(born 14 November 1959) is an English actor who made his name on the BBC serial The Monocled Mutineer
, in which he played the lead role. He's also known for his role in Withnail and I
, and for portraying the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television movie
and subsequent Big Finish Doctor Who
audio plays, along with a brief appearance in the revived series.
Despite his extremely brief on-screen tenure in Doctor Who
, his Doctor is well-loved due to his being a connecting thread during Who
's cancellation years; his comic series and audio adventures have quite a large fandom. Starting in 2008, he got his own separate Big Finish Doctor Who
series in addition to his regular monthly episodes.
Tweets as @pauljmcgann.
Tropes associated with this actor include:
- Berserk Button: A mild one, but don't bring up the wig he wore for his role as the Eighth Doctor for the TV movie, he hated wearing that wig.
- British Accents: Scouse, which is notably very different from his received pronunciation portrayal of the Doctor. His Scouse seeped into his RP over time, leading the Eighth Doctor to have a rather unique accent that's been well received.
- Cozy Voice for Catastrophes: His deep, soothing voice has led him to narrate documentaries on uncomfortable and/or frightening subjects.
- Cuddle Bug: Ask anyone who's ever hugged him at a convention. He's usually stroking your hand and kissing your face before you even realise what's happening.
- Evil Is Hammy
- Mr. Fanservice: Almost every movie he's in casts him as a lust object.
- The Rainbow pushed the trope to its natural limit by having him frolick naked through the woods.
- Withnail and I could easily just have been called "Paul McGann Is Almost Naked A Lot".
- He spends his first ten minutes as the Eighth Doctor wearing nothing but a sheet.
- Lampshaded a bit in a Big Finish episode where, despite it being a sound-only medium, he still manages to lose his shirt. Twice.
- Horatio Hornblower: He's not the only one Mr Fanservice is this series, but his Mr Bush tends to get wet a lot and has some glorious Shirtless Scenes.
- He appeared◊ in the Doctor Who after-credits behind the scenes feature to wish the show a happy fiftieth birthday◊... Which he then followed up with a kiss◊ while looking seductively at the screen. Woof.
- Older than They Look: Time has been very kind to him between the Doctor Who movie (mid-30s) and the present◊ (early 50s).
- Scully Box: In an interview in which he was asked how tall he is, he mentioned that he ends up standing on boxes often enough.
"Five feet nine. Quite little, really. From a squat tribe, you see. My brothers (and sister) are all taller than me, as are most of the actresses I'm required to smooch. At such times they usually stand me on a box. Sort of keeps your feet on the ground, paradoxically."
- Wag the Director: Positive example in Big Finish. He pushed for a new look for his Doctor, based on World War I-era navy clothes, as well as a World War I storyline.
- What Beautiful Eyes: No matter what he's in, it's almost a guarantee his blue eyes will get at least one close-up.
- What Could Have Been:
- He was cast as Sharpe, but broke his leg before filming could start. Had he not broken his leg, Lt. Bush would have been played by someone else.
- General consensus in the Doctor Who fandom is he could have been a fantastic screen Doctor if he'd only been given some decent material to work with, an opinion that The Night of the Doctor certainly did nothing to debunk.