Happy 25th anniversary to the Doctor Who TV Movie.
Yes, on 27th May 1996, around bank holiday Monday, the Seventh Doctor went out in a rather ‘inglorious’ blaze and from the ashes, with the chilling sounds of thunder, lightning, and the movie Frankeinstien, arose Paul McGann, Doctor Who’s very own George Lazenby (as far as Television canon goes), a whole new slate, all new adventures…where will he go? What will he see?
It wasn’t so much a question of where he would go, it’s just we wouldn’t see it unless it was in audio, or in a comic strip. He wasn’t on our screens for very long, as the TV Movie took the plunge in the American market and never quite reached the surface again.
Ah, but we have so much to take from it,. American locations, romance with a companion, feature length adventures, the eye of harmony as a fully integrated part of the TARDIS. The Master possessing a go’uld from Stargate. The Seventh Doctor, the master schemer, unable to see a timing malfunction and a random shooting coming! The TARDIS can revive the dead! Wild ideas, wilder execution
That being said, perhaps the TV Movie should have done more to connect to the more traditional Who of old, instead of trying to latch so readily onto an unfamiliar audience? The modern show knew how to slowly trickle it all in, but the TV Movie was more intrusive, often demanding you pay attention to all IT’S concepts, and it’s all a little much to take in, even with the run time it’s allocated.
And I’m sorry Big Finish, no matter how much material you give him, Eric Roberts is one of the least convincing Masters ever.
So here we scale it back, there’s no ‘temporal orbit’, The Doctor suceeds in closing the eye on the first go, Eric Roberts is a henchman for The Master, with the role of the real deal now being given over exclusively to Antony Ainley, making use of some of the gorgeous footage of him from the PC video game ‘Destiny of the Doctors’, complete with an ending that sets him up for The Master’s inclusion in the modern series and aligns it more closely to the continuity referenced in “The Sound of Drums”