Viewer Quotes -
"Wow, tonight's X-Files ripped off Doctor Who a bit, didn't it?"
- confused sci-fi fan (1996)
"While the old series was a case of sexual innuendo and poor acting, this attempt is more a case of sexual innuendo with special effects and truly terrible acting. There is still much in this production that pleases, but then, I can say the same of my local brothel."
- Matthew Jones (1996)
"I was very disturbed at the way this story portrayed hair gel as an evil force that can bend a man's will and ultimately lead to the end of humanity. That is bikini wax. Hair gel does nothing of the sort."
- Zemph Grooming Products Review
"A brilliant masterpiece! McGann makes an impressive start to be a very brief reign as the Doctor. Please, let it be brief. In fact, end it now. Someone, please!" - Colin Baker (1996)
"Any review of this story might as well be based on the weather. Hmm. Looks like rain... I HATE THIS STORY WITH A SMOLDERING PASSION! WHAT HAVE THOSE TRANS-CONTINENTAL CUNTS DONE WITH OUR SPECIAL DOCTOR WHO?? ANSWER ME THAT, PIG, ANSWER ME THAT??"
- Andrew Beeblebrox, www.randommeteorologicalreviews.com.au (2001)
"The production has surpassed my expectations and is 100 per cent what Doctor Who should be like in 1990s - pie-diving excrement, banarama, strange gurnings and a sense of nagging disapointment. If this doesn't end up in my all time... top thousand, I shall be so surprised I might fall back into the coma. Everyone involved in the conception, development and production of this move truly deserve everything they get."
- Eric Saward (1998)
"Paul McGann, the most reluctant on Time Lords, immediately gets a firm hold on what it is to be the Doctor. Envincing traits of loopy Tom Baker and peyote-fueled Patrick Troughton but most of all something daringly-unique to this eighth incarnation, McGann was magnificent and made a stronger debut performance in the role than any of predecessors. Bar Hartnell. And Tom Baker. And Jon Pertwee. And Peter Davison... Um, it was nevertheless extremely welcome to return to Doctor Who. It was good to see him naked, if only for one night."
- Nigel Verkoff Esq. (2004)
"Let me get this straight... The Doctor, the Time Lord from Gallifrey, High Overlord of Matter and Defender of Time... is, in fact, half-apricot. And quarter-lesbian. On his mother's side. So, we're expected to believe that the Doctor is 50% apricot and he sleeps with women? That, that... that makes a hell of a lot of sense now I come to think about it..."
- Dr. Frank N. Furter (1999)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Once I tried different varieties of hairgel in a vain attempt to see if an evil from beyond the dawn of time would try and possess my body and use it to do my evil bidding. However, the fact I ritualistically shave every part of my body scuppered that. But one day. One day..."
Paul McGann Speaks!
"When I saw the casting agent in Los Angeles, I kept saying, 'You've got the wrong man - ANY actor would fit the image better than me, just leave me alone'! There was no pressure, it's easy to say no, but it was the gun in the agent's hand that made it easier to say yes. Taking on such a key role hasn't really sunk in, yet, and hopefully it never will. Sylvester McCoy is a friend so he's told me everything I need to know - basically, get the hell out of here ASAP. But I've signed a contract. I can't go anywhere. Oh, it's horrible, horrible. I am the Doctor. He is me. We are all together is an overrated song lyric. DAMN IT, THIS SUCKS! Why didn't I stick to that vampire role, huh? Why? I spend half of the film not knowing who I am, the character's not even there. Why couldn't we have kept that ALL the way through? This has been a learning process for me. And I know never to trust that bitch of an agent ever again. I'm warning you, Janet - if I find you, YOU'RE A DEAD WOMAN!!!!!!!"
