Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in Doctor Who

This Classic Doctor Could Be Getting His Own ‘Doctor Who’ Spinoff Series

Rumor has it that Paul McGann could return as the Eighth Doctor in a Doctor Who spinoff on Disney+. Following Disney’s deal with BBC to stream Doctor Who exclusively on Disney+, there is speculation the companies might partner on other projects for the franchise.

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The idea of McGann getting a spinoff isn’t surprising, as he’s arguably the one Doctor actor most deserving of such a series. When McGann auditioned for the role of the Eighth Doctor, BBC was partnering with Universal Studios and Fox to revive the series after its cancellation in 1989. The series was revived for a TV film, which was supposed to serve as a backdoor pilot for a new Doctor Who TV series. McGann nabbed the role of the Eighth Doctor in the film with the hopes he’d continue playing the Doctor afterward. The film was a hit ratings-wise in the UK, but the ratings in the United States were a disappointment.

Ultimately, the ratings and mixed reviews weren’t enough to get Doctor Who picked up for an entire TV season. The show wouldn’t be revived again until 2005, when Christopher Eccleston took over as the Doctor. Meanwhile, it wasn’t until Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary that McGann reprised his role and finally received his regeneration scene. Still, the Eighth Doctor’s story is largely unknown aside from his beginnings and regeneration. There’s so much that could’ve happened during his missing stint as the Doctor.

Is Paul McGann getting a spinoff series?

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor (BBC)

A source allegedly told The Mirror that BBC is toying with the idea of McGann returning for a spinoff series. The report speculates that McGann would receive a Doctor Who spinoff series similar to Disney+’s Marvel and Star Wars original series. Since Disney acquired the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, it has produced a number of related projects, including giving major characters from the original films their own solo series. The source told The Mirror:

Russell likes the idea of bringing back McGann with his own set of episodes in the TARDIS. Disney are on board as they want more original content and want to fully exploit the franchise as they know how big it could become.

The source claimed that there may also be a UNIT spinoff focusing on Doctor Who‘s fictional military organization. For now, though, there is no official confirmation that these spinoffs are in development. When RadioTimes reached out to the BBC about the rumors, the network chose not to comment.

It’s also important to remember that Doctor Who spinoffs wouldn’t work the same as Marvel and Star Wars original series. The major difference between these franchises is that Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars but does not own Doctor Who. It only owns the streaming rights to Doctor Who, as the deal was purely a distribution one. The company won’t have a say in the actual production or direction of the show, so the McGann spinoff series would not be Disney’s call to make. However, Russell T. Davies has expressed interest in spinoffs since returning to the franchise. If BBC is making the spinoff and Disney is eager to give it a streaming home, it could work.

Finishing McGann’s story would be a wonderful idea for a Doctor Who spinoff, but it remains to be seen if the series will actually become a reality.

(featured image: BBC)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.