Philip Segal, producer of the Doctor Who TV movie, has spoken out regarding some of the wildest casting rumours linked to the project.


Paul McGann was ultimately cast as the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 film, with Eric Roberts playing the Master – though stars reportedly considered to play the latter character included Christopher Lee, Tim Curry, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Sting.

Speaking to ahead of the release of new documentary Doctor Who Am I, Segal explained the origins of these larger-than-life rumours.

"I had four bosses: Universal Studios, BBC Enterprises, Fox, and the BBC itself," he explained.

"Sometimes you can be forced into making offers - like a bluff in poker, because you gather intelligence to know the person isn’t available or they don’t want to do a series. The powers at be just want to know that you made the effort to ask."

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Though he insists that many of the rumours around the TV Movie were either exaggerated or even completely false – in the case of Ridley Scott being approached to potentially direct – Segal admitted that Sting’s name did come up in conversation to play the Master.

"I think his name came up for the villain. These casting ideas were ultimately never a demand, but more like wishes that would get tossed around a lot," he said.

Actors confirmed to have auditioned for the role of the Eighth Doctor include Rowan Atkinson, Eric Idle, Anthony Head and Rik Mayall, while both Christopher Eccleston and Peter Capaldi – who would later go on to play future incarnations – were also invited to audition, with Capaldi turning down the opportunity for fear he would be unsuccessful.

It’s fair to say that the TV Movie found the perfect Doctor-and-Master pairing in McGann and Roberts – though Mayall's take on the time-travelling hero facing off against Sting’s peroxide-blonde Master does sound like a once-in-a-lifetime viewing...

Doctor Who Am I is released in UK cinemas on 27th October, and on Blu-ray, DVD & digital download from 28th November.

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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