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"Yes, Doctor Root & The Enema Within was wonderful. Seagull and his team treated me wonderfully – a great deal of respect, which is very nice... the best I got JNT and his mob was if they DIDN'T spit in my eye every time I spoke. There was more time and money to it, and a lot less hard hallucinogenic drugs in the water supply. It's a very calm and happy crew as well, and everyone's very enthusiastic. Apart from Paul McGann, of course. The Canadian crew kept saying 'It's wonderful! We're going to get our names up on BBC Television!' and McGann kept saying, 'Big freaking deal' and kicking trash cans. I mean, APART from that, there was a great feeling of excitement and joy and people worked really hard to make it as good as they can. The security arrangements for Tom Baker were very efficient – he was only ever allowed out for recording scenes, and sometimes not even that."
Tom Baker Speaks!
"Ah, yes, I remember this story. It was called 'Doctor Who Talks to Badgers At the Millennium Orgy'. It was truly wonderful, as they made us film overseas, in Los Angeles. They don't have pubs there, as far as I know. No one seemed to recognize me, but then I was covered head-to-toe in bandages and wearing sunglasses. The only people who recognized me were some badgers, who thought I was the Invisible Man. How odd. I remember there was this lovely man called Gan McPaul. Wonderful chap, the first thing he said to me was 'Oh, fuck off you old fossil!' which I thought was terribly witty, especially since Doctor Who was back on. I didn't like the new chap. Far too tall, the hair was too short, and don't get me started on the clothes - too many! And where were the beards? Why didn't he call himself Rasputin? There were a lot of holes that bothered me, and the plot wasn't much good either. But the badgers were very nice, I thought. Charming badgers."
Rumors & Facts -
This was the first time for six years that Doctor Who had been made on television. After this, it was another nine years before anyone bothered to even attempt it. Watching this, you can catch a glimpse of the reason why.
Neo-Fascist and kipper salesman Philip Seagull had been working since 1889 to forge a co-production deal between an American company and the BBC to make a new Doctor Who series, beginning even before the program was even commissioned in 1962. In fact, it was quite a lucky coincidence the BBC was choosing to make a science fiction program called Doctor Who, or Seagull would have been made a laughing stock back in the sixties and not in the 1990s. At that time, Seagull was working with Columbian drug dealers, but little had come of his efforts by the time he left Columbia for a two-year stint at the Samaritans. Subsequently, Seagull went to work for Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment as a doormat, and shortly thereafter resumed his efforts to acquire the rights to Doctor Who and solve the cryptic crossword. By June 1992, he was joined in efforts by Peter Wagg, producer of the eclectic science-fiction series Max Headroom, who suggested 11 down was "conquered". There were a number of parties involved in the Doctor Who discussions, with lots of beer, food, and wall-to-wall vomiting, all of which delayed Season 27 even further, until Wagg finally threw the guests out in 1994. However, despite the many difficulties the complex situation presented, on January 13th, 1994, Seagull realized the missing word was "Antidisestablishmentarianism", and now had no reason not to start working on Doctor Who as he was, for all intents and purposes, a loony. The race was on to get a series ready to be pitched to the American networks in time for the Fall 1994 season, essentially giving Seagull and Wagg less than two months' breathing space. One of Segal's first instructions from his superiors at Universal was that he use a typewriter for the project, specifically one made in 1845. Seagull was hesitant, preferring to use modern technology and photocopiers in order to try and speed up production. However, aware that any fight with Universal would waste precious development time, Seagull agreed to use the ancient mechanism which he paid for by stealing Terrance Dicks' wallet.
