Sylvester McCoy reveals his one criticism of Doctor Who’s modern era

The Seventh Doctor thinks the sonic screwdriver is overused.

Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor (BBC, HF)

It’s been more than three decades since Sylvester McCoy’s turn as the Seventh Doctor in Doctor Who, but the actor has some thoughts on how the show has evolved since his era.


In an exclusive interview with for The Big RT Interview, McCoy shares his thoughts on Jodie Whittaker’s performance as the 13th Time Lord. While initially unsure about the show’s decision to cast its first female Doctor, he tells us he got over the change in the first 10 minutes and congratulated Whittaker personally.

“I’ve seen bits of it. I watched the opening [episode] – because one has to, you know – and I was initially kind of uncertain about it,” he said. “It was stupid sexism, really, because, after 10 minutes, she was the Doctor – it didn’t make any sense even to think that one could doubt it. I sent her a message. I said, ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for womankind.'”

As it turns out, his only criticism concerns the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. “They use the sonic screwdriver too much,” he insists. “It’s a bit of a crutch. I never had one. The producer decided that I shouldn’t have one because he said it was too easy for the writers to get the Doctor out of trouble.

“I managed to save the universe every Saturday – and without a sonic screwdriver, [so] I’m slightly critical. I don’t think they should use it all the time if you can manage without, like me – and my umbrella!”

If you’d like to relive the Seventh Doctor’s glory days, you can buy Doctor Who: Season 26 – The Collection box set on Blu-ray.

McCoy’s latest project is Julius Berg’s horror film The Owners, in which he stars alongside Rita Tushingham and Maisie Williams.

The Owners is on Digital Platforms from 22nd February and on DVD from 1st March from Signature Entertainment


The Big RT Interview with Sylvester McCoy arrives on on Sunday 21st February. Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix or visit our TV Guide.