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The Eighth Doctor drinks a venti of warrior juice and canonises the Big Finish adventures

This 7-minute prequel to The Day of the Doctor on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who saw the surprise return of Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor to the screen.

This is more than just your average prequel, though. It sets up The War Doctor, shows us McGann’s thitherto missing regeneration, canonises his Big Finish adventures, and welcomes the Sisterhood of Karn back to the Whoniverse as well.

As with any good 7 minutes of Doctor Who, we spent over an hour chatting about it, though admittedly we did get lost in a rabbit hole about regeneration rules for a while.

Listen now!

Here's what you think 2 Responses to “B058 The Night of the Doctor”
  1. Kyle Rath | @sinistersprspy

    For a very brief moment, on November 14th, 2013, the entire spectrum of Life within the Multiverse existed in a perfect peace. Our eyes were wide with excitement; our hearts fluttered, filled with an overabundance of pure joy; all our hopes, and all our dreams, laid before us. Visions of days to come, rekindling All Our Love to long ago…..

    “The Night of the Doctor” debuted as an online special mini-prequel to the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special “The Day of the Doctor”.

    Paul McGann returned to our screens as the Eighth incarnation of The Doctor. Survivor of the 1996 “Doctor Who” Movie; immensely popular from his adventures in Big Finish audios, and the central figure in an age old curiosity about the DW timeline.

    And Moffat just went off and fucking killed him.

    Don’t get me wrong: I like me some John Hurt action, and despite Christopher Eccleston’s recent confessions, seriously, and I cannot stress this enough, what the fuck was Moffat thinking?

    Synopsis: The Sisterhood of Karn save the day with Gallifreyan Go Go juice, and Doctor-No-More puts on a bullet belt he pilfered from a dead girl he didn’t know and couldn’t save because War. War never changes.

    Conclusion: All because he couldn’t be bothered to get back in the TARDIS.

    Score: 4.75/5 Because McGann is fantastic and Big Finish is Canon.

  2. Ben O'Neill

    So I just have a couple of things to add.
    1) During the discussion of whether this would have been Eccelston instead of John Hurt, Marie says that in “Rose” we never got to see the regeneration, so Eccleston could have been the Doctor for a long time before that episode, and so would have been the War Doctor if Moffat had got his way. I disagree; at 11:50 into the episode, The Doctor is in Rose’s kitchen while she’s on the phone in the living room, and he’s going through things quickly at random (even reading a novel in a second flat), like he’s still high on regeneration energy, and he looks into the mirror and appraises his (new) face, and says “Hmm, could have been worse. And look at the ears!” He had only met Rose the night before, and was on the track of the Nestene amplifier on the roof of her building. But this implies this episode comes very shortly after he has regenerated. So either the Time War was an afterthought, McGann was supposed to have fought the Time War, or there was always going to be a War Doctor.
    2) Between when the classic Doctor Who series was cancelled in 1989 and it was brought back in 2005, there were a couple of series of Novels published by Virgin books; the first were The New Adventures which follow the Seventh Doctor and Ace where the TV series leaves off. These were supplemented (starting in 1994) by the Missing Adventures, featuring Doctors One through Six, and their respective companions. After the TV movie with Paul McGann, they ended, but a new series of books, by the BBC itself, was started. In the first of these novels (“The Eight Doctors”, by Terrence Dicks), the Eighth Doctor falls prey to a trap left by the Master in his TARDIS, and loses his memory. The Tardis then sends his to locations where his previous incarnations are, so that he can mentally rapport with them (as he did in “The Three Doctors”) and get parts of his memories back, one incarnation at a time.
    In this book, while the Third Doctor is chasing down The Master after the events of “The Sea Devils”, the Eighth Doctor has landed at UNIT HQ, in the Doctor’s lab, and the Brigadier comes in. The Doctor knows BAGLS, but BAGLS isn’t quite sure who the Doctor is. The Doctor doesn’t know who Jo Grant is, and a couple other things, and the Brig says “But if you’re the Doctor…”
    To which the Doctor says, ” Let’s just say I’m a Doctor. Clearly, I’m not the one you were expecting.” Which is almost exactly what the line of dialog in the mini episode is.
    Over the course of New Who, I have seen many occasions where lines of dialog, planets, monsters, and ideas were harvested from these novels which all were written during the hiatus between classic and new Who. This is jus one example.

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