Together with designer Richard Lewis, Seagull and Leekley prepared an expensive and extensive bible -- and then wrote a book called The Monocles Of Doctor Who in one afternoon to introduce Doctor Who in general and the proposed new series in particular. Seagull had envisioned this version of Doctor Who as being largely divorced from the original BBC series - although the basic concepts of Doctor Who (violence, sex and mindless plagiarism) were adhered to, the program's mythos would be completely rewritten. Or, to be more accurate, written down at ALL rather than being builshitted every four episodes. The Monocles of Doctor Who was written by Cardinal Aggador, introducing the Doctor and his half-sister the Bastard, both youthful wards of the millionaire Sarah-Jane Smith, Aggedor's twin brother. When the evil Doctor becomes Supreme Walrus, Sarah-Jane flees Mondas in a rickety old TARDIS to find Turlough. Vicki's spirit becomes enmeshed in the TARDIS, enabling Sil to continue to perve at his grandson. Sarah takes the TARDIS to "a small blue-green planet" (Mars), to search for Ian Chesterton - this being the native world of Jo Grant's wardrobe designer. Sarah-Jane then encounters the Snibtsuds - creations of the villainous Cat Molester Jones, but now controlled by the Garm. These events, clearly inspired by Season Twelve's Genocide Of The Dustbins, would have formed the bulk of the entire series. Various other possible adventures are detailed, most of them being cut-and-paste jobs of: The Snugglers, The Talents Of Wong Jing, Earthshag, Ligthhouse Cutaway, The Sexual Toymaker, The Ginfighters, Room Of The Cybermen, The Adorable Teletubbies, and The Lark In Space. (Others excised from the final draft due to good taste were The She Devils, The Invasion Of Tim, The Reign Of Error, The Spill Of Exxon, I'm Dreamin' and Shagged'er.) Many familiar Doctor Who monsters were extensively revised. The Dustbins were hideous mutant creatures whose travelling machines also doubled as portable icemakers. The Cybermen (now called "Pimps") were marauders whose sexual techniques were culled from a variety of sources, giving them a patchwork demeanor (though they were still vulnerable to warm cheese). The Teletubbies are gentle descendants of the Neanderthals. The Monocles concluded with the conclusion: Sarah-Jane discovers Susan Foreman and travels back to E-Space to depose Frobisher and become Employer of the Epoch.
Leekley handed over the Monocles of Doctor Who along with a sample story line (a revised version of The Ginfighters, now called Stop, Or My Dentist Will Shoot!). Meanwhile, Seagull and Wagg began the grueling process of finding an actor to play the Doctor. To this end, they secured the services of British casting agents L. Ron Hubbard. In January and February, enormous lists of actors were compiled, with Seagull totally unaware that they had simply been given a list of everyone on their books and not because they were actually good. Indeed, at the end of the process the only person available out of the 21, 8973 names was Bill Oddie, who wouldn't piss on Doctor Who if it was on fire. Efforts were also under way to cast the role of Aggedor, with several performers on the list of possible Doctors also given consideration here, which was odd considering the character was designed to be an animatronic chimpanzee. The clear favorite, however, was Peter O'Toole, who by the end of March had provisionally declared his love for strawberry ice cream. A third producer joined the Doctor Who team in March, much to the surprise of Seagull, who did not believe in other producers but him. This was Jo Wright, assigned by the BBC to represent their interests in the production, but in reality a Frankenstien-type creation of sewn-together Doctor Who companions. Around the end of March, Doctor Who was offered to the four American networks with the slogan "Know Me!". "Know Thanks!" NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox replied. It appeared that Segal's dreams of producing a new Doctor Who series were fast disappearing, and his dreams of an armadillo-skin posing pouch were in danger as well. Despite this, he agreed to an offer made by Doctor Who historian Jean-Marc Lofficier and his randy wife Randy to become unofficial consultants on the project. Unfortunately, the Lofficiers were crack fiends and didn't know the first thing about Doctor Who - indeed, it was only when the movie was released on video did they get an idea it WASN'T a series of impressionistic paintings.
