[This is part of a short ongoing series looking at the regenerations of The Doctor in advance of the Christmas special which will introduce Jodie Whittaker. Each reviews the story leading up to the regeneration in 200 words.]
It’s strange to say of someone who was only the on-screen Doctor on two occasions, neither of them a traditional television episode, but the Eighth Doctor is one of my favourites. This is largely down to the utterly sublime audio work done by Paul McGann at Big Finish. Eight never got a TV series, but he adventured with the Brigadier, crossed to new universes, had chronologically inconsistent companions long before River Song was on the scene, saved the universe more times than I can mention, saw the Time War begin to break out…
…and failed. Failed beautifully. Failed while trying to be a good man. Failed because the universe stopped being a place for good men. Night Of The Doctor is a remarkable story because in the space of a few minutes, Eight becomes as real and as important as any other Doctor. He’s the Doctor who gives in, the one who stepped aside for a warrior. The story has passion, eccentricity, heart, and a dark despair at its core. The perfect Eighth Doctor story, in other words.
Check out his audios. They’re amazing. As are those, coincidentally, of our next stop, the War Doctor.