Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Switch On

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Come in Doctor Who, your time is up;

John Millar on actor Paul McGann in his debut as the new Doctor Who


This was a tough one for Paul McGann in his debut as the new Doctor Who.

Not only did he have to prevent the planet being sucked through the eye of harmony as Hogmanay merged into the millennium.

He also had to compete with The X Files age and persuade us that it's been worth the seven-year wait for the Tardis to whirl back on to the screen.

The first task was easy. After all, saving the world is what this Time Lord does.

But - despite an array of special effects - I'm not convinced that the latest reincarnation of the sci-fi hero is what the doctor ordered.

Perhaps my memory is playing tricks, and William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker weren't as impressive as I recall.

But Paul McGann's foppish Doctor didn't measure up.

Eric Roberts, however, with his gleaming eyes and wicked wardrobe, was a gloriously evil version of The Master, playing it just the right notch away from OTT panto villain.

And I felt that this big-budget Doctor Who also suffered from being far too long.

The strength of the original show lay in it being a cliff-hanging serial.

The eighth Doctor Who could be a hit if they return to that format.

But I don't see the feature-length version working.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Millar, John (1996-05-28). Switch On. Daily Record p. 23.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Millar, John. "Switch On." Daily Record [add city] 1996-05-28, 23. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Millar, John. "Switch On." Daily Record, edition, sec., 1996-05-28
  • Turabian: Millar, John. "Switch On." Daily Record, 1996-05-28, section, 23 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Switch On | url= | work=Daily Record | pages=23 | date=1996-05-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Switch On | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 July 2024}}</ref>