DoctorDoctor Who Guide

Paul McGann

Last updated 27 July 2014


Paul McGann - Image Credit: Chuck Foster
Image Credit: Chuck Foster (this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)

Paul McGann

Born: Sat 14th November 1959 (age: 55)

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Paul McGann was born in Liverpool, England, the third of six children He attended grammar school in Liverpool. Before entering the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. 

McGann's breakthrough role was Give us a Break where he played a good snooker player who got into scrapes with Robert Lindsay, who played his wideboy manager. In 1986 he played the infamous British deserter and criminal Percy Toplis in the 1986 BBC serial The Monocled Mutineer as well as being cast as the eponymous "I" in Bruce Robinson's cult film comedy, Withnail and I. He also starred as Anton Skrebensky in Ken Russell's 1989 adaptation of D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow. Other early film appearances include The Monk, Dealers, Tree of Hands and the epic war film Empire of the Sun. 

Since 1989, McGann has concentrated primarily on television work, including Nice Town and Nature Boy for the BBC, and The One That Got Away and the second series of Hornblower for ITV. 

Paul McGann played the eighth incarnation of the Doctor in the Doctor Who 1996 television movie a joint venture between the BBC, Universal Studios and the Fox Broadcasting Network. McGann had signed a contract to appear as the Eighth Doctor in a new Doctor Who series, if Fox or Universal exercised their option. Although it earned 9.08 million viewers and was very successful in the UK, ratings were very low in the United States and as a consequence, Fox did not exercise its option to pick up the series so the movie became McGann's only televised appearance, so far, as the Eighth Doctor.

 McGann has reprised the role of the Eighth Doctor in an extensive series of audio plays by Big Finish Productions. Following his appearance as the Doctor, Paul McGann appeared as a concerned father in the film FairyTale: A True Story and later that same year as Rob in Downtime. Other film roles include My Kingdom (2001), Listening (2003) and Gypo (2005). The Vampire Chronicles, Queen of the Damned. In 2006, he appeared in the television drama Tripping Over and in 2007 in BBC One drama True Dare Kiss. In 2010, McGann played a major role in a feature-length episode of long-running BBC mystery series Jonathan Creek, as well as appearing as a regular in the crime drama Luther.






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