Doctor Who 50th Casting Update: Two Docs Say They’re Out, With One More A Maybe

By David Wharton | 8 years ago

Doctor WhoWe’ve been a bit distracted these past few days, what with Defiance and the trailer for that little indie movie we’re all excited about, but surely there’s some exciting Doctor Who news out there that we’ve been neglecting. I mean, they’ve got that whole big 50th anniversary shindig they’ve got going on this year, right? Ah, here we go! Two former Doctors have confirmed that they will indeed…not be appearing in the 50th anniversary special. Well, drat.

So yeah, Colin Baker (Sixth Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (Seventh Doctor), and Paul McGann (Eighth Doctor) were all appearing on an Australian morning show together, and while they didn’t categorically deny that they’ll be appearing in the special, they did point out that the special was filming at that very moment, so they probably wouldn’t be involved. Since they were, you know, in Australia.

One of McCoy’s comments also suggests that location isn’t the only problem. When the morning show’s host expressed his disappointment and said that he thought all the former Doctors should be involved, McCoy responded, “All the fanbases all over the world believe that, but not the producers at the BBC.” That certainly sounds like there may have been some less-than-friendly interactions between the BBC and the former Doctors, but it could just mean that no one has even approached McCoy and the others. Which, let’s face it, is kind of a dick move in and of itself.

Baker also joked that he looks quite a bit different from his days as the Doctor, which would prove a challenge to explain. He joked, “the viewers would be very confused.” And yeah, he’s definitely changed, but this is a show about a magic box piloted by an ageless two-hearted alien who travels through time fixing things with a “sonic screwdriver.” I’m pretty sure the writers could come up with a technobabble explanation if they put their minds to it.

While McGann was in Australia along with Baker and McCoy, he has since clarified that he still might be a part of the anniversary episode. In another interview, McCann said he won’t know until “the eleventh hour.” I’m presuming he’s not referring to Matt Smith’s premiere episode. So he’s saying that he could still be involved, even though he was away while the episode was filming, which was the reason Baker and McCoy said they couldn’t be involved. So does that mean that Baker and McCoy could still be involved after all? How long has my head been pounding like this? I need to lay down.

Here’s McGann’s quote on the subject. It’s worth noting that he references Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston’s possible involvement, but the latest we’ve heard about him is that he opted out of the special. Clearly McGann doesn’t read GFR. And that hurts, Paul! That really hurts!

I think Chris Eccleston is probably a big factor in it. I don’t want to speak for him… he’s probably reluctant to get involved in anything that’s ongoing, so that’s something that they have to somehow get over and deal with. I’m guessing they’ve got time to do it. It’s not quite the anniversary yet. The anniversary doesn’t start until November.

Whatever it is that they’re planning and they are making, they’ve got time to do it. It’s my feeling [and] this is just a personal thing, once they resolve Chris Eccleston’s participation or non-participation either way, then they’re free to [figure it out]… Being actors anyway, they’ll call us on the Friday and say, ‘You’re starting on a Monday.’

Sigh. I need an Advil. You can see the two interviews in question below.