Let me start this post off this way. I don't know when I first discovered this show. I don't know what possessed me to find episodes on YouTube last year.
Whatever happened, I'm glad I did and I've been hooked ever since. And this Doctor Who TV movie was among maybe some of the first episodes I saw at YouTube too. It was pretty good but I was sad that I missed it when it first aired.
In 1996, that was when this movie aired on FOX, I was solidly a Star Trek fan. There were other sci-fi series I was fond of such as Babylon 5, Space: Above & Beyond (which was cancelled in 1996), Sliders, Seaquest DSV and others that I can't recall but they were around in those days.
It gives me a sense of nostalgia to not just consider what I've seen, but what I've missed. There are a lot of things I have nostalgia for, especially places I've been or wanted to go. Things that I used to see on TV or listened to on the radio. Now I have a cerain nostalgia for Doctor Who.
This TV movie was supposed to jump start a new Doctor Who TV series. It didn't happen, ratings didn't justify it, if I read correctly. If I had hoped there would be a series I would have watched, but then that would have been assuming I was a fan in the first place. At that time I couldn't say that I was a fan.
I was a fan of the aformentioned Space: Above and Beyond. Missing a few episodes between the first episode and the last, I really loved that series. Despite my viewership and of others, the show found itself cancelled after a full season.
I knew Doctor Who existed just as I knew Star Trek existed and I had to rediscover both. The internet helped me rediscover Doctor Who and Star Trek: The Next Generation helped me to rediscover the original Star Trek. What I did know though was that Star Trek used to be rerun on Channel 32 (WFLD-Chicago) at one point while one could see Doctor Who episodes on Channel 11 (WTTW-Chicago). And when these shows aired I couldn't say I was at the age where I could understand what was going on.
Anyway, I've meandered long enough. I've seen enough old episodes of Doctor Who to notice that the production values in the movie was doubled what I imagine many fans were used to. Which was great for a possible revival that finally happened in 2005.
In addition Paul McGann was a very loud and emotional Doctor. It was certainly fun watching him and like today's Doctors I can't imagine any of the old ones engaged in the action that McGann was. Even better though was the regeneration, Sylvester McCoy played the seventh doctor and it was safe to say that he went out the way I would have expected him too (that is to say, he went out in an eccentric fashion). Sad to see him go because I enjoyed Sylvester McCoy's portrayal of the Doctor.
We see the seventh Doctor become the eighth Doctor. Start kissing the woman who had unintentionally caused the death of his seventh incarnation. Engage in toying with history by giving people advice. Offering people jelly babies while at the same time engaging in a sleight of hand to take away a policeman's firearm.
And Eric Roberts as the Doctor's archenemy the Master was a very dark and scary portrayal. Somewhat playful but there was no doubt that the Master was evil. When you think about it though his portrayal at times seemed more like a comic book movie than I would have liked.
Anyway get this on DVD when you get the chance. You don't want to spend money then find it on YouTube. Maybe we might see the movie on TVLinks one day. They've started adding old Doctor Who episodes recently.