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Doctor Who (1996)

The newly-regenerated Doctor takes on the Master on the turn of the millennium, 31 December 1999.

Director:

Geoffrey Sax

Writer:

Matthew Jacobs
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Popularity
4,874 ( 246)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul McGann ... The Doctor
Eric Roberts ... The Master / Bruce
Daphne Ashbrook ... Dr. Grace Holloway
Sylvester McCoy ... The Doctor
Yee Jee Tso ... Chang Lee
John Novak ... Salinger
Michael David Simms Michael David Simms ... Swift
Catherine Lough Haggquist ... Wheeler (as Catherine Lough)
Dolores Drake ... Curtis
Will Sasso ... Pete (as William Sasso)
Jeremy Radick Jeremy Radick ... Gareth
Eliza Roberts ... Miranda
Bill Croft ... Motorcycle Policeman
David Hurtubise David Hurtubise ... Professor Wagg (as Dave Hurtubise)
Joel Wirkkunen Joel Wirkkunen ... Ted
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Storyline

The Doctor, an alien time traveller from the planet Gallifrey, is transporting the remains of his nemesis, the Master back to their homeworld. However the Master is not as dead as the Doctor thinks. The Master's essence escapes and sabotages the TARDIS, the Doctor's time machine causing it to crash land in San Franscisco on December 30th 1999. The Doctor requires a beryllium atomic clock to repair the TARDIS, but is shot as he leaves it. Taken to hospital, the Doctor's seventh regeneration is triggered by a surgeon, confused by his alien physiology, while the Master takes over a paramedic's body. He needs a Time Lord's body to survive and be able to regenerate again so he needs the Doctor's. The newly regenerated the Doctor must fight to save his own eighth body, and the world when the Master sabotages the TARDIS' power source. By midnight on December 31st 1999, the Earth will be pulled through this power-source, a mini-black hole, and only the Doctor can stop if only he can remember ... Written by Dave Gardner <is6131@dcs.napier.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's Back... And It's About Time See more »


Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 May 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doctor Who See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony Head auditioned for the role of the Eighth Doctor. See more »

Goofs

The entire ambulance/hospital sequence is a symphony of errors: A bystander would not be permitted to ride in the back of the ambulance, nor would his (or anybody's) consent be required to provide care to an unconscious patient with life-threatening injuries. Nobody was performing the routine care and monitoring that medics would have performed. An external EKG, and not an internal probe, would be used to assess the heart's electrical activity. The Doctor was not intubated, as he would have been for surgery. The cardiologist would have doffed her gown and put scrubs on over her underwear in the locker room, then scrubbed for surgery, rather than scrubbing first then being stuffed into scrubs over a ball gown. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Doctor: [voiceover] It was on the planet Skaro that my old enemy the Master was finally put on trial. They say he listened calmly as his list of evil crimes was read, and sentence passed. Then he made his last, and I thought, somewhat curious request. He demanded that I, the Doctor, a rival Time Lord, should take his remains back to our home planet, Gallifrey. It was a request they should never have granted...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than credit the creator of "Doctor Who" (1963), Sydney Newman, a title card reads: "Based upon the television series broadcast by the BBC." Ron Grainer, composer of the film's theme music, and Delia Derbyshire, designer of the TARDIS sound effect, do not receive screen credit. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version broadcast and released on video by the BBC in 1996 had the following cuts (totalling 1 min 6 secs):
  • The caption "Based on the original series broadcast by the BBC" is removed, although no footage is edited.
  • Chang Lee's gang firing at the departing car.
  • Chang Lee's two friends being shot.
  • The third and fourth gunmen aiming at Chang Lee.
  • The gunmen firing at the TARDIS.
  • The operating scene is heavily edited with many cuts of Grace and her attempts to retrieve the probe from the Doctor's body. The sound of the Doctor's final scream was also removed.
  • A closeup of Chang Lee's neck being twisted and the sound of Bruce's wife's neck snapping. These cuts were waived for the 2001 DVD release.
See more »

Connections

Features Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

In A Dream (I Called Out Your Name)
Written by Barbara L. Jordan and William Peterkin
Performed by Pat Hodges
Courtesy of Heavy Hitters Music
Played on a grammophone when the Doctor is sitting in the lounge of his Tardis, just before the Master escaped
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Something Of An Anti-Climax
25 February 2003 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

It was in January 1996 that I first heard that my all time favourite TV hero was returning to our screens as a joint BBC / American network TVM . Whoever you are reading this review never EVER give up on your hopes and dreams because for DOCTOR WHO fans in the early 1990s not one of us ever believed we`d be seeing our favourite show return , never mind seeing a big budget American production or that this version was gong to have BAFTA award winning actor Paul McGann in the title role . Words fail to describe the anticipation me and every single other Who fan in the cosmos had in waiting till the TVM was broadcast in May . The only comparison I can think of is LOTR diehards waiting to see FELLOWSHIP , THE TWO TOWERS and RETURN OF THE KING . When the day of the broadcast came one Bank holiday Monday I`d almost bitten my fingers off in unbearable anticipation . I`d read every article I could find about the production in telefantasy magaziness , Paul McGann`s Doctor had appeared on the front cover of every British TV guide and the trailers led me to believe the Daleks were going to be heavily featured alongside the Master . So in mid evening the TVM began and for 90 minutes all the world`s problems disappeared . When the end titles rolled I was torn between being totally amazed by the good and bitterly disappointed by the bad .

The good bits were Geoffry Sax`s direction . Every single cent was up there on screen for the audience to gasp at . This is one Who story that can`t be accused of having crap FX . Sax also does an excellent editing job with intercutting between scenes , and it really was fascinating watching a Who story take place in an American setting . But the best aspect to the production is Eric Roberts camp scene stealing performance as the Master . My own memories of Roger Delgado`s original Master soon faded as Roberts bad-ass TERMINATOR inspired American arch enemy of the Doctor stole the entire show .

But unfortunately much of the bad outweighed the good and most of this was entirely down to Matthew Jacobs script which involved far too much continuity and extremely bad continiuty at that which not only displeases diehard fans but will alienate casual viewers at the same time . Regeneration ? temporal orbit ? the eye of harmony ? I know of these concepts because I`m a fan but here they`re presented entirely different from what I know them as . Likewise when did the Doctor become half human ? But the most disappointing thing were the Daleks who seem to be intergalatic hangmen and not the Nazis of the universe as shown on TV for three decades . Also bitterly disappointing to see them relegated to an off screen cameo when according to the trailers they might have been making a physical presence . Oh BTW can anyone really understand the plot ? At times it felt more like a Bond movie as the Doctor races around on a motor bike trying to save the world from a super villain . With the exception of Roberts no one really turns in a good performance least of all McGann who is surely one of Britain`s most underrated actors . I really expected more from him , though to be fair he didn`t have a lot to go on due to the script.

Oh well I suppose it was good while it lasted and I suppose my life has been slightly enriched after seeing an American version of DOCTOR WHO , and let me just repeat if someone had told me in 1992 I`d one day be watching an American version of the show I would have laughed in their face . It`s not the worst DOCTOR WHO story I`ve seen but it`s not a story I`ll watch over and over again unlike The Silurians , Inferno , Genesis Of The Daleks , Seeds Of Doom or Kinda . These really were classic pieces of not only Who but of British television


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