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Paul McGann

Paul McGann is the second Doctor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Unlike Tom Baker, while McGann's Scouse credentials are well-known, his Doctor Who ones have been the subject of some debate. This is on the grounds of having played the part only the once on TV: an appearance which some people don't regard as part of the canon. This argument only holds water if you also disregard the 8th Doctor comic strips in DWM & the Radio Times, the official BBC 8th Doctor novels, the BBC web dramas, the Big Finish audios etc. In fact Paul McGann's tenure as the 8th Doctor across all forms of media was 9 years. One person with no such problem with McGann's status in the Dr Who pantheon is Russell T. Davies, who ensured that the image of the 8th Doctor appeared in flashback sequences in Human Nature and The Next Doctor.

Paul McGann was born in Liverpool in 1959. Whilst at grammar school he was encouraged by a teacher to enrol at RADA and pursue an acting career: one that has so far lasted over two decades. McGann's first major role was as Percy Toplis in Alan Bleasdale's controversial BBC drama The Monocled Mutineer. He followed this up a year later with perhaps his most iconic role outside of Dr Who: the film Withnail and I where he played Marwood (the ā€œIā€ of the title) opposite Richard E. Grant's Withnail. This film has jokingly been retitled The Two Doctors, after Grant's portrayal of The Doctor in the web drama Scream Of The Shalka. Although there has been other film work (such as Alien3), Paul McGann has concentrated on TV work, and 1993 would have seen him portray Major Richard Sharpe in the ITV series based on the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell, had he not been invalided out by a footballing injury. One benefit to this (besides the insurance payout) is that he was available to become the 8th Doctor in what is known as The TV Movie (or The Enemy Within): a 90-minute single story produced by Universal/Amblin for the BBC and the US Fox Network, co-starring Eric Roberts as the Master and Daphne Ashbrook as companion Dr Grace Holloway. Had ratings been respectable, a full series would have been commissioned: sadly although the BBC 1 screening achieved 9.08m viewers the US ratings were low, and this remains the only televised outing for no. 8. However, the adventures of the 8th Doctor continued in both book (endorsed by Paul McGann's image on the covers) and audio drama (acted by McGann) forms. Indeed, in recent years Paul McGann has narrated several audiobooks (including many by Sharpe creator Bernard Cornwell) and many advertisements: notably for energy supplier E.ON and Vision Express.

Of course, we mustn't forget that Paul McGann's brothers ā€“ Joe, Mark & Stephen ā€“ are also actors, and appeared together in Irish famine drama The Hanging Gale (as well as singing together as The McGanns). Neither of the brothers has been involved with Dr Who as yet: Mark has however come the nearest, having also auditioned for the aforementioned TV Movie, and starred in the Russell T. Davies-created drama series The Grand.

Paul McGann: Doctor and Liverpudlian. We welcome you to the MLG Hall Of Fame.

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