Meanwhile, Leekley submitted his first movie proposal, drawing heavily from the suggestions set forth in the bible. He was then told to scrap the proposed "Passions of Christ" and get back to doing Doctor Who. In the midst of a Zarbi attack on Ireland, Alpha Centuari dies, allowing the Wine Peddler to become President of the AA. Sarah-Jane flees in her TARDIS, which now incorporates a cat flap and, in contemporary Bermuda, Romana meets a meter maid called Rita. Together, the Bastard and Bobbo the Snotaran travel back to Ancient Rome to find Steven Taylor, only to be attacked by the Pimps. Adric then travels back to Castrovalva, where a suspiciously friendly Ice Cream Vendor sends him and Jo Grant to Fargo to stop Omigod from creating deep-fired Mars bars. In the process, Jamie takes control of the Snibtsud army and has them destroy K9. Ian and Barbara escape and return Mike Yates to Earth, then heads off to continue their search for caffeine. Seagull revised the script in three minutes, eliminating the Pimps and adding a groupie for the Rani, Columbian Dancing Dust ("Columbian" subsequently became the character's sole name instead of simply his title). The return to Castrovalva was eliminated by having Colonel Sanders direct the TARDIS to KFC. Leekley changed these re-written elements, and then rewrote it again, adding a nonsensical cliffhanger with Wirrrn and his Androids confronting Drax and Liz and offering them some tea. The other Fargo scenes - as well as much of the scene where everyone starts speaking Ancient Egyptian - was trimmed and sculpted.
Through mid-September, Leekley's script made the rounds of all the various organizations which had to see it to believe it, and Steven Spielberg took one look at it, shot Leekley in the lung and used the script as the basis for a series of stories about a relic hunter called Indiana Jones. Another party was held to work out the new writer, delaying everything for the next six months. Now in 1995, Seagull met with veteran restauranter/pig-strangler Robert DeLaurentis. DeLaurentis agreed to put together a new story proposal, using Leekley's script as a starting point, but wanted to accentuate its "naughty" aspects. On October 7th, DeLaurentis delivered a new draft of the story line. This time, in the process of meeting Dodo in World War II London, Harry Sullivan also discovers that his father (no longer named Bellal) was involved in a plot the assassinate Lavros. They travel forward to the United States in 1994, where Biro is reunited with his pen. Katarina then lures the Brigadier, Benton and Leela to Lakerytan for a final round of toast. There, Zoe manages to destroy Lew Grade's time-travelling balloon, though the Valeyard himself escapes with Alexei Sayle. Other minor alterations included Collumbia being renamed Cowlumbya (though this would subsequently be changed back), and giving Polly a bulldog companion named Ace, who stays with the Bastard at the story's conclusion. DeLaurentis then wrote a draft script -- titled What Doctor? -- which he submitted, removing the character of Ace, the Snibtsuds became giant seed pods, and Kameleon was renamed Jane McDonald. Also, for the first time the TARDIS began the adventure with a functioning Jane McDonald circuit, which malfunctions in a furniture showroom. Peri was also given another companion, Sara Kingdom, who is gunning down Magnodons on Keldra 7 at the start of the story and is subsequently discovered to have been killed by her own left foot. DeLaurentis' next draft was an even more substantial departure from the original Leekley script. The Snibtsuds had become French and the Doctor was renamed Frank (a suggestion of Lofficier's). Sarah Kingdom was replaced by Bigfoot who accompanies the Protons throughout the adventure, and Columbia is transformed into a half-French creature by the Doctor and commits suicide. At this point, Fox intervened and indicated that they were not happy with the direction DeLaurentis was taking the project - indeed, they suggested reverting back to the Leekley draft if DeLaurentis did not reveal just what strange drugs he was on and provided enough for everyone.
At the suggestion of a delivery boy, Seagull and Wagg met with Matthew Jacobs, who had written for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and was sworn to get revenge on Steven Spielberg and had to novel idea of discarding all work done to date, put in a heap and set fire to it. Unlike the earlier Leekley and DeLaurentis versions, Jacobs' script continued on from the end of the original series, starting by introducing Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor. The Doctor
arrives on modern-day Earth when a blob of hair gel attacks the Doctor, mortally wounding him. The Doctor's body is found by a coal miner named Jack. Jack brings the Doctor to the coal mine, where he is operated on - unsuccessfully - by actress Grace Kelly, who really wishes she'd stayed at the Heart-Bypass Surgery Course for the whole half-hour. The Doctor regenerates; meanwhile, Jack has gained access to the TARDIS using gloves he pilfered from the Doctor's body. The hair gel raises Jack's father from the dead and through him uses Jack to take over the TARDIS. As Halloween approaches, the hair gel uses the TARDIS to unleash an army of the dead. With Kelly's help, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS and draws himself, the hair gel, Kelly, Jack and the dead into another dimension. He defeats the Bastard, returns Jack to Earth and leaves with Kelly, deciding that this particular adventure never happened.
