Sylvester McCoy, 77, played the seventh, and last, incarnation of the Doctor during Doctor Who’s original run.
While he jokes that he ‘killed off the character’ for a while when it was shelved in the 80s, the Scottish actor is proud of how his portrayal of the iconic character helped changed the way the series moved forward in the 21st century.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Sylvester insists he injected ‘sadness’, ‘darkness’, and ‘danger’ into the role, that wasn’t always there before.
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EXCLUSIVE: Doctor Who actor Sylvester McCoy, 77, reflects on how his ‘dark and dangerous’ seasons changed the series forever. Pictured in 1987
All 13 Doctors’ seasons have now dropped on BritBox in Australia, including Sylvester’s three season run between 1987 to 1989.
Sylvester said he and a Canadian script writer in the 80s took the keys to the Tardis and added ‘sadness’, ‘mystery’, ‘darkness’, ‘uncertainty’ and ‘danger’ to the Doctor, which in turn changed the way Doctor Who was seen quite dramatically.
The actor, who has also starred in The Hobbit, said he felt the need to bring the ‘darker’ concepts to the role as the Doctor had been living for 950 years.
‘Someone said the other day I was the first person to actually bring this weight of the universe he’d been travelling through on,’ he said.
‘I was the first person to actually bring this weight of the universe on’: Sylvester said he added ‘sadness’, ‘darkness’, and ‘uncertainty’ to the Doctor, which in turn changed the way Doctor Who was seen quite dramatically
‘I thought maybe weren’t very good back then, but well they aren’t that bad now’: Sylvester is ‘incredibly surprised’ by how well his old Doctor Who seasons have aged
While proud of his legacy now, Sylvester said was not always fond of watching his work back in the 80s.
‘When it first came out I used to watch it, but when I came on I would hide behind the couch,’ he joked.
However, lately the actor has been re-watching his episode back and has been ‘incredibly surprised’ by how well it has aged: ‘There were episodes where I thought maybe weren’t very good back then, and well they aren’t that bad now.’
‘I haven’t met Jodie [Whittaker, Thirteenth Doctor 2018–present] yet, and I want to meet her’: Sylvester joked it was ‘discombobulating’ there is now a female Doctor he could fancy
‘When the 21st century Doctors arrived suddenly the fans loved it and went hunting for more and found us’: Sylvester says he is so delighted that newer generations appreciate his seasons
However, Sylvester says he is so delighted and joyful that the next generation has been able to experience Doctor Who in the 13 seasons that followed his.
‘When the 21st century Doctors arrived suddenly the fans loved it and went hunting for more and found us [the original Doctors], and liked us! That was nothing but delight and joy. To have a young person come up to you and say “you’re my favourite doctor” – it just brings me such pleasure and such joy, really.’
‘We see each other at conventions a lot, especially the 20th century, classic Doctors. We see each other a lot and I’ve bumped into and met David Tennant (Tenth Doctor 2005–10), Matt Smith (Eleventh Doctor 2010–13) and Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor 2005), and enjoy their company a lot.
‘I haven’t met Jodie [Whittaker, Thirteenth Doctor 2018–present] yet, and I want to meet her. I find it a bit discombobulating that suddenly there’s a Doctor that I could fancy. I find it very strange,’ he joked
DR WHO: BritBox has Australia’s largest streaming collection of classic and contemporary Doctor Who with all 13 doctors in one place.
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Stream it: DR WHO: BritBox has Australia’s largest streaming collection of classic and contemporary Doctor Who with all 13 doctors in one place. Pictured: David Tennant as Dr Who with assistant Rose Tyler