- The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, explains his thoughts on why Doctor Who has lasted 60 years and his hopes for its future.
- The show’s ability to constantly regenerate the lead character and companions allows for continuous evolution without sacrificing narrative clarity.
- Doctor Who‘s lasting success is attributed to its ability to reach across generations and resonate with audiences through its message of love and hope.
As Doctor Who prepares for its next regeneration, the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is speaking out about the show’s future. Doctor Who first premiered in 1963 with William Hartnell playing the titular time-traveling alien. Since then, over a dozen actors have taken over the role of the show’s overarching protagonist, with Ncuti Gatwa currently set to be the next Doctor and is preparing to take over the role after the upcoming 60th Anniversary specials, in which David Tennant returns, though as the Fourteenth Doctor.
With the 60th anniversary quickly approaching, McCoy sat down with RadioTimes to discuss the future of Doctor Who. To McCoy, love is at the heart of the show and explains every one of the Doctor’s actions. He also explained his perspective on the show’s legacy, the hope that he has for its future, and his surprise at the lasting success that Doctor Who has enjoyed. Check out his quote below:
Well, that it carries on as it has been doing in the last few years, with imagination. I want to also spread the message of the Doctor’s love for humanity. He loves humanity and that’s very important that that goes on because humanity, especially at the moment, needs all the love it can get… Who would have thought? Here’s to the next 60 years.
How Long Can Doctor Who Last?
Doctor Who has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity since its reboot in 2005. Its prominence has enabled the BBC and returning showrunner Russel T. Davies to secure a partnership with Disney+ for Doctor Who‘s international distribution rights, in turn resulting in a larger budget and better promotion. These changes will likely only help to boost the show’s ratings by increasing audience access beyond what the BBC and BBC America could offer.
Another benefit that ensures the long-term success of the series is that Doctor Who relies on change. The lead character and all of their companions are regularly replaced with new faces, as The Doctor’s regeneration process allows the show to constantly evolve without sacrificing narrative clarity. Tennant was able to choose to exit the show, with Matt Smith having been able to take over with relative ease. There are no external issues created by recasting actors, which has enabled the show to increase its diversity while retaining its core cast of characters.
These factors help to ensure that Doctor Who remains a cultural centerpiece for as long as the audience is willing to engage with it. While McCoy saw the downfall of the show in 1989, it was able to regenerate itself for the 1996 Doctor Who movie and the 2005 revival. Over time, it has reached across generations to secure new audiences, and as long as the message of love and hope continues to resonate, Doctor Who will likely be able to continue its ever-evolving run.