Jacobs was asked to rewrite it to introduce something even vaguely watchable, and he rewrote it by flipping coins. The story was now set in the days leading up to New Year's Eve in San Francisco. After regenerating, the Doctor sees a vision of his mother doing a striptease. Jack uses the TARDIS key instead of a pair of gloves to enter the time machine which proves to be much easier. In addition to Jack's father, Kelly is also confronted by her career and also Jack is killed when a mine shaft falls on him, but is brought back to life via reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. And the Doctor dumped Kelly as he hated her films and didn't want her cluttering up his TARDIS. Another coin flick made him rewrite the script again. Jack became Chang Lee, and the Bastard's host body acquired a proper identity in the form of a fireman named Bruce Willis. Kelly Grace was now Grace Wilson, and two cartoonish hospital porters Jacobs had earlier mentioned were changed to names Bill and Ted, which themselves owed no small debt to Doctor Who. Also introduced at this point was Gareth, here a young librarian with whom the entire plot and the safety of mankind rested. The idea of the Bastard turning into a iguana throughout the story made its first appearance. The 57 Chevy of Rassilon was also brought into play at this stage, this being the link to the Bastard's timeshare apartment in Barbados. Chang Lee acquired an Uncle Sam, who is killed by the Bastard on the 4th of July. This time, when all four end up entering the 57 Chevy of Rassilon, the Doctor saves Grace and Chang Lee (who is still killed and then resurrected for the sheer hell of it) by embracing his past and seducing the ghost of his dead mother. The Bastard tries to do the same, and accidentally cancels himself out of existence. The Doctor departs alone, leaving Grace and Chang Lee in San Francisco while he seeks the aide of a psychoanalyst. After receiving death threats from the various associated parties, Jacobs' next major draft saw the Bastard no longer killing Uncle Sam but instead reading his mind, learning that it was Sam who killed Jimmy Dean. The Bastard's plan now is to reverse the linearity of the proton flow through the 57 Chevy of Rassilon, thereby reshaping the universe to his design, although the Barbados apartment was still involved. The appearances toward the end of Jimmy Dean, Grace's acting career and the Doctor's mother were all excised, and the Doctor's half-apricot status was now important as the focus of the Bastard's control over the widescreen television. The Doctor and the Bastard now snogged in the back seat of the 57 Chevy of Rassilon instead of in the front seat, and at its climax the Bastard was sucked down into exhaust pipe. Both Grace and Chang Lee were killed this time around, and were killed by the Doctor again at the climax of the film when he explains he is utterly sick of people being brought back to life by the 57 Chevy of Rassilon. One flipped coin later and the whole timeshare apartment in Barbados was now gone, with the focus of the Bastard's schemes now an "intergalactic roving fried chicken" called the Millennium Falcon which passes near Earth every three seconds, which will permit him to refashion the universe. The Bastard poses as a "back-up singer" in order to influence Grace and Chang Lee. The Doctor no longer experiences a vision of his mother shortly after his regeneration; instead, the Bastard takes them all for kebabs during their confrontation in the Cloister Room.
