicing with danger as a soldier in Gulf war drama The One That Got Away.

Paul - who plays SAS Corporal Chris Ryan - revealed that he came close to really marching into a military life.

He admitted: "As a kid, I had to be talked out of signing up.

"I had a kind of half-baked notion about the excitement and the ecstasy of violence. I was drawn to violence because it terrified me.

"Also my father, who's dead now, fought in the war and I'm sure it was something to do with trying to identify with him."

Thankfully, Paul discovered that he's much better at playing soldiers. screen.

He donned his first uniform in the BBC's First World War drama series, The Monocled Mutineer. And tomorrow he is the leading player in harrowing story about the eight men from the Bravo Two Zero patrol who were dropped 300 kilometres behind enemy lines during the Gulf War.

The soldiers were discovered by the Iraqis and a fierce shoot-out ensued. Paul's character was the only one of the eight to escape.

Two died of hypothermia, another was shot and killed and the other four were captured.

The escape by Ryan - who was the TV drama's consultant - was regarded as one of the greatest feats of endurance in SAS history.

THE very nature of the drama, which was filmed In the scorching heat of a South African summer, demanded that Paul and the rest of the cast had to be fit.

He said: "The first week was spent acclimatising and preparing physically.

"We were knackcred for the first few days, but got fitter and fitter."

But he also had to get used to the likelihood of taking a few knocks ...

Such as the time when he trapped a finger in a grenade launcher.

The result was a lost fingernail, but it could easily have been much worse.

Another time, a vehicle lurched out of control. But, luckily, someone ripped open the bonnet and tore out the battery cable so that the truck came to a halt.

This role is very different from Paul's upcoming appearance as the new Time Lord. But, after beating off competition from Eric Idle, Sting and Alan Rickman to become the 8th Dr Who, he admitted he's now quite chuffed.. Already, Paul has been tagged the hunkiest Dr Who yet.

But he'll have to be more than just a pretty face when he faces up to his first Hollywood villain.

Paul be up against American star Eric Roberts, the brother of Pretty Woman star Julia, who is cast as The Master in the new sci-fi series which will hit our television screens soon.

(Tomorrow, ITV, 9.00pm)


ARMED AND READY ... Paul McGann had to be fighting fit to star as an SAS hero in the scorching heat

NEW ROLE ... Paul prepares to take control of the Tardis

GLASS ACT ... Paul as the Monocled Mutineer

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  • APA 6th ed.: Millar, John (1996-02-17). The sands of time. Daily Record p. 20.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Millar, John. "The sands of time." Daily Record [add city] 1996-02-17, 20. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Millar, John. "The sands of time." Daily Record, edition, sec., 1996-02-17
  • Turabian: Millar, John. "The sands of time." Daily Record, 1996-02-17, section, 20 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The sands of time | url= | work=Daily Record | pages=20 | date=1996-02-17 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The sands of time | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 February 2024}}</ref>