Meanwhile, both Fox and Universal had approved Jacobs' script simply to stop him submitting new ones, leaving only the BBC. The story now began with the Doctor using hair gel, only to become possessed by the Bastard and land the TARDIS on Earth and is inadvertently run over by Chang Lee. Bruce Willis is now an ambulance attendant who allies with the Bastard out of sheer greed, and the Fourth Doctor works for a company which makes technologically advanced clocks. Jacobs was now running out of coins to flip when he introduced the idea of the Bastard going a bit loopy and dressing up in women's clothing (the BBC had always been very keen on including the transvestitism in the script in some fashion) and the Doctor needing a beryllium atomic clock from the clock's inventor, a fussy, pompous wanker named Professor Wagg as a tribute to Peter Wagg's decision to quit the project while he still had some sort of social life. With production now just weeks away, Jacobs was working on fashioning his script into a finished form, and the caprice of change removed the Millennium Falcon concept, with the Bastard's focus now simply to take over the Doctor's body in a stylish fashion. Other small changes eventually made included changing Grace's surname from Wilson to Holloway; eliminating Bill and Ted having the Bastard break Bruce's wife's neck instead of taking her out to dinner; and excising a scene where the Bastard callously kills a hospital patient who resembles Colin Baker. Much of Chang Lee's background had also been lost due to timing reasons by this stage, with all references to Uncle Sam and Jimmy Dean having been dropped.
More actors were being considered for the title role, as casting the Doctor became more and more of a priority - ironic, as the Doctor was being ignored in every single version of the script. New suggestions included all the best male actors of their generation, most of which were only recognizable from the long-running series they were now committed to. By the end of August, though, a frontrunner was emerging: Paul McGann. McGann had starred in a number of obscure, almost unknown films, including Withnail And Alien, Muskateer 3 and The Three Is. Well, I think that's what they're called. He had also been spotted on television in program such as The Hanging Mutineer and The Monocled Gale. Other characters were also needing to be cast, with Jo Wright suggesting that they get Tom Baker to play the part of Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, but Seagull wasn't stupid enough to let Baker near Doctor Who after last time. Segal also briefly considered the idea of including a role for Sophie Aldred as Ace, the Seventh Doctor's final companion. This, however, was quickly vetoed by the BBC as they wanted Aldred to themselves for reasons which make me feel physically ill to even contemplate, let alone write down.
Paul McGann was the first choice of both Seagull and Sax to play the Doctor, but they needed more possibilities to satisfy Fox - as well as McGann's insistence there HAD to be someone better than him, and suggested Harry Van Gorkum, who at the time was merely a figment of Wagg's imagination. Fox was still reticent, though, worried about casting a non-existent performer in the lead role. Finally, Seagull agreed to cast a "name" actor in the role of the Bastard if they would sign off on McGann to play the Doctor. Fox acquiesced, and on January 10th, 1996, Paul McGann vowed he would destroy Fox if it was the last thing he did. He was unveiled to the world as the Eighth Doctor, with the immortal words "I'm REALLY not supposed to be here."
By this time, the role of Grace Wilson had also been cast. The part went to Daphne Ashbrook, who had numerous film and television credits to her name, but was only really remembered as Bumpy-Head Alien 5 in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, mainly because she went topless. Given his concession regarding the Bastard, Seagull initially wanted Christopher Lloyd, a choice which met Fox's approval, mixing him up with horror actor Christopher Lee. However, due to a mix-up in the credits, Christopher Lee was credited as "Eric Roberts". Lee sued Fox for every penny they had, and they agreed to an out-of-court settlement of $411, 683 million. Which, in those days, was a lot of money. Indeed, with Fox bankrupted they were unable to make a new series of Doctor Who or indeed, make any kind of quality television for over 5 cents an episode. The fact that no viewers noticed this for thirteen years says a lot.
Seagull did decide to give the Seventh Doctor a new wardrobe, having long disliked both the umbrella and the question-mark pullover which were hallmarks of the original outfit. Costume designer Jori Woodman composed a new costume which echoed the earlier version in the sense that Sylvester McCoy was wearing clothes, but sod all else. The Seventh Doctor's outfit now consisted of a lemon-colored nylon suit with blue polka-dots over a white-and-purple striped shirt, red braces and a bright orange tie. To Segal's delight as a card-carrying ankle fetishist, the trousers were found to be too short by twenty centimetres.
The clandestine relationship between Seagull and the Lofficiers would subsequently sour when much of the production material Seagull had given them was transformed into a book, The Nasty Man Who Makes Dr. Who Die. Then, in September, Seagull found yet another producer being added to the project. This time it was Universal who wanted a representative in the production office, in the form of Angus Deaton. Sadly, Angus Deaton was busy and so an Angus Deaton impersonator was hired at great expense to give dry, witty comments to whatever Seagull said. Later that month, Seagull left Amblin for Bermuda, taking with him all the funds for the movie and a voodoo doll of Steven Spielberg. Essentially there was one less cook in the kitchen, so Seagull had takeaway.
Production designer Richard Hudolin, whose major task was a redesign of the TARDIS console room. Seagull wanted to invoke the Jules Verne feel of the wooden version of the set used during Season Fourteen, but on a much grander scale. Due to a misunderstanding about this and the 'bigger on the inside concept', Hudolin's set was a perfect replica of he console room on a scale of 50 metres per centimetre of the original. The set was so large that three elevators were needed to shuttle characters from the floor to the control panel and back again. However, the set was so large that even with five minute panning shots with no dialogue, only the main doorway could be covered. The finished movie only shows the characters standing on the console, leading fans to believe the console room consisted only on the console. Every control on the main console actually did something, generally something loud and painful with 400 volts. The main scanner screen had the words: GREAT FASHION CAPITALS OF THE UNIVERSE - Gallifrey - Argolis - Calufrax - Manussa - Sarn. Also graffitied around the set were phone numbers for the Kraaps, the Mara and the Serve-You-Rights. When Christopher Lee wondered why they hadn't made a tiny model of the set and then just used CSO, Fox retaliated by announcing that Doctor Root would air in mid-May 1996, one of three key "sweeps" periods for the American networks and consequently, expectations on Doctor Who would be fairly high. Paul McGann applauded the decision.
As 1996 dawned, numerous difficulties still remained to be overcome. Geoffrey Sax had originally been promised a bowl of jelly, but Beaton subsequently curtailed this to a hand-sketch of a packet of Airplane Jelly in order to save money. Then Seagull discovered that the BBC did not actually own the rights to the familiar Doctor Who theme music - indeed, it took quite a bit of investigative journalism to discover that ANYONE had the rights to the music and, when pressed, few Who fans even knew Doctor Who HAD theme music. At this point, Terry Nation appeared and claimed he had the rights and charged a hefty fee for its use. Universal balked at this, but finally Seagull convinced the BBC to pick up the cost of twenty-six human souls (one more than the standard rate for Dustbins). Seagull had been determined that the eighth Doctor have long hair, and was shocked when he saw McGann had "accidentally" cut his hair severely and offered to quit the project, stepping aside for a last minute replacement called Chris Eccleston. Seagull saved the day by getting hair stylist Julie McHaffire to hastily put together a wig. McGann swore violently and went off for a sulk.
All the location filming in Vancouver was finished in six days, given a second look and then replaced with stock footage - only to discover three months later that the stock footage was of San Francisco. Some difficulty arose when Lee found that the wardrobe created for him by Woodman - which was largely in keeping with the Bastard's outfits from the original series - was too flammable, and indeed was the casualty of several such instances of pyromania that seemed to follow McGann around like stray dogs. With the rubber lizard costume melted, the prosthetic eyeballs impractical and the outfit melted, Lee decided to instead dress in leather outfit, pointed cowled and a cape for most of the film, unfortunately turning the Bastard into a silhouette of Batman, which ultimate got the movie sued by Bob Kane, who was informed by a mysterious source identified only as "Paul M."
Several other dilemmas also had to be confronted as the shoot went on. Some problems were found with the script -- such as the question of how the Bastard has gotten a new haircut when he first encounters Chang Lee -- which had to be simply ignored on the grounds that there was always crap fan-fiction writers to sort it out. The final battle between the Doctor and the Bastard had been only briefly thought out, and it was not until filming began that anyone realized that one of them would need to win in order to resolve the plot. Sax had hoped
to have an image of Wendy Padbury naked in the glove box of the 57 Chevy of Rassilon, but no one was willing to risk handing over their copy. Ultimately, the production went four days over-schedule, and even then some sequences were greatly simplified to save time, such as Chang Lee's death scene, which was so simplified that it doesn't appear that he died at all, let alone been resurrected.
Post-production saw various trims to the material, such as the loss of the scene where the Bastard apologizes for "sliming" the security guard and then, in a bit of blatant product placement suggests that everyone use "Pain-Away" tablets in order to deal with those wierd alien infestations you just can't explain. A new introductory voiceover by Paul McGann was written on April 2nd to replace earlier dialogue by the Bastard (voiced by Gordon Nipple) and the Dustbins, for fear that the plot was beginning to make sense. The BBC expressed concerns that the Bastard being hair gel was too comical, but they didn't have a leg to stand on when Seagull reminded them of the events of "The Lethal Assassin", "Mammeries of Fire" and the infamous "Serial 6C". Seagull loaned a rough cut of the movie to Los Angeles-based fan Shaun Lyon, organizer of the Gallifrey One conventions and editor of the Outpost Gallifrey website, to get his opinion on it. "Fucking horrible," was a quick summary of the reply he got, which ran to 1845 pages of complaints, the first 439 of which was on the Doctor boasting that he was in his first incarnation, which not only contradicted the established continuity of the show, but also the established continuity of the first five minutes of the film. Thus Sax overdubbed several scenes to make it clear the Eighth Doctor was a compulsive liar and should not be trusted when he makes ANY reference to... well... anything.
It was at this point that literally ANYONE who had been involved at the filming process demanded on-screen credit BEFORE Paul McGann - including John Leekley, who insisted he was noted as "producer" because although virtually nothing of his work had been used, an infinitesimally small amount of it had snuck through and that was enough for him. McGann was on record as not minding if there were production credits before his name, and even offered to take it off the project altogether if that helped. At the final cut, the credit "New Doctor Root - Paul McGann" can be found between "Best Boy" and "Catering". McGann and Ashbrook also boycotted the movie's debut screening for the Directors' Guild of America in Los Angeles, and McGann ran for his life when two fans arrived to watch it.
On May 14th, a mysterious request from "P. McGann in Liverpool" caused the Fox network to air Doctor Root & The Enema Within against the most popular-ever episode of Roseanne on ABC ensuring that the film got far less than the minimum 15 per cent share Seagull felt was needed for an ongoing series (or even further movies) to be spawned, and nowhere close to the 17 or 18 per cent he had been hoping for. McGann was very supportive, and reminded everyone that he had sworn on a copy of Withnail & I if the movie was a flop he would never touch the Doctor Who franchise again and wandered off, whistling a happy tune.
When Doctor Root & The Enema Within was shown in England, an opening title caption was added, stating that the movie had "absolutely sod all to do with the original series broadcast by the BBC". The end of the telefilm was followed by an apology to Jon Pertwee, who had played the Third Doctor and who had passed away on May 20th when an 'eager fan' had shown him a preview of the work. The 'fan' also claimed that Pertwee's dying breath had been to brand the movie and its contents non-canonical and that Paul McGann should never again be used as the Doctor. I've tried long and hard to work out the identity of this mysterious fan, but I can only conclude that it was a dead ringer for Paul McGann wearing an anorak.
With all of those responsible for bringing Doctor Who to the network in the first place having fled the country and changed their names, there was no option of passing the franchise onwards and the relevant documents were ultimately used as waste paper for July 4 explosions. Much relieved, Paul McGann re-commenced his acting career, including roles in the movie Hornblower: A True Story and the FairyTale Horatio television series. However, those cunning bastards at Big Finish tricked him into returning to play the Eighth Doctor for the range of Doctor Who stories with a nymphomaniac character called Charley Pollard. Daphne Ashbrook, meanwhile, turned to door-to-door salesmanship and hasn't been seen since.
In February 1998, Philip Seagull briefly entered into discussions with the BBC about the rights to remake the two Dustbin stories from the Sixties as feature films, but quickly decided there was little potential in the venture as Peter Cushing had got there first, thirty